Spring Breakers Gets Strong Early Reviews at Venice Film Festival

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The Spring Breakers press conference in Venice

Early reviews are strong for Harmony Korine's much-anticipated Spring Breakers, which premiered this week at the 69th Venice Film Festival (or as its known in Venice, la Biennale di Venezia).

A review in The Guardian (U.K.) review features the subhead, "Harmony Korine shows how woozy and debauched the mainstream can be in a college-kid caper that is the weirdest, wildest film at Venice so far." Xan Brooks writes:

In the end, it's not just the girls who return from their "break from reality" wearing a bold new set of threads. Korine went to Florida as the ageing enfant terrible of arthouse independent cinema, his career in a cul-de-sac, his future behind him. He bounces back like a man possessed, rekitted as some 21st-century Russ Meyer, playing disreputable paterfamilias to a fresh breed of supervixens. On the evidence of Spring Breakers, the role seems to suit him.

The subhead for Oliver Lyttelton's review at Indiewire calls the film "a Semi-Conventional Genre Flick & Future Cult Favorite." Lyttelton writes:

The director’s working with a whole new style here, and thanks to DoP Benoit Debie, the film looks legitimately fantastic — a colourful, neon-lit nighttime aesthetic highly reminiscent of this summer’s other Florida-set picture, Magic Mike (the two will make a hell of a double bill one day). There's also some dazzling camerawork, including a genuinely awe-inspiring crane shot of a pool party with what looks like thousands of extras, and a brilliantly choreographed tracking shot of the robbery seen through the window of the getaway car.

It’s also different because, if it’s art, and it probably is, it’s firmly a piece of pop art.

Variety's Guy Lodge is a bit less dazzled, and suggests the film could have been more subversive:

Though the film is heavy on breasts and bullets, its violence and sexual content are unlikely to threaten R-rated boundaries, while an early girl-on-girl kiss is tamer than any sung about by Katy Perry. Casting the wholesome Gomez as Faith, with tabloid-sullied "High School Musical" alum Hudgens as the more rebellious Candy, is a reasonably clever wink, though the stunt hasn't much of a shelf life, and both actresses deserve more to play with.

Can't wait for it to play Nashville. Bring it on!

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