"There will never be a movie or a character that is more important for this age than 'Spring Breakers' and its protagonist Alien." Those are the words of James Franco, who plays Alien in "Spring Breakers," as published by VICE on Friday.
Franco, who has written for VICE over the last several months, used his platform at the publication to review "Spring Breakers," and didn't hold back on praise for the film and its director, Harmony Korine.
Harmony put it all in harmony. Twenty years after Kids, he has followed up his first zeitgeist film with a new portrait of the times. If Kids was neorealism, Spring Breakers is the neorealism of the Facebook age, chopped, screwed, and digitized. Where The Social Network was a movie about money, deals, greed, backstabbing, and the resulting court case—anything but the technology that defined the new way kids were socializing—Spring Breakers is the embodiment of such technological engagement. It is everything that we are today. You’re welcome.
That's how Franco's review ends, by the way -- with "You're welcome" -- and yet it's not even the most amazing part of his post. That would be this:
As Harmony Korine’s friend Werner Herzog said to me on the phone call of all phone calls -- I was out in North Carolina, sitting in a little Mexican restaurant called Cocula that I frequent on my lunch breaks from the low-residency writing MFA program at Warren Wilson College, just staring out the window that’s frosted over with a map of Mexico, at the dirty field across the roadway -- when he told me that my performance in the film made De Niro in Taxi Driver look like a kindergartener, and that the film was the most important film of the decade. Imagine in a distinct German accent: “Three hundred years from now, when people want to look back at dis time, dey won’t go to the Obama inauguration speech, dey will go to Spring Breakers.”
Lots to unpack there, but the standout is the story's set-up, which reads like a tweet from the @Vice_Is_Hip parody Twitter account: James Franco was eating lunch at a Mexican restaurant in North Carolina when Werner Herzog called him to say that "Spring Breakers" was more important than Barack Obama.
As for Herzog's assertion that Franco's performance was stronger than Robert De Niro's in "Taxi Driver," it should be noted that Herzog doesn't necessarily have decades worth of esteem built up for De Niro's work in the 1976 Martin Scorsese classic. A 2009 Salon.com piece on Herzog revealed that he hadn't seen "Taxi Driver" at that time.
To read the full Franco review of "Spring Breakers," head to Vice.com.