04 April 2013

Spring Breakers, Stoker, and Pig Destroyer

I find myself in a position of writeness.

The only thing I've seen before of Harmony Korine's is this, so my knowledge of his style is limited; however it seems to be pretty consistent with Spring Breakers, a somewhat surreal film that at first glance appears to be something akin to those Girls Gone Wild clips everyone has seen somewhere or another, but is instead a strange, dark story of two humans and a bunch of very troubled people. Yes, there is a lot of skin here, but it's a lot more than that. I've heard comparisons to Natural Born Killers, and those are not unwarranted, although the pace is quite different. It's funny, disgusting, and engrossingly erotic, at times concurrently. James Franco shines brightly as Alien, the stereotypical white-man-who-thinks-he's-black, and the four leading ladies take strangely subdued roles while maintaining nearly constant screen presence. Even more oddly the ones who stay the longest are the least developed. It's a weird movie.

I've tried watching the Revenge trilogy aside from Oldboy without much success. It probably deserves another go. Same with that one vampire movie that I was so excited about and never got around to seeing. Park Chan Wook definitely proved himself with Oldboy, and Stoker is no slouch either. Like his previous masterpiece, this one is intensely creepy, and probably very offensive to a lot of people who will never see it. It's impressive that the Korean director's first English-language/acted film is as good as it is, although a lot of the dialogue is really quite awkward; this may be intentional but I tend to think it could be a by-product of the language barrier. It sure doesn't hurt the atmosphere. Mia Wasikowska plays a beguilingly strange young woman with some sort of psychosis that gives her heightened senses and a bloodlust suppressed by her father. Her estranged uncle comes into the picture with the intention of showing her her true self. Madness and a possibly unnecessary shower scene ensues. I enjoyed it all.

Pig Destroyer has been one of my top favorite bands for several years now, ever since I clicked with either Phantom Limb or Terrifyer; I can't remember which. Their most recent album, Book Burner, takes a more traditional grind-core route than their last few but still rips tremendously, and has a few of my favorite tracks of their discography (notably The Bug.) The band doesn't tour much (they have jobs), which made it even more unlikely for me to ever have a chance to see them, until I moved down to the DC area, which just happens to be where they are based. Still it took over three years before I got to experience this megalith of grind in person. It was worth the wait. A good portion of their set at Black Cat was from their latest, but there was definitely a generous sampling of their past catalog as well. I couldn't really sing along of course due to having no idea what the words are for the vast majority of their songs, but when I could I felt like their biggest fan, up there in the middle of the second row fighting to stay upright against the pummeling mass of moshers. Kat Katz came on for a couple songs which was fantastic; it's entirely awesome that such a slight, beautiful woman can belt out that kind of vitriol so violently and maintain her elegance. I hope to see these guys (and gal, perhaps) destroy the stage again, hopefully soon.

Good night.