Reaffirming his position as an influential young auteur, Harmony Korine(Gummo, screenwriter of Kids) speaks volumes about identity, love, and art in his latest film. What happens when Michael Jackson and Marilyn Monroe meet while performing in a nursing home in Paris? The answer, far from being the punch line one might expect, takes viewers on an imaginative ride through the dreamlike lives of a group of celebrity impersonators who strive to create their own special version of utopia in a magnificent mountain commune. Michael (delightfully played by Diego Luna), at the invitation of Marilyn(the always brilliant Samantha Morton), enters the commune after years of alienation and finds his true place in the world amidst a group of likeminded performers. But his position is subtly tested by Marilyn's marriage to Charlie Chaplin. As the impersonators come together to deal with their sick flock of sheep and to build a theater to showcase their talents, Korine merges in another evocative storyline: In the jungle somewhere else in the world, a group of nuns show their purity of heart and devotion to God by skydiving without parachutes. Werner Herzog makes a notable appearance as the priest who pilots their mission in the clouds. Marcel Zyskind's cinematography (on display in A Mighty Heart and The Road to Guantanamo) transports the film to an almost ethereal realm, capturing the incredible colors and depth in vignettes where historical figures from the Pope and Queen Elizabeth to Madonna and Sammy Davis Jr. act out the universal question, "Who am I?"
Harmony Korine (b. 1973) is a seminal figure of modern film, music, and art. Gummo, his 1997 directorial debut, took an uncompromising look at alienated youth in Middle America and Julien Donkey-Boy (1999) was hailed for its innovative take on the Dogma 95 manifesto. At 22, Korine gained notoriety as the screenwriter of Larry Clark's Kids. He has made documentaries (Above the Below), directed music videos, and written books (the novel A Crackup at the Race Riots and photo book Pass the Bitch Chicken). He has also been the focus of art exhibitions in Tokyo and Paris. He studied English at NYU for one semester before dropping out to pursue a career as a professional tap dancer.