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‘Spring Breakers’ — How the Internet Made Harmony Korine’s Biggest Movie

Jason Merritt, Getty Images

The most important work in the history of cinema opens in theaters today. No, not Snoop Lion’s Reincarnated. Spring Breakers, fool!

Filmmaker Harmony Korine’s latest masterwork arrives on the heels of so much hype that you would think it’s the next Citizen Kane. And hey, it just might be (ed note: we haven’t seen the film yet, because we’re not that ‘cool’).

But at this point, whether or not the film is worth the page views that have been amassed over it is beside the point. What matters is how the film came together and what it means for the future of movie-making.

Why? Because when you really analyze this film you quickly realize that it may be the first movie to ever be cast by the Internet, for the Internet. It’s basically Trolling: The Movie.

Every actor in Spring Breakers, whether we think they’re talented or not, is ultimately one very important thing — a blog commodity.

From James Franco to Vanessa Hudgens to Selena Gomez to Ashley Benson to Gucci Mane (who has a small role), these are people whose existences are documented and dissected in real time on the Internet, pretty much all day long. None of these people can breathe without it being blogged about.

You look at this cast and think Korine spent a few weeks perusing Just Jared and assorted skin blogs like Egotastic and Hollywood Tuna and decided to pick his actors based on who got blogged about most.

Then there’s the plot itself — a coming-of-age story about four young girls who basically get into a shitload of trouble while trying to get more out of their boring lives. Sound familiar? Yeah, that’s probably the story of your life, too. Casting former Disney stars in those roles is sure to be seen as ‘shocking,’ given that they’re shrugging off their good girl stigma

And the character Franco plays — Alien, a white rapper — is said to be culled from real-life St. Petersburg, F.L. native Dangeruss. But then, he kind of also looks like Riff Raff, himself a master of rap game trolling. And now that’s a controversy in and of itself, with Franco denying that Riff Raff had anything to do with the movie, and Gucci Mane chiming in. Now Riff Raff is subliminally hinting that he might sue over his likeness being used.

Finally, the title — Spring Breakers. What do you think when you hear the term “spring break.” Let us answer for you — of course, “Girls Gone Wild.”

White rappers. James Franco. Disney girls. Spring Break. Girls Gone Wild.

Wow, there’s a lot going on here besides the movie itself, right? And reading reviews of the film, it seems a tad empty on the screen as well. Like it’s made to be digested in short clips on Youtube, a la music videos. An A.D.D. film for an A.D.D. generation.

Which is all just to say, again, that the film may be remarkable. We have to see it to make that claim. But from the plot to the cast to the title to the controversy surrounding it all, it’s a movie so ridiculous, yet so real and rooted in an actual reality that does exist, that you have to care about it. A movie made for a generation — a Youtube and blog-fueled generation, let’s keep it real — that just can’t get enough of innocent girls turned sleazy, white people looking/acting silly and the intersection where the two meet.

And now here we are, opening day. Thank you, Internet, for giving us Spring Breakers.

*ed note: We didn’t even talk about Skrillex. Skrillex! Who produced the film’s soundtrack. Another product of the Internet.

Watch “Spring Breakers Official Trailer” Video

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