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‘Spring Breakers,’ ‘Beach Bum’ Director Harmony Korine to Get Locarno Festival Honor



Independent film pioneer Harmony Korine will be honored at the 2023 Locarno Film Festival with the Pardo d’onore Manor, the Leopard of Honor award, for “outstanding achievement in cinema.”

Korine, who first broke into the scene with his script to Larry Clark’s groundbreaking Kids (1995), has cut a unique path in indie cinema, with a series of unconventional and experimental movies, including his 1997 directorial debut. Gummo (1997), about two teen outcasts wandering around a tornado-ravaged town in Ohio; the 1999 feature Julien Donkey-Boy, starring Werner Herzog as the unhinged patriarch of a dysfunctional family; and 2007’s Mister Lonely, which stars Diago Luna as a Michael Jackson impersonator and Samantha Morton as a Marilyn Monroe look-alike. Only recently, with his 2012’s trippy sun-soaked crime thriller Spring Breakersstarring Selena Gomez and James Franco, and 2019’s The Beach Bumwith Matthew McConaughey in the eponymous role, have Korine’s films received wider recognition and distribution.

“Harmony Korine is hard to pin down [and] difficult to categorize as a filmmaker, but he is an artist whose touch is unmistakable in whatever form,” said Locarno artistic director Giona A. Nazzaro. “A rebellious anarchist — both dangerous and poetic in his amused, cultivated radicalism — Korine redefined the term “maverick” in US cinema, without ever losing the smile on his face or the sheer fun of it all… 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.”

Korine will receive the Locarno honor on August 11 and take part in a panel discussion at the Swiss festival on August 12. The director picked two titles from his filmography — Gummo and Spring Breakers — to screen at the 76th Locarno festival as part of a tribute to his work.

Previous Locarno Leopard of Honor winners have included Herzog, Jean-Luc Godard, Ken Loach, Agnès Varda, John Waters and Kelly Reichardt.

The 76th Locarno Film Festival runs August 2 – 12.

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