It feels odd that Harmony Korine fell so quiet after the neon-soaked, still-debated generational howl of Spring Breakers four years ago. Granted, he’s hardly inactive; Korine spent a good amount of time assembling a thriller titled The Club, only to push that back due to “personality issues” with the cast. While that film remains in limbo, Korine has set his sights on another project that’s sure to fit within his characteristically modest and tastefully understated filmography.
In 2013, Alyssa Nutting’s novel Tampa drew no shortage of controversy for its satiric depiction of a young teacher’s affair with an underage male student, told from the teacher’s perspective. Now, according to The Playlist, Korine plans to adapt the novel to the silver screen.
Here’s the book’s official synopsis:
“In Alissa Nutting’s novel Tampa, Celeste Price, a smoldering 26-year-old middle-school teacher in Florida, unrepentantly recounts her elaborate and sociopathically determined seduction of a 14-year-old student.
“Celeste has chosen and lured the charmingly modest Jack Patrick into her web. Jack is enthralled and in awe of his eighth-grade teacher, and, most importantly, willing to accept Celeste’s terms for a secret relationship—car rides after dark, rendezvous at Jack’s house while his single father works the late shift, and body-slamming erotic encounters in Celeste’s empty classroom. In slaking her sexual thirst, Celeste Price is remorseless and deviously free of hesitation, a monstress of pure motivation. She deceives everyone, is close to no one, and cares little for anything but her pleasure.
Tampa is a sexually explicit, virtuosically satirical, American Psycho–esque rendering of a monstrously misplaced but undeterrable desire. Laced with black humor and crackling sexualized prose, Alissa Nutting’s Tampa is a grand, seriocomic examination of the want behind student / teacher affairs and a scorching literary debut.”
While the filmmaker has long gravitated to characters who live on the perverse outer lands of society, this idea is still the kind of thing that’s sure to inflame no shortage of passions on either side of the debate over the ethical and artistic merits of a film that will objectively be about statutory rape. At least it’ll assumedly be more thoughtful on the topic than That’s My Boy?