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Directors in Focus
American Gothic: Films by Harmony Korine

As one critic has put it, "Harmony Korine is for real." Few filmmakers have so radically divided the critical community: his fans have included the likes of Errol Morris, Werner Herzog, and Marilyn Manson, while Janet Maslin of the New York Times—speaking from a more traditional perspective—savaged his debut feature as "the worst film of the year." Critical disputes aside, what cannot be ignored is the fact that Gummo became a cult hit worldwide for a young generation of filmgoers. Born in Bolinas, California, in 1974, Korine gained notoriety at the age of nineteen for his screenplay for the film Kids, the controversial portrait of the doped-up, thrasher youth culture of New York City directed by photographer Larry Clark. In addition to the two feature films he has directed, Korine has authored a collection of writings, A Crackup At The Race Riots; directed a music video for the group Sonic Youth featuring Macaulay Culkin; and assembled a small photo book on Culkin, The Bad Son.

March 10 (Friday) 7 pm (Director Harmony Korine in Person; Special Event—all seats $8)
March 11 (Saturday) 7 pm
March 12 (Sunday) 7 pm

Julien Donkey-Boy

Directed by Harmony Korine
US 1999, 35mm, color, 94 min.
With Ewen Bremner, Chloe Sevigny, Werner Herzog

Harmony Korine’s second feature presents a string of grotesqueries set in Queens, New York, where a schizophrenic (Bremner, of Trainspotting fame) lives with his pregnant sister (Sevigny), his cough syrup–chugging father (Herzog), his athlete brother, and his grandmother. One of the first works to fully exploit the hallucinatory, impressionistic possibilities of digital video, julien donkey-boy deploys a whole new palette of electric colors as Korine traces—sometimes comically, sometimes tragically, and always outrageously—his hero’s efforts to find a place for himself in an increasingly absurd, violent world.

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March 10 (Friday) 10 pm
March 11 (Saturday) 9 pm
March 12 (Sunday) 9 pm


Directed by Harmony Korine
US 1997, 35mm, color, 88 min.
With Jacob Reynolds, Nick Sutton, Jacob Sewell

In his debut feature, Korine populates a dystopic heartland with amateur actors and shoots them in a gritty cinéma-vérité style that gives the work the feel of a documentary, although it is actually scripted and acted. Gummo is set in the real-life, deadbeat town of Xenia, Ohio, portrayed by Korine as a roach-infested, garbage-strewn hellhole, once ravaged by a tornado and now left with only its human wreckage intact. Devoid of a stated moral position and totally neutral in its depiction of the degradations inflicted on its subjects, Gummo chronicles the ways in which the local teens manage to inure themselves to violence, sexual perversion, and responsibility for their actions.

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