Late last year the news that The Black Keys had shot a music video with Harmony Korine was all over the internet and when they finally released an altogether different music video for the same song (“Gold On The Ceiling”), Korine fans were burdened with the fact that this would, yet again, be something by the filmmaker we’d never see.

But alas, thanks to the wonder of YouTube The Black Keys have made the video available for viewing. See below:

For the video, Korine utilises the same technique seen in his 2006 video for Bonnie Prince Billy, ‘No More Workhouse Blues’:



Nowness.com have posted up a two-part 8-minute short film by Matt Black that goes deep inside the “Rebel” collaboration between James Franco, Paul and Damon McCarthy, Aaron Young, Harmony Korine, Ed Ruscha, Terry Richardson and Douglas Gordon – the exhibition explores the 1955 film “Rebel Without A Cause“.

“Inside Rebel” is comprised of two parts:
Part One can be viewed here – whilst Part Two can be seen here.

Below is the blurb from the site:

Actor, artist and curator James Franco reveals the genesis of his visceral art-film crossover exhibition, REBEL, in the first installment of filmmaker Matt Black’s two-part exposé. Inspired by the mythology surrounding Nicholas Ray’s pioneering 1955 film Rebel Without a Cause, the show at LA’s MOCA includes collaborations with a stellar cast of leading contemporary artists, including Paul and Damon McCarthy, Aaron Young, Harmony Korine, Ed Ruscha, Terry Richardson and Douglas Gordon. Working closely with Franco, the artists reinterpreted and remixed the main themes, scenes and tragic events of the original—from the automotive death of lead actor James Dean to the rumored affair between the 44-year-old Ray and 16-year-old starlet Natalie Wood—all set inside a replica of LA’s iconic Chateau Marmont. “James created a relationship with each of the contributors; he is the narrative in between them,” says Black. “It’s almost as if James was making a movie and cast them as actors to fulfill all the roles.” Franco plays a central part in the show’s take on Ray’s teen-angst masterpiece. In Korine’s short paying homage to the movie’s famous knife fight outside the Griffith Observatory, Franco faces off with a BMX-riding posse of naked female gangsters. For another, he had tattoo artist Mark Mahoney carve the name of late actor Brad Renfro, who passed away in 2008 at the age of 26 from a heroin overdose, into his shoulder with a switchblade.

In the second part of Matt Black‘s exposé, artist-actor James Franco talks through the tangled mythology of Rebel Without a Cause and how it shaped his art-film mash-up at MOCA. Featuring the likes of Paul and Damon McCarthy, Aaron Young, Harmony Korine, Ed Rusha, Terry Richardson and Douglas Gordon, REBEL explores the legends embroiling Nicholas Ray’s 1955 epoch defining tale of teenage rebellion within a twisted replica of the film’s spiritual home, Chateau Marmont. Ray was living at the cult LA hotel when he first encountered James Dean—who turned up un-introduced, unannounced and accompanied by gothic starlet Vampira to perform two full backflip somersaults as an impromptu audition for the role that would immortalize him as a teen icon. “It became about creating the Chateau Marmont, for the artists and for Franco himself. Everything was set up to see all the films play in that same world,” explains Black. “When you see it all together, using the Chateau at the center, it takes on a different energy.” Riffing off the movie’s intrigues, Paul and Damon McCarthy replicated Ray’s Bungalow to re-enact his and Wood’s affair, while Aaron Young smashed a 1950 Ford Custom Tudor Coupe onto the desert floor from 80 feet up to mark Dean’s death in a fatal car crash barely a month before the film was released.



A few videos from YouTube concerning “Spring Breakers”. The first, an intimate interview with Selena Gomez (skip to 4:22)

The second is one of three Entertainment Tonight TV spots that aired in the past few weeks

And the final two are the other two spots which aired on ET Canada.



A short Q&A with Harmony Korine from the Exhibition A website. Considering the article makes reference to “Spring Breakers” just being announced I presume the article is a few months old.

How did you first get interested in contemporary art?
After watching that TV show “Hard Copy” with Cady Noland… and also meeting Al Jolson’s crippled son at a museum by my house. He was giving lectures.

Fair to say that Josh Smith is one of your best friends in the art world?
Josh is great… we started buying up abandoned parking lots across the United States. He just bought a great one in Kentucky; it was a crime scene and he got it for a discount.  I bought one in Delaware with transluscent parking lot curbs.

What was your experience of Art Basel Miami this year?
I saw a redheaded artist get run over by a Hummer the first day.  He seemed to like it.

Art show you’re looking forward to seeing?
The J.B. Murry retrospective at the African American Folk Art booth at the Nashville Tennessee fairgrounds in conjunction with the local community college for the blind.

Favorite artist quote?
“I’m addicted to Altoids. I call them ‘acting pills.’” – Harrison Ford



Glenn O’Brien recently unearthed an interview from the archives with Harmony Korine that took place shortly after finishing the filming of ‘Trash Humpers’ . The interview is pretty long so just click here to read it. The two speak on everything from David Blaine to Bigfoot.



Image courtesy of @CircaFilm.



Juxtapoz Magazine caught up with Harmony Korine to talk about the “Rebel” film. You click the link at the beginning of this post to view the original article or read the interview below. The magazine have also interviewed James Franco and Aaron Young (two of Korine’s collaborators on the piece) previously in relation to the exhibition.

Gwynned Vitello: You were born in Bolinas, California, so that has to have a connection with why you’re named Harmony, doesn’t it?
Harmony Korine: Yeah, that’s right.

Have you spent much time in Bolinas recently? It’s so beautiful.
I haven’t been back in a while, I was born there, in a… I don’t know if it was a commune but…

Well it’s sort of one big commune.
Yeah. I was out on the beach when I was born, somewhere with a lot of people chanting.

And now you lead a life of no boundaries. Can you tell us how you got involved with this project?
I had been talking to James Franco for a while about making a movie. And for the last couple years we would always toss ideas back and forth, and then about 6 months ago he came to me with the concept for this thing for the Venice Biennale, based on Rebel Without a Cause. He specifically wanted me to do something that was rooted in the violence of that iconic gang fight at the observatory in the movie. When we talked about it in the beginning we talked about using real gang members, and ended up having un-simulated knife fights.

Maybe he was thinking of that documentary you started to make, Fight Harm, perhaps?
Yeah I think some of that came from there too, the Fight Harm movies where I would provoke people into fighting me.

You must have actually suffered physically…
Oh yeah that’s why I stopped. I was really out of my mind at that point. I wanted to make what I thought would be the greatest American comedy of all time. Something that was an extension of Buster Keaton or The Three Stooges; something that was just really vile and base and rooted in the lowest, purest form of humor, which I always thought was violence. You know like someone slips on a banana peel and cracks their head open.

So that’s how he approached you – the violent aspect, but there was more to it than that, because of the focus on youth…
I think that he’s specifically interested in the mythology that surrounds that film, James Dean, Sal Mineo, and the director… Something that I hadn’t really spent too much time thinking about myself, but I thought was interesting, and I liked those concepts, and I also liked the other people that were involved in the project. So it was exciting.

I haven’t seen Rebel Without A Cause in an awfully long time, it seems like you’ve watched a lot of films throughout your life. Obviously you re-watched the film before you took this on. Did it look different to you than when you had seen it when you were younger?
I guess so. It almost seemed like a comedy, so melodramatic. I always liked how most of the teenagers looked like they were in their 30s.

That’s what they did then. Natalie Wood was supposed to be 16!
Yeah, so that adds a kind of humorous element to the whole thing. There’s something that was always kind of astonishing about James Dean – it’s hard to believe he was ever was really a person. He inhabits this other domain, it’s hard to believe that he wasn’t just a cartoon or a figment of my imagination.

Or a poster in a dorm room or something… he didn’t get old and fat like Marlon Brando, so he’s always James Dean. So tell us a little bit more about your film.
I just lived with it for a couple months, I took all these different elements that I thought were related to gang culture and put them together. It’s difficult for me to articulate exactly where it comes from.

Has James directed any films before?
I don’t know, that’s a good question. I’m sure he’s done lots of short films…

But he gave you free reign. You’re the director and he said “Do whatever you want to do.”
Yeah, definitely. He conceptualized the whole project, it’s his in that he put all these things together. The idea is his.

He wanted you to focus on gangs and violence, so did he give the other artists certain scenes to explore?
Yeah, from what I understand that how it happened. The other artists dealt with different scenes and elements of the film, and the back story.

Were you aware of what the other artists were bringing to the rebel installation? Did you get a briefing, or was it like you didn’t need to know?
I knew that Paul McCarthy was building certain things… not a lot of detail about what other people were doing. I didn’t really think about it so much. I think everybody’s still making things. Even mine’s not finished yet.

Would it matter if it was in Venice or someplace else? When I think of Venice, some of it looks kind of decayed, while some of it looks like Disneyland.
I made mine keeping in mind that it was part of an installation that’s in Venice, but I also thought about how the film segments would exist separately from that. So it’s made for this location, but it will work as well on its own.

How will it be screened there?
It will be projected on this island off of Venice, there’s this decayed house… I can’t even explain really what it is.

I was thinking about the mansion in Rebel Without a Cause… thinking there’s some kind of connection with Venice there.
Maybe so, I’m not sure.

Are there women portrayed in the gangs?
Yeah it’s all women! It’s only female gangsters. We did all the castings out of South Central and Compton. We did a lot of clips where I live. It’s broken up into two gangs, Sal Mineo’s gang and James Dean’s gang. And then also East Coast – West Coast; Tupac – Biggie, it’s like a BMX slaughter in downtown L.A.

Right, which we saw in the trailer, the scene in the parking lot. So how did you cast? Was it the same way you usually do your casting, where you just go on site and round em up?
Mostly girls that had been paroled, just getting out of prison. And people that I had heard about – infamous neighborhood girls.

Was the concept of using all women something that was part of the blueprint of Rebel, or was it something that developed along with the concept?
It was just something I thought about. It just made sense – I liked the idea of these girls with machetes on bikes. It just seemed like a natural thing to do, it was exciting. Most of them don’t have their clothes on.

Well that comes out of the original Rebel because from what I understand that was one of the first films that blurred gender roles, the men were way more sensitive than they were usually portrayed. So it’s interesting to have women fulfill a more masculine role in your film. I understand there’s also a prominent musical element – what kind of music did you choose?
Well it’s scored to the film. Also all the voice-overs were taken from the original film, from the scene that preceded the gang fight and the slideshow that they give in the scene before – that discussion on the cosmos and how small man is in relationship to the stars. I re- did that text with somebody else’s voice and added a lot of other things, I peppered ebonic-type slang and then I screwed it all. I pitched it all down so it’s totally fucked up and screwed.

Well that’s so different then than Rebel Without A Cause because even for it’s time it was using stilted gang talk, so this is a little more real.
Yeah, this is next level shit.

And you let the girls, kind of talk their own talk…
There’s actually not even any dialogue.

It’s all action and music?
It’s all slow motion. Its all shot at really really high-frame rates, so yeah it’s pretty slow.

The original Rebel Without a Cause, although it was groundbreaking, was such a sugar-coated depiction of rebellion. As you are using real gangsters, real people, do you think you guys had decided to take it to a whole other level of a ridiculous take on the notion of rebellion?
I don’t even really think about it too much like that. I just honestly don’t even think about things like that too much. It’s more about just like when you close your eyes… I just allow myself to dream and go to a certain place, that’s difficult for me to explain. If the feelings right, if I’m being pulled and the sway is right then I don’t question it I just make it. And that’s how it was with this. I just dreamt it up based on this idea that Franco had, based on simulated gang wars.

When an interviewer asks questions we frame things in a way that boxes you in to answering a certain way, and I know about your filmmaking, that it’s very linear, and it’s a slice or a look at life.
It’s also that sometimes I just feel like the best things don’t exist in words. It’s like something that’s post-logic. I don’t ever care about making perfect sense, it’s like making perfect nonsense. It exists outside that. I’ve never had any other kind of motivation other than to see something in a specific way that no one else is showing me.

It’s very much like skateboarding. You don’t go out and skateboard to score a certain amount of points, you’re just out there.
Or if you’re gonna use a skateboard analogy, you could say it’s almost like Mark Gonzales, like the first time I ever saw Mark Gonzales skating on his grip tape and I was like “wow”… you realize that there are no rules, that you can do anything.

So you still live in Nashville?
Yeah, I didn’t live there for a while, but I moved back a couple years ago.

So you were there, and then you went to New York City (because everyone’s gotta go to New York City for a while)… and you’ve got a child now.
Yeah I’ve got a daughter.

Are you in the country?
No, no I live in the city. I live right by Vanderbilt University.

So back to the project, what are you finishing up on the film right now?
I’m just doing the sound, mixing it, which is great. It’s really almost done.

You’re doing just the film or are there other projects related to the installation?
The movie of course, and then I’m making these other little loops, these images that are repeated. And then I’m taking all the props from the film, including the severed James Dean head, the prosthesis and put it in vatrines, and then the BMX bikes will hang from trees. And the Tupac and Biggie shirts everywhere, it’s all part of a whole.



A longer video of James Franco’s opening speech can be seen here:

laimyours.com have also posted up a selection of images from the exhibition, many of which feature Korine.



YouTube users have slowly been uploading videos they have filmed from the premiere you can view three of them below:



The LA TimesJuxtapoz Magazine aswell as various other publications have also published stories relating to the premiere exhibition of “Rebel”. The link to the Juxtapoz site features a heavy dose of images from the exhibition.

Don’t forget that you can still attend the exhibition, it ends it’s run at 941 North Highland Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90038 on June 23rd. For more information visit MOCA.org

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