Last night, Harmony Korine was in Provincetown to collect the Filmmaker on the Edge prize during the Cape Cod Film Festival. He was presented the award by, and apparently only showed up after being talked into by, John Waters. Who was, naturally, a big fan of Spring Breakers (my review).
The two weirdos chatted for a while onstage, and the discussion included some of Harmony Korine’s film ideas that never panned out, which are easily my favorite thing about Harmony Korine. While they never touched on What Makes Pistachio Nuts, Korine’s lost screenplay about a spider-pig who throws molotov cocktails during a Florida race-war, they did discuss Fight Harm, a Korine project that involved him getting beaten up by strangers, filmed by David Blaine. That one got much further into production, interestingly.
In the late 90s, Korine teamed up with magician David Blaine to make Fight Harm, an apparently vérité documentary in which Korine placed himself directly in harm’s way. He would pick fights with people and then lose the battle on camera. Along the way, Korine was brutalizing, jailed and hospitalized.
Describing the project in depth on Saturday, the now cleaned-up Korine—he has a wife and a kid and lives in Tennessee—said that he was pummeled by an array of folks for the making of the movie and said he took quaaludes to help overcome the fear of getting beaten and to manage the extreme pain.
Quaaludes? Seriously? What did he take to manage the stress of trying to buy discontinued retro drugs?
Harmony Korine said he originally got the idea for Fight Harm while watching silent cinema. He’d hoped to emulate their physical comedy.
“I was trying to make the funniest film ever,” Korine said on Saturday. “It’s like a cross between Buster Keaton and a snuff film.”
I don’t have the computer skills to pull it off, but I’m confident that we could determine, with the help of artificial intelligence, that those were the most Harmony Korine words ever spoken.
Korine and Blaine filmed nine fights but ended up with not even an hour of footage. In the end, Korine admitted he didn’t have the stamina to sustain the project, so it remains unfinished and unseen. He told John Waters he’s received countless requests to screen Fight Harm and he remains unsure whethers it’s better to finally show it or for people just to know it exists. [FilmLinc]
I would pay a lot of money to watch the nine fights Harmony Korine got into with strangers that put him in the hospital. But then, I’d be just excited to see him try to complete the project, especially if he cast Screech or Danny Masterson in the lead role. Think about it?
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