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Home/Rod Dreher/Exploiting Oneself

Exploiting Oneself

From John Podhoretz’s exhilarating flaying of Spring Breakers, the new sexploitation movie by the talentless Harmony Korine. Warning: the review contains spoilers. Here’s a key point:

Spring Breakers is soft-core porn without a core, a look into the dark heart of shiftless American youth that primarily reveals its own dark heart; it is a portrait of white-trash racists that proves to be more racist than most white trash. Most interesting, perhaps, is how it has positioned itself in the motion-picture marketplace. Spring Breakers is a story of corruption whose marketing strategy depended on seducing squeaky-clean Disney Channel and ABC Family starlets (Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, and Ashley Benson) with the promise of big-screen stardom into ludicrous amounts of wildly gratuitous nudity and on-screen drug use.

Rather than using their nubility as a lever to lift them into A-list pictures, as Anne Hathaway did when she went from the inanities of The Princess Diaries to a nude scene in the Oscar-bait Brokeback Mountain, the girls of Spring Breakers have earned themselves a ticket to midnight-movie notoriety—just as Elizabeth Berkley did when she segued from the brain-dead kid sitcom Saved by the Bell to the brain-melting fiasco called Showgirls. Elizabeth who? you ask. To which I reply: Exactly.

Ay yi yi, what a great couple of lines.

The worst movie I ever saw — and for a guy who spent seven years as a professional film critic, that’s saying a lot — was Korine’s Gummowhich was like dropping acid during a hangover and eating mucilage until you puke.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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