This week a fascinating film is hitting cinemas as well as VOD. Spree is about young Kurt Kunkle (Joe Keery). Kurt is a young man obsessed with social media. He’s always been. The film lets us know he’s been trying to become something for about 10 years.
Kurt doesn’t know what to do until he has an epiphany. He sets up his Spree car (a fictionalised version of Uber) with an elaborate network of cameras and sets out to give the #lesson. This lesson he hopes will garner him the followers and attention he believes he so rightfully deserves.
Let’s go for a spree
Spree is a found footage film that follows Kurt on his misadventures across L.A. and I have to say when I sat down to watch it all I knew was that the delightful Joe Keery was starring. After the thirteenth minute (I know because I checked) the film goes absolutely wild and I loved it.
The film slowly reveals itself throughout the course of the first fifteen minutes and once you understand what is going on you’ll be transfixed to the screen, much like I was. The film is an intimate character piece for Kurt with characters dropping in and out during the tight 93-minute runtime. We learn about these characters through Kurt’s observations of them and so the world grows in a genuine fashion.
Kurt is an absolute fool completely a product of the times. He is obsessed with social media and so has no real presence of himself. He wants to be seen but there’s nothing there for anyone to see. It’s a fascinating contradiction and Keery is clearly having a blast in the performance.
There is a childlike wonder to Kurt that belies something far more sinister. It’s all down to Keery’s performance. In my humble opinion it’s akin to Christian Bale’s Patrick Bateman in American Psycho.
The devil is in the details
Living in the age we live in the use of found footage has become more and more prevalent. The last film I saw that utilised this style of cinematography was Searching starring John Cho. Like Searching Spree utilises the many types of cameras around Kurt and his world to excellent effect. Not once did I feel like the camera usage was a gimmick or overused.
The film even projects Kurt’s inner thoughts on the screen via the messages he receives from his audience and its unnerving as you watch these angels and demons fight for his soul.
There were moments towards the end where I think the film’s design and authenticity fell apart but overall the films structure as a whole worked.
I had a great time watching this film. I was equal parts enthralled and disgusted and I look forward to seeing more from director Eugene Kotlyarenko.
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