Short: I’m Here (2010) – Intro to Mister Jonze

From: USA

Director: Spike Jonze

I'm here

This was my first appreciation of SJ. A new friend at that time found out about my penchant for films and sent me the link to this short. That started a rather favorable albeit short-lived film correspondence which I am grateful for to this day.

I’m Here is one of those shorts that fall in a different league altogether. It is beautiful. Its dimensions are contradicting and complementary at the same time. It’s real and not real. It’s futuristic fiction and primitive existentialism at the same time. And it works. Mister Jonze is the king of melancholic future; one that will make you urgently and constantly wanting to abandon innovation and embrace sorrow.

 

What this film holds for me:

What: The Giving Tree in animated live-action future mix

How: Seriously depressed and confused for having feelings for robots. Can’t believe link to the film’s website has been taken down

Who: Spike Jonze. Spike Jonze. 

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Her (2013): Paintings of Photographs

From: USA

Director: Spike Jonze

When I started this, I made a quiet pact with myself to avoid writing about current films as much as possible. I am amending that contract now with a clause: UNLESS SUCH FILM HITS YOU SO HARD IT CANNOT BE UNDONE.

Her hit me so hard. It cannot be undone. I approached it with caution and I told myself it would be a melancholic ride. I came prepared. When the credits rolled I did not feel sad. I felt I was not allowed to feel sadness. The whole 126 minutes was like a series of painting that look like photographs – looked immaculately real but really was not. It fools you into thinking it is real but you do not care.

The whole principle of Her is not a reality at the moment but it looks and feels so tactile and relevant. Samantha, she who does not exist, is more real and more significant and more sufficient than anything and everything in Theodore’s life.

I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to feel sadness. Her would leave you hurt and confused and content, but in the end both lost and found.

 

What this film holds for me:

What: Theodore panicking and running around like the human that he is

Who: Spike Jonze and the first time I encountered his high-tech melancholia in I’m Here (note: must write about I’m Here see I’m Here entry here)