Saw Spring Breakers last night (trailer here). I haven’t been so engaged and inspired by a film in a long time.
I’ve been a fan of Harmony Korinefrom back in the day. The film Kids (1995), directed by Larry Clarke and written by Korine when was like 18 or so, totally blew me away. And the night I saw his debut feature Gummo, is perhaps one of the more defining moments in my creative life. That film was and still is a revelation to me.
Between Gummo and now he has had a few hits and misses in my opinion, but his work has always remained singular in vision and in and of it’s own specific world. The films are not always perfect, but I don’t think he’s seeking perfection. I think he is exploring other things. He is a bit like Herzog in this way, Korine is searching for deeper truths and in the process discovers the absurd and the beautifully surreal.
Spring Breakers is perhaps Korine’s most accessible film, in many ways it’s his most extreme and experimental. The approach of using the non-linear narrative aspects of music videos and applying it to a feature drama structure makes perfect sense and mid way through the film I wondered why I hadn’t seen this done before . The neon skittles colour palette, the sound design and the dark essay of youth culture, hedonism and materialism.
There was a point in the movie where I wished the film would last a for days and how great it would be to just sit back and let it wash all over me for hours and hours. Thats a rare feeling for me in the cinema these days. I woke up buzzing with enthusiasm and with a very clear and defined feeling that there is still so much potential in cinema and story telling. Spring Breakers got me all totally excited about it all again!
I only heard the band for the first time a few weeks ago and it was love at first listen. My buddy Mike bought me (and my other buddy Stu) a ticket to go and see them live as they were touring Australia and then through a sequence of good fortune the opportunity came up to photograph them as well!
Backstage portraits of Damian, Sandy, Jonah and some chaos in the pit. So nice to meet you guys.
I think Push The Sky Away is the first and only Nick Cave album I’ve fallen for. I love the intimate textures and arrangements. An album of beautifully crafted songs that firm their grip on me with every listen.
I’ve not listened to the album, apart from the single that’s hard not to have heard, but I love this self made ‘making of’ he made for his ‘Making Mirrors‘ album. An album that obviously had such humble beginnings, recorded in his parents shed.
A wonderful reminder to do things your way, keeping those who love and support you close and work hard.
Right up at the most northern tip of New Zealand is Cape Reinga. My friend Nigel Bluck urged me to make the trip up there and I’m so glad I did. The Maori believe the spirits of their dead travel up along 90 Mile Beach and finally to Cape Reinga on their journey to the afterlife. The place definitely has an energy, regardless of belief or mythology, it feels significant.
Below is a photo looking out to the water from the cape. Thats the Tasman Sea on the left, smashing into the Pacific Ocean on the right, what a trip… Spirits leaving and oceans colliding, it’s an intense place to say the least. I loved it. I could have stayed there all day, in the mist, just standing there in awe of it all.
The very best of luck to the Puberty Blues cast members who are nominated in tonights AACTA Awards. Puberty Blues has scored seven nominations all up, including Best Drama Series. Very proud of these guys (and all of our cast of course!).
Over here in Auckland, New Zealand shooting a commercial but had a much needed day off yesterday which also coincided with my birthday. Choice az bro! Spent the day walking around browsing in book shops, sifting through and listening to records and taking photos of things I saw along the way…
On vinyl I discovered the joyous and somewhat indefinable Wild Bill Rickets. Kinda dub, kinda jazz, kinda musical in a way I haven’t heard before. Bought two albums. Kinda obsessed with him now. Loo Loo (below) was the gateway track, groovy, haunting and strange!
Also I had been wanting to see Beasts Of The Southern Wild for ever and I had missed it when it was on at our local cinema. I didn’t want to see it on a plane, train or download so I was excited to see it was screening in downtown Auckland. It’s a beautiful film and I can see why for such a small, strange and extremely art house film it has managed to cut through.
Thinking a lot about Harry Savides passing away… a friend posted the short film below on Facey and I thought it was cool. In many ways even though the interview doesn’t go the way the filmmakers planned, I get a greater sense perhaps of who Harry was from this short film than if the more traditional ‘interview’ had gone to plan.
I also love how the film begins and it’s about one thing, but in the end, it’s about something altogether different. It kind of sums up my approach to directing and to filmmaking in general. You can plan all you want, but in the end, the most important thing is the thing that’s actually happening. Full credit to the filmmakers to being able to respond and capture so beautifully what was actually occurring and didn’t fight to bend the film into a shape it so obviously didn’t want to go. It’s way more beautiful because of it!
UPDATE: Wait a second… is this film a commercial for Built by Wendy? If it is, everything I wrote above is bullshit… And maybe now I should write about how clever it is an advertisement. But I feel a little fooled.