Director Harmony Korine is never one to shy away from a sexually charged project. The man who directed Disney kids gone wild in Spring Breakers and wrote about sexed-up NYC youths in Kids is about to tackle his most controversial subject yet - an inappropriate student-teacher relationship. According to The Playlist, Korine confirmed that he was working on an adaptation of Alissa Nutting's 2013 novel Tampa at the Miami Beach Cinematheque. And HBO might be behind it - which means no holds barred.
For those unfamiliar with the novel, it's hard to ignore once you've read about it. In 2013, it grew to fame for flipping the usual older-male-young-lolita trope by introducing 26-year-old married Florida high school teacher Celeste Price as a protagonist with a predilection for young boys on the cusp of adolescence. The sexually explicit nature of the book, as well as its, er, shall we say strikingly suggestive cover landed it the kind of praise and morbid fascination similar to Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho and Zoë Heller's Notes on a Scandal. Towing the line between sexual satire and pornography, Celeste's predatory desire and sociopathic tendencies (she shows almost no remorse for her actions) in Tampa offers a disturbing look at a rare subject: the female paedophile.
According to the author, it was based on the real-life case of 24 year old teacher Debra Lafave who was caught having an affair with her 14 year old student, but famously avoided prison because she was deemed too pretty. While the novel offers a pretty damning portrait of predatory females alike, it also examines society's obsession with youth and the absence of morals. And inidentaly, it's exactly the type of youth-centric fable we have no doubt Harmony Korine will have a field day with.