Harmony Korine, renowned filmmaker of Spring Breakers (2012), is returning to the Venice Film Festival with his latest experimental project, AGGRO DR1FT. This 80-minute screen experience is a departure from traditional filmmaking, as Korine himself states that he doesn’t even consider it a movie. AGGRO DR1FT takes inspiration from the neon-bikini-and-guns aesthetic of Spring Breakers and transforms it into a visually stunning and pulsating video game-like experience by utilizing thermal lens technology. Set in the seedy world of Miami’s criminal underbelly, AGGRO DR1FT follows the story of a seasoned hitman, played by Spanish actor Jordi Mollà, as he pursues his next target. Superstar rapper Travis Scott also appears in a supporting role, adding to the twisted and hallucinatory atmosphere of the film. The film’s synth and beat-driven score was composed by DJ and producer AraabMuzik.
AGGRO DR1FT is the debut project of EDGLRD, a new company founded by Korine in Palm Beach, Florida. EDGLRD is a fusion of a design collective and a digital factory, bringing together video artists, animators, game and fashion designers, skateboarders, and various other creatives. The company aims to explore the convergence of immersive art forms and plans to launch its own direct-to-consumer digital platform to release its multi-form work. In addition to the film, Korine will also showcase a new series of paintings inspired by AGGRO DR1FT at Hauser & Wirth, a renowned art gallery in Los Angeles.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Korine revealed that AGGRO DR1FT was the result of his desire to create something that transcended traditional movies and entertainment. He wanted to develop a wholly immersive experience that blurred the boundaries between different art forms. Over the course of a year, Korine and his team experimented with various technologies such as gaming engines, thermal cameras, 3D cameras, and VFX to achieve their vision. The film was shot with thermal cameras and then layered with live-action, VFX, animation, and even AI, creating a multi-layered and visually stunning piece that resembles a video art installation.
AGGRO DR1FT embraces the experimental filmmaking tradition, delivering a visual style and storytelling approach that deviates from conventional films. Its narrative structure is fluid and influenced by gaming aesthetics, relying on vibe and atmosphere rather than a traditional linear plot. Korine, himself an avid gamer, drew inspiration from RPGs and first-person shooters, immersing himself in the world of video games and finding it more captivating than mainstream films.
The thermal camera used in AGGRO DR1FT provided a unique and beautiful look to the film. Capturing the heat and energy of the characters, it added a distinctive visual element that enhanced the overall experience. The film’s action sequences are reminiscent of a rave, with vibrant neon colors and a frenetic pace. The characters’ movements often mirror those of video game avatars, alternating between stilted and repetitive motions and more naturalistic actions. The dialogue also follows this pattern, with characters delivering lines that are sometimes filtered or drained of emotion, creating a stilted effect.
One of the most intriguing aspects of AGGRO DR1FT is its improvisational nature. Korine revealed that there was no written dialogue for the film, allowing him to freestyle the movie as it progressed. While he had a broad idea of the characters, locations, and storyline, everything else was created on the spot. This approach allowed for spontaneity and a sense of fluidity, further blurring the lines between reality and fiction.
The cast of AGGRO DR1FT adds to the anticipation surrounding the film. Jordi Mollà was chosen for the central assassin character due to his unique presence and ability to convey a sense of doubt and misery. Korine saw him as the embodiment of a broken yet exceptional individual in a world of violence. Travis Scott’s involvement in the project adds to the intrigue, as his presence brings a new dimension to the twisted and surreal atmosphere of the film.
AGGRO DR1FT promises to be a groundbreaking and immersive experience, pushing the boundaries of filmmaking and exploring the convergence of different art forms. Harmony Korine’s vision and dedication to experimentation have resulted in a visually stunning and unconventional film that challenges traditional storytelling conventions. As the world eagerly awaits its premiere at the Venice Film Festival, AGGRO DR1FT is set to redefine the cinematic experience and captivate audiences with its unique blend of visuals, music, and narrative.