February 7, 2015

Harmony Korine's Episode of 'Profiles for VICE' is Strange & Beautiful

Harmony Korine's Episode of 'Profiles for VICE' is Strange & Beautiful (The Legend of Cambo)
Harmony Korine is pretty odd character — but his approach to movie-making is singular; downtrodden, dreamlike, dirty, and graceful.

Who better to direct this piece on Cambo, a 21 year old kid who spent years living in the backwoods of Alabama after his parents divorced? There are times when I too just want to go to the forest and blow shit up. This kid actually does it, and proves worthy of the name "The Legend of Cambo."

What I love about Korine is his undying interest in the outsider sensibility. He's fierce in his ability to unearth (for me) some of the strangest and most beautiful moments in cinema. He's not afraid to romanticize the misunderstood, the illegal, the incomprehensible, the looked-down upon — and because of this he brings a unique life to each of his subjects. He blurs the line between documentary and fiction, contrasts bizarre imagery with calming soundscapes, and elevates the image to a new place.

A video worth sharing again, here Korine talks about the beauty in failure and his 2013 film Spring Breakers:

What do you think of The Legend of Cambo    

Your Comment

4 Comments

I really liked The Legend of Cambo. It of course immediately had me thinking of a latter-day Huckleberry Finn, a survivor who lives in untrammeled freedom and felicity. And that awoke in me the slumbering moralist do-gooder who can't help but think about what this guy will be like in ten years time, what sort of misadventures he will have experienced and been the author of. Would you want someone like this as a fixture in your life? Be honest. And that's why I really like it. You get a glimpse into the main drift of someones life. A chaotic one. The audience learns of the subjects family dissolving, his romance and siring a child, which also dissolves, with the protagonist escaping into a world of no responsibility but what to eat and how to entertain oneself, fantasizing about killing invaders at the end of the world. He's not stupid, certainly has inner thoughts and a vivid imagination and can tell an entertaining story (I loved how he sold the plot twist.) He's very human and likable. And yet, I'm sure I'm not the only one who wouldn't fully embrace such a person to be my bosom buddy. Perhaps that's why Korine highlighted him as a subject? Because it can make one think. It resonates. His portrait has implications for the future. I don't know. I hope he keeps it up, because I like his work.

February 8, 2015 at 3:24AM

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Daniel Thoen
ne'er-do-well
345

I have to agree in that I think Korine is great at blurring reality with fiction and the cinematic elements make The Legend of Cambo as just that.

February 9, 2015 at 4:28AM

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Liam Gilroy
Director
100

As odd as Cambo may seem seem, he was like the kids I grew up with down South. We went for days in the backwoods and waterways with some gear and a change of clothes and were able to forage and fish for what we needed while we were out there, and it never seemed like a big deal. Our parents knew we would figure it out or that a few days of starvation would be good for our character. It was just what we did, and it comes naturally when one's spirit isn't suffocated by modernity and instincts aren't softened by civilization.

I hope this character study stirs the Natural Man within all who view it. It's sad that Cambo's ability to live on his own terms makes him some kind of outlier in the USA circa 2015. He is part of long line of unreconstructed Southerners who used to be the norm down in these parts.

February 9, 2015 at 1:17PM, Edited February 9, 1:17PM

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Marc B
Shooter & Editor
600

It's one thing for a kid to put on the hat of Tom Sawyer for a few days and go have a few days of adventure. It's no worse than pretending to be a pirate on haloween. Harmless good fun. It's another thing to do it for years and make a life of it.

I get the elegy for the sons of the south (a version of the south, to be more precise). I like the idea that there are still wild things in the world (and Campo is wild). I understand being wistful.

February 9, 2015 at 1:43PM

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Daniel Thoen
ne'er-do-well
345