Is Harmony Korine's New Ad Crazy Offensive, or Just Crazy?

Proenza Schouler spot has Native American theme

Some people are on the warpath about Harmony Korine's new branded short film "Snowballs," backing Native American-inspired fall clothing from fashion line Proenza Schouler. Adjectives used to describe the clip include "racist," "disturbing" and "bizarre." And that's just the first sentence of a write-up on In the film, two white-masked, war-bonneted, helium-voiced girls wander around the economically depressed Southwest singing lines like, "Oh man, we are trouble. We love trouble … We dance on raindrops. We are God's children." There are teepees, trailers and a potbellied guy whose fingertips burst into flames like candles. "It's my birthday," he explains. That's pretty much it. Personally, I don't think it's offensive, or even pretentious—or much of anything. It's just some crazy shit the director made because he could, a faux-Lynchian freak show lacking the creepy artistry and underlying menace of the master. "Snowballs" plays as phony as Korine's more overtly brand-boosting commercial for Indian conglomerate Mahindra, and it treads the same thematic ground as "Act ad Fool," his 2010 short for Proenza, but with less originality. It's almost a Korine self-parody, harnessing his trademark techniques with no function behind the form. Over on, Korine says "Snowballs" was inspired by a man he knew who "kept a gun in the freezer, and breathed through a machine at night," and whom he once saw "turn into a goat and run around the living room." Well, OK. That explains it.