Earlier this week I was fortunate enough to get a sneak peek at SPiN, the latest short film from writer/producer Wilson Cleveland. I have to admit that after being genuinely chilled by Cleveland’s last effort, the taut psychological thriller Kept Man, I wasn’t sure what to expect. As it turns out, SPiN is a pleasantly sharp change of pace, setting aside psycho-sexual tension for a smart take on the world of high finance and media distortion. Cleveland, playing a perfect pastiche of the classic cable news financial correspondent, faces off in an interview against Hartley Sawyer who plays a hereditary one-percenter, the heir to a banking fortune and a caricature of the risk-happy investment bank golden boys who caused the financial crisis. They do a great job of recreating the dynamic between two people who are in ethical opposition while hinting at a more resonant personal conflict just below the surface.
The smartest move this film makes is repeat casting. Cleveland is once again paired with his Kept Man co-star Hartley Sawyer and the film makes great use of the two leads’ existing chemistry. Anyone who knows me knows that there’s nothing I love more than a witty turn of phrase. The repartee between the two characters is both adversarial and familiar. It’s Sorkin-esque in the best sense of the word. SPiN doesn’t draw any conclusions and allows both players to make equally salient points about the state of our economy and our media. There’s no chilling 11th hour plot twist, but the expert-level verbal sparring is well worth the price of admission.
You can check out SPiN for yourself below. The film is available on YouTube and Vimeo starting today.