harmony korine’s next film will explore a disturbing student-teacher relationship
The auteur has signed on to direct the adaptation of Tampa, which won’t be your typical schoolgirl-and-handsome-professor indie drama.
Harmony Korine has been feeling the effects of Mercury in retrograde this year. The filming of The Trap with Idris Elba and James Franco was pushed back due to an actor dispute, and he mentioned a script that's "a cross between a Cheech and Chong movie and that movie Scarecrow" which hasn't been developed further. But the arthouse director finally revealed a confirmed new project last night. Never one to shy away from controversy, Korine announced at the Miami Beach Cinematheque that he is currently working on an adaptation of young author Alissa Nutting's acclaimed 2013 novel Tampa, which is about a sexual student-teacher relationship. It's the story of a female 26-year-old teacher and her male eighth grade student, but what makes it particularly controversial is the main character's lack of shame and its near-pornographic style. The novel's official synopsis reads: "Tampa is a sexually explicit, virtuosically satirical, American Psycho-esque rendering of a monstrously misplaced but undeterrable desire."
Alissa Nutting is a proven master of dark humour. Her story The Brother and the Bird — which was published in a book of reimagined fairytales called My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me —is an even scarier adaptation of the already disturbing tale The Juniper Tree. Others have noted Nutting and Korine's shared sense of creative fearlessness. In a Slate round-up of top books of 2013, Tampa was described as a mix of "deadpan social satire, lurid true-crime storytelling, and out-and-out porn." Writer Dan Kois added, "Someone hire Harmony Korine to make the movie, ASAP."
Text Blair Cannon
Photography [The Q+A Issue, No. 324, Spring 2013]