The hardest working assclown in showbiz, rapper Riff Raff, appears on today's episode of the soap opera One Life to Live (now brought to you by Hulu) as a “art dealer, multimillionaire” named Jamie Franko. It is a predictably unsubtle jab at James Franco, whose Spring Breakers character Alien was clearly inspired by Riff Raff. As detailed in Amos Barshad's excellent Grantland piece "The Curious Case of Riff Raff vs. Spring Breakers," director Harmony Korine initially invited Riff Raff to appear in the film, but that eventually changed. Franco gave more credit to Florida rapper Dangeruss as "a main source of inspiration" for the role in an essay he wrote for MTV. Dangeruss does appear in the film.
One night last week, Houston rapper/viral phenomenon Riff Raff was sitting in my living room in Brooklyn, eating a bag of Wise BBQ potato chips. The day before, he'd flown to Daytona Beach, Fla., to shoot a music video with 19-year-old viral rap ingénue Kitty Pryde, and now he was in New York to do photo shoots and interviews for two major rap magazines. He was scheduled to play The Bamboozle festival in New Jersey the following day. He sat on the couch next to the two attractive women that he'd brought with him—"my girl and her friend," he explained—and while his girl's friend rolled a small joint, Riff Raff and I played NBA Street Vol. 2 on my PlayStation 2.
Michael Stipe turns 50 today. Actress Julia Ormond is turning 45. Comedian/satirist Andy Borowitz is 52. Director Harmony Korine (Kids, Gummo) turns 37. Presidential historian and author Doris Kearns Goodwin is turning 67. Comic actor Dave Foley (NewsRadio) is turning 47. And retired football coach Don Shula is 80 today.
It was a rough spring at the movies for compulsive watch-checkers like us, but we took consolation in knowing that a honest-to-God hero would be arriving come early May. What? No, not that wuss Iron Man, but rather Harmony Korine, whose new Mister Lonely marks the filmmaker's first writing-directing effort in nearly 10 years. And what a decade: Adrift in Paris, anchored in Nashville, survivor of two house fires, briefly reteaming with his Kids director Larry Clark on the teenagers-fucking milestone Ken Park, and ultimately conjuring Mister Lonely from a vision of nuns plunging from airplanes and the garish subculture of celebrity impersonators.
As we expect for most of the series throughout May, this week's edition of Defamer Attractions comes down to about five words: Iron Man, and everything else. Nevertheless, join our weekly survey of new releases for a guess at just how soundly the superhero will beat the competition down, as well as a look at the dog that never stood a chance, our favorite (OK, the only) Harmony Korine film of the last decade, and a run through the week's must-think-about-seeing DVD releases. As always, our opinions are our own, but they're also right. Blockbuster season makes it easy!