December 11, 2013
When the victims of a robbery don't know those are squirt guns, their fear is real. It's one of many unforgettable moments in writer-director Harmony Korine's EDM symphony "Spring Breakers," a hypnotic, scary meditation on identity that refuses to compartmentalize. A quartet of college girls (Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, Selena Gomez, Rachel Korine) heads to Florida, ready to shed the everyday--where beer and boobs are currency and hedonism might seem to trump laws. James Franco's rapper/hustler Alien is an instant classic, and so is the movie. Neither a fantasy nor a nightmare, this subjective, intoxicating dream questions if we become who we are or who we think we're supposed to be and wonders what we bring with from our supposed time off from ourselves. In life, especially in youth, it's so easy to detach or make assumptions about good and bad, safe and unsafe. Loaded with fascinating contradictions, "Spring Breakers" defines us by our choices and says, inside or outside the comfort zone, you are always you. One person's escape is another's normal. But this, now, is happening.