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After revolutionizing the independent filmmaking scene in the 1990s, Harmony Korine began experimenting in other media such as photography, video, painting, advertising and music (where his most recent collaboration was with Miley Cyrus, co-writing the track Handstand for her new album Endless Summer Vacation), invariably bringing his own unmistakable style and aesthetic to the table. During its 76th edition (2-12 August) the Locarno Film Festival will pay tribute with the award of the Pardo d’onore Manor, honoring the director of films that were prime movers in the renewal of American cinema, such as Gummo, Mister Lonely (2007) and Spring Breakers.
Giona A. Nazzaro, artistic director of the Locarno Film Festival: “Harmony Korine is hard to pin down, difficult to categorize as a filmmaker, but he is an artist whose touch is unmistakable in whatever form. A rebellious anarchist – both dangerous and poetic in his amused, cultivated radicalism – Korine redefined the term “maverick” in U.S. cinema, without ever losing the smile on his face or the sheer fun of it all. An auteur in the present indicative. Now that a key cult movie like Spring Breakers has chalked up its tenth anniversary, giving the Pardo d’onore Manor award to Korine is a celebration of the infinite forms of cinema.”
Harmony Korine will be in Piazza Grande to receive the award on the evening of Friday 11 August. Two key films from his career will be shown during Locarno76:
Gummo – USA – 1997
Spring Breakers – USA/France – 2012
On Saturday 12 August, in addition, Festival-goers will have a chance to meet with the director in person during a panel conversation to be held at the Forum @Spazio Cinema.
The Locarno Film Festival’s Pardo d’onore Manor (“Leopard of Honor”) has been awarded to cineastes such as Manoel de Oliveira, Bernardo Bertolucci, Ken Loach, Jean-Luc Godard, Werner Herzog, Agnès Varda, Michael Cimino, Marco Bellocchio, John Waters and, in 2022, Kelly Reichardt. Since 2017 the Pardo d’onore has been supported by Manor, a Partner of the Locarno Film Festival.
The 76th Locarno Film Festival will take place from 2 to 12 August 2023.
One of the most influential and innovative filmmakers of his generation, Harmony Korine (b. 1973 in Bolinas, CA) has cultivated a multidisciplinary art practice that resists categorization and is admired internationally for the improvisation, humor, repetition, nostalgia, and poetry that unite the disparate aspects of his output. Korine’s oeuvre is both deliberate and erratic, blurring boundaries between ‘high’ and ‘low’ in ways that simultaneously attract and repel viewers with its hypnotic, otherworldly atmosphere. Of his work, he has said, ‘I’m chasing something that is more of a feeling, something more inexplicable, a connection to colors and dirt and character, something looping and trancelike, more like a drug experience or a hallucination.’
Harmony Korine first rose to prominence after writing the script for the film Kids (1995), a gritty cult-classic film directed by Larry Clark, depicting 24 hours in the life of a group of teens hanging out in New York City during the AIDS crisis. Korine’s next film project and directorial debut Gummo (1997) tells the story of two teen outcasts wandering around a tiny, tornado-ravaged town in Ohio. Inspired by neighborhoods Korine knew from his own childhood in and around Nashville, Gummo earned accolades at both the Venice and Rotterdam Film Festivals. In 1998, he directed his first music video for the song Sunday by Sonic Youth, starring Macaulay Culkin; and in the same year published his debut novel A Crack-Up at the Race Riots. After the release of Korine’s third film, Julien Donkey-Boy (1999), starring Werner Herzog as the patriarch of an unhinged family, the artist left New York for Europe and began an eight-year hiatus from filmmaking. He returned to directing feature films in 2007 with Mister Lonely about a Michael Jackson impersonator living a solitary life in Paris. Korine then wrote and directed the grotesquely comedic Trash Humpers in 2009, followed by Spring Breakers in 2012, and the 2019 film The Beach Bum, starring Matthew McConaughey. Korine has also focused his lens on commercial photography and filmmaking in recent years, using his unique vision to create memorable campaigns for a wide array of well-known brands.