ON SYRUP AND SPRINTING

Author Unknown / Dazed & Confused / March 2006

Harmony Korine is the director of Gummo and julien donkey-boy, as well as the writer behind Larry Clark's Kids. To direct the video for Cat Power's new single "Living Proof," he returned to his hometown of Nashville to film Chan racing the 100 metres against an Arabic track team. He says that he is currently working on his new film, as well as sponsoring a child and refurbishing a treehouse in Nashville.

Dazed & Confused: How long have you known Chan?

Harmony Korine: I've known her for 12 years now. I met her in Haiti. She had pigtails back then.

D&C: How did the video come about?

Korine: Chan just called me and asked me to do it, and I said yes. We then spoke about it once late at night and it just happened. It's nice when friends are involved with your work.

D&C: What was it inspired by?

Korine: It was inspired by abortion protestors, for both of us. Also from spending months in M-town (Memphis) driving around with Lord Infamous from Three 6 Mafia, and sipping syrup with the outcasts and undesirables. I was hanging out with a group of guys who drove around town in old lacs and spinners, they were in a gang known as the 'Kinfolk Thugs'. Some of the members would roll up the heads of Chucky dolls in their windows and rubberneck the hos. I met a guy while I was there named Lil' Wyte. We used to have long discussions about the lack of great Muslim sprinters. So my video for Chan was more or less a visual translation of my late nights on syrup in M-town and the conversations that took place with the local thugs. I wanted to invent a space where you could imagine a female Arabic track team taking on middle Tennessee's finest sprinters. Which all takes place after the funeral of a great slain rapper and syrup drinker.

D&C: Where did you shoot it?

Korine: In Cashville, Ten-a-key, which was much like my first impressions of Liberia actually. It only took one day to shoot. We filmed the whole thing on the racetrack at Vanderbilt University, right by my old house where I grew up. Chan was wearing an 'RIP Tupac' shirt and a skin-tight red Olympic lounge suit.