Taco Bell And Weed Smoke Inspired Harmony Korine’s Surprisingly Sweet ‘The Beach Bum’


Concord Korine’s movies about misfits, lowlives and get together animals would possibly make him appear a bit hard-edged. However in individual, the 46-year-old director is all smiles, a receptive listener recreation to fall down any conversational tangent that arises. Taco Bell, slime, houseboats, digital poker, that straightforward ocean breeze: All of them outline his day-to-day routine in Miami, the place Korine maintains a freewheeling way of life faraway from politics, well-liked media and basic construction. 

In between low cost burritos and browsing excursions, he discovered time to make “The Seashore Bum,” arguably his most industrial venture but. Granted, that’s not saying a lot for the man who wrote the cult smash “Youngsters” and directed oddities like “Gummo,” “Mister Lonely,” “Trash Humpers” and “Spring Breakers.”

“The Seashore Bum” is a raucous whirlwind that revives Matthew McConaughey’s “Dazed and Confused” stoner persona. He performs Moondog, a mischief-making poet who cruises round on a speedboat and lives in a everlasting cloud of weed smoke. When tragedy strikes, Moondog has to publish his subsequent guide to earn money, inciting a collection of mishaps that contain his equally stoned BFF (Snoop Dogg), his adoring and absurdly rich spouse (Isla Fisher), a rehab escapee (Zaf Efron), his Southern-fried agent (Jonah Hill), an incompetent tour information (Martin Lawrence) and Florida fixture Jimmy Buffett. Although the film boasts Korine’s signature observational debauchery, it’s in contrast to something he’s carried out earlier than. It’s, in a phrase, candy.

Forward of the movie’s launch on March 29, I sat down with Korine in New York to talk about “The Seashore Bum,” his fascinating profession and the semi-off-the-grid life he leads.

Dare I say, after seeing this film, that you simply appear happier than you’ve in a very long time.

Yeah. Yeah! It’s attainable. It’s very attainable. In some methods, the flicks replicate the place you’re, I suppose. However with this movie, I actually needed to make a portrait of a cosmic America that perhaps exists or perhaps doesn’t exist. Principally one thing joyful and humorous. I bear in mind after I was a child watching all of the Cheech and Chong films. That haze of weed smoke used to crack me up. I used to be like, “Wow, I ought to go there. We must always make one thing that’s simply hilarious.”

This should be your first protagonist who is really contented, even enlightened, if you’ll. Do you see it that manner?

Positively. Moondog is making an attempt to make it occur. He’s a poet of life. He’s an essentialist. If one joint feels good, he’s going to smoke all day. He’s gonna get blazed. He’s positively about residing within the second. It’s an attention-grabbing character for the instances as a result of his concept of enlightenment is actually trying out. It’s a disconnect. He goes to the [Florida] Keys, lives on a houseboat. It’s in regards to the pleasure within the second, perhaps inflicting hassle and cracking up.

Matthew McConaughey in "The Beach Bum."

Matthew McConaughey in “The Seashore Bum.”

Do you see your self in Moondog? Given the instances, do you end up trying out due to the horrors happening?

There’s elements of Moondog, clearly. Perhaps it’s a slight projection. However his life is so completely different. He’s actually, actually on the market. However I all the time form of admire this concept of a celebration of an absence of ambition. Chopping off could be very seductive.

For the longest time, we might rely in your films to have a sure grainy, selfmade high quality. With “Spring Breakers” and particularly “The Seashore Bum,” you’ve shifted right into a extra polished aesthetic. It is a beautiful-looking film, heavy on daylight and stylish camerawork. How do you account for that evolution?

Yeah, I don’t know. It’s actually simply the way in which you see the world on the time that you simply’re it. I stay in Florida, so there’s loads of colour and palm timber and pink skies and ocean. It’s just like the precise world however pushed into one thing hyper-poetic or hyper-beautiful, perhaps. It’s only a feeling. I don’t actually query it an excessive amount of. There’s simply sure issues I’d wish to see.

You’ve stated you’re hanging out with Florida lowlives nowadays. How do you discover that your a part of the world is responding to what’s happening within the nation at giant?

In the event you’re hanging within the Keys, I nearly by no means actually hear folks speaking about something too political. I really feel like the entire thing has turn into so poisonous, to a sure diploma, that most people I see down there don’t actually take part. They select to observe the sundown and smoke a joint.

Do you want that in your individual life too, to distance your self from politics?

Personally, yeah. I don’t actually put an excessive amount of advantage in that. I choose to only form of do my very own factor.

Benefit in what?

In what’s happening. I’d fairly simply go fishing, drink loads of Mountain Dew, eat some Taco Bell, log on, play digital poker, drink a Cuban espresso, smoke come cigars. You recognize what I’m saying?

Chloë Sevigny and Rosario Dawson in "Kids."

Chloë Sevigny and Rosario Dawson in “Youngsters.”

You’d fairly stay. What’s your information food plan like, you probably have one in any respect?

I don’t actually… I hear folks discuss issues. I hang around at loads of Cuban spots by the place I stay, and typically I see folks yelling at one another. I get little fragments right here and there, however I’m truthfully simply not . It’s the anti-soul. Do you see what I’m saying? There’s no soul to it. I simply don’t wish to spend my time right here going backwards and forwards. Every little thing is so tribal and everybody hates everybody. I’m not likely . And I don’t actually care about participation.

And when you get sucked into it, you may’t divorce your self from it.

Utterly. And in reality, to me, the way in which that folks now discuss it, it’s extra alongside the strains of leisure. It’s nearly like this film that subsumes every part, however there’s no pleasure in it.

You used to say that you simply didn’t wish to work with film stars. Now that’s precisely what you’re doing. However you have a tendency, nearly completely, to solid film stars whose personas you may mess around with. Are you solely focused on working with ones whose branding and celeb you may subvert or touch upon?

That half’s good as a result of there could be a double that means to issues. Additionally, there’s one thing enjoyable about having the ability to tweak mythology and this concept of celeb and the pop mythology that circles loads of these guys.

I don’t even bear in mind saying that, but when I did say that, it was in all probability one thing I stated after I was a child. The thought of celeb then might be completely different than it’s now, to some extent. I suppose that’s attention-grabbing to me, however in the long run, you solid who makes probably the most sense, who’s going to do it justice. I don’t actually put restrictions on it. I’m open to whoever.

Is it attainable that you simply began making films that contain extra celebrities, so to talk, since you your self have turn into one thing of 1 and are extra snug with the concept?

I by no means actually thought of it like something like that. Actually, I don’t actually know. You recognize, you write a film, and for example, you write a personality for the world’s worst dolphin tour information down within the Keys who thinks that sharks are dolphins. And you then’re like, “Who could be the best individual to play that? Man, if Martin Lawrence would play this character, it might be the very best.” It’s form of such as you simply dream all of it up. You must dream it into existence.

Matthew McConaughey and Snoop Dogg in "The Beach Bum."

Matthew McConaughey and Snoop Dogg in “The Seashore Bum.”

Because you deal with your scripts fairly loosely, what sort of improviser is Snoop Dogg?

He’s good. He’s all the time blazed, however on the similar time, he’s additionally form of regular and equal. He’s very, like, within the zone. However he was good. He might improvise, he might transfer. He’s form of superb to observe as a result of he simply has that factor the place it’s very exhausting to not watch it.

How a lot does the blissed-out ambiance of the movie replicate the set?

With this movie, as a result of everybody was excessive — I imply, the characters within the movie had been zuted — to a sure extent you needed to create an setting that allowed that despite the fact that they weren’t essentially like that in capturing.

Simply Snoop Dogg.

Yeah, and others additionally. Individuals had been partying and stuff. However you wish to create an environment. Particularly for Moondog, Matthew needed to spend six weeks in a personality that all the time, to some extent, had some buzz on. You needed to attempt to create an setting the place that was within the air.

Because you filmed the identical scenes in a number of places and determined what to make use of within the modifying room, you will need to have a ton of extra footage. What’s the factor you had been most disillusioned to depart behind?

Oh man, there have been some humorous scenes of [McConaughey] consuming lobster on a hoverboard. He had a lobster bib on, and he was going round in circles round his McLaren after he buys a sheet of acid. That was a tough one to depart.

Your movies typically have evocative music-related moments, and among the finest scenes in “The Seashore Bum” is Matthew and Isla singing Peggy Lee’s “Is That All There Is?” on a pier. How did you arrive at that music?

You recognize, it’s attention-grabbing. That was really Matthew, as a result of we had been doing the sequence and he had the radio round his neck. I believe we had been going to do it with no music and put the music in afterward. Then he was like, “I believe I discovered one thing good.” He put it on and so they each simply began transferring and signing the phrases, and the phrases in loads of methods narrated their relationship. That was one thing that Mathew introduced, and we simply went with that. He began taking part in it throughout the rehearsals. It felt so excellent in that second. It goes to the center of every part, and the music itself is so soulful. I used to be simply going to strive numerous various things later in post-production. 

I do know folks instructed you this when “Spring Breakers” was popping out, however do you see “The Seashore Bum” as your most industrial film but?

I don’t know! I hope so. It could be nice if lots of people noticed and skilled it. I believe that might be thrilling. However I simply make them. I strive my finest. It’s like your child. You kiss them on the top, they love you and you place them out into the world and hope that folks get pleasure from it.

Jacob Reynolds in "Gummo."

Jacob Reynolds in “Gummo.”

A lot of what you do, and a lot of the way in which you discuss what you do, is about commenting on well-liked imagery. However you, too, have turn into a model of well-liked imagery. Individuals know the Concord Korine aesthetic, sensibility and M.O., which locations you throughout the mainstream popular culture that you simply’ve lengthy been reflecting on. Are you snug with that?

It’s unusual, however I actually give it zero thought. Have you learnt what I’m saying? I’m reminded of issues like that when folks come as much as me and say that, however for probably the most half I just about simply keep on with myself. I’ll hang around on a houseboat, I’ll throw some lettuce at a manatee. And I’ve children down there, so I watch loads of cartoons and drink a pair quarts of Mountain Dew.

You’re actually into the Mountain Dew.

Yeah, as a result of it’s such as you drink some Mountain Dew, eat a few Crunchwrap Supremes, watch some cartoons and play some pc poker, and you actually can perceive what bliss is.

However are you able to sub the Mountain Dew for, like, Pepsi?

I imply, I suppose you would. I simply by no means went there.

You’re loyal.

Dude, it’s so good. I imply, I gained’t drink it nonstop. I nonetheless attempt to drink at the very least one cup of water every week.

Oh, every week. OK. That’s bold.

I simply don’t like the way in which water tastes. After which I’ll have some espresso simply to interrupt it up.

As somebody who grew up worshiping cinema, have you ever launched your children to sure films? Do you sit them down and say, “We’re going to observe ‘E.T.’ now?”

Yeah, I’ve watched a few of these films. It’s attention-grabbing as a result of I really feel like the way in which loads of younger children now react to movie is the way in which I felt when my mother would attempt to make me learn books.

As a result of they’re lengthy?

Yeah. What I’ve observed is that they don’t wish to decide to these issues, so I see them choose to observe YouTubers. That manner, you may management the second. It’s this concept that you simply’d should decide to one thing that’s two hours lengthy. It’s attention-grabbing to see that. Once I was a child watching movies, I used to like committing. “Oh, for the following two hours, I’m on this factor.” Now I’m beginning to discover the other is going on.

What have you ever children seen?

I confirmed them “Shut Encounters,” “E.T.” clearly, “Goonies,” “BMX Bandits,” “Breakin’ 2: Electrical Boogaloo.”

So that you don’t really feel such as you’re lacking one thing by not having your children develop up with cinema as a touchstone?

No, as a result of I simply don’t know anymore. In the long run, I simply don’t know the way essential all of it is within the grand scheme of issues. The instances are completely different now. It’s exhausting to say that is essential, this isn’t essential, that is actual, this isn’t actual. I don’t actually know if any of it’s actual.

Harmony Korine, Martin Lawrence, Matthew McConaughey, Stefania LaVie Owen, Isla Fisher and Jimmy Buffett at the South by

Concord Korine, Martin Lawrence, Matthew McConaughey, Stefania LaVie Owen, Isla Fisher and Jimmy Buffett on the South by Southwest premiere of “The Seashore Bum” in March 2019.

Who’re another film stars that you simply’re intersted in collaborating with?

Don Rickles is useless, proper?

Let’s see. I really like Harrison Ford. Did you ever see that film “Mosquito Coast”? He was so good in “Mosquito Coast.” I wish to do one thing with Harrison Ford in that vein.

He’s one as a result of he has a popularity that proceeds him and he will get typecast. He hasn’t carried out something actually attention-grabbing in a very long time.

Yeah, he’d be nice. I really like Clint Eastwood, however I believe he’s doing his personal factor.

Yeah, I’m undecided he’s received a Concord Korine sensibility.

[Laughs] Did you ever see “Each Which Manner however Free”? Once I was considering of films that associated to “Seashore Bum,” that was a film I stored interested by. And “Each Which Manner You Can.” Man, they had been so nice. He was starring in these movies with this orangutan, ingesting brews.

Between your film work and artwork work, have you ever hit a degree the place you’re financially safe and capable of not fear about your subsequent venture?

Effectively, you recognize, let’s simply say, like, every part’s tremendous. I can simply head right down to the Keys and get as a lot Taco Bell.

That’s form of enviable. Most individuals can’t deliver themselves to stay the Moondog way of life.

It’s doable, bro.

Is there any Jimmy Buffett materials left on the cutting-room ground?

Yeah, really, I used to be going to open the film with him singing. We filmed this sequence the place he sings a music within the very starting, however it was exhausting. It was a pacing factor. He’s up there and Moondog is dancing onstage to “Volcano.” It could be within the extras. I don’t know if there’s such a factor as extras anymore. Do folks purchase DVDs even? I don’t suppose my children have ever touched one. That’s why they make slime.

The children are obsessive about slime. In the event you don’t have children, you may not know. There’s this entire factor with slime. They make slime.

Your children do?

All children do. It’s a phenomenon that’s been taking place for years. They make it with chemical compounds. They promote it. It’s completely different colours and textures. I believe it’s tactile. In the event you simply Google search “children slime,” you’ll see. It’s infinite. It’s like a factor they put in jars, like in Tupperware. They sit there and so they like the feeling.

It’s stunning that one thing so analog is well-liked. 

That’s what I’m making an attempt to say. That was my level. I really feel like folks nonetheless want issues to the touch. I believe they only want slime.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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