Acclaimed filmmaker Harmony Korine, known for his provocative style, has ventured into a new domain with his latest project, Aggro Dr1ft. Unlike any other, this film attempts to blur the lines between traditional cinema and digital art by incorporating artificial intelligence (AI), video game engines, and infrared technology into its creation.
Aggro Dr1ft stars Spanish actor Jordi Mollà as BO, a masked gunman on a mission to counter a formidable crime boss. The plot, however, is not the central focus of the film. Instead, it is the unique aesthetic that sets Aggro Dr1ft apart.
In an attempt to redefine the visual language of cinema, Aggro Dr1ft was shot with infrared cameras and then enhanced post-production using AI technology, animation, and visual effects. These were all rendered using video game engines, a process Korine called “a technical snake“.
The application of AI and animation creates a dynamic, shifting visual landscape, with heat signatures appearing as swirling patterns on human forms, much like living tattoos. The color palette changes abruptly, moving from red-orange to blue-green to yellow-yellow, creating an almost psychedelic experience.
Harmony Korine has been vocal about his belief that Aggro Dr1ft is more than just a movie. He envisions it as a new form of entertainment, a hybrid of live-action gaming and filmmaking. According to Korine, this innovative approach to cinema indicates a significant shift in the industry where traditional forms are dying, and something new is being born.
However, the film’s reception has been mixed. Critics have pointed out that while the film attempts to be revolutionary, it feels outdated in some aspects. Some argue that the characters behave like non-player characters from a video game, and the psychedelic color scheme harks back to the culture of the 1990s.
Yet, despite the criticism, Aggro Dr1ft is a bold attempt at challenging filmmaking conventions. It is a testament to the potential of AI and other digital technologies in revolutionizing the art of storytelling. Whether or not Aggro Dr1ft is the catalyst for a new era in cinema is debatable, but it certainly pushes the boundaries of what is possible.
As we look to the future, we must ask: Is the traditional model of filmmaking on the brink of obsolescence? Will AI and digital technologies create a new visual language for cinema? Only time will tell. Until then, Aggro Dr1ft is a fascinating case study of AI’s potential and limitations in the creative arts.