by Stuart Ross
HE: Good eventide, Pausanias!
SHE: Stop calling me that. So we can go if you really want to. What time does it start?
HE: Yes! We can be in Evanston just in time for the 7:15 showing.
SHE: (offering him a large book) Wouldn’t you rather read the second volume of this Verdi biography, instead of seeing this stupid movie?
SHE: So what is this movie about?
HE: It’s about the culture.
SHE: Whose culture?
HE: Our culture.
HE: I really think so. I’ve read so many amazing articles about it I’m telling you everyone I follow has said amazing things. In pyramid style, no less. Real journalism.
SHE: This is about you fitting in with your blog friends.
HE: There’s an element of that in it, yes.
SHE: (minimizing her windows) I have a feeling this is gonna be horrible.
HE: It might be.
SHE: Why do you need to keep up with all the latest trends?
HE: Because 90% of the people in the publishing industry are 26 years old. I have to try and understand.
SHE: Why do you need to understand?
HE: Because to understand is to be young.
SHE: Wouldn’t you rather write about Verdi?
HE: I know I’m not smart enough for Verdi. I might be smart enough for this.
HE: (driving over the speed limit) It’s gonna be sold out, I know it.
SHE: Yeah, right. Remember when you thought Scarface was gonna be sold out? There were six people there. Four of them were your cousins.
HE: This is different. This movie is a media event. The media will be there.
SHE: There is no media in Evanston.
HE: Alvy, why are you being so hostile?
SHE: Alright, alright, don’t say I never do anything for you.
HE: (sitting at a red light) Did you see the Lena Dunham tweet I sent you.
SHE: No. But I saw the Lena Denim Dress. You always send tweets to my maiden name address.
HE: Shit, yeah. I need to erase that address. Anyway, Lena loved it. She thought it was a work of art.
SHE: Why would she like it? How can you like Saul Bellow and Spring Breakers?
HE: It’s not a question of like, babe. That’s so middle-class.
SHE: We are middle-class.
HE: Only economically. It’s not a question of liking or not liking, it’s a question of acceptance. It’s like yoga. Spring Breakers is the cultural body reaching the fullest expression of its pose. And you know, I’m just projecting. I’ve read enough articles this season to go into this with a limber mind. But I must tell you it might come off to the conservative mind… and I’m not saying you’re conservative, babe… as a vehicle to validate sex with minors.
SHE: (pointing to the light, which is now green) Why don’t you operate this vehicle?
SHE: (in the movie theater lobby, sidestepping the escalators and looking headlong up the two flights of red-carpeted stairs) Race?
HE: (already running) Go!
HE: We’re early.
SHE: (looking around the theater) Everyone here is 19 and Asian. Aren’t all of your blog friends 39 and white?
HE: I read a fascinating piece on the décolletage of this movie, comparing the girls we’re about to see to the girls in Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907). Also, Matisse. Very erotic, very sensual. It got me thinking I wish I were that sensual. I submit there’s still too much morality in the Avignon women. There’s something at stake there, erotic exchange. American college students aren’t people at all. The Spring Breakers girls, therefore, are more dots than human. They’re Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie-Woogie (1943) as women. They’re atomized bands of stuttering chromatic pulses, interrupted by the light gray of James Franco’s teeth. These are 8-bit bitches. They are blowing into our cartridges. In a fever dream last night I saw their disembodied heads on Broadway Boogie-Woogie. The four headless horseman of the apocalypse.
SHE: You had a dream about 12-year-old girls in bikinis.
HE: Yes, but only as Pantones. Their bathing suit colors changed to Boogie-Woogie colors. So Faith was wearing 7599C, Candy was wearing 7455C, Brit, transplendent in yellow, was at 604C, and Cotty (he begins to sweat) assuming Franco is a stand-in for the director’s unerring masculinity… both Franco and Cotty would share a gray… so Cotty was in cool gray 1C. Then out of nowhere, in my feverous dream, appeared Cranach the Elder. Cranach the Elder understood Spring Breakers. His ill-matched couples. Old men and young girls. Very popular in his day. In our day. Extremes of old and young. Like today.
SHE: Will you get me a soda?
HE: EL-P the Rapper understood it: Picture a virus of frat-o-matic with sponsors. Such a virus would be Spring Breakers. William Carlos Williams understood it, and I’m paraphrasing: the best way to explore the stupidity of American culture is through its stupidest women. I mean, come on. It’s all there in the charticles of long ago.
SHE: Do I want popcorn? Or maybe we shouldn’t.
HE: I’ll get you anything you want.
SHE: I can’t decide. But I know I want soda. Top off the diet with some real.
SHE: (squirming) What pot did we smoke?
HE: (handing her a fountain soda) Yeah, right? I can’t tell anymore. I keep mixing up the containers and then I can’t remember which one is which. I wanted it to be Peter’s, that was my intention.
SHE: I think it’s David’s. I don’t like this stuff. I’m bugging out.
HE: (sings “Buggin’ out”)
SHE: Not helping.
SHE: (pointing to the end of a preview) Where’s the media, huh. Huh? This theater is empty. The only media here is in our muted phones.
HE: They’re notorious late to events, the media. You know that. They’re filing last minute copy. They have multiple deadlines, I mean, you know how high their stakes are.
SHE: What were these previews? We’re too old for this movie.
HE: That might be true. Look, when Kids came out I was a kid doing the same things the kids in Kids were doing. The realism was uncanny. The reliability hypnotic. I have to believe Spring Breakers is the same for a certain generation of young Americans.
SHE: You harmed virgins and were mean to Korean grocers as a kid?
HE: It’s art. It’s FICTION! Maybe this film is the counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike for the, or a, new generation of Americans.
SHE: Shut the fuck up.
HE: (eight minutes later, catching up to her in the lobby) Look it’s fine, I wanted to walk out too. I promise. I was expecting better, or at least some, cinematography?
SHE: It’s kiddie porn. This is a way for people to think kiddie porn is OK.
HE: That’s what I was saying! It’s kiddie porn, but for the left. I totally agree with you. I’ve read several articles on this. Sometimes the audience walks out. We are that audience. At least we’re an audience.
SHE: (walking ahead) I’m glad I’ll always be able to say I didn’t see this movie.
HE: (catching up to her) I guess I just got duped, maybe, I got fooled. What you read is not the same as what you see.
SHE (pointing to Spring Breakers poster) Look at it. You didn’t misunderstand. You knew exactly what we were doing.
SHE: Am I hungry or nauseous?
HE: We didn’t have time to get popcorn.
SHE: I wanna hear Irish music. I need merry Gallic singing to wash this away.
HE: I was thinking the same thing. Or we could go home and watch my Betamax bootleg of Ken Park?
SHE: I’ll race you down the steps.
HE: (assuming a runner’s crouch) Ready, set.
SHE: (already running) Go!