Sunday, 7 June 2015

Spring (2014) | Film Review

Spring, dir. Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead, wr. Justin Benson, st. Lou Taylor Pucci, Nadia Hilker

Pretty much directly comparable to Tomas Alfredson's Låt den rätte komma in, Benson and Moorhead's mumblecore love-story treads a similar path of aesthetically innovative narrative genre-blending. The principle difference here however, is that contrary to Alfredson's pre-teen protagonists that lent Let The Right One In its coming-of-age credentials, Benson and Moorhead's stars are young adults, both old enough to carry the weary realisation of a childhood long departed. Pucci plays Evan, a Jesse Pinkman-type both in character and portrayal, who's effectively orphaned within the film's opening moments. Despondent and emotionally adrift, he hot-foots it to Italy and encounters the enigmatic Louise (an alluring Hilker) who may or may not be quite literally carrying demons of her own. The ultra-indie production design that makes the most of Italy's gothic architecture, winding streets, and culture steeped in mythical lore, coupled with Benson's deliberately economic screenplay may scream Festival Circuit fayre, but Spring is actually a deceptively precision-built piece of cinema, from the accomplished performances of its leads, to its sweeping drone-accomplished tracking shots, right down to its minimal but natty VFX. It's also Spring's refreshing lack of mandate that makes it so compelling even if you feel you've seen its Aschenputtel-ine storyline before, but it's a glorious reminder of cottage-industry filmmaking done remarkably right nonetheless.