Posted on Thursday, September 10th, 2009 by Russ Fischer
UPDATE: IndieWire has a (non-embeddable) one-minute clip from the film. Appropriately, it depicts trash humping. Safe to say that anyone not convinced by the trailer will be much less so after the clip. Original article follows.
I thought I was familiar enough with Harmony Korine‘s methods and images that I’d never really be taken aback by him again. But when the first images came out from Trash Humpers my reaction was basically, “holy Christ, what is this?” Now that there is a trailer, my reaction is still more or less, “holy Christ, what the hell is this?”
Granted, my second, more measured reaction to the images from the new film, a feature running a brief 78 minutes, was that the film looks like Korine’s own version of a Chris Cunningham movie. This trailer only reinforces that brief assumption. We knew the project had a low-fi video look, and Korine has really taken it all the way: cheap graphics, VHS ‘play’ text, tracking errors, the whole bit. And there’s that audio, a low in the mix toy instrument melody and some nightmare-inducing laughter (??) and whooping.
Before watching the trailer, want to know what the film is about? Yeah, so do I. Here’s the description from TIFF, like an exploded set of crossword puzzle clues: “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.” The cast features Korine and his wife Rachel Korine, Brian Kotzue and Travis Nicholson.
I’m sure some will write this off after just a couple seconds, but even in his most left-field work Korine does touch on real, touching moments. Trash Humpers looks like Korine at his most experimental, but maybe we’re just being shown the most extreme sides of the thing. Or, even more intriguing, what if he manages to take these creepily masked characters (and who says they’re supposed to be masks within the film’s reality?) and make them into something real? Looking at the last shot in the trailer I thought of the HBO crackhead documentary High on Crack Street: Lost Lives in Lowell, and if Korine can capture anything like the portrait of forgotten losers (in his own way; obviously this isn’t a documentary) then I am so ready to see it.
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