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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
Texas A&M pitcher Evan Aschenbeck (53) reacts after throwing the final strike out during Texas A&M’s game against Mississippi State on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at Olsen Field. (Chris Swann/ The Battalion)
Down but not out
May 23, 2024
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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
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Texas A&M infielder Rylen Wiggins (2) reacts during Texas A&M’s game against Texas at the Austin Super Regional at Red and Charline McCombs Field in Austin, Texas, on Sunday, May 26, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Aggies’ season ends with heartbreaking loss to Longhorns
Luke White, Sports Editor • May 27, 2024

Sharper play in the sixth innings of Texas A&M softball’s NCAA Super Regional series with No. 1 Texas may have been the difference between...

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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Spring Breakers is weird and wild

Spring Break a storied collegiate rite, an escape from the daily grind of classes and meetings. It offers an opportunity for the kind of shenanigans that become the stuff of memory or infamy. Id wager most Aggies have never experienced the kind of spring break pushed by vintage MTV specials and East Coast party promoters, where hundreds bikini-clad co-eds and overly tanned body-builder types assembled to slather themselves in cheap beer and grind by the pool to the latest dirty south rap ditty, but still the stereotype persists.
Which brings us to Spring Breakers, the latest film from oddball writer and director Harmony Korine, which follows four small town college girls set on bad behavior on a dream vacation to St. Petersburg, Fla. that swiftly dissolves into a freakish nightmare of vice and petty crime.
I suspect mass audiences will be lured in by Korines glorious stunt-casting, which gives us tween idols in the central roles (Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens and Pretty Little Liarss Ashley Benson) and James Franco playing a goofy gangster who resembles Houston rapper Riff Raff. The premise seems to offer the promise of a pulpy B-movie too, but Disney Channel presents Grand Theft Auto: Vice City this is not.
Instead, we get an arty crime film that in some ways is every bit as gross and off-putting as Korines earlier work but is shot with a glossy sheen that makes it impossible to look away. Its a decadent film, one that delights in gratuitous nudity and the general spectacle of stupid kids behaving badly, but it also possesses a twist of biting social commentary. Korine makes constant references to this world he has created as a sort of dreamscape where the girls can partake in all of Americas favorite indulgences namely guns, money and sex. He seems to be calling into question where our societys moral center lies, or if it has one at all, but he never loses sight of the party along the way.
Little of the films depth comes from the characters who, despite strong performances all around, are largely interchangeable. Gomezs Faith is the exception, though her struggle to reconcile her beliefs with her desire for a hedonistic escape comes to far too abrupt an end. Instead the films greatest strengths lie in Korines visual sensibility. Every shot is drenched in neon or sunlight, and the director treats each subject be it a pile of cash and automatic weapons or a starlet in a swimsuit with an eye that knows the difference between art and exploitation and aims for somewhere in between.
The film sounds nearly as good as it looks thanks to a score by dubstep kingpin Skrillex and Drive composer Clint Martinez, who deliver a soundtrack that lends emotional resonance to the films lush looks and somehow manages to make the ubiquitous Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites seem fresh again.
Given the level of debauchery and weirdness on display, Spring Breakers is a tough film to recommend to everyone. Its easy to dismiss it as beautiful trash, but I wouldnt be so quick to give Korine the satisfaction. Im thinking its closer to high art.

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