Similar to La Jetee, the film Spider is also about remembering and how memory is unreliable and not perfect. I know that fact very well. The weird thing about this movie and me is that I didn’t realize that the main character Spider had a mental illness until I read it on the articles posted in our class blog. The awkward slurring, bizarre handwriting and gas stained multi-layered outfit didn’t give it away for me. Maybe I wanted to associate myself with Spider since we both have memory problems (and I’m telling you that’s the only thing we have in common.) and so for me he is just a normal human being with a traumatizing past.
This movie reminds me of one of my favorite films, Memento. I like films that like to fuck with our minds by confusing us on what really happened in the story (up to now I still don’t know what really happened in Memento.) This is sort of my guilty pleasure when it comes to films. I don’t think the goal of films like Spider and Memento is to confuse us and see if we can solve the story puzzle in the end but to just show us how different reality is and how it’s perceived by other people. The match-up of reality and memories and how everything doesn’t add up is what makes this film so interesting. Not knowing which memories are true and which ones are false is mesmerizing but it is also what made me cringe in my seat. The fact that Spider recalls events from his past that he didn’t really experience (the killing and burying of his mother, scenes in the pub, the funny scene of Spider’s father and Yvonne fooling around under the bridge) both exhibit the power and danger of memory. From personal experience, the creation of false memories usual happens in relation to bad memories. It is like you don’t want to fully accept that the event really happened. Unfortunately, sad and hurtful memories are what we can easily remember. Quoting Chris Marker of La Jetee “Nothing sorts memories from ordinary moments. They claim remembrance when they show their scars”. This is one of the sad truths of life. So instead of having sad memories, people often try to replace them with something else and making that something their reality.
Unfortunately, Spider is not a movie I would like to watch unless I have to. I think I would enjoy it more if it was a book. This movie is not so visually appealing and could be boring at times.