Tuesday, August 12, 2003


when music video directors cross over to make a motion picture, there is something expected from them. spike jonze, the genius behind the beastie boys and fat boy slim's videos, set the bar with being john malkovich. until now, no other former music video director has even gone close to that standard. yes there was McG with charlie's angels, but that was nowhere near being john malkovich. or f. gary gray, but his movies are also below jonze's standard. the latest music video director to try a movie is jonas akerlund.

jonas akerlund is probably the best music video director right now. remember madonna tripping on ray of light? or robbie williams walking around in his underwear for come undone? just samples of his work. the former drummer in a scandinavian goth-metal band has done his fair share in music video. and now he's trying to make movies. his first movie is called spun, a tale about three days in the lives of speed junkies.

ross (jason schwartzman) is trying to score some metamphetamines, better known as speed. he goed to his dealer, spider mike (john leguizamo). there he meets mike's girlfriend cookie (an ugly mena suvari) and nikki (britanny murphy). from there on ross meets the cook (mickey rourke), the guy who makes all the speed. somehow in between, ross landed a job as the cook's driver.

there's not much of a story, it's more of a portrait. in trainspotting, the story was about how hard it is to escape the life of drugs. in spun, nobody is trying to escape. even though paranoid, most of them seem happy. a portrait of three days of speed usage and what it does to someone's life. and the way akerlund directed it, it makes us - the audience - feel as if on speed as well. every time somebody takes a bump we all get high. and at the end when they all crashed, we all feel drained and tired.

most of the critics compare this movie to requiem of a dream. i haven't seen that movie yet, so i can't comment on that. what i do know is that i like akerlund's style. being a music video director, he obviously knows this drug and knows what effect it brings, which he has portrayed in this movie. if trainspotting is about crack and go is about ecstasy, then spun is about metamphetamines.


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