spike jonze + method: i’m here.

So, facts are facts and Spike Jonze is a genius. Along with Michel Gondry, he’s one of my long-time favourite directors (ever since his legendary vid for Björk’s “It’s Oh So Quiet” all the way up to last year’s “Where The Wild Things Are”).

His work is filled with explosions of colour, reality mixed with fantasy, waking from daydreams, the importance of memory, sunlit yearning and moments of loss and explorations of our never-ending searches to find ourselves. Jonze is the shit and that’s all there is to it. I’ve felt more full and more empty and more loved and more alone watching his films than any other director.

And now he’s about to explore the humanity of being a robot…

His latest half-hour short film “I’m Here”, screens tonight at Sundance and is scheduled for a release in March. Commissioned in collab with Absolut (and say what you want about corporate sponsorship, Absolut has a long history of supporting the arts and working with up-and-coming designers and artists through various campaigns) it’s the story of  two robots meeting up and falling in love in LA.

The CG character work, from bi-coastal shop Method, is clearly outstanding. The trailer is only 30 seconds and I basically died when I saw it. Once again, Jonze is taking the concept of our most cherished entities – love, beauty, connection – and turning them onto their heads and into something we’d never imagined before.

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  1. Spike Jonze came to visit my college – Bard College – here in upstate NY last Wednesday. The entire tiny theater was crowded to the max with people pouring into the aisles, sitting on the floor around his table and peeking from behind the door. It was an incredible turn out for a Q&A.

    I had a question about his use of music for his films and he answered this in his nonchalant way – that he loves working with musicians and finding driving music for his pieces. He was just a normal guy, with a rip in his sweater behind his shoulder. Kelly Reichardt’s (our film professor, the director of Wendy & Lucy, who’d asked him to come) dog burrowed into his jacket on the floor as he talked. He had such a great presence and energy as he talked about the difficulties of working within the studio system. Basically what we gleaned from it, is that it’s difficult, yes, to try and make others believe in your vision when you’re secretly struggling with it yourself.

    Consequently he gave us a lot of his work to screen over the week – music videos, shorts, even a 16 mm of Wild Things – including We Were Once a Fairytale and I’m Here. I’m Here was superb and sweet, and immaculately animated. Very endearing and also cold.

  2. I agree that Spike Jonze does brilliant work, and his aesthetic, spun out in the course of a movie or a music video, is strikingly unique, a genuine personal vision. This trailer exhibits that vision… and yet, though I hate to say it, it almost feels too typical of Jonze’s work. When you have a consistent stylistic approach, you can eventually become oppressed by it, and your work can turn into self-parody.

    I expect I’ll still like the movie a lot. The medium-short format he’s using is incredibly underappreciated. I think, in the course of a whole 30-minute film, Jonze will manage to turn this into something really heartfelt and unique. However, the trailer left me feeling lukewarm, because it felt too typically Jonzian.

    Maybe Where The Wild Things Are is still just too fresh in my mind.


  1. […] via Shapeandcolor, one of my favorite new blog discoveries, via […]

  2. I’m Here (Film by Spike Jonze)…

    Ok, I’m in love with this short film already. And I haven’t seen it yet. It premiered last night as part of the first-ever Opening Night’s Shorts Program at the Sundance Film Festival. But for those of us not at the festival, it’ll pr…

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