English / Media

“Spring breakers” vs “Gravity”

When I first saw the girls of the movie “Spring breakers” on the Parisian posters kiosks, I said another teen exploitation film. And when I saw the animated poster of “Gravity”, I thought that I might want to see this movie.

After seeing both of them, here is my take on the films and the flawed marketing machine.

Spring Breakers turned out to be one of my favorite movies of the year. It seemed like a movie which would have teenage girls in different colored skimpy bikinis and maybe without them as the film progresses, reveling in an American tradition which is arcane to the rest of the prudish world. I thought it would be the follow up to Piranha or Sharks 3D. But how wrong I was.

Spring Break Trailer:

The film was a hypnotic poetic visual reflection of the American tradition from the point of view of poor American girls and their encounter with a gangster incarnated brilliantly by James Franco. The director Harmony Korine is a whiz kid with a dark insight into American youth, which should be compulsory watching in high schools. A break from the Hollywood remake frenzy and next X Man or Batman.

And Gravity was just a hype. It was the masterpiece of the week, which critics foist on us every week. I wish someone would do a research on how many times the word master piece is used. There is only one critic who can declare a film is a masterpiece. She is called Time, maybe the goddess of time and death, Kali. Others should be beheaded for using this word in vain.

Gravity is a beautiful experience of woman (or feman?) vs nature. The Alfonso Cuaron’s critically touted “masterpiece”, in spite of the technical brilliance and hundreds puppeteers making Sandra Bullock float and the other thousands erasing digitally the strings with which she is attached, is so weak in character development and humanity, what I look for in a film.

One good test of a film is the spoofability, the ability to make intelligent spoofs. These youtube spoofs prick into the marketing bubble and the chorus of pay-rolled critics cannot defend against.

IKEA by Alfonso Cuaron (a spoof):

James Bond’s Moonraker is not bad after all. It had a cheesy zero gravity sequence in its end. Just you cannot have the good conscience of an ode to Newton with the 21st century digital arsenal deployed for Gravity.

Let’s examine closely our masterpiece of the week. What is Gravity about? (a question I learnt at film school).

1. Life is cruel without oxygen or gravity in outer space. (Duh!)

2. 3D experience of outer space (Disney land ride)

3. Newton rocks! (Duh!)

It doesn’t tell me anything I don’t know. No window into the soul of mankind or womankind that Shakespeare or Chekhov would give me. The film could have been shot in a corner of Algerian Sahara and said the same thing.

Watch Spring breakers for insight into youth.  Watch Gravity 3D for an amusement park ride, still having the good conscience of having seen a masterpiece.