Harmony Korine

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Macintosh
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#51 Post by Macintosh » Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:50 am

Teeeeom wrote:His appearances on Letterman were comic gold. Regardless of whether he was "stoned out of his mind", his performance on Letterman was a beautiful mixture of the absurd/sublime/surreal comedy of Andy Kaufman and the one liners and wit of Groucho Marx (particularly the Titanic joke, and the "great american novel"). Granted, some people aren't a fan of this kind of comedy, but I find it very similar to what Sacha Cohen is doing with his character Borat. Heres a link.
amen to that.

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#52 Post by Roger_Thornhill » Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:01 am

Teeeeom wrote:His appearances on Letterman were comic gold. Regardless of whether he was "stoned out of his mind", his performance on Letterman was a beautiful mixture of the absurd/sublime/surreal comedy of Andy Kaufman and the one liners and wit of Groucho Marx (particularly the Titanic joke, and the "great american novel"). Granted, some people aren't a fan of this kind of comedy, but I find it very similar to what Sacha Cohen is doing with his character Borat. Heres a link.
Yeah when I first saw that interview back in the 90s it was before I'd seen "Gummo" and I found him amusing in a negative fashion. I was more laughing at Korine than with him. I just thought he was a complete idiot. But after reading through some of his interviews with Herzog and what not, I was shocked how articulate and intelligent he is. I should've realize that his appearance on Letterman was a joke, one that I didn't get the first time. :D

That interview on Letterman is probably what kept me from seeing "Gummo" for many years. Well, that and probably the hero worship I heard from college students and their rather arrogant attitude towards any who dared attack the Cult of Korine. Not that anyone on here is acting that way, but I've seen it on the internet as well. This is probably the first intelligent discussion of Korine I've encountered on an internet forum with very little mudslinging. =D>

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Sanjuro
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#53 Post by Sanjuro » Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:59 am

What a fantastic forum this is! :D

I have nothing really useful to add to this thread but I would say that following the (almost) civilised arguments about material which people obviously have very strong feelings for has inspired me to pop along to the video store and rent Korine's movies for the weekend. No doubt I'll hate myself by Monday morning but I figure it's worth the experience either way.

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BusterK.
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#54 Post by BusterK. » Tue Jan 16, 2007 12:55 pm

Sanjuro wrote:No doubt I'll hate myself by Monday morning but I figure it's worth the experience either way.
I very much doubt that...

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Sanjuro
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#55 Post by Sanjuro » Tue Jan 16, 2007 7:17 pm

BusterK. wrote:
Sanjuro wrote:No doubt I'll hate myself by Monday morning but I figure it's worth the experience either way.
I very much doubt that...
That I'll hate myself, or that Harmony Korine's movies are worth a $2 rental?

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sevenarts
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#56 Post by sevenarts » Tue Jan 23, 2007 12:02 am

Well this thread prompted me to finally stop my procrastinating and finally watch Julien Donkey-Boy, which has seemingly been sitting on my to-watch pile forever. It was an, um, interesting experience. I'm not entirely sure what to think of it as a whole, but I was largely on-board up until the final 20 minutes or so. I think the whole aesthetic of the film up till that point could be very neatly summed up by that wonderful little scene between Herzog and the man with no arms... This guy with such a positive attitude about his problems, flipping up aces using his toes. For me, this scene represented what was best in the film -- a real broad, unflinching embrace of difference and marginality, without condescension or pity or any of the trite emotional manipulations usually associated with the depiction of such characters on-screen. Korine simply puts them front and center, lets them talk and be themselves. It's there again in the bowling scene, or the impromptu rap session. This is clearly something that Korine gets from Herzog, and there are so many great moments in that vein to be found here. I also thought the scene where Chloe Sevigny calls her brother and pretends to be their dead mother was absolutely perfect, a really gorgeous and touching scene built up from some very complex emotional territory.

The ending, gut-wrenching as it was, left me mostly uncomfortable and unbalanced, and I'm still not too sure what to think of it. One of my problems with it is that it becomes almost unavoidable to pass judgment on Chloe Sevigny's character at that point -- and such moralist judgment was exactly what the film had avoided up to then. Julien's actions at the end also seemed exaggerated almost to the point of parody -- just try describing that final scene aloud and realize how absurd and weird-for-its-own-sake it seems. I'm not entirely sure I'm right about the ending, but I know it wound up leaving me with a very different sense from the rest of the film. It's a very jarring transition, at the least.

Herzog reaffirmed his brilliance, of course, and this made me wish he did more acting. The hose scene was frightening and brilliantly played, likewise virtually every other scene he appeared in.

All told, I'm now incredibly curious about Korine and will probably be making an effort to see Gummo soon. This one was a very odd and unsettling film, and the best I can say about it is that -- as much as it sometimes draws from Herzog -- I've never seen ANYTHING else like it anywhere. Korine clearly has a unique and provocative vision, and after watching this I certainly understand (but don't remotely agree with) some of the more vociferous hatred I've seen hurled at Korine from some viewers. The thing that saves this film, though, and which his detractors seem to miss, was the clear compassion he had for all these characters.

Teeeeom
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#57 Post by Teeeeom » Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:32 am

From an interview:

Korine explains: "I love people who are so obsessed and so focussed, like the guy who swallows cigarettes. And I'm attracted to deformities: people with no arms, for instance, who have a positive attitude about life. It amazes me how they manage to get through."

And when people remark,as they certainly did with Gummo, that he is exploiting retarded people?

"If you show someone who is retarded, that's exploitation? If retardation is going to be made romantic, lovable, eccentric, like in Rain Man, to me that's much more offensive. If there's a character with no arms and legs, I want to see a person with no arms and legs, not Dustin Hoffman having no arms and legs for two weeks and people saying, 'Great performance.'"

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chaddoli
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#58 Post by chaddoli » Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:19 pm

This is partly what I'm talking about. Korine is claiming to be something of a realist here, documenting the way things really are. But while it's certainly on the other end of the spectrum, I'm not sure Gummo isn't as offensive as Rain Main.

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#59 Post by Macintosh » Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:55 pm

I've heard many accounts of people saying that they grew up in a town just like Gummo, so i think there is something to be said there.

Teeeeom
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#60 Post by Teeeeom » Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:48 pm

Yes, the characters in Gummo do in fact exist. One day I was driving around a small town on the outskirts of Tulsa, Oklahoma through neighborhoods and I passed many houses/front yards that looked like they were straight out of Gummo: dilapidated, trash everywhere, filthy kids playing. And the surprising thing is that this is only 15 minutes from my house in the suburbs.

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chaddoli
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#61 Post by chaddoli » Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:53 pm

I'm sorry, but I think this is bullshit. I don't believe there are towns where they take baths in speggetti, chocolate, and shit.

In any case, Xenia, OH is nothing like that, and Korine did not grow up anywhere like that (I believe he grew up in Nashville and New York City). So...how does he know?

Macintosh
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#62 Post by Macintosh » Thu Jan 25, 2007 12:49 am

chaddoli wrote:I'm sorry, but I think this is bullshit. I don't believe there are towns where they take baths in speggetti, chocolate, and shit.

In any case, Xenia, OH is nothing like that, and Korine did not grow up anywhere like that (I believe he grew up in Nashville and New York City). So...how does he know?
Korine is not claiming that people take baths in dirty water (fyi, he eats spagetti, never bathes in it, nor shit or chocolate), he is not claiming Gummo to be a documentary either. He is not claiming Xenia to be like that, he just used the name because a tornado really did hit there. I imagine that most of the people in the film are just like the people he encountered in Nashville, which is very close to the town they filmed in.

jackson_browne
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#63 Post by jackson_browne » Thu Jan 25, 2007 7:12 pm

Teeeeom wrote:One day I was driving around a small town on the outskirts of Tulsa, Oklahoma through neighborhoods and I passed many houses/front yards that looked like they were straight out of Gummo: dilapidated, trash everywhere, filthy kids playing. And the surprising thing is that this is only 15 minutes from my house in the suburbs.
What town?

Teeeeom
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#64 Post by Teeeeom » Sat Jan 27, 2007 1:00 am

south Bixby

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mfunk9786
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#65 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:58 am


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Oedipax
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#66 Post by Oedipax » Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:23 pm

Awesome. The video quality even matches the home video stuff in Gummo.

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mfunk9786
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#67 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:26 pm

So does the shape of that moron's head.

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Antoine Doinel
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#68 Post by Antoine Doinel » Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:44 pm

Drag City will be re-releasing Korine's 'zines by the end of the year (at the end of the news update).

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Dadapass
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Re: Harmony Korine

#69 Post by Dadapass » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:31 am

Korine's latest short, Snowballs

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mfunk9786
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Re: Venice Film Festival 2012

#70 Post by mfunk9786 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:33 pm

criterion10 wrote:Gummo is one of my all time favorite films, a true masterpiece in my opinion
I'll take "Opinions that make me run away as fast as I can from a person" for 200, Alex

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Re: Venice Film Festival 2012

#71 Post by criterion10 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:40 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:
criterion10 wrote:Gummo is one of my all time favorite films, a true masterpiece in my opinion
I'll take "Opinions that make me run away as fast as I can from a person" for 200, Alex
Not a huge fan of the film I take it? LOL Gummo is one of those movies that most people don't like but I love it for some odd reason. There's just something special about that film, from the characters to Escoffier's cinematography to that ending scene set to Roy Orbison's Crying, one of the greatest moments in cinema history that brings me to near tears everytime I watch it. I've seen it so many times now and I'll continue to argue that it is a film that should be reassessed. It does have a cult following from what I understand though, which is indeed good.

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mfunk9786
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Re: Venice Film Festival 2012

#72 Post by mfunk9786 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:44 pm

I find it exploitative and vile - Korine rebelling against his comfortable upper-middle class upbringing and deciding to use America's poor and downtrodden citizens for his own amusement passed off as art. There are scenes that are dripping with insincerity throughout, particularly the one with the kid in the bathtub - I'm not sure what artistic statement someone's trying to make when they imply that lower class people bathe their children in dirty water while they eat dried up leftovers - Korine has absolutely no respect for these people, feels they have no dignity and no pride in themselves, and he wants to make them his marionettes for his, and our, own cheap thrills. No thanks.

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warren oates
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Re: Venice Film Festival 2012

#73 Post by warren oates » Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:05 pm

This is why I like Trash Humpers so much more. Gone is the glossy sheen of artsy pretension in the images and the scenarios. He's also collapsed the distance between himself and his characters (one of whom he's playing). Instead of delectation in dereliction and his calculatedly ironic perspective on it, he's down there in the muck wallowing with everyone -- having fun with them rather than making fun of them. There's a definite outsider pride in this film, an equation where it's the Trash Humpers vs. Everyone Else, which is not unlike the attitude in certain early John Waters films. In place of Gummo's semblance of narrative and its aesthetic of romanticized decay (which sometimes looks more like a fashion ad) Trash Humpers is deliberately silly, ugly, badly shot.
Last edited by warren oates on Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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mfunk9786
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Re: Venice Film Festival 2012

#74 Post by mfunk9786 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:22 pm

I still don't see the use of it all

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R0lf
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Re: Harmony Korine

#75 Post by R0lf » Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:26 pm

But isn't Gummo basically just twee retrofitting in the same vein as a Jean-Pierre Jeunet movie and not really any kind of social realism?

The only real difference I see is that the aesthetic for Gummo is urbane youth while the aesthetic for Amelie is fat middle age women who work for local council.

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