Harmony Korine on ‘Spring Breakers’: ‘We’re doing a remix’

Director Harmony Korine poses for a portrait with three of his four lead actresses from his new film "Spring Breakers": Vanessa Hudgens, left, Selena Gomez and Ashley Benson.
Director Harmony Korine poses for a portrait with three of his four lead actresses from his new film “Spring Breakers”: Vanessa Hudgens, left, Selena Gomez and Ashley Benson.
(Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times)

Forget the director’s cut. Here comes “Spring Breakers: The Remix.”

In March, the $5-million artsploitation film rippled across the cultural consciousness, spreading across social media on a viral tide of mini upturned thumbs. Starring James Franco, Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens in career-defining roles, the sexy crime romp became one of the rare art house cinema offerings to cross over into the mainstream on a blaze of neon-hued bikinis.

But then too, “Spring Breakers” forever changed commercial perceptions of its director Harmony Korine, the indie auteur behind such cult movies as “Julien Donkey-Boy” and “Trash Humpers” who crashed Hollywood’s party with his debut screenplay “Kids” in 1995 and has been pushing boundaries of taste and propriety ever since.

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Reached recently in Miami, where the filmmaker was prepping an as-yet unspecified follow-up feature, Korine revealed to The Times his plans to extend “Spring Breakers’” cultural momentum using a trope snatched from the pop musical world.

“I had this idea,” Korine said. “With music remixes sometimes, when certain producers take a song and chop them up and deconstruct them – why not try that with a feature film? Using all different footage, making the same film all over again.”

Asked if that meant he was enlisting an outside filmmaker – or even possibly several filmmakers – to reassemble outtakes from “Spring Breakers” into something new, Korine demurred. “I’m working with different people,” he said.

“Maybe that’s a surprise. Let’s just say for right now there’ll be a whole alternate film at some point,” said Korine. “Maybe on the DVD, maybe on iTunes.”


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On July 9, Lionsgate Home Entertainment will release a Blu-ray and DVD of “Spring Breakers” that does not list any “remix” elements in its promotional materials. A publicist for A24, the company that released the film in theaters, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“It’ll be the first chopped and screwed movie,” the director added.

A sub-genre of Southern hip-hop, chopped and screwed music utilizes pitch control techniques to dramatically slow down recorded vocals and beats to replicate the super slow-mo high achieved by ingesting large quantities of codeine cough syrup – “sizzurp” as it’s known in the streets.


In 2000, DJ Screw, the Texan producer-remixer who helped popularize the sound, became one of the most famous sizzurp casualties. He died of an overdose on cough syrup and other substances, including alcohol and marijuana, a medical examiner concluded.

“The film has been sizzurped!” Korine exclaimed. “The ghost of DJ Screw came back and edited the film. It’s going to be an interesting experiment.”


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Twitter: @__chrislee