Upon revisiting Spun, I’d rather not divulge the circumstances under which I first watched it – but the fact that I got through the whole thing in such a state is a testament to its quality.
This film is widely regarded as the anti-Requiem For a Dream and from experience, Spun is more in touch with reality, even amidst its comedic moments.
Brittany Murphy is fantastic in Spun. It’s not often I touch upon specific actors featured in these posts.
Anyhow, Spun touches upon the nature of stimulant addiction – or more precisely, methamphetamine. It’s not worth condensing the message of this film to a singular substance, however.
The addicted distributor in this movie isn’t one that actively sells on a grandiose scale, but rather maintains his addiction in the midst of a circle of what you might consider acquaintances. His level of contempt towards those who’re dependent upon him (and not so much vice versa) and the authority he commands over his fellow addict is very realistic.
It’s a combination of stimulant psychosis, over-exposure to chemically parasitic entities, and the fact that nobody actually cares about him as an individual. For all of Spider’s negative attributes (and there are a great many), he is representative of a darkly empathic individual getting not so much what he deserves, but what he’s unwittingly brought upon himself.
This is demonstrated within minutes by Mike’s inability to even open his front door in order to generate custom from those outside his immediate circle.
Mike’s aggression is something that certainly cumulates from being regarded as an ends to a means by everyone around him – and the frustration of being stuck in a situation where he can’t get rid of such individuals, be it through addiction, emotional fulfillment or just simple financial necessity.
The jolting transitioning of frames throughout Spun are incredibly effective; homing in on the very audience it’s trying to address, encapsulating the fleeting attention of one whose abused stimulants to the point of having attention deficit issues. It has a peculiar preventative insight into sympathizing with users; encouraging them to take an introspective look in the mirror.
Environmental factors are taken to depraved lengths in Spun; as if to forewarn the hedonist and occasional user alike about how far the rabbit hole of decadence can descend.
In some ways, their mutual engagement in these activities (on a social level) can be regarded as making up for something those featured lack or suppress emotionally – that being, empathy or a lack of apathy.
Such a notion is made clear by the unyielding consumption of methamphetamine within Spider’s group (far outweighing Ross’ desire for a temporary high).
This isn’t the only thing that Ross is pining for, however; with his delusional infatuation with a sober woman who sees him for exactly what he’s become – a man with no agenda but avoidance of his mother and some ridiculous hope of making her his maternal, romantic savior.
This movie holds a special place in my heart, and I don’t feel that the poignant ending needs analyzing. That might change…