TIFF 2023: Harmony Korine’s Rorschach Test ‘AGGRO DR1FT’

Leave it to 50-year-old Harmony Korine to bring the most experimental and derided film to TIFF.

AGGRO DR1FT is unintelligible, irritating, deliberately one note and careless of the ways in which people watch movies. Yes, pushing the envelope is part of Korine’s modus operandi, that’s a given knowing his track record.

Nevertheless, we as the viewing audience deserve at least something in return. Many walk into the theatre with open minds and a degree of compassion, expecting a director to engage its audience in an entertaining or artistic way. However, in AGGRO DR1FT, he demands us to do every ounce of the lifting. Or should I say, squinting?

Melding thermal imaging with amateur acting from a video game, humans and landscapes are rendered in infrared dayglow like gasoline slicks atop an asphalt puddle.

Assassin Bo (Spanish actor Jordi Mollà) saunters through the Miami underworld, slaying and brooding his way to a final face-off, spewing aphorisms (“Dropping bodies, dropping souls”) sounding akin to some sort of Terrance Malick character on ketamine. Laughter, intentional or not, was a constant presence at the TIFF screening.

In the end, the best thing to be said regarding  AGGRO DR1FT is that it’s visually immersive, but not interactive in the slightest. It all looks crude and rudimentary, like the draft of a project that was conceived and processed from inside a high school media class.

Korine sent my mind scurrying while I watched his abstract, undisciplined aberration. I loathed it, that’s for certain. But I haven’t stopped thinking about it, either. Maybe that’s his secret to still getting films made.

Myles Herod

Myles Herod

Traveller, image maker, pop-culture seeker, storyteller, a guy you want around when things go south. Tastes range from Kubrick to Krautrock, Wu-Tang to Wiseau. Currently resides in Toronto, Canada.
Myles Herod
Myles Herod

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