Check the entire interview on Vice:
Vice: Where’ve you been all this time?
Harmony Korine: Well, I just felt a general disconnection with things. I couldn’t really figure out what was going on and was pretty unhappy with where I was. For the most part I just wanted to live a life that was kind of separate from the world I’d been in. So I spent a few years as a lifeguard and then I was a bricklayer’s assistant. The last thing I cared about was making more movies. That thing had mostly left me. I felt like I’d put everything out and didn’t have anything left to give.
How did get over this malaise?
I fell in with a group, I guess you could call them a cult, known as the Malingerers that I’d met in Panama. They were basically just fishermen. There were seventy men and like a dozen of their wives and they were searching for this fish called the Malingerer, which is like a golden carp with three dots on the side of its gills. None had been photographed since the beginning of the last century. I thought “Wow,” y’know. I bought the dream. So I spent like six months there, floating around and fishing.
Did you ever find one?
Well, I started to hear whispers that a Japanese businessman had been offering a hefty reward—up to a million dollars—for a Malingerer, which made me feel like I’d been stabbed in the back. So I got into a fight with Hector, one of the leaders, and he basically admitted it to me that that was the real reason they were after it. Then, as I was packing my bags to leave, I was approached by a fisherwoman I’d grown close to who walked around with a leash tied to an invisible dog. She asked me what I believed in. I said I wasn’t sure. She then handed me her leash, which I took back with me to Nashville.
Then what happened?
I was staying in the basement of a friend of mine and I hung this leash on the wall. About two weeks later, I swear, on this one night I heard something bark. Shortly after that I just started dreaming about nuns on airplanes, nuns riding bikes in the clouds, and it all started to coalesce. I knew it was time for me to start making movies again.
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