This movie post goes out to Leslie – thanks Leslie for recommending we take a peek at The Spring!! Granted, I’m pretty much obsessed with Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead these days. So much so that I’ve been stalking Justin on Twitter for the past month or two. Probably should dial down a bit. But why? We only live once, and we have to make every moment count!!! (Ok, if you haven’t seen Spring yet, that won’t make sense. But watch it! And then it will!)
If you are unaware of Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, they are the creators of the movies Resolution and The Endless. Which, are two of my favorite movies of the past couple years. Just ineffable goodness. But I had been hearing that they had made a movie called Spring for a little while now and was pretty intent on getting my hands on it. But it was Leslie that recommended it in the movie recommendation tab (red tab at the bottom of your screen) and pushed me over the edge. What is it? Hard to say without spoiling it.
Alright, let’s say this, the movie Spring, is a romantic tale between a clueless American and an Italian(?) woman that might be a bit more complicated than she seems. And it is this relationship, this discussion of what love is, and the difference and similarities between people the world over. Oh, and she might be a hell spawn of some sort? Here’s a trailer, but I’d recommend skipping it and buying a ticket right here or here.
Spring Movie Deep Dive
At it’s heart, Spring is actually a romance cut from the cloth of Before Sunrise, or Certified Copy. And yet, those are just walking and talking dialog movies set in a foreign locale. Which are amazing. Maybe because I met my wife in England, and I got a chance to spend formative amounts of time with her in Switzerland? And yet, this movie goes down a little different path than those.
The movie opens with Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci) in something of a downward spiral. Back from college to support his dying mother, and soon to be laid off, Evan doesn’t know what to do with himself. And when his mother dies, and the police are looking for him for his part in a bar fight? He decides the safer play is buying a random ticket to Italy and running.
He eventually finds himself in a quaint area of Italy (I hear that the movie was filmed in Bari, Apulia, Italy. Which, I had the fortune of visiting on my way through to Brindisi, where I caught a boat out to Athens.) and as a result, the cinematography is phenomenal. But that area of the world basically films itself. I’m thinking that Justin and Aaron bought a drone and got a permit for zooming it through the town and those shots just sing. Anyway, credit where credit is due, their scouting for this location deserves all kinds of props.
When suddenly, Evan meets Louise (played by Nadia Hilker) who offers to bed him immediately. Evan demurs, and instead offers to have coffee. And of all the interactions, this one strikes me as the weirdest. But I actually understand it now that the movie is over… so we’ll get back to this in the explanation section.
The Spring Movie Monster Arrives
And as they begin dating, and hanging out, and being together, there are more than a few near misses where Louise almost is caught as a slimy, writhing, horrifying monster. But narrowly, Louise avoids detection. Something is wrong though, something is changing with Louise, and we don’t know what. Well, she is able to keep on top of this until the day that Louise tells Evan that they can’t date anymore… and that it’s over. She had flipped out the night before and killed a loud American tourist, and the police were scouring the small town looking for the killer. Well, Evan swung back through to check in on her and there she is, octopus tentacles and slimed appendages writhe, as her morphed insect like weirdness is there, splayed on the floor.
But Evan! He sees the syringe on the floor and puts two and two together and he comes away with ALIEN-SPACE-MONSTER NEEDS MEDICINE! hahah. Or something. And so Evan, our man on the street hero dives in and stabs her with the meds, and she shrinks and returns back to normal.
Now, thought exercise. You realize that you’ve been copulating with a horrific, terrifying, scary looking, be-tentacled, be-fanged, alien… what do you do?
A) Run as fast as you can.
B) Run as fast as you can.
C) Run as fast as you can.
I know, right? You run as fast as you can. I am 100% unclear what happened here with Evan. It’s a movie, so I get that. But even so? You run as fast as you can. This is literally the scariest monster I’ve ever seen on celluloid. Bar None. NONE. I mean, this is no Edmund & Bella in Twilight going on. We are talking about really really nasty looking slime and gore happening here. You run.
Anyway, the movie continues on, and Evan begins courting Louise and trying to understand what the heck he just witnessed. Which is great, because the entire audience is wondering the same thing. What did we just witness? And at the 90 minute mark we start to get some answers, which we’ll talk about in a minute. But the movie draws to a close with Evan doing his darnedest to convince Louise to give up immortality and to stay with him. The ending leaves us with a bit of an ambiguous scene, as we stare off into the sunset wondering what might have just happened. Hrmmmm.
The Spring Monster Explained
I literally have zero idea what is happening here in this movie with regard to the Louise’s monster-ness. But I am very good at quoting the movie’s relevant bits back to you to see if we can assemble a picture of what might be happening here:
Evan: “Oh I listen. Let’s see, I got you pregnant. You can use those embryo cells to heal fast and live forever. When you do that, you physically become half the man who got you pregnant. Um, when you are pregnant, you turn into a cross between creatures from our evolutionary past and a corpse. You could choose to use your adult cells, but then you’d die someday, so–“
Did you catch all that? No. Neither did I, and I really tried. But basically, she is using the sperm of her mates to rejuvenate her cellular structure and live forever. One of the flaws of doing this is that she literally morphs into other creatures during her pregnancies. I think.
But what about the Fruit Orchard Farmer? Glad you asked. You all did pick up on him, didn’t you? He was a previous mate of Louise’s. Don’t think it was the last one, but the time before maybe? Can’t make out how old he is, and the cycles run in 20 year increments, so no, don’t think it was the previous one.
Also, did you notice how Louise basically jumped on Evan when they first met. Did you catch that? I mentioned how weird that was earlier in this post. But that was because she was gestating, or whatever the heck you call that. It was her cycle of renewal, and she needed the cells right then. So there was no courting, or dating, or slow build up. She was used to getting what she wanted, and she expected Evan to hand them over. Does that make sense?
Final Thoughts on the Movie Spring
I am a literal sucker for an amazing location. Heck, I loved Mamma Mia and that was 50% location, and 50% music. The other thing that I am a sucker for is lazy dialog and conversations. Movies so rarely allow conversation to happen. Real conversation. Normally the script has to be so tightly on target that real dialog hardly ever happens. And so I really enjoyed those two big elements of the movie. The monster bit was weird. But cool. Different. And I dug it. It worked. It’s as if Before Sunrise got injected with a zombie virus. But that’s really not a half bad idea now that I think about it! hahaha. I don’t know, what did you think of it?
Edited by, CY
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