What kind of movie premieres in a strip club? Harmony Korine's 'Aggro Dr1ft'

Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

"It was different," Asia said with a quizzical smile.

Folding chairs that had been set up around the room were hurriedly cleared away by staff. Soon the film's composer, the DJ and producer known as AraabMuzik, began a set, keeping the woozy, disorienting vibes of the movie going. The audience crowded around the musician's setup just in front of the stage, as people alternately took pictures and danced.

Korine, wearing a fluorescent mask that covered most of his head and face, made his way through the room. As people stopped him to talk or take pictures, he was eventually swallowed up by the crowd.

Once AraabMuzik's set was finished, Korine came out for his own DJ set, his face covering now augmented with one of the horned 3D-printed masks that he has frequently worn while promoting "Aggro Dr1ft." He was flanked by a number of EDGLRD compatriots, who were also wearing 3D-printed masks. Three women had ghostly makeup and blood-stained nightgowns, like the girl from "The Ring" gone to a rave. There were also men in distorted Halloween masks and ball caps brandishing colorful toy guns.

Korine would sometimes pop onto the stage to dance along and exhort the crowd, acting as his own hype man. The music's mix of reggaeton-influenced beats, thrash guitars, hyperpop and favela funk created a chaotic soundtrack as the dancing crowd seemed to be having a great time. As the evening wore on and the attendees began to thin, those who stayed got wilder and wilder, reaching a fever pitch for a version of Rammstein's 1997 song "Du Hast."


"We're too precious about the way that we talk about how movies get out in the world," said Kohn. "You don't see this in the fine art world, you don't see it in the fashion world, you don't see it in the skateboard community — all the different industries that we're playing in. I think there's a lot more understanding that experimentation is key to what you do. We need more of that thinking for what this art form is."

At one point a pair of women in tight black dresses were onstage dancing against a speaker. Judging from their confident moves, they seemed to belong there. At the back of the crowd, a member of the EDGLRD event team looked over at a Crazy Girls staffer and asked, "Are those your girls?" After assessing their grinding bodies for a moment, the employee replied, "No." They then headed off to the side of the stage to have security get the women down.

Yet not long after, both dancers were up onstage again, where they stayed and became just another unexpected part of the party.

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