It’s been a while since Harmony Korine was the enfant terrible of indie cinema, weirding out David Letterman, nightclubbing with Leo DiCaprio and the rest of the “pussy posse,” making a Sonic Youth video starring young Macaulay Culkin sucking face, and trolling random New Yorkers into beating him up. For art! Gone are the days when the director of bizarre id trips like Trash Humpers and Mister Lonely subscribed to Lars Von Trier’s Dogma 95 Manifesto of punk-rock minimalism. In fact, Korine wants to screen his next star-studded film in theaters hot-boxed with weed smoke. Clearly this is an artist enjoying his golden era, and there are multiple ways to bask in it in the coming weeks.
The Beach Bum is hitting theaters soon
Spring Breakers was such a success that it’s no wonder Korine is going back to the Panhandle State for his next one. Korine describes The Beach Bum, set in Key West, as “a comedy with Matthew McConaughey and Snoop Dogg, about somewhat depressive marijuana smokers, in the spirit of Cheech and Chong.” According to a report from a test screening, McConaughey plays a “slurring, beer-guzzling, free-spirited poet” named Moondog. Martin Lawrence is a “sailboat captain obsessed with dolphins,” Zac Efron is a “demonic and troublemaking rehab patient,” and Jimmy Buffett plays Snoop’s bff (Korine says he listened to a lot of Mr. Margaritaville while making the movie). Safe to say one of these Florida Men are going to give Alien a run for his money as Korine’s most memorable character (no offense, Bunny Boy from Gummo). And yes, Korine wants theaters to pipe in marijuana smoke during screenings. It’s like 4DX but 420-DX.
Korine’s homage to Blockbuster Video will be shown at Gagosian gallery
The last time we caught Korine showing his visual art, it was at a mobbed group show inside of a former bank on the Bowery. If you were one of the thousands turned away that day, you’ll have another chance when Korine’s solo show, “Blockbuster,” opens Sept. 11 at Gagosian’s Madison Avenue gallery. This time he’s showing off sculptural works made by embellishing or painting over old VHS covers. (The name of the show is a play on the Blockbuster video-rental chain, RIP). “The VHS is nearly obsolete, lost in the fog of analog,” Korine is quoted as saying. “We are heading into something new now. Welcome to BLOCKBUSTER.”
He’ll also be part of a forthcoming Alleged Gallery show at The Hole
Before Korine broke through as the writer of Kids, his “silly drawings” were being shown at Alleged Gallery, the Max Fish-adjacent gallery run by Aaron Rose. Art critic and downtown fixture Carlo McCormick called the place “the unlikely flop-house for every manner of misfit master otherwise barred from the hallowed halls of an ever more institutionalized art market.” That meant Mark Gonzales, Tobin Yelland, Mike Mills, Shepard Fairey, Tom Sachs, and many others. On Aug. 24, Rose will unveil a show he has curated in tribute to his old place, “Now & Then: Beautiful Losers, Alleged Gallery & the 90’s Lower East Side.” It’ll feature the aforementioned artists and many others, and will take place at Bowery gallery The Hole, a sort of spiritual successor to Alleged. Before you go, brush up on the Alleged scene by watching Rose’s 2008 documentary about the gallery, Beautiful Losers, which features a young Korine.
Kids and Ken Park are part of Metrograph’s Larry Clark retrospective
Korine’s debut as a screenwriter, Kids, celebrated its 20th anniversary at BAM in 2015. Now Larry Clark is being feted again, this time via a retrospective at Lower East Side arthouse Metrograph. The director himself will be in attendance for a Q&A when Kids kicks off the series on Aug. 25. If you didn’t snag tickets to that before it sold out, Ken Park, another skate-centric film that counted Korine as a writer, is playing Aug. 26. And there are still tickets available for other screenings featuring Q&As with Clark: Bully on Aug. 25 and Marfa Girl 2 on Aug. 26.
A new career-spanning monograph is out
Korine is no stranger to bookshelves (his out-of-print A Crackup at the Race Riots is a hodgepodge of fictional suicide notes, bad jokes, and absurdist vignettes). But Harmony Korine, just published by Rizzoli Electa, is the first comprehensive monograph of his visual art and filmmaking. The 192-page tome shows off stills from his films; juicy extras like his original character descriptions for Kids and wardrobe Polaroids for Gummo; photos from his Richard Prince-esque “Cokehead Swingers” series; manuscript pages; examples of his “Mistakist Art,” which is exactly what it sounds like; pre-Kids collages he made in his grandmother’s basement; paintings such as his aforementioned work with VHS tapes; and photos of his work displayed in his Nashville studio and at shows such as last year’s Centre Pompidou retrospective. The book closes with an interview in which he reveals that he’s thinking of releasing the infamous Fight Harm footage and talks a little bit about his forthcoming HBO project, an adaptation of Alissa Nutting’s controversial novel Tampa.