Of the numerous administrators to emerge throughout indie cinema’s heyday within the 90s, Concord Korine most likely stays essentially the most iconoclastic. It’s not an understatement to say that his script for Larry Clark’s Youngsters, which he penned at age 18, is essentially the most standard factor in his complete filmography. The whole lot since — from his irreverent characteristic debut Gummo (which The New York Instances deemed “the worst movie of the 12 months”) to the Dogme 95-certified Julien Donkey-Boy to his Jackass-like Trash Humpers to the tripped-out Florida-set heist flick Spring Breakers and bizarro Matthew McConaughey automobile The Seashore Bum — has been an experiment of 1 type or one other.
However the 80-minute murderer film AGGRO DR1FT (all caps, one digit) is one thing else solely. Actually, it’s probably not a film in any respect, however extra like a cross between a film, a online game and a circulate of hallucinatory pictures that might play within the background of a dwell present by rapper Travis Scott — who co-stars right here as a gun-toting, philosophizing killer surrounded by a swarm of twerking booties.
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Korine calls this new model “gamecore,” which, nicely, why not. It actually hasn’t been seen earlier than in feature-length type, a minimum of outdoors of a gallery. Premiering in Venice, the place it performed out of competitors, AGGRO DR1FT (what does that even imply?) may attraction to diehard followers of the director, who’re more than likely in his age group (he’s 50 now). Whether or not or not it crosses over to the players, TikTokkers and technology-obsessed youngsters it appears to cater to is one other matter. Then once more, Korine isn’t making an attempt to promote film tickets or streaming subscriptions — he’s simply making the artwork he all the time has.
The plot is definitely quite movie-ish, or video game-ish, or each, following a Miami-based hitman named Bo (performed by actor Jordi Mollà, additionally starring in Olmo Schnabel’s Venice-bound Pet Store Days), who must take out an evil massive boss (Joshua Tilley) earlier than the boss will get to him first. That’s all there may be to it — and even that plot doesn’t matter in a piece that roughly eschews plot altogether to give attention to pure visible and sonic sensations, actually to the detriment of anybody on the lookout for an excellent story.
A very powerful factor to notice right here is that AGGRO DR1FT, lensed by French cinematographer Arnaud Potier (Galveston), was shot with a course of reworking each picture into trippy infrared footage, like a kaleidoscope of pixelated colours. It’s as should you had been watching all of it from the perspective of the Predator, after the Predator took tons of MDMA and washed it down with a giant cup of sizzurp.
As a lot as Korine mimics the aesthetic of video video games, or extra like video video games as summary video artwork, he additionally appears to be intentionally mocking the gamer mentality right here, with Mollà’s Bo reciting a monotone voiceover the place he says stuff like, “The previous world isn’t any extra” or “I’m a solitary hero” in essentially the most mundane, robotic approach potential. In the meantime, Scott reveals up in some unspecified time in the future because the murderer’s biggest recruit, sitting on a yacht stuffed with gyrating butts and closely armed henchman, repeating the strains: “I do. I sleep. I do. I sleep.” (It’s unsure whether or not he’s making an attempt to behave like a robotic or that’s simply his appearing.)
Even the killing scenes, for a movie a few killer, should not routinely finished. There’s no actual suspense and the motion may be each bland and exaggerated on the identical time. Heads get ripped off and blood drips out like chocolate syrup. Little youngsters in satanic-themed streetwear wield machetes and chant: “We’re the youngsters with satan faces.” The large boss, who seems like he fell off one of many vehicles in Mad Max: Fury Highway, spends more often than not prancing round in his underwear, dry humping every part in his path.
There are moments when AGGRO DR1FT is sort of hilarious, likely intentionaly so. Korine’s movies have all the time had a mischievous, transgressive model of humor, and you might learn this venture as a sly commentary on Miami’s billionaire boys’ membership way of life, with a lot of the film/sport set in seaside mansions and pimped-out sports activities vehicles. You might additionally see it as a mirrored image on how so many Hollywood movies in the present day wind up resembling video video games, and vice-versa, to the purpose that one bleeds into the opposite. Or you might merely see it as Korine — who made the venture together with his new collective, EDGLRD — making an attempt new stuff out.
It’s unlikely the director actually cares what you see or suppose, which is why AGGRO DR1FT may be each a liberating viewing expertise and one thing of a chore to sit down by means of. Both approach, it continues to push the sorts of boundaries Korine started to push three many years in the past, when he beginning making motion pictures as a misfit teenager again in New York. No matter you do, simply don’t name this new work a “film.”