Life According to C.A.R. – Adrift in AGGRO DR1FT

agro drift
Art & Culture
Written by Chloé Raunet

AGGRO DR1FT, is the perennial provocateur’s attempt to fuse video game with feature film.

EartH, London

I know instantly that Harmony Korine’s most recent flexing is ‘Not for me’.

Shot entirely through thermal lens, enhanced with VFX and AI animated overlays, the movie follows a seasoned hitman on a psychedelic odyssey which in description, sounds more GTA than matinee.

Aside from a brief pre-teen addiction to Tetris, I’ve never been a gamer and Action is definitely not my go-to. Nonetheless, curiosity is piqued when a friend tells me about the London premiere. It’s an immersive event, ‘tickets are VERY LIMITED,’ and she’s excited to be going.







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‘Not for me’ is becoming more and more of a default setting. Par for course, really. I’m inching into the second half of the clock as the world’s increasingly entrenched in the digital age – plenty of reason to feel alienated. But too much ‘Not for me’ can be risky terrain, especially when you live alone and are expected to endure another few decades circling the sun. Sometimes you need to pull your head out from the sand and make a bit of effort to try to understand what all the noise is about. So that’s what I set out to do, determined to ‘Keep an open mind’.

I arrive at the venue just before showtime, dripping in sweat from a fast paced cycle across town. Hackney used to be my stomping ground and once upon a time I’d know lots of people at an event like this, but now, surrounded by all that collagen (fashion filters firmly applied), I feel like a scruffy, mummified fish out of water. It’s a relief to find my friend sitting down at the front with her little crew of familiar faces.

For the next 90 minutes we are subjected to a mind-numbing, infrared assault – a hallucinatory, searing tropical maelstrom through Miami’s make-believe underworld. The thin plot revolves around a hard-nosed killer, ‘Bo’, who’s also a tortured family man. He sets out on a killing spree, culminating in a bloody confrontation with a demonic being that’s stalked him since the opening scene, before making it home to the wife and kids.

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AI-generated, skeletal scribbles pervert faces already distorted through thermal imagery and what little dialogue I manage to extract is buried deep in hip hop producer AraabMuzik’s throbbing score. ‘I am the world’s best assassin… My weapon is an extension of my soul … I am a solitary hero. I am alone…’ etc etc. Rapper Travis Scott makes an appearance – Bo’s sullen young protegé, occasionally donning a flicking lizard tongue as his mentor doles out unintelligible words of wisdom from the deck of a yacht.

We’re in full-on, adolescent male territory – the gratuitous violence occasionally broken up by voluptuous women, whose sole role is to wag arses or rattle about in baddy’s cage, begging to be freed by our hero. Bo’s wife pushes herself into his groin, ‘I love you, please don’t go’ with a mantra that continues in his absence, ‘I miss you. Come home, baby’. Towards the end, a crew of samurai-sword wielding little people wander onto the screen. My eyes scan the cinema, trying to read the room. It’s hard to tell how this is going down. There’s a lot of moving around, climbing over seats to get to the bar and toilet. Are we buying into this?

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When the credits finally roll, the hall erupts in whoops and whistles. My friend loves it, especially the wife. I’m totally mystified and slightly bemused. Just when you thought you had a handle on today’s moral compass – a reaction I’m sure enfant terrible Korine, whose previous film was about bin-fuckers, would cream himself to hear.

Downstairs at the afterparty there’s more milling about. The music is hyperactive, a combination of gabber and 90’s eurodance. The vibe? Fairground, minus fun. After about ten minutes the tug of ‘Not for me’ is too strong to ignore. Apparently the strippers and little people are turning up, but go figure, not even that is enough to keep me there. I politely say my farewells and wander back into the night, relieved to be afoot again on more familiar turf.