(This is a repost. The original article appeared on Weird-Girls.com and is written by Dylan Miranda.)
Finally! An artsy/hipster/indie movie for the science fiction geek in your life.
I’ll come right out and say it: I’m not a fan of hipster films. I totally get their appeal to their target audience, but I’d rather have my toenails removed than sit through an indie film fest. Some of them are completely worth their hype, but the genre itself is so saturated with “artsy” filters, pretentious amounts of symbolism and desperate attempts at metaphor that I want to smash my face against the wall. Yeah, we get it, your airy female protagonist reads Hemingway and doodles compulsively on her arms, so she’s an intellectual. Ugh.
Having said that, if you watch the trailer for Spring, you can see how I was pretty much zoned out the entire time… at least until those last 10 or so seconds. I’ve seen genre blenders before, but to combine artsy romance/drama with…. what was that, horror? Science Fiction? Fantasy? Not a clue. But I figured the curiosity it piqued in my brain earned it a chance.
The film centers around Evan (Lou Taylor), a young american whose life pretty much falls apart in the first 10 minutes of the movie and apparently has been headed there for a while. Typical sad back story – his mom dies, he loses his job, and – just like Lizzie McGuire – he hops on a plane to Italy to find himself. He winds up in a remote seaside village where he meets a beautiful young woman, Louise (Nadia Hilker) who is both mysterious and a little wild. But (cue dramatic music) she hides a dark secret. (Cliché enough for ya? I honestly don’t know how to summarize the movie without making it sound pathetically cheesy and horrible, and I haven’t found anyone else who has done much better, so please forgive me.)
As I had expected, Spring is absolutely dripping with metaphoric and symbolic camera angles and color schemes. The cinematography is very visceral and raw. When Evan throws a punch during a bar fight at the very beginning of the film, there is no Hollywood “thwack” upon his fist impacting his opponents face, but rather the very real, kinda pathetic pat of skin hitting skin. There is no”fight music” or anything that we’ve grown accustomed to hearing. So for those of us who are accustomed to the rather grandiose displays that major studios serve up on the regular, Spring, like most indie movies, can feel a bit awkward at times. Note – that’s not a negative thing; it’s just different. Even knowing there would be an interesting twist later on in the film, I couldn’t help but feel myself being bitterly skeptical during the first few scenes.
I was ready to hate this movie, but I’m going to eat my words. Spring deserves every bit of praise it’s received. To say that this is a genre blender is a bit of an understatement. As such, there aren’t really any other films I can successfully compare it to. The only other movie I can think of that blended similar genres is the Swedish film Let the Right One In (2008), and even then the two films are not similar enough to compare. So, basically, Spring is a very unique viewing experience. Let me put it this way: if H.P. Lovecraft were tasked with making an indie romance movie, Spring would be the result.
However, it’s not for everyone. It’s absolutely artsy. To many, it will easily come across as little more than (to quote my favorite line from the movie) “some hipster bullshit.” For those who really love the indie film scene, it might not be profound and pretentious enough. But if you want a movie that successfully walks the line between science fiction and art, this is absolutely the movie for you. Unlike a lot of other artsy films, it’s completely digestible to almost any audience; I don’t think there was a single scene that made you feel like there was some deep hidden meaning that only intellectuals could grasp (are you picking up on my disdain for lofty experimental films yet?)
Spring is not a casual movie. It’s not ideal for a pizza night with friends, and it’s probably not the best first date flick. My suggestion for watching Spring? Do what I did. Rent it off of Amazon or YouTube, pour yourself a glass of wine (or if you’re not 21, a wine glass full of grape juice to make yourself feel hipster and posh) and just sit back and digest it. It may not leave you questioning the meaning of life, but if you’re traditionally into more conventional Hollywood fare, it might change your opinion on indie films. It absolutely changed mine.