• Follow us


SXSW 2019: ‘The Beach Bum’ and Harmony Korine’s Anarchy in the USA

Maybe you remember what happened to Matthew McConaughey back in 1999. The actor had graduated to Hollywood A-list status by this point; he’d also developed a deserved reputation for enjoying a good time off the set. So the cops get a call from his neighbors, complaining about a loud ruckus-in-progress happening at our man’s home. Long story short, the authorities arrive to find the movie star possibly under the influence of a substance or three, extremely naked and enthusiastically playing the bongos. It’s become a key part of his legacy, the Rosetta stone(r) of McConaugh-lore that’s contributed to the “Awright x 3” guy we know and love. Better yet, flashes of that au naturel hedonistic hippie/walking Zen koan persona began showing up in some of his McConaughnaissance performances — a glint in the eye here, an oft-kilter line reading there, the occasional chest-beating mantra. You started to look forward to catching those offbeat, the-wild-man-cometh notes embedded in the melodies.

Now, what if we told you that you could see a whole movie of that? Not a muted bongo beat popping up in the background every so often, but a virtual orchestra of completely unhinged, dick-out, Willie Bobo-level solos? Welcome to The Beach Bum.

A collaboration between McConaughey and filmmaker/former enfant terrible Harmony Korine, this portrait of a dissolute poet pissin’ away the days in Margaritaville and Miami is a match made in heaven, if by “heaven” you mean the sleazier, gaudier corners of the Sunshine State. Both artists individually understand the power of tapping into the unfiltered id; the idea of pairing them together, then giving them a neon-pink playground, a book of matches and a lot of flammable Bacardi 151, makes you picture a certain type of gonzoness in motion. And somehow, The Beach Bum is even nuttier, less logical, more visually beautiful and down-in-the-gutter uglier than the film you just imagined from that description. At one point, a servant walks into gauche mansion with a PBR can placed delicately on a gleaming silver platter. That’s the movie’s entire vulgarity-chic mojo summed up in one shot. Jeff Koons should be gnashing his teeth in envy.

Related SXSW 2019: Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Is Terrifying Smells Like Teen Spirit: ‘Dazed and Confused’ at 25

At the center of it all is a man of letters named Moondog. Once upon a time, he was a minor literary sensation, and his books of poetry, blessed with titles like Key Zest, made him the toast of the Conch Republic. Now, he’s mostly devoted his life to dousing his muse in cold beer and/or hotboxing her, depending on which way the wind blows at any given moment. Eventually, Moondog is summoned back to Miami by his extremely rich wife Minnie (Isla Fisher, up for anything); their daughter is getting married and maybe Dad could get his drunk ass back home? In between getting shitfaced and fucking random barflies in beachside burger stands, he makes it back in time to give the bride away. Then tragedy strikes. And unless Moondog finally publishes his permanently procrastinated new collection of verse, all of that wealth he’s been living off is gone.

That’s the “plot.” The Beach Bum is not about plot. It’s about having the good taste to live like trash, or maybe the bad taste to live really well and NGAF. (“The best thing about being rich,” one character says, “is that you can be horrible to people and they have to take it.” This should be the tagline for every single program on Fox News.) It’s about giving McConaughey the space to really cut loose, and we do mean loose — the actor is constantly engaging in some sort of funky, rubber-limbed dancing, or faux-drunkenly breezing through his scenes, or passed out ‘n’ drooling. It’s a 360-degrree, totally committed take on living on the periphery of madness while ordering more Mojitos. You can practically smell his character wafting from the screen.

It’s about pairing him with side players that are on their own fucked-up wavelength: Jonah Hill doing a Foghorn Leghorn-style Southern accent and flirting with drag queens; Martin Lawrence (!) as a dolphin-loving tour guide; Zac Efron as a rehab-facility resident who apparently took tonsorial-design tips from MC Esher; Jimmy Buffett as Jimmy Buffett; Snoop Dogg as a character who deserves to have his own buddy comedy with McConaughey. It’s about staging a yacht-rock apocalypse. And it’s about setting up a situation, turning on the camera and seeing what happens. Just keep filmin’.

Mostly, though, The Beach Bum seems to be about reacting to a moment of national/social/spiritual crisis by treating hedonism as a holy sacrament. It’s a spiritual sequel to Spring Breakers in its own warped way, although both films are clearly movies of their particular moment. Korine’s 2012 masterpiece was announcement that the revolution was arriving, and it would be clad in balaclavas and bikinis; Bum suggests that we’re more than a bit fucked right now and that you may as well protest by having a good time. “Fun is the gun,” Moondog says, and Korine wants to match the spirit of American malaise with his own brand of anarchy in the USA. If anyone is going to be making the great ripping-bong-hits-while-Rome-burns movie, it will be him. “I wanted to make something with a certain kind of laughter, instead of being heavy,” he said in the pre-screening intro. He’s given us an epic of ridiculousness that channels those guffaws all the way to another Happy Hour and then the graveyard. It exits with fireworks, a Viking’s funeral and a glorious “fuck you” to the ethos that currently governs the ruling class. It’s the only way the movie could end.

In This Article: direct, Harmony Korine, Matthew McConaughey, Snoop Dogg, SXSW, SXSW2019

Want more Rolling Stone? Sign up for our newsletter.

Read More

Leave A Comment

More News

Rolling Stone Latest Movies

SXSW 2019: Lil Peep, Johnny Cash and The 2019-03-15 17:39:21From a look at an obsessive Led Zeppelin superfan to portraits of the late SoundCloud rapper, a New Zealand cult musician and the world's most famous

James Gunn Back as ‘Guardians of the Galaxy, 2019-03-15 14:45:47Director reinstated nearly nine months after firing for offensive tweets

‘Say Anything’ Cast to Reunite for 30th Anniversary 2019-03-15 12:44:55Premieres of Trey Anastasio doc, Danny Boyle's Beatles-inspired film 'Yesterday' added to lineup

‘Yardie’ Review: Cult Novel Gets Soft-Boiled Pulp-Fiction Treatment 2019-03-14 15:08:36Idris Elba's directorial debut adapts a hit crime novel about Jamaican gangsters in London — and fires a lot of blanks

Captain Marvel Joins Fight Against Thanos in New 2019-03-14 09:06:10'Infinity War' sequel set to open April 26th

Watch Elle Fanning’s Full Performance of Robyn’s ‘Dancing 2019-03-13 16:48:00Actress will also perform songs by Ellie Goulding, Tegan and Sara, Annie Lennox in new film

‘The Mustang’ Review: A Man, A Horse and 2019-03-13 11:52:14Filmmaker Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre's story of a troubled convict bonding with a wild mustang is a striking debut — and a tender exploration o

‘The Hummingbird Project’: A Very Strange Financial Thriller 2019-03-12 17:55:13Starring Jesse Eisenberg and Alexander Skarsgard, Kim Nguyen's filmis so peculiar you'll think it's based on a true story — but it's not

Watch Will Smith’s Genie Belt ‘Friend Like Me’ 2019-03-12 11:40:31Latest clip teases Guy Ritchie's take on classic scenes, songs from animated original

‘The Highwaymen’ Review: Bonnie and Clyde Who? Meet 2019-03-12 11:30:35Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson are the lawmen who took down the gangster couple in this conservative corrective to the pop-crime myth

Watch Olivia Wilde Spin Classic Last-Day-of-School Tropes in 2019-03-11 10:23:22Actress' upcoming directorial debut hits theaters this May

See Brittany Howard Explain D.C. Power Struggles in 2019-03-11 09:14:46Director Adam McKay said he spent four or five months trying to get it right but ultimately had to cut it


BILLIONS: Season 4, Episode 2: Arousal Template TV 2019-03-19 12:00:19  Billions Arousal Template Trailer and Plot Synopsis Showtime‘s Billions: Season 4, Episode 2: Arousal Template TV show trailer and its of

BLACK SUMMER (2019) TV Show Trailer: Jamie King 2019-03-19 11:00:17  Black Summer Trailer Netflix‘s Black Summer (2019) TV show trailer stars Jamie King, Sal Velez Jr., Aidan Fink, Kash Hill, and Michael Au

CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA: Season 2 TV Show 2019-03-19 10:00:33  Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Season 2 Trailer 2 The second TV show trailer for Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Season 2 has been released by

THE ENEMY WITHIN: Season 1, Episode 5: Havana 2019-03-19 09:00:33  The Enemy Within Havana Trailer & Havana Plot Synopsis NBC‘s The Enemy Within: Season 1, Episode 5: Havana TV show trailer and the of

ARROW: Season 7, Episode 17: Inheritance TV Show 2019-03-19 08:00:33  Arrow Inheritance Trailer and Plot Synopsis The CW‘s Arrow: Season 7, Episode 17: Inheritance TV show trailer and the official plot synop

THE WALKING DEAD: Season 9, Episode 15: The 2019-03-18 21:48:33  The Walking Dead The Calm Before Trailer AMC‘s The Walking Dead: Season 9: Episode 15: The Calm Before TV show trailer have been released

Box Office: March 15-17, 2019: CAPTAIN MARVEL, WONDER 2019-03-18 20:48:04  Box Office March 15-17, 2019 Captain Marvel was Number One at the box office over the weekend for the second week in a row with $67.8 Million f

AMERICAN GODS: Season 2, Episode 3: Muninn TV 2019-03-18 15:07:34  American Gods Muninn Trailer Starz‘s American Gods: Season 2, Episode 3: Muninn TV show trailer has been released and stars Ricky Whittle

TV Review: BILLIONS: Season 4, Episode 1: Chucky 2019-03-18 07:11:02  Billions Chucky Rhoades’s Greatest Game Review Showtime‘s Billions: Season 4, Episode 1: Chucky Rhoades’s Greatest Game is th

GAME OF THRONES: Season 8, Episodes 1-6 Runtimes 2019-03-17 14:51:28  Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode Runtimes and Air Dates HBO has released the official runtimes and air dates for all six episodes of Season 8

Film Casting: POSTCARD KILLINGS; BLONDE; James Gunn rehired 2019-03-16 07:17:20  The Postcards Killings, Blonde, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and more Film Casting News The Postcards Killings, Blonde, Guardians of the Gal

FilmBookCast Ep. 100 – CAPTAIN MARVEL (2019) 2019-03-16 00:27:46  FilmBookCast Ep. 100 FilmBookCast is an entertainment industry news podcast about the latest movie and television show news.During each ep

NYT > Movies

A Third ‘Bill & Ted’ Movie Is Totally New! 2019-03-20 12:35:58“Bill & Ted Face the Music,” starring Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter as middle-aged versions of the excellent duo, is planned for summer

This Is Lupita Nyong’o. Hollywood, Please Keep Up. New! 2019-03-20 04:00:05The Kenyan-Mexican star of “Us” and “Black Panther,” who seems to excel at everything — even rap — is an exception

Disney Moves From Behemoth to Colossus With Closing New! 2019-03-20 00:02:05The $71.3 billion acquisition of most of Rupert Murdoch’s entertainment empire is officially done. The ripple effects may not become clear for y

Richard Erdman, 93, Character Actor Known to Generations, 2019-03-19 14:38:02From “Stalag 17” to “Community,” Mr. Erdman showed up for more than 70 years in roles that were usually small but often memora

Critic’s Pick: ‘Buddy’ Review: Who’s a Good Pup? 2019-03-19 12:27:57The director Heddy Honigmann uses her documentary skills — and her humanity — to illuminate the relationships between service animals and

Have ‘Flute,’ Will Travel: Mostly Mozart Announces Its 2019-03-19 12:00:04The festival will feature a globally popular production of “The Magic Flute,” a new Mark Morris dance and a musical adaptation of a Langst

Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese to Reunite 2019-03-19 11:49:53The actor and director will be in conversation ahead of their next crime drama, “The Irishman.” Also on the Tribeca Talks slate are Jennif

Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes: What to Read, Watch 2019-03-18 17:33:22Alex Gibney’s new HBO documentary “The Inventor” is only the latest retelling of the Silicon Valley fraud that captivated the public

‘Captain Marvel’ Climbs the List of Superhero Hits 2019-03-18 10:23:03It sold an estimated $69.3 million in domestic tickets this weekend and is already the 13th-best-selling film in the 21-movie Marvel Cinematic Univers

Anatomy of a Scene: Watch: Ben Affleck Pays 2019-03-17 16:14:56The director J.C. Chandor narrates a sequence from his feature.

When Extremes Attract: Dance and Horror’s New Pas 2019-03-17 11:40:20Gaspar Noé’s “Climax” is the latest movie to push the ecstatic, frightening qualities of dance into horror. A body holds plen

The Week in Arts: Idris Elba, Taking on 2019-03-16 02:00:08Elba drives up with both a film and a Netflix series that revisit his other life, that of a D.J.

L.A. Times - Movie News

More households subscribe to streaming than traditional TV, 2019-03-19 00:00:00For the first time, a higher percentage of households in the U.S. subscribe to a digital streaming service than to traditional pay television, accordi

Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt star in poster 2019-03-18 14:40:00Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio. In costume. Leaning. Staring. Thinking. That could be enough to get moviegoers to see the latest Quentin Tarantino fi

‘Rocketeer’ scribe Danny Bilson to lead USC Games 2019-03-18 09:00:00As someone who has spent the bulk of his career moving between the worlds of cinema and interactive entertainment and who is perhaps best known as a s

‘Ash Is Purest White’ director Jia Zhangke on 2019-03-18 06:35:00“Ash Is Purest White” director Jia Zhangke had an art career ahead of him until a film changed his life. “In 1991, I was 21, studyin

'Black Panther' and 'Captain Marvel' are paving the 2019-03-18 06:00:00Higher, further, faster … and, finally, more diverse? Twenty-one films into its juggernaut franchise, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige says, the

Dick Dale, pioneer of the surf guitar, dies 2019-03-17 22:15:00Nearly 60 years ago, surfers flocked to the waves along Newport Beach to try mastering the new craze. When the sun set, they needed someplace to dance

New video: ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ sets the 2019-03-17 18:55:00New on Blu-ray “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (Sony DVD, $30.99; Blu-ray, $38.99; 4K, $45.99; also available on VOD) One of the most

Box office: ‘Captain Marvel’ second weekend bigger than 2019-03-17 12:35:00Despite four new wide releases this weekend, Disney's "Captain Marvel" maintained the top spot at the box office for the second weekend in a row. T

Indie Focus: Spirits renewed in ‘The Mustang’ 2019-03-17 10:00:00Hello! I’m Mark Olsen. Welcome to another edition of your regular field guide to a world of Only Good Movies. It was a busy week at the South by

A bestselling book, hit podcast and now a 2019-03-16 08:00:00Even before John Carreyrou was done writing “Bad Blood,” he knew there were others clamoring to take a bite of the Theranos apple. In 2015

Chris Morris on his newest film ‘The Day 2019-03-16 07:00:00British comedian and filmmaker Chris Morris has made a career of combining scathing comedy with news-worthy topicality. His 2010 film, the dark satire

Review: Sci-fi thriller ‘Captive State’ more dense than 2019-03-15 14:10:00In “Captive State” aliens have taken over the world (as they will), but it’s the viewers stuck watching this messy, lugubrious sci-f

Cinema Blend News

Oscar Isaac Has A Great Response To Those New! 2019-03-20 14:14:07Poe has spoken.

Emilia Clarke Admits She Regrets 'Stupid Action Movies' New! 2019-03-20 14:00:43The Game of Thrones actress hasn't had the best of luck with big blockbusters.

Details About John Wick 3's Villain Have Been New! 2019-03-20 13:12:06John Wick will have his hands full, even more than usual, when he faces off with the entire world of assassins, including one particularly dangerous v

Deadpool Is Already Featured On Disney’s Website New! 2019-03-20 13:05:04It's only the first day and Deadpool is already making himself at home.

Zachary Levi Says You Don’t Need To Hate New! 2019-03-20 12:15:19They're not mutually exclusive.

Armie Hammer Reveals His Most Exhausting Moment Of New! 2019-03-20 12:05:23The filming of Hotel Mumbai was always exhausting, but for Armie Hammer in particular, there was a stretch of days that were the most painful of them

Ryan Reynolds And Deadpool Celebrated The Fox/Disney Merger New! 2019-03-20 12:01:04The entertainment industry has changed forever, but at least one Marvel hero is ready for the new adventure.

James McAvoy Would Play The Riddler For DC New! 2019-03-20 11:06:00When asked who he might like to play on the DC side of things, he recently revealed he was interesting in Batman's Edward Nygma aka The Riddler.

Detective Pikachu Is Poised To Make A Ton New! 2019-03-20 11:00:37Pokemon are about to make their presence felt at the box office.

J.K. Rowling Always Knew Nagini Used To Be New! 2019-03-20 10:10:16The information was always there.

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Trailer Is New! 2019-03-20 09:16:46It's finally here.

10 Great Movies Coming To Netflix In April 2019-03-19 23:37:09Out of all of April's incoming Netflix titles, these are the ones we're looking forward to the most.


New A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Photo New! 2019-03-20 14:07:45The photo was released in honor of Fred Rogers' birthday today The post New A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Photo Released appeared first on Com

Find Out Why We Are Our Own Worst New! 2019-03-20 14:04:31The film premieres this Friday The post Find Out Why We Are Our Own Worst Enemy in New Us Featurette appeared first on ComingSoon.net.

International Trailer for Octavia Spencer’s Horror-Thriller Ma Released New! 2019-03-20 14:01:47The film will debut on May 31 The post International Trailer for Octavia Spencer’s Horror-Thriller Ma Released appeared first on ComingSoon.net.

MoviePass Unveils Another New Subscription Plan New! 2019-03-20 13:48:00MoviePass unveils another new subscription plan The powers that be at MoviePass have unveiled yet another subscription plan to draw […] The pos

Before You See Us: What Was Hands Across New! 2019-03-20 13:45:35A NON-SPOILER assist for a major real-life event that informs Jordan Peele's new film! The post Before You See Us: What Was Hands Across America? (Ga

Keanu Reeves and Alex Winters Announce Bill & New! 2019-03-20 13:10:05Production is set to begin on the film this summer! The post Keanu Reeves and Alex Winters Announce Bill & Ted 3 for August 2020 appeared first on

Dr. Sivana Wants Shazam’s Powers in New Clip  New! 2019-03-20 13:02:20The film will hit theaters on April 5 The post Dr. Sivana Wants Shazam’s Powers in New Clip  appeared first on ComingSoon.net.

Netflix Orders The Queen’s Gambit Limited Series from New! 2019-03-20 12:52:39Anya Taylor-Joy will star as an aspiring chess champion The post Netflix Orders The Queen’s Gambit Limited Series from Scott Frank appeared firs

Lizzy Caplan to Star as Misery’s Annie Wilkes New! 2019-03-20 12:48:47Oscar winner Tim Robbins has also joined the anthology series The post Lizzy Caplan to Star as Misery’s Annie Wilkes in Castle Rock Season 2 app

After Disney Acquisition of Fox, James McAvoy Is New! 2019-03-20 12:29:36McAvoy has his sights set on notable Batman villain The Riddler. The post After Disney Acquisition of Fox, James McAvoy Is Up For The Jump To DC appea

James Cameron Produced Terminator 6 Gets Official Title New! 2019-03-20 12:25:28Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger return The post James Cameron Produced Terminator 6 Gets Official Title appeared first on ComingSoon.net.

Hamilton Star Leslie Odom Jr. Joins The Many New! 2019-03-20 12:23:41The Sopranos prequel film will arrive on September 25, 2020 The post Hamilton Star Leslie Odom Jr. Joins The Many Saints of Newark appeared first on C

Movie News

Detective Pikachu Used Danny DeVito for Early Voice 2019-03-19 19:35:45Visual effects artist Greg Baxter reveals Danny DeVito was used in early Detective Pikachu tests before Ryan Reynolds was hired.

Game of Thrones Creators' Old Republic Star Wars 2019-03-19 19:07:11A new rumor suggests the next Star Wars trilogy will take place hundreds of years prior to the Skywalker saga.

Quentin Tarantino Will Return to Cannes with Once 2019-03-19 18:36:20Tarantino plans to premiere his latest epic Once Upon a Time in Hollywood at Cannes, where he launched Pulp Fiction.

John David Washington Takes the Lead in New 2019-03-19 18:17:45John David Washington will lead Christopher Nolan's mysterious new movie, which will be released next summer.

John Cena Introduces Original Bumblebee Opening in Exclusive 2019-03-19 18:05:28John Cena shows off the original opening to Bumblebee before it was changed for the theatrical release.

Black Adam Movie Will Happen Before Shazam Returns 2019-03-19 17:16:59Producer Peter Safran says The Rock's Black Adam movie will happen before the character squares off against Shazam in the DC universe.

50s Sci-Fi Classic Tarantula Comes to Blu-ray for 2019-03-19 15:47:36Shout! Factory is unleashing a fresh 2K scan of the 1950s sci-fi movie, Tarantula. The first time the classic has ever been available on blu-ray.

Saw 2 Director Wants a True Leprechaun Reboot 2019-03-19 15:44:15Director Darren Lynn Bousman wants to reboot the Leprechaun series yet again with original star Warwick Davis.

Rabid Remake Directors Want to Do Scanners & 2019-03-19 14:54:14Rabid remake directors Jen and Sylvia Soska also want to reboot David Cronenberg's Scanners and Dead Ringers.

Studio Ponoc's Modest Heroes Hits Blu-ray This June 2019-03-19 14:50:01Studio Ponoc's animated anthology Modest Heroes is coming home this summer from Shout! Factory.

Elm Street Remake Writer Confirms Freddy Was Innocent 2019-03-19 14:37:02Arrival screenwriter Eric Heisserer talks about his A Nightmare on Elm Street remake and confirms there was a version where Freddy Krueger remained in

Lucy in the Sky Trailer Takes Natalie Portman 2019-03-19 14:16:13Natalie Portman plays astronaut Lucy Cole in the first trailer for Lucy in the Sky from director Noah Hawley, also starring Jon Hamm.

Disclaimer and Notice:WorldProNews.com is not responsible of these news or any information published on this website.