Spike Jonze

I Can’t Decide Whether ‘Her’ Is a Touching or Manipulative Portrait of Male Loneliness

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Spike Jonze’s Her is about a very lonely man who logs onto the Internet and finds, buried in one particular algorithm of artificial intelligence, the woman of his dreams. Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) is a little defensive about that, of course. Though “Samantha” (Scarlett Johansson’s utterly recognizable voice) herself says she’s adapting to every new experience he gives her, he tells friends that it’s not like “Samantha” does only what he says. And his creator, Jonze, seems to agree. Throughout the film we’re given indications that “Samantha”  has free will, and it doesn’t spoil much if I tell you that in the end she makes a kind of ultimate exercise of it.
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The Greatest Movie Trailers of 2013

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Vanity Fair recently published an essay asking if 2013 is the greatest year for movies since the Gone with the Wind era. That benchmark is certainly debatable, but if we had to judge this year’s cinema based on the trailers alone, we’d say there’s a strong possibility 2013 could trump all. This year’s trailers got us talking and left us wanting more (everything a good trailer should do) — and we’ve surveyed the best of 2013, below. What trailers left a lasting impression on you this year?
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The Beautiful and Frightening Art of Marcel Dzama

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In case you needed more incentive to geek out over the work of Canadian artist Marcel Dzama, his new book, Marcel Dzama: Sower of Discord, includes a foreword by the artist Raymond Pettibon (you know, the guy who created the Black Flag logo), three original Dave Eggers short stories inspired by Dzama’s work, an essay by the art historian Bradley Bailey, and an interview with Dzama by filmmaker Spike Jonze.
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Spike Jonze’s ‘Her’ Is a Delicate, Poignant, Tech-Savvy Romance

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When we meet Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), the hero of Spike Jonze’s exquisite new film Her (which closed the New York Film Festival last weekend), he is a reservoir of melancholy. His wife is divorcing him, his job is depressing, and he lives a life of crushing solitude. He is, in short, the perfect audience for OS1, the world’s first artificially intelligent operating system; “It’s not just an operating system, it’s a consciousness,” boast the ads. And sure enough, Samantha, the voice (provided by Scarlett Johansson) that purrs from his desktop and smartphone, is bright, and funny, and wonderful — everything he can no longer imagine in a partner. Early on, as he pours his soul out to her, he utters one of the movie’s key lines: “I can’t believe I’m having this conversation with my computer.” But he does, and he falls in love with her as well.
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50 Great Director Cameos in Other Directors’ Movies

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Film fans love a good director cameo. Hitchcock made a trademark of them; viewers are regularly delighted by the sly appearances of Martin Scorsese, John Waters, Sydney Pollack, and many more (M. Night Shyamalan, not so much) in their own movies. But the real sport for true cinephiles is spotting the occasions in which chummy directors pop in for cameo appearances in the pictures of their filmmaking pals. It happens, well, all the time. Click through for our handy …Read More

Famous Directors and Their Famous Music Video Muses

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Paul Thomas Anderson has reunited with Fiona Apple for the video for “Hot Knife,” the second single from last year’s The Idler Wheel…. It’s the latest episode in a long creative relationship between the two, and it got us thinking about similar connections between directors and musicians — specifically, noted directors and the musicians who’ve served as their muses over the years. Here’s a selection of the most …Read More