Harmony Korine (2005-04-01)

Harmony Korine
Practice: Film and Photography
Date of Lecture: 2005-04-01

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Harmony Korine had an auspicious start to his movie career when he was discovered by photographer Larry Clark and subsequently commissioned to write the screenplay for Clark’s first feature film, Kids. Korine’s directorial debut, Gummo, was released to an unsuspecting public one year later, drawing praise, disgust and bafflement. In 1998 he was contacted by the Dogme 95 brotherhood, who asked him to spearhead the American new wave. The resulting film, Julien Donkey Boy, was based on Korine’s experience with his schizophrenic uncle and is the only certified American Dogme film made thus far. Drawing upon such influences as Jean-Luc Godard, Alan King and Werner Herzog, Korine took a fearless approach to his subject matter in his creation of the disjointed narrative that parallels the mental state of the protagonist.

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Still from Gummo 1997 © Harmony Korine

In addition to writing and directing feature films, Korine has also released two art books Pass the Bitch Chicken (a collaboration with Christopher Wholl) and The Bad Son, a series of photographs of Macaulay Culkin and a novel entitled A Crack Up at the Race Riots. He has shown his photo work internationally under such exhibition titles as The Ass Sanctuary, Milk Chicken Revue, and The Sigil of Cloven Hoofs Mark Their Paths. Korine has also collaborated with artists such as Bonnie Prince Billy, David Blaine, Sonic Youth, Agnes B. and Bjork in the creation of music videos and documentaries. He recently collaborated again with Larry Clark as screenwriter of the controversial film Ken Park. Korine currently lives and works in Paris, France. This lecture took the form of an on-stage interview conducted by Toronto-based filmaker/photographer Bruce LaBruce.

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