Within the first few minutes of Spring Breakers I got up and turned off my TV. I wiped the moist that it was soaked in and turned it on again. 47 oiled boobs, 18 ass cheeks, 12 popsickles sucked in the least orthodox way possible and 8 nipple piercing appeared on screen in those first minutes. I couldn’t risk my flat-screen.
The movie was accused of exposing too much the bodies of the actresses. Ex-Disney stars aren’t supposed to be sexualized. I say the way they use guns and partake in robberies is more offensive than their partially naked bodies, but very few people make that argument. I would even understand the protests if that exposure was gratuitous, but I don’t think it is.
Spring Breakers starts with 4 pretty girls trying to make money to get to… spring break. Three of them rob a restaurant and the religious one, Faith, is slightly disconcerted with their actions, until she sees the produce of the deed, and those 14 years of Catholic School get thrown off the window. We see them in their natural habitat. Normal girl, partying or singing in a Church group. They get to spring break and, after a very graphic night of partying they get thrown in jail. They need to pay their bail but have no money. The answer falls from the sky in the form of Alien (James Franco), a metal toothed gangster with a fantastic musical taste.
The movie shifts with the introduction of this character. It whirls into decadence as he brings them into his world. Alien’s the local dealer with a rapper gig on the side. In a speech where he repeats the refrain “Look at my shit”, he embodies the decadence of the American dream. He lives in a big mansion, covered in jewellery, surrounded by an array of little friends that’d make Tony Montana jealous. He’s got shorts of all different colours, designer t-shirts, golden bullets (for vampires), Escape, by Calvin Klein, and Be, also by Calvin Klein. He smells good. His missing adornment were his bitches, who take to the epitaph easily.
These three girls (one goes back home), become puppets in Alien’s world. They lose their personal traits when they get intoxicated by their libidos and by their attraction to power and money. They might be future doctors, lawyers or architects, but now they’re just Alien’s bitches. The final scene appears to bring a sense of empowerment to these characters, but it doesn’t belong there. It’s the movie’s biggest flaw, not because it shows these young women as strong characters, but because it tries to wrap things up, with a neat decadent bow, on an essentially sensory and allegoric film.
It’s in his weirdly twisted mind that the world of Spring Breakers takes place. He hangs around what I assume is a dead city during the year and, for the few weeks that spring break lasts, he gets to share the rite of passage of teenagers. He’s done it again and again. People come and go, but he stays. He’s in a loop of decadence and that’s transparent in the film’s photography and sound. Scenes are cut in unexpected places while the narration or song continue. Spurts of speech and refrains, along with electronic music accompany the stylized visuals. There’s very little spacial or linear continuity, making the events muddled.
Spring Breakers closes is a looping and entrancing experience. It takes the idea of a man who stays at the party after everyone has left and gets stuck there until is forced to leave.
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