Institute History

  • 2003 Sundance Film Festival


Unleashing a frenzied collection of hardcore speed-freaks, Spun straps you to your seat and hurtles you through the deteriorating veins of society and straight into the raging, crystal meth-pumped heart of America. Simulating the drug's sensation with jaw-dropping cinematography and editing, director Jonas Åkerlund (who has already established his talent in the music-video realm) paints an unapologetic, dark, and twisted portrait of a monster three-day drug binge.

Ross (Jason Schwartzman), a 20-something college dropout who can't hold down a job, hangs out at local speed dealer Spider Mike's (John Leguizamo) house, where he meets neighborhood crystal meth manufacturer The Cook (Mickey Rourke) and his crazy stripper girlfriend, Nikki (Brittany Murphy). Through this introduction, Ross falls into the beguiling web of the drug, losing track of time and his very being.

Billy Corgan's masterful soundtrack provides the lifeline of the film, setting an ethereal tone, which, when juxtaposed with the frenetic pace of the story, creates an almost hallucinatory feeling. Corgan's music, along with impressive performances by the actors in these extremely demanding roles, help Åckerlund make a blistering entrée into the world of feature films.

Funny and tragic, Spun is a super-wide angle, super-macro close-up view of a meth-twisted consciousness.

— Trevor Groth

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]