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Abstract

Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers (2012) and Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring (2013) introduced audiences to girls exploring criminal behavior both for and as leisure. The films introduce an idea of leisure/crime: criminal acts that appear to develop as natural, fruitful extensions of leisure activities, circumnavigating conventional laws of capitalism, yet still allow its actors to access, attain, and consume goods, money, value, and status. Through close analysis of the films’ style and character performances, this article proposes that the films and their enactments of leisure/crime in fact offer complex critical commentary on contemporary relations between the representation of teenage girls, notions of performativity, and immaterial labor in the late-capitalist US. Throughout, the girl remains the pivotal figure; by desiring what is and what, in turn, becomes desirable, she shapes the consumer market as much as she is subject or victim to it. Whether or not this allows her to become subversive, or radical enough to undermine the system, remains to be seen, but the films certainly offer plenty of challenging new directions for us to consider along the way.

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