SXSW 2010: Trash Humpers by Harmony Korine
Harmony Korine is a divisive filmmakers. With his three feature films prior to Trash Humpers—Gummo, Julien Donkey-Boy, and Mister Lonely—Korine polarized audiences with his unique and disturbing visions of Americana and cultural detritus.
Trash Humpers takes those preoccupations to the extreme, telling the (anti-)story of a gang of bizarre sociopaths who literally hump the shit out of other people's trash. If it sounds kind of disgusting and more than a little uncomfortable, it probably is. Korine is a master provocateur, but (in this writer's opinion) he's a hell of an artist.
This latest film has only had limited play on the festival circuit. I admire SXSW for having the guts to show it. Shot on shitty VHS around Korine's own neighborhood in Tennessee, it's practically a home movie. A lot of festivals wouldn't touch this one with a ten-foot pool, despite Korine's name-brand recognition (or perhaps, in some cases, because of it).
I haven't had a chance to see it for myself yet, but it looks like a strange, provocative little film. It'll be interesting to see the reaction SXSW audiences have to this one.