Things We’ve Learned About Harmony Korine and Skateboarding

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Following yesterday’s awesome New York Times ‘Then and Now’ article on Kids (marking the film's 20th anniversary) – in which we learned that the swimming pool scene was also where Martin Scorsese shot Raging Bull – VICE’s Patrick O’Dell caught up with writer Harmony Korine for a chat about skateboarding in the early 90s (via PURPLE. FR).

Again, we learned a hell of a lot. Here are five little tidbits that you might not know about Harmony Korine and skateboarding.

Skater Fred Reeves is one of Korine’s all time favourite skaters
Although when he was growing up in Nashville, Bill Danforth was the first pro skater he ever saw, it was Fred Reeves whom Harmony really respected as a skater. “He’s as close to Gonz as the south has ever produced … He was mythic, he had the sickest tricks and style, and it predated a lot.”

Korine used to live on rooftops during his time skating San Francisco’s Embarcadero (EMB) in the early 90s
“I remember when I was 15 or 16 taking a Greyhound to Las Vegas meeting this skater Larry Jones, he used to ride for G&S, and the going to Embarcadero and living on rooftops, and meeting skate kids, and being like ‘I forgot to call my parents for the summer.’ It was like a different time, you know?”

Korine got flow from Alien Workshop – and then he quit skating
“When I was a senior in high school I quit skateboarding. I was getting flow from G&S and even Alien Workshop and I just remember getting stuff and thinking ‘I’m not gonna skate anymore, I’m gonna try and make movies.’ I felt like I could never be that good, so I said f*ck it!”

Alien Workshop’s Memory Screen was a huge influence on his movies
Korine based Gummo in Xenia as a reference to the Alien Workshop PO Box in Memory Screen. But its influence didn’t stop there. “I wrote Kids when I was 19, I made Gummo when I was maybe 22. So I was just out of high school a couple years and [Memory Screen] was my favorite … [It] was such a big deal for me. The weirdness of it was so close to how I grew up. The use of the footage, the music, the repetition, the degraded imagery, the kind of violence of it, the middle America sadness.”

Korine wants to see an Epicly Later’d episode on Steven Cales
Steven Cales came up skating the east coast with Gino Iannucci, Keenan Milton, and Keith Hufnagel. Although he skated for Menace and others, he never had a proper video part because he was sent to prison. Why? Because, in his own words, he partied too much. (There’s a great interview with him here.)

The interview has loads more illuminating sentences from Korine on skateboarding (including how Trash Humpers was influenced by skatable locations). Have a read!

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