Voted the best undistributed film of 2009 on indieWIRE’s year-end poll, Harmony Korine’s “Trash Humpers” has finally found a home, and a unique one at that. Record label Drag City has announced that they will handle U.S. distribution for the controversial film, which follows a small group of elderly, deformed sociopaths as they wander the back streets of Nashville, getting drunk, breaking televisions, and, yes, humping trash cans. Assembled with little narrative as if it were found footage, the film was shot without a script, and entirely on VHS.
“It’s not that different from booking a tour,” Drag City said in an announcement, “and there’s a lot less gear involved.”
“Trash Humpers” will open in New York at Cinema Village on May 7th and in Los Angeles at Nuart Theater on May 14th. Drag City’s website will track other openings around the U.S.
Drag City generally specializes in experimental indie rock acts. Among the bands that have released material on the label are Pavement, Royal Trux, Cynthia Dall, Faun Fables, Bill Callahan, Will Oldham, Weird War, Jim O’Rourke, Loose Fur and Joanna Newsom. They have actually been releasing DVDs for years, from “Complicated Drumming Technique,” an comic instructional DVD starring Fred Armisen as drum instructor Jens Hannemann, and “Silver Jew,” Michael Tully’s documentary about reclusive poet/musician David Berman and his band the Silver Jews. “Humpers” will be their first theatrical release.
“Maybe it’s not a movie,” Harmony Korine said of the film back at the New York Film Festival. “I’ll be the first to say it. Maybe it’s something else. I wanted to make something that’s more like an artifact. Something that was unearthed. Something that was found. And you can imagine it buried in a ditch somewhere, and you just happen upon this old VHS tape. So, once the characters worked themselves out and we figured out how we were going to do it techincally, it became a kind of journey. What you see very much resembles the way we did it.”
A one-minute clip from the film is available below: