People love Spring Breakers, people hate Spring Breakers. But whatever your stance on Harmony Korine’s visual experience, the severity of opinions indicate that the movie, a dark sorta-satire of digital and physical realities, touched some zeitgeisty nerves. Which probably means it’s saying something. Maybe that something is nonsense, but if your social media feed is of any indication, nonsense is all the rage right now.
*Re: the headline, these quotes don’t “prove” shit. You could probably say they argue, but they definitely don’t prove. Alas, you clicked on the headline. Art is a lie.
1. “I’m tired of seeing the same thing. Everybody’s so miserable here because they see the same things everyday, they wake up in the same bed, same houses, same depressing streetlights, one gas station, grass, it’s not even green, it’s brown. Everything is the same and everyone is just sad. I really don’t want to end up like them. I just want to get out of here. There’s more than just spring break. This is our chance to see something different.”
Faith, Selena Gomez’ character, is the most rule-follower of all the Spring Breakers. But despite her innocence, she encapsulates something very telling –you can obey and abide, but it’s not gonna satisfy anything. Adventure, even in glimpse form, is an essential component of human fulfillment.
In this love letter to Spring Breakers, James Franco says “This is reality; this is Instagram.” Maybe our lies of the lives we lead on social media have reawakened us–maybe we can actually live those lives. Maybe we actually are.
2. “I was just thinking, maybe you were doin’ all that prayin’ and I’m the answer to your prayers.”
We wish for things; good jobs, happy and healthy relationships, experiences worth having. But wishing for stuff can be limiting, particularly if the thing you’re wishing for is a means to an end. I.e., if you think Fruity Pebbles is the key to happiness, you’re closing yourself off from the possibility that Cocoa Puffs might actually give you greater fulfillment.
While that analogy made no sense, wanting something really bad can be a cruel misdirection. Keep your mind open.
3. “Y’all be careful of that water. Lots of sharks out there… Bunch of vicious motherfuckas out there just lurkin’. Lurrrrrkin’. LURRRRKIN’.”
Your Jordan Belforts and Irving Rosenfelds may be of a bygone era, but sharks always be lurkin. Now we got trolls on the internet and email-savvy Nigerian Princes. People be lurkin’. Lurk lurk lurk.
4. “This one’s by a little known pop singer by the name of miss Britney Spears. One of the greatest pop singers of all-time, and an angel if there ever was one on this earth.”
This mind-bender of an article goes great lengths to interpret Spring Breakers as an entire, drawn out metaphor for Britney Spears’ career. Fame and celebrity culture goes full-blast the whole movie.
Everyone has the very real potential to be a celebrity now, so the real celebrities are titans. Case in point, if a D-list star of a 90s TV show so much as looks at you in 2014, you might tell people “you can die happy.” This is the point we’re at. Celebrities be LURKIN’.
5. “Who is ready to die tonight?!”
Spring Breakers may be one of the three movies released in 2013 that’s not about the world ending, but it might’ve been the year’s most apocalyptic.
The whole thing reminded me a lot of the video above, which, like Spring Breakers reinforces themes of “the world has constructed this life that we’re all supposed to live, except that this life is super fucked up and not at all what I want to be doing.”
In some ways, societal structure disparate from personal fulfillment creates this weird sort of desperate hedonism; we relate to movie characters who feel trapped, because by confining ourselves to one thing (office job, sacrificing will-power for relative survival), we feel we are especially missing out on whatever else the world has to offer.
This creates overdramatic resignation sequences; this creates a dangerous, all-consuming idea of wanting everything. Giving everything. (Pitbull, Nayer, Ne-Yo)
6. “This was my dream. I made it come true. This is the fuckin American dream. This is the fuckin dream y’all. This is my shit. Look at my shit. I got shorts, every fuckin color. I got designer t-shirts. I got gold bullets. Motherfuckin vampires. I got my dark tannin’ oil, lay out by the pool. This is the American dream, y’all.”
Overload. Outrageous, scary overload. Excess is the new normal.