Chat Transcript

Tom from Athens, Ohio: I read in your bio that you were raised in the carnival . What was your upbringing like? How has this influenced your writing and other work?

Harmony Korine: My upbringing was carnivalesque, and I canít really comment on how itís affected my work . I see it when I visit a carnival now; I see it in the goldfish bowl when people are throwing ping-pongs into them.

Samuel P. From Georgia: A CRACKUP AT THE RACE RIOTS, seems to do several different things at the same time on a page Ėfrom scenes to Q&As to quotes Ė and many pages seem to have individual titles. It is meant to be read from start to finish, or a page at the time, or jump in anywhere?

HK: I donít think itís really meant to be read. Itís more meant to be viewed , and itís meant to be skewed; and I would definitely say itís a novel Ė it does tell a story, itís a cohesive work. So I wouldnít advice anyone, but if someone asked me my opinion, I would say read it from the and in the order of the pages. I mean I cut up all my books and read them in a different order.

Souris from Santa Monica, CA: Harm, I know you just finished A CRACKUP AT THE RACE RIOTS, and Iíll be sure to buy it, but Iím more curious about your next screenplay. Have you started it yet? And whatís up with ĒKen ParkĒ? Peace out.

HK: Yeah. Iíve been away, kind of Ė Iíve been away in my cabin with no heat, and all I had was a stopwatch and my computer, so I think I just finished the new screenplayÖ or Iím getting close to it. Itís a lot like THE CATCHER IN THE RYE if it was more unleavened.

Sam from Oregon: Ehere did you get the title for the book? Was it ever on the list in your book of ĒTitles for Books I will writeĒ?

HK: No, I just kind of had this vision.. I was reading about Enoch Ė he lived til a ripe old age -- and I had this idea in a strange way it was sent by him or in the reading of Enoch. Thatís kind of where I got it, but it seemed pretty appparent Ė I couldnít name it anything elseÖ Enoch named it.

Leslie fomr Hanover: I get the sense from reading this that it is actuallyy full of snippets from a notebook or working journal. Did you write all of A CRACKUP AT THE RACE RIOTS with the idea that they would be part of one book? How did you begin writing it?

HK: It goes back to everything Ė it goes back to my films, it goes back to my banjo playing, itís like a unified Aesthetic. I got it from everywhere, and it wasnít necessarily taken from journals. Itís like the way I think about films or cinema: I donít really differntiate between any of the things I do, my writing or my movies, or my art or my banjo, or if I jump out of a window Ė itís all the same vision. And I think with the book itís more or less writing down either banter I heard or would make up or appropriate. A lot of the book isreversed in that way. A lot of it is taken from other writers that are given no citiaton, and a lot of the writing which is mine is given citation to others. And then I begin to forget or care.

Gregory C. From Chicago, IL: I hevnít seen ĒGummoĒ yet, but Kids was unlike any film iíve ever seen. What do you try to do in your films? What makes a good movie for you? What are your favorites?

HK: I canít really answer any of those, itís too private. I donít try to do anything.

Rio from St. Lauderdale, FL: In CRACKUP AT THE RACE RIOTS, some of the lines are drawn through with blackĒcensorĒ line. Are these actually censored, or is it a form of editing? Also why the black line instead of retyping the pages?

HK: I think a lot of it were thinks that I wasnít allowed to writeand instead of retyping itÖ The novel is a visual thing, too, so I did it because everytime I just thought that the black lines added up, and if you can look at the edges of letters that go above the lines and below the lines, then thatís reading between the lines. Thatís why I kept them.

Chris from California: Are we going to see scenes like the ones described in some of your movies? How similar was writing this to writing a screenplay?

HK: Yeah, it goes back to that other question. I donít know if youíll see the exact scenes, because these were written for the book. I donít differentiate between any of it.

Joe Brunetta from Santa Rosa, CA: ĒGummoĒ got terrible reviews from critics who said it is all exploatation and no point. Are you going to in to such criticism or make films that raise points and not just that are Ēa slice of messed up livesĒ?

HK: Yeah.

Melody from Galway, NY: Hey, Harmony Ė you didnít answer that other guyís question. Whatís up with ĒKen ParkĒ?

HK: Sorry, I was speaking so quickly that i forgot a whole question. ĒKen ParkĒ I wrote even before ĒKidsĒ was financed. It was the second script that I had written, and I was like 19 when I wrote it. I was very vulnerable at the time, I had no money, so I signeda really bad contract with two different people and each party would own 50 percent of the script, and I have no say-so over the scriptÖthe ownership isnít mine. But after those kind of things you just learn that you donít want to work with other people. No one should have any say-so over the script except for the author, at least regarding myself.

Jim from Boston, MA: Your film ĒKidsĒ was banned in several states across the country. What do you think about this kind of censorship?

HK: You know, I don't think about it much. I just think probably thatís the way things will always remain, and I just donít think about it. Your only duty is to do the work and put it out there, and I just try not to go on and not really think about it. Thatís if, in fact, youíre kind of indoctrinated.

GT from Binhamton, NY: I read that youíre self-educated. Does this mean you never attended a formal school? What was your education like, and what are the benefits of it?

HK: I donít really know what self-educated means; I was trying to figure īthat out myself. Iíve read books and I have done most things on my own. I canít really sayóI just follow what i feel, and I wasnít so interested in school, but at the same time I attended school. I was interested in what the teachers didnít say, and what the teachers were hiding under their skirts and pantaloons.

Jessica from Queens: Having had a taste of the publishing world, how would you compare it to the film industry? Iíd like your honest opinion, Harmony.

HK: My opinion is always honest, and I would definitely say that the publishing world, at least in my experiance, is like a sapling, whereas the film industry is like a grieving widower who rides his horse and can shoot a bullet through a deck of cards. Which is to say that most definitely I prefer the writing Ė the buisness part of it, at least. Cinema has the most potential as far as being the greatest artform. The novelhas been around for so long, itís already done everything it can do and then done it some more. But cinema is still in itís infancy, and thatís why people get upset at actually seeing things in films. I donít think anyone really cries out when theyíre reading. I donít even know if people read. I donít read contemporary fiction. I donít know why anyone else would.

La La from La La Land: Is A CRACKUP AT THE RACE RIOTS a singular event? Will you continue to do films, or do you see yourself also publishing future books? Have you experimented with other media as well, like the studio arts or music?

HK: Yeah, but I wouldnít call it experimenting. Iíve had art shows and music Ė I just do it because thatís the only thing I know and thatís what takes up my time. My house is covered with things and messy, and instead of just cleaning it, I go through it and play with what I find, and then that becomes the work, I guess. I never really think of it as a job. I started to think of it as a job, and felt like I was defeating myself, or defeating the purpose. I just donít like to think of it like that.But Iíll definetily continue to write and to make films and do everything as long as I can hold up under the physical pressure. Itís quite difficult.

Karin from Boulder: There seems to be a spiritual theme to your philosophy regarding work. Are you a spiritual person? Do you practice any sort of religion Ė Buddhism, maybe?

HK:Definitely not Buddhism. Iím aesthetically opposed. But as far as spirituality, thereís definitely a belief that comes more in the form of a girl who was a child when I saw her last, who doubtlessly used to watch me from a window or a door. And I probably just passed unaware. But I guess everything within her view belonged to me, too.

Penni from Petersboro: Who do you think are other young filmmakers to watch today?

HK: I havenít seen many interesting films lately. I like LŤos Carax Ė I donít think heís all that young, but heís made pretty interesting films in the past.