Harmony Korine: Gaming Engines Are So Advanced That the Call of Duty Trailer ‘Looks Better Than Anything Spielberg’s Ever Done’

Harmony Korine has finally pulled back the curtain on Edglrd (pronounced “Edgelord”), his Florida-based creative collective and design studio that makes, among other things, films, video games and films that are playable as video games.

In a lengthy interview with GQ, the “Gummo” and “Spring Breakers” director showed off Edglrd’s animation, imaging and AI technology, which he used to create his newest movie, “Aggro Dr1ft,” starring Travis Scott and Jordi Mollà.

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In demonstrating a face-swapping AI technology, Korine told GQ, “This is the future of entertainment.” Then, he remarked that gaming engines have become so sophisticated “that it’s almost gone 360.”

“You could look at the Call of Duty trailer now, and it looks better than anything that Spielberg’s ever done,” Korine said.

Released as the first Edglrd project, “Aggro Dr1ft” has “the repetitive cadence of a video game cutscene, plenty of strippers and plenty of guns, and tells the story of ‘the world’s greatest assassin,'” per GQ.

Korine explained that Edglrd is in pursuit of a new kind of entertainment tailored to young people, who are often overstimulated and attention deficient. “It’s not even anyone just sitting down watching one thing,” Korine said. “There’s multiple things. You’re listening to music, you’re on TikTok, and you’re watching a film.”

He continued, “How do you take the whole idea of entertainment, of live-action gaming, and create something new? The obsession here is that there’s something else after where we’ve been — that one thing is dying, and something new is being born right now.”

When asked if he’d ever make a “real movie” again, Korine hinted, “It’s possible,” and named the “special case” filmmaker who might be able to pull him back into “traditional moviemaking.”

“Terrence Malick wrote a script that he wants me to direct,” Korine said. “It’s a really, really beautiful script. And that’s maybe one of the only things that I could imagine pulling me back into like actual, traditional moviemaking. But even then, the hard part now is just the idea of looking through a viewfinder and filming, like, people speaking at a table. All this dialogue always gets in the way. All these things that you don’t really care about. I don’t know. That would be a special case. I always loved him, and his movies were such a big deal for me as a kid, and even still now. But that would maybe be the one thing.”

“Aggro Dr1ft” will world premiere at the 80th Venice Film Festival on Sept. 2. It will then continue its circuit at the Toronto International Film Festival and New York Film Festival.

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