Spring Broke
IMDB rating:
Alison Ellwood
Pauly Shore as Himself
Robin Leach as Narrator (voice)
Dave Barry as Himself
Ron Rice as Himself
Storyline: The rise and fall of spring break in Daytona Beach

Type HQ DVD-rip
Resolution 720x400 px
File Size 674 Mb
Codec h264
Bitrate 1211 Kbps
Format mp4
Type Resolution File Size Codec Bitrate Format
HQ DVD-rip 720x400 px 674 Mb h264 1211 Kbps mp4 Download

A great watch
I just caught Spring Broke tonight on Showtime, and despite the somewhat awkward title of the documentary itself, had a great time watching it. I knew absolutely nothing about this movie before tuning in. I had no idea whether the movie was going to be a serious look at the history of spring break in America, or a more sleazy, exploitative feature. Luckily, Spring Broke is definitely the former and is far more interesting, informative, and entertaining than one might expect. The film chronicles the origins of spring break in the 1960s, its huge rise in popularity in the 1980s due to MTV, and its steady decline in the 1990s. Rather than take on the subject of spring break throughout all of America, the filmmakers wisely keep the focus on the state of Florida, specifically Daytona and Fort Lauderdale. There are interviews with a number of celebrities from the 1980s and 1990s including Pauly Shore, Ed Lover (probably the best interviewee), and Dave Barry. Every participant has a lot to say about the subject, and there is rarely a dull moment. While there are definitely pieces that could have been more in depth and the running time is way too short, Spring Broke is a great little documentary that is well worth checking out. 8/10
What ever happened to hard-hitting documentaries (or even pseudo-documentaries)?
This fast-paced but terminally mindless film about the personalities behind manipulating college kids from the '70s onward during spring break is typical of how far filmmaking has fallen in recent years. The director Alison Ellwood, who has worked for overrated docu directors like Alex Gibney, takes an uncritical, gee whiz approach that had me hopping mad before the movie had wound its chronological course.

The problem here is simple, though I suspect the majority of gullible viewers will swallow the package and its implicit assumptions about our society whole (note that director Ellwood is an Australian, not a U.S. firster, who should have had a more objective and critical eye than is demonstrated here). Last straw was the presentation of the main protagonists - hotel owners, night club proprietors, TV execs, p.r. types and assorted hucksters, as romantic, almost heroic figures even when they were unapologetically hawking coffin nails (cigarettes) to the kids as part of their business plan.

Ellwood's breathless pacing may appeal to some college film class or likely the schmoes who stupidly give out awards to filmmakers, but it merely preys on the myth-making power of the medium. Instead of using cinema for muckraking or even noble expose purposes (see: Barbara Kopple and many other great directors from ages gone by) she lionizes these scumbags, ranging from the jerk who invented Hawaiian Tropic tanning oil (probably caused thousands of fatal cases of carcinoma over the years by baking rather than protecting us poor consumer devils), the clown who built up his Plaza Hotel in Daytona Beach on the backs of drunken, idiotic young louts down from campus for a little r&r, the MTV executives who foisted their version of music and its promotion on our culture for a few decades before the moving finger moved on to more modern media, the corrupt local creeps fighting a stupid war of Fort Lauderdale vs DB, and assorted other giddy morons proud of their little non-place in history.

After suffering through this endlessly glamorizing film, I feel like these nonentities, briefly thrust into the spotlight by AL, are on the level of Churchill, Ike, Monty, Uncle Joe and FDR in some quickie glossed-over account of World War II. Such is the power of the medium of film to magnify. To add insult to injury she brings in Pauly Shore, among the least worthy of even a footnote in the history of film and entertainment personalities, to recount his tangential rise to temporary fame during the rise of MTV.

Watching "Mad Men" on AMC we relived a bygone era and saw the manipulators of our culture, the powerful and psychologically astute ad men typified by a fictional genius named Don Draper, coming away with some insight and not just the glamor (although a mini-culture bringing back the costumes, the drinks and perhaps even the chain-smoking attended that series' meteoric success).

With "Spring Broke" we see venal personalities who helped drag down our culture to the gutter, and by inference they all get a pat on the back. The fake "objectivity" of the documentary medium, which I reject 100% - docs are just films normally without actors and nothing more - supposedly has these creeps hanging themselves with their own rope. But presented uncritically they do not - instead they emerge as enviable successes in a wonderful consumerist culture -onward and upward with MTV! I can see it all now: future generations will not be told that Jazz or the Broadway Theater are America's magnificent cultural inventions but rather it is MTV!

The only logical followup film for Alison is a documentary, in support of a future Nobel Peace Prize nomination campaign, about and on behalf of the cretin who created the "Girls Gone Wild" series of soft-core "reality" shows.