Monday, April 15, 2013

Playing in the Dark, Fading to Black


James Franco is a scholar.  A poet-philosopher-celebrity-king.  

His California-bred, positive, artisan ethic stands out in Hollywood like a skyscraper.

He told Howard Stern in March 2013 that his character Alien in Harmony Korine's box-office hit Spring Breakers may be his best character yet.

                           

Alien represents alienation, for Korine.  He is the white boy who alienates himself by rejecting everything he knows.  Whiteness is not good enough for him.  He is a gangsta James Dean.

Both Dean and Alien are a challenge to society.  

                            

Dean is still challenging because he unconsciously invites sexual attention from everyone.  His laissez-faire unspoken homosexuality is the secret to our obsession with him.  His downcast eyes and defeatism are his trademark, and they show society's scorn for him.

Alien is the opposite kind of challenge.  For him, life = sex = money = war.  It's him against the world.

He seduces teenage girls with promises of money and lures them into a world of fast money, a "rap world."

Gucci Mane plays the archvillain Big Arch, who already holds the turf newly claimed by Alien, whose followers are like Manson followers: beautiful, young, promiscuous and violent.

Big Arch's thugs kill Alien, and then Alien's young women kill Big Arch and his thugs.

Harmony Korine is playing in the dark.

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"Through the simple expedient of demonizing and reifying the range of color on a palette, American Africanism makes it possible to say and not say, to inscribe and erase, to escape and engage, to act out and act on, to historicize and render timeless.  It provides a way of contemplating chaos and civilization, desire and fear, and a mechanism for testing the problems and blessings of freedom."

- Toni Morrison, Playing in the Dark (7)