Despite being mysteriously listed in the Cannes schedule as simply ‚Äės√©ance sp√©ciale‚Äô, word quickly spread online and at Cannes that the festival had organised a special preview of exclusive footage to be shown to the press attending.
All the clips that played in the presentation had played in the¬†preceding week in the market, in screenings that the press were denied access too. In fact, I had made efforts to see The Grandmasters footage¬†at a showreel presentation by Wild Bunch but was informed by their representative that they weren‚Äôt willing to show it to press at that time. Luckily though this footage was included in the press presentation, along with exclusive footage from Nicholas Winding Refn‚Äôs Only God Forgives and a sizzle reel from Harmony Korine‚Äôs Spring Breakers.
Both The Grandmasters and Spring Breakers had a very strong¬†presence¬†at the festival this year, with large banners for each greeting you as you left the Palais. Oddly the banner for Spring Breakers resulted in what seemed to be the most chatter with many simply wondering what on earth this¬†film was.
The¬†images on the banner look very much like a somewhat trashy raunchy comedy, something in the vein of Todd Philips perhaps, but the stars are pulled from safe and squeaky clean television shows and then right below the title is Harmony Korine‚Äôs name. None of these facts when brought together seem to quite fit but they certainly are intriguing. At the press preview we were treated to a three minute sizzle reel (official reports said five minutes but my watch told a different story) and it certainly did nothing to shake that intrigue.
The reel was created originally for¬†the¬†market so there was a strong sense that the footage included was selling the film,¬†highlighting¬†the most marketable moments.¬†The reel was made up of a large number of very brief clips and appeared to be presented in chronological order from the film, giving one an idea of what the story may be. Beginning with the introduction of ¬†the main girls in the film ‚Äď played by Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine ‚Äď who want to go on spring break but don‚Äôt have the money to do so. From what we saw it appears that they then rob a bank, successfully, and make their way to celebrate spring break.
Enter James Franco‚Äôs character Alien, with braided hair and a¬†slimy¬†grills filled grin, who gets involved with the girls spring break and things appear to get even more wild than they already were. Korine has a history of graphic content in his films and his writing work for director Larry Clark has included scenes involving a lot of sex between teenagers (Kids and Ken Park). Nothing in the sizzle reel shown hinted at anything as¬†graphic¬†or indeed strange as Gummo, Kids, Ken Park or Trash Humpers but there were a number of scenes involving drinking, drug taking, some minor nudity, arrests and a lot of guns. Also, the main stars were in bikinis throughout the reel, including a scene in a shot in a courtroom, and it seemed clear that Korine was making the most of the young actresses seemingly shedding their former clean cut Disney¬†personae.
The whole reel looked very glossy and commercial, two words not generally¬†associated¬†with Korine, but producer¬†Gregoire Melin has commented that Korine¬†was¬†able to ‚Äúmake it feel totally real‚ÄĚ¬†and there was a bit of an anarchic sense to some of the clips, including scenes of the girls in masks running about with guns.¬†Apart from the novelty of the main stars and Korine‚Äôs name associated with such a commercial looking¬†feature¬†there was little in the reel that was actually particularly interesting or surprising though, but the intersection of a number of disparate factors make this still a film that I am oddly fascinated by.
Currently slated for release in 2013 and with¬†a number of buyers reportedly interested in the film¬†Spring Breakers is certainly an intriguing prospect, even if nothing about the reel shown was particularly arresting or interesting, and with the high profile actors involved it is sure to be a film that you‚Äôll be hearing a lot about.
The official synopsis of Spring Breakers is as follows,
Brit, Candy, Cotty, and Faith have been best friends since grade school. They live together in a boring college dorm and are hungry for adventure. All they have to do is save enough money for spring break to get their shot at having some real fun. A serendipitous encounter with rapper ‚ÄúAlien‚ÄĚ promises to provide the girls with all the thrill and excitement they could hope for. With the encouragement of their new friend, it soon becomes unclear how far the girls are willing to go to experience a spring break they will never forget.
Read the full article here. The movie will be released in March 2013!