Earlier this month, we noted in surprise, as did a number of peers on the web, the sudden announcement of a new film from Harmony Korine, the semi-reclusive director of Mister Lonely. Aforementioned surprise arose because the project, entitled Trash Humpers, was already completed, said to be a 78-min feature, and set to premiere at next month’s Toronto International Film Festival. The TIFF has released further details alongside the first photos from Humpers. As seen below, the set pics are John Waters-esque and moderately NSFW. And personally, I find they recall ancient nightmares of Zeke the Plumber on Salute Your Shorts.
So, what exactly are we looking at here? The previous TIFF description said the film was about a “loser-gang cult-freak collective who do anti-social things.” Did Korine actually make a film about TalkBackers? Nope. Totally unrelated. After viewing the pics, my main thought is: how will Korine be able to execute a feature length film out of party store grade make-up? We already know that the movie eschews traditional narrative, even more so than Gummo, and includes playful musical numbers. TIFF now adds that Korine shot “in a low-end surveillance-video look with frequent in-camera lighting distortions and a cinema-vérité authenticity.” An unexpected return to his experimental oddity roots after the accessible Lonely. (Note: We find Korine’s soporific ode to highly dedicated celebrity impersonators to be recommended viewing).
A word salad of other details were released per plot: “creepy masks, low-grade torture, frequent public urination, senseless vandalism and the title, acted out on defenseless garbage cans, all have a confrontational panache about them to be sure. But the film is also full of poetry, dance, song and moments of aching poignancy.” There we have it, 2009’s first heartwarming release to feature frequent urination, and it has a beat and you can dance to it.
A few readers have inquired about the involvement of Werner Herzog, who played an air-friendly priest in Lonely, and was influential in Korine’s recovery from addiction and getting him back onto the creative path. In the new synopsis, TIFF notes their relationship. But so far it seems that Herzog is not directly involved with the film.
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