Mister Korine

Advocate film critic Kyle Buchanan sits down with director Harmony Korine to discuss his new movie Mister Lonely about a Michael Jackson impersonator, dropping mushrooms, and why he loves Southern gays so much.

BY Kyle Buchanan

May 01 2008 12:00 AM ET

When Harmony
Korine wrote the screenplay for the 1995 drama Kids,
he was just a kid himself. Now 35, he’s
directed three films (including cult classics like
Gummo and Julien Donkey-Boy) and is
preparing to release his latest, Mister Lonely. The
story of a Michael Jackson impersonator (Diego Luna)
who is drawn to a ragtag group of celebrity wannabes
by a woman posing as Marilyn Monroe (Samantha Morton),
Mister Lonely debuted at last year’s Cannes
Film Festival and is being hailed as the eccentric
auteur’s most mainstream work yet.

Advocate: Harmony, I don't know if you’re aware of
this, but I think you have a big gay fan base.

Korine: Are you
serious? Really?

When I told people I’d be interviewing you, all
my gay friends just lit up.

Really? Shit,
that's exciting!

You've never noticed it before?

To be honest with
you, I live in a place where I wouldn't really know who
my fans are. I live in Nashville, so the people around me
don't really care so much, you know? But that's great
to know.

Maybe it's on account of Gummo? There's a lot of
homoeroticism in that film, including a long scene
where you drunkenly flirt with a dwarf. Did men
ever hit on you based on that scene?

It maybe used to
happen more when I first lived in New York. Now it
doesn't happen at all, since I'm married and I live in
Nashville. [Laughs] Although my favorite gay is the
Southern gay. There's just this Southern gay
subculture: acid-washed jeans, strip malls -- it's
kind of more dandyish. A lot of those guys would probably
be churchfolk had they not been gay, and a lot of them still
are churchfolk -- not to say that you can't be gay and
be churchfolk. They still have all those qualities of
a church person, but they like to get freaky as well.
[Laughs]

Tags: Film

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