Credit: New Line Cinema
by Fred Barrett Featured Film Kicking the Canon Kicking the Canon

Gummo — Harmony Korine

January 6, 2023

Writing for the New York Times in 1997, film critic Janet Maslin called Harmony Korine’s directorial debutGummo the “worst film of the year” — no small claim for a year that saw some stiff competition from the likes of Jack Frost, Beverly Hills Ninja, and Jungle 2 JungleThe reaction is perhaps unsurprising since, right off the bat, Korine puts his most provocative foot forward by interrupting the grainy home videos and eerie voiceover of the opening credits with a teenager drowning a cat in a water-filled barrel. It’s a jarring, but fitting, introduction to the squalid experimentalism through which the fresh-faced writer-director portrayed the town of Xenia, Ohio, a white trash stronghold recently ravaged by a tornado.

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Published as part of InRO Weekly — Volume 1, Issue 1.