Spring Breakers (2012)
It reminds me a lot of another film of his (which I thought was okay) Trash Humpers. Even the titles are similar. Except in this film, instead of grotesque-masked weirdos smashing things, it's chicks in bikinis smashing things. A big improvement on the concept, I think.
The movie looks beautiful & has that (by now stereotypical) indie-film Florida glare: neon-hazy pink skies, solar flares from the hot white sun, art deco pop street decay, etc.
The one thing I liked the most about the movie was its improvisatory nature.
You can just tell the movie was filmed by process of a improvisation. I haven't even looked this up to verify it, because you can just tell. Actually, give me a second. I'm gonna Google this...
There you go. You can just tell improv acting.
However, I really liked how it was done in this film. There was a loop-like, circular quality to the film because of how the director & editor approached the recorded improv material.
Normally actors will improv various takes of a line, searching for the right words / tone / scenario. And usually you pick the reading of the line you like the best, edit into the movie, and move on. However, Spring Breakers did this thing where they used multiple takes from an improvised line reading as if the characters were repeating something on purpose.
The movie tries to play it off as if the character is simply repeating what they said, but in truth it's the actor trying out various approaches to a single line. The editor used several different improv takes of a single line next to each other, creating a hypnotically dreamy effect.
Improv also allows a director to focus on concept & production. Saves a lot of time trying to refine a screenplay that may go out the window anyway once you're actually on set. Helps you crank out more product — especially if you're already a well-know "auteur director."
It also fills a movie. Pads out a scene. Fuck it. People don't watch for substance. It's nice! But it's not why people watch. People watch for the actors & for the spectacle.
By padding a scene with multiple re-readings of an improvised line, extending a small moment out in duration, you can create a kind of pop poetry as well as pad your movie out for an easier production.
Can we also talk real quick about the opening scene? Because it's absolutely sublime.
I guess my opinion is biased since my first time watching it was a few days ago at Nite Owl Theater It was a scratchy 35mm print with only one trailer: Terence Malick's To The Wonder (lol); Nayib Estefan blasted that sweet crisp sound with heavy bass, creating a most psychedelic projection experience. James Franco's incoherent mumbling mixed with the wall-to-wall Cliff Martinez soundtrack... while chicks in bikinis smashed shit in grainy pink-tones...
If Spring Breakers was ever meant to be seen, it was definitely like that!
Everybody should check out this theater.
It's the ultimate 90's kid's club house.