I love Harmony Korine and his work, however, I find it hard to defend. Either you love it or you hate it.
Hello! I’m new here and have to say first that I’m not english so, sorry my bad english!
I just want to say that I really love and admire the work of Korine. I know a lot of people don’t like him and think that his works are simple ugly and so on. I think Korine really bring to the american indipendent cinema (and for me to all the cinema) a new way to made movies. The collage-realistic style he has is very interesting and very innovatiove in the way he make this to talk about the reality, the life that is as we seen (or better to say as he see). When I see Mr. Lonely I feel very confused, as I confirm it, I couldn’t see the Korine I know. As the new movie, Trash Humpers (2009) has come and is in the style of Gummo and Julien Donkey-Boy, I may think that Mr. Lonely is that, a little part of another work, another road that Korine tried to explore. Between I see in Mr.Lonely the same reality, even if the story is in a way surrealist, that we can find in the other works of Korine, from the movies, to the books, to the photography till the art.
I liked Kids…
I dunno about Gummo…I guess it was OK…
He’s not on my list of great directors or anything. To me he’s just a weird dude that makes movies and writes books.
He has like a 10 minute scene that is suggestively homosexual with himself and a midget. These two characters in this scene are not played by actors (one is played by Korine himself), the scene does not move the story along or contributes anything to the film but an “awkward moment”…the two characters aren’t in the rest of the movie…it’s all shot at one angle, probably on a tripod.
How is that good film making? It’s a guy setting up a camera and pretending to be gay and high with a midget for 10 minutes.
Fliming a kid in a dirty bathtub eating spaghetti? The imagery is unforgettable in Korine movies, however the films themselves are very forgettable IMO. If someone can tell me what Gummo is about, what the story is and that he told it well…whatever..I just think it’s a collage of exaggerated white trash existence…
Chase The title Gummo was named after the 5th Marx Brother. He appeared once on stage got stage freight and decided against a career in vaudville.
The film has a lot of illusions to old Hollywood, like Gummo the film is about being lost or displaced (he is the one forgotten marx brother) except the characters are lost and displaced because of a tornado that had happened in the town years ago, they have never recovered.
Thought Julien Donkey-Boy was great entertainment – loved it.
Korine is a good spokesperson for a new generation in cinema. He represents the outsiders whose psyche’s have been slowly disturbed by the bizarre underlying aspects of American culture, and can be well classified in a genre labeled “new american weirdness.” His eclectic mix of taste is emblematic of the direction that youth is heading in. His films are like the aftermath of a nervous breakdown caused by a mixture consumerism, pharmaceuticals and post-modernism. A good example of this would be the editing used in Julian Donkey Boy. He focuses on subjects and individuals who have NO common ground with most people interested in cinema, other than the fact that they’re complete outsiders. It’s existential in a strange way. I really think he is a positive entity in the world of art.
Kids, Julian Donkey Boy, Gummo = All good in my opinion.
Mr. Lonely = Well, nobody is perfect.
The bottom line about Korine is that like him or not, this type of debate over whether or not something is a work of genius or pure degeneracy typically ends in the favor of the artist.
Awkward moments > moving the story along.
i agree somewhat roger and find it fascinating that
a man who could be spokesperson to a new generation is so clearly in love with old influences from vaudeville, al jolson and buster keaton movies, etc. etc.
as a spokesperson he has stuck to this persona that is both insightful about film (with great knowledge of alan carke and herzog) and seems like a silly goofball (giving his detractors amunition against him) he is genius while playing a fool (like Godard in Keep up your Right or King Lear)
Actually, @Chase M., the scene wasn’t nearly ten minutes long and the midget shows up once again in the arm wrestling scene (fucking hysterical, and the most accurate depiction of trailer trash I’ve ever seen) wearing a “Jerusalem” t-shirt, so there is more coherency than you are giving credit for.
Gummo could only have been made by somebody who knows cinema’s history and figured out where to take it.
One part of art is unifying all the disconnected ideas around you. Another is removing all the needless conventions of the time period. You’re looking for new territory.
Why is Gummo a great and important film?
a) It completely strips itself of hollywood narrative yet remains captivating.
b) It operates outside the definitions of ‘narrative’ or ‘documentary’ film.
c) It’s a real American film – completely removed from the commercial, escapist fantasy of hollywood.
d) It puts 35mm, 8mm, cheap and expensive digital, Polaroids and stills together on a level playing field. As they are to this generation in everyday life when we watch classic films, watch new films, make videos and take photos.
e) It deliberately combines High and Low Art influence as popular culture unknowingly does.
f) It attempts to tell the unglamorous truth about the world, but does so in a compassionate, lighthearted, human way.
g) It’s cathartic in it’s parody and destruction of conservative ideas, racism, homophobia, human body image, the average American.. Most importantly television and Hollywoody film-making.
h) It does something NEW and it does something REAL.
There are more, but those are key.
It shows a new way for film-making. It continues and expands upon the foundations layed by Vertov, Godard, Herzog, Cassavetes and more. It’s a truthful, original work in a commercial world which void of originality and truth.
btw we are all aware that Kids was directed by Larry Clark and HK was a co-writer.
Gummo is fabulous
Gummo is perfect in a strange way… i love the absence of a normal linear story
anyway, i would love this movie just for the bacon taped to the wall during the bathtub scene
and mister lonely, well, i love the music and Herzog.
Gummo’s fantastic and I still need to see Trash Humpers
Having literally just finished watching this, I must say: this film was very good. My favorite Korine is still Julien Donkey-Boy by far, but I did like this one a lot. And, as per usual with films by Korine, I’ll probably start really loving this film in about an hour.
But yeah, I’m a huge fan of Korine, and I find him to be the greatest filmmaker under 40 working today.
Wanna see Trash Humpers_? Check THIShumpers/ out…
I just watched JULIEN DONKEY-BOY (Korine, 1999)
I really don’t know what to make of it, but I do feel that Harmony Korine knows how to use visuals and audio in a strikingly new way.
One does have the feeling of seeing something thoroughly new. He obviously has sympathies for people who are different, who might once have been called “handicapped”, people who— it might seem—— are not first in line in our Capitalistic society…
I think Korine’s astrological natal chart probably contains Uranus and Chiron and Venus all aspecting each other sensitively and favorably….
I will defend it. He is the first filmmaker to correctly transcribe Godard’s 80’s pathos.
Harmony Korine is, in addition to being the of the most genius and creative filmmakers of all time (in my opinion), the only other person besides John Cassavetes that I can say is truly an American filmmaker.
I love him. I find his films strangely captivating
“the only other person besides John Cassavetes that I can say is truly an American filmmaker.”
its comments like this that make me keep quiet about being a fan of korine’s because, as a fan, i dont want to be associated with views & opinions like this.
new Harmony Korine short film Umshini Wam free online
That was so much better than The Social Network
I have enjoyed every film Korine has made. Mister Lonely was my least favorite but I still liked it. Especially the stuff with Herzog and the nuns. I thought Trash Humpers was absolutely brilliant however.
new commercial from harmony:
When we first learned that Harmony Korine was teaming up with Val Kilmer for a mysterious Nashville-set project about a motivational speaker it seemed like a match made in Awesome Heaven. As it seems with most Korine projects these days, it’s been flying under the radar moving to its own, probably bizarro, beat, but it seems there is much much more to this already idiosyncratic undertaking.
The folks over at IndieWire have come across the creative brief of something called “The Fourth Dimension” an undertaking that will feature U.S., Russian and Polish “chapters” with each portion using local directors and cast members. No word yet on who the other filmmakers or cast will be, but Korine/Kilmer are obviously filling the U.S. slot in the film, which is being produced by Grolsch FilmWorks. But, there’s even more. Penned by Eddy Moretti, a producer for Vice Films who is also behind the project, the creative brief outlines three pages of instructions the filmmakers must follow that are clearly a take-off of the Dogme rules and are also kind of brilliant. For brevity’s sake we didn’t include them all, but here are some of the highlights (plus all three pages of the brief for your own perusal below):
This film must be the best film you have ever made.
You must forget everything you know.
This film has to have real life.
It has to have more real life than anything else you have ever made.
It needs to stop people from going about their day.
It should blur the line between what is real and what is fake.
We must never know the truth.
We need to be shown things we have never been shown before.
We need to see things that are secret to most.
We need to go places that we may not have been before.
We need privy and access to an unknown culture.
You need to take us to a different world, an unknown world.
You cannot be afraid.
The hero must have greatness thrust upon him or her.
The hero must have a missing tooth.
The hero tells bad jokes. But they’re good.
A stuffed animal needs to make an appearance.
The story must be something that has actually happened to the writer/ director in real life, something that they have never revealed to anyone else.
A character must say “Don’t worry, I’m sure you will survive.”
There needs to be a character named “Mickey House.”
You cannot fail.
So yeah, “The Five Obstructions” ain’t got nothing on this. We’re mostly intrigued by the element that the film has be based on something that happened in real life although we’re pretty sure—at least on Korine’s part—- he will be playing pretty fast and loose with “the truth.” No word what on when/how this will get released, but Korine is consistently upending our expectations and delivering strange, hilarious and highly original work so we can’t wait to see what his pairing with Kilmer, combined with this set of rules, delivers.
So far everything I’ve seen of Harmony Korine has been a glowing experience that has made me much more at peace with being alive.
The different levels that people focus on about him in opinions, interpretations and/or heavy dismissals are so socially revealing. For me all his work is about bringing out the real beauty in ‘imperfection’ in the full spectrum of its meaning, from the terrible darkness in the world to individual appearances; that’s one excellent ethos as far as I’m concerned. Mister Lonely is a bit clearer about it than his other films I think. At first I started hearing all these judgments in my head about the actors i didn’t like, or the higher production values or whatever, all these superficial nuts-and-bolts value judgments, but even those judgments are beautifully enveloped by what i think is his whole intention, i realise what i’m doing, and how limiting they are, and how much judgments are the only thing that take the beauty out of anything and everything; we get such a good look at a lot of things about the world and ourselves when we watch one of his movies, i love it, i feel a little more cleansed every time.
Luv this part: how much judgments are the only thing that take the beauty out of anything and everything
Korine is great – oops, that was a judgement…