(It was on netflix)
(It also gave me nightmares)
It drew parallels to Harmony Korine's early work 'Kids', particularly this critique by bell hooks (content warning for anti-black white supremacist murder and colorism):
"It's frightening to me now when people want to behave as though certain images don't mean anything. I thought of this when I saw Larry Clark's Kids and I went back like in circles of progressive white friends and I said, "Oh, God, you know, the racial politics in terms of representation in this film really suck." And they really wanted to say, it didn't matter. It didn't mean anything. And I was like, "Give me a fucking break. Like we know why the person is brutally bashed to death is a dark skinned black man, it's crucial that he's a dark skinned black man, because in fact, people’s antipathy to dark skinned black men is actually much greater than their antipathy to black men in some kind of general way. I feel that it's frightening that as mass media uses more certain kinds of representations for specific impact and effect, we're also being told that these images are not really that important."
"One of the “extreme” aspects of the Spring Breakers world is the racial divide: On one side you have the hard-partying, white college students, and on the other, violent black gangsters—and one white guy, played by James Franco, who adopts the style of a particular section of black culture (including cornrows and a metal grill). "
"Korine may intend the obviousness of the racial divide to be provocative, but he fails to comment in any interesting way on this so-called “hyper-reality,” instead merely reproducing a racist vision of the world in which black lives matter less than white ones."
So what does this mean in regards to Spring Breakers as an aesthetic reference point? And such a recurring one in the popular imagination? Hazy white supremacy is an interesting/terrifying incarnation of white girlhood... and it is unsurprising it has been interpreted as a "feminist" one when the popular definition of the term so often seems to be the right to loudly commit the same atrocities white dudes do....for tho it meant so much to Selena and Vanessa on my screen when I was younger it is clear Korine speaks of the violent assimilation that America has trademarked so...boldly. In this unsettling anti-blackness and high brow low brow confusion by critics we can parallel it with showgirls for sure. Here are some picture notes I took from the first half of the film which had such a virgin suicides/petra collins style aesthetic which is just so insidious to me...so disturbing...