do you recall when we were in Manhattan (in a gorgeous hotel suite) and could Not tell you why we were there?
we DO have a Most delicious life these days.
oh you’re right.
(how clever who-we-are-in-RL appears to be *innocentsmile*)
sadly we can’t share the original (syndication in process to other Esquire potential happening now you see).
but here’s a sneak peek.
If you’re feeling a general sense of malaise about real world relationships, you’ll feel comforted by the movie, “Her”, from writer/director Spike Jonze. The film is set in the not too distant future, in a Los Angeles that looks a lot like downtown Shanghai and stars Joaquin Phoenix as Theodore, a ghostwriter of other peoples’ intimate correspondence.
Theodore is definitely suffering from a lack of love. He’s unwilling to sign his divorce papers and has retreated to his apartment where he plays 3D virtual reality video games in desperate isolation.
The only hot action he gets is disembodied; in sex chat rooms accessed via his mobile device where the lonely, sleepless souls roam in the small hours, with their ever-darkening appetites. Which sets us up nicely for the premise of the movie: can you fall in love with a sentient artificially intelligent being that only exists in the ether of the cloud-based Internet, piped into your earpiece, whispering sweet nothings into your troubled psyche?
In the movie the answer is yes.
a bit further on…..
Jonze is anxious to position the movie as a love story and not a dystopian tale. He told Esquire: “Really I was writing about relationships and I wanted it to work on both levels. A lot of people are afraid of both technology and intimacy – and that’s what the movie is about.” But this is a movie about where we are heading and what that means for love, human relationships and our dependence on technologically advanced devices.
In an effort to learn more about Jonze’s vision of a future where operating systems fall in love with us, and vice versa, we interviewed several experts from robot anthropologists (yes this job now exists) to neuroscientists and famous thinkers in the field.
Which brings us neatly to Joaquin Phoenix. If you want to find an actor that portrays human alienation and detachment and pain beautifully, you can do no better than cast Phoenix. Famously obtuse in press interviews, he is a remarkably gifted actor, whose pain and experience of a fractured reality is almost too much to watch onscreen.
Jonze met Phoenix over a decade ago when the actor read for “Adaptation” (the role that went to Nicolas Cage) and always admired Phoenix’s dedication as an actor. “Joaquin brings so much heart and sincerity to the role. Even though Theodore holds so much sadness, he also has a capacity for joy and playfulness and it’s a sweet contrast, all of which Joaquin brings to the performance—and more. I felt that I watched him become Theodore.”
Phoenix agrees with his director that he tries to be purely instinctual these days when approaching a role.
“It depends on the movie – depends on the character – I’ve tried more and more to react to the moment, I used to impose my ideas on the scene too much and I wanted to get to a place where I respond to the moment as I get older I impose my ideas of what it should be and be more instinctual instead.”
so there you have it.
the reason we were in a hotel room in October in Manhattan and could not tell you that who we were with was Mr. Joaquin Phoenix and Mr. Spike Jonze.
did we like the movie?
v e r y m u c h.
in a delicious unsettling and glorious way.