The writer/director Harmony Korine might have been -- and might still be -- one of the most audacious and terrifying new American talents in some time. At the age of 19, he wrote the script for Larry Clark's Kids (1995) and made his own directorial debut with Gummo (1997), a film so astonishing that most reviewers panned it simply to get it out of their heads. He then made the first official American Dogme 95 film, Julien Donkey-Boy (1999), and cast one of his biggest fans, director Werner Herzog, in a starring role.
All three films conjured up images that inspired the gag reflex. It was hard to look away, though. They were odd and sad and not a little repulsive. From there, he retreated into other art forms, such as photography and music (he directed music videos for Cat Power and Sonic Youth), returning to features only to write Clark's Ken Park (2002), which was so lurid it failed to secure a U.S. distributor. Indeed, like many of the most cutting edge American directors, most of Korine's fans, and financiers, currently reside outside the U.S.