Focus on Film – Spring Breakers: Favourite Scene

Spring Breakers is certainly a problematic film in terms of its representation of the prolific objectification of women that seems to come to a head during the hallowed Spring Break of America’s college students.

Harmony Korine, a director known as an ‘enfant-terrible’ at the commencement of his career, offers little moral judgement upon the actions of those in the film; but knowing Korine, Spring Breakers is certainly not simply an opportunity to further contribute to rape-culture (as has been suggested by some critics).

Regardless, finally getting around to watching Spring Breakers recently, there was one scene in particular that stood out from the neon-soaked, rapid edits (courtesy of cinematographer Benoît Debie) that proliferate throughout the film.

Korine notes on the director’s commentary for the film that he had the idea of creating a ‘Britney Spears montage for a long time’ suggesting that the song choice featured a form ‘of menace and aggression’ beneath becoming a manner of ‘strange, violent ballet’.

The juxtaposition between a song sung by Spears at a time in her career when her perceived innocence was especially marketed, and the violent, immoral acts of the four characters makes for wholly hallucinatory viewing. The expertly judged, perfectly choreographed slow-motion shots result in a truly memorable and utterly engaging scene: Korine wonderfully subverts and emphasises the acts of the characters whilst casting little moral judgement himself.

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