Spike Jonze’s Her – a masterpiece of understated futurism


Saw Her, by Spike Jonze, last night. It’s a very interesting film, in that it’s not a fantastic film per se, but it’s masterful as a study in how to execute futurism in an understated, ambient way.

I can’t remember when I last saw a film that so seamlessly blended in futuristic technology into our current way of living. I’m not entirely sure about the retro futurist clothing, with the strange grandpa-pants-pulled-up-to-the-armpits look, but the designs for the smartphone, the game Phoenix plays at home, and the outdoor advertising are perfectly believable and realistic. Jonze very cleverly keeps many other details the same as today. notably the mailbox, which still requires its little key, which means you can take in his vision as a whole more easily, as compared to e.g. Minority Report or Bladerunner, where it’s an all-our futuristic assault.

The film also very nicely mixes LA with Shanghai (although they’ve left in some Chinese characters, as the Slate Culture Gabfest pointed out), and uses a gorgeous color palette. The use of color and the design for the smartphone are described in this FastCompany article.

Image © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

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