Oh, You Rascal!

by robbiefreeling
May 24, 2007 11:07 AM
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“The glue-sniffer's Jean-Luc Godard returns: enfant no more but terrible still” —J. Hoberman, Village Voice, September 1999

Since 1999, Korine has grown even [physically] older it seems. We can’t say we’re exactly looking forward to the boy’s new film, Mister Lonely, which concerns “a Michael Jackson impersonator who lives alone in Paris and performs on the streets to make ends meet. At a performance in a retirement home, Michael falls for a beautiful Marilyn Monroe look-alike who suggests he move to a commune of impersonators in the Scottish Highlands.” But we are rather thrilled to welcome the one-time Kids scribe (who then unleashed Gummo on a frighteningly impressionable cinephilic youth culture) back into our circle of disregard.

So, for a Thursday treat, here’s a sampling of the erstwhile wunderkind’s ruminations direct from the press kit of his new film.

-“I wanted to create an atmosphere where watching a Buckwheat impersonator ride a large pig would seem like a normal and everyday thing.”

-“I always liked the trick David Blaine did with pulling off the head of a live chicken then reattaching it. I thought it would be great to see a priest in the jungle rip off the head of a live chicken in front of a bunch of children then throw it back on and watch it run away.”

-“I had this other story with the nuns in the jungle. How is that connected to the story of Michael and the impersonator commune? The two stories don’t really intersect in a formal way, it’s more in service of allegory and poetic punctuation.”

-“We actually searched a quarter of the globe to find two real nuns to do that skydive. But then, once I found them, they didn’t want to be in the movie saying they were busy saving souls. So I actually ended up casting actresses that skydive. All the nuns in the movie, except for the two brought in to skydive, were part of my mom’s circle of friends that live in the outskirts of the jungle, Panamanians or ex-pats who moved there.”

-“I specifically wrote Paris into the script because I lived in Paris for a while. During that time, I only left my apartment four times. My teeth started falling out. One day I had six croque-monsieurs (French style grilled cheese sandwiches). Shooting in Paris just made sense to me.”

-“I guess all my movies have certain things in common. I know there’s an emotional core, maybe my sense of humor and the esthetic connection to the film.”

-“I just wasn’t interested anymore in making movies and writing. I went to a place where I didn’t know anyone and basically became a ghost. Somehow I started to slowly build myself back up. I started to reattach myself and started to laugh again, started to understand things and feel again. One day I saw a small woman walking her invisible dog down the road. I asked her what she was doing. She told me it was time to make the movie. I took her word for it and now I am here.”


  • Jason | May 30, 2007 4:38 AMReply

    So Reverse Shot goes gaga over the Robert Bresson-aping "L'Enfant" but can't make room for one of American cinema's most aggressively innovative filmmakers? Korine may refuse to play the press game (or he may play it for all it's worth) but his films are legit; They are media-obsessed and resonate with a "cinephilic youth culture" which has no doubt already seen "Pickpocket."

  • eshman | May 27, 2007 3:03 AMReply

    Dalton, if you know anyone willing to pay our way, or broker days off from our day jobs, we'd gleefully fly to Cannes and watch movies. But to your point, you're right to distrust dismissals of films not seen. Yet Robbie wasn't commenting on the unseen film - he was giving Korine a chance to hang himself with his own words. Dude's a huckster - and a not particularly sharp one. For all I know, the film's a gem despite its maker's inanity, but track record makes me (and Robbie, I'm gathering) deeply suspicious. He's like a coddled, self-entitled finger-painter. I bet when he shits he marvels as the art his ass makes.

  • Dalton Ames | May 25, 2007 10:14 AMReply

    What exactly is your complaint here, other than it's now fashionable to disregard films you haven't seen? Sometimes I think you dudes can be pretty spot on, but other times your pompousness makes me gag.

    BTW - Shouldn't you be at Cannes watching movies instead of making blanket assumptions from your Brooklyn loft? I thought you dudes were cinephiles.

  • eshman | May 25, 2007 8:39 AMReply

    "Emotional core."

  • mjr | May 25, 2007 4:40 AMReply

    Harmony is a national treasure. I know I'm exactly looking forward to Mister Lonely!