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Spike Jonze Talks To Reddit About Making Her

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JonzeRedditReddit’s AMAs — short for “Ask Me Anything” — have become a constantly intriguing source for stories and insights from creative folks of all stripes. As the concept has become more popular, we’ve seen celebs including Joss Whedon, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Bryan Cranston sit down to field questions from Reddit’s readers. It’s a unique way to interact with celebs — or even just regular people who have interesting lives or points of view — directly, without having the intermediary of a journalist or film editor or publicist picking and choosing the questions. Sure, not every question gets answered, but many of the ones that do are funny or fascinating. Director Spike Jonze recently sat down for an AMA and talked about the origins of his latest film, Her, and why he wanted Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johannson for the two main roles.

Jonze revealed that the idea for Her came via an experience many of us have had over the years, and which has gotten a renewed relevance thanks to Apple’s “digital assistant” Siri. Jonze had a conversation with a chatbot, sharing the bizarre experience of talking to a thing that you know isn’t really talking to you, just simulating conversation based on its programming. That planted the initial seed for the idea of a relationship between a human and an A.I. program, but Jonze said he didn’t return to the idea until five years later. “I started thinking about it more as a way to write about relationships, and trying to understand them.”

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Spike Jonze’s Her Gets Two Parodies, Both Called Him

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Of all the films currently making rounds on the awards circuit, 12 Years a Slave seems the least likely to get a dumbed-down parody, given its subject matter. But a divorced white guy with a mustache falling in love with his operating system? You barely even have to think of any actual jokes to come up with a way to spoof that. Now we get to share two videos sending up Spike Jonze’s Her that both seem like they were written in the first five minutes after walking out of the theater.

Fortunately, the video above manages to draw a few grim smiles with its stereotypical version of what a guy would sound like as an operating system. He belches. If he had hands he’d probably scratch himself, you know, down there. Created by That’s What’s Up Comedy, this Him trailer stars Laura Eichorn as the somewhat antisocial lead who gets Bert as her personal OS. It seems like Bert is much more interested in remaining non-sentient and honest about his state of being rather than making his owner happy. He also likes to hang out with the guys and not draw attention to himself in public. He also might not like Mumford and Sons. Sounds like an okay guy to me.

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Her Trailer Showcases Love, Artificial Intelligence Style

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Director Spike Jonze is mostly known for delivering strange, offbeat films that feature lonely and displaced characters. In 1999, Jonze released his debut film, Being John Malkovich, and earned himself an Academy Award nomination for Best Director. In 2002, he presented an odd film about screenwriting with the film titled Adaptation, and in 2009 Jonze dazzled audiences with the film adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s book Where the Wild Things Are. Later this month, Jonze will deliver his take on modern romance in the film Her. Now Warner Bros. has released a new trailer focusing on the film’s unconventional sci-fi love story.