it’s nice to see that i can count on some tumblrs to have good sense and taste and agree with me. really what is all the fuss about regarding the movie her (we know it’s just industry hype). a guy uploads his new operating system and proceeds to live out bill gates’ wet dream. people finally overcome their mean world syndrome and abandon their computers and get out of the house only to watch the story of a guy falling for his operating system. this is not a look into the near future but rearview mirrorism at its finest: looking into the past while thinking you are looking into the future. do we really need spike jonze and that actor what’s-his-name to tell us people have love/hate relationships with their computers? shouldn’t it have been a linux? 2001: a space odyssey (made in ‘68) was much more interesting with a homicidal, bureaucratic computer named hal determined to murder an entire spacecraft crew due to a bruised bit of ego or circuitry. her is really 12 steps behind a film like lars and the real girl. a film with much more predictive and sociological value. it is this type of narrative that needs to be expanded and i would suggest rather than computers, which is really oh so 40 years ago, spike jonze et al investigate the relationship between a “real” man or woman and some sort of genetically constructed replicant partner. get all donna haraway and psycho-sexual cyborg with that shit. ridley scott established a nice start (thanks to pkd) with blade runner so let’s move on. even a so-so film like splice did a good job of exploring the quandaries that befall the nuclear family once parents can genetically program their progeny. all of the prattle about computers, social media and the internet is really only the continuation of a discourse that started with the invention of the telegraph in the 1800s. the stories that we need to begin telling ourselves have to do with the newer technologies of genetics and cutting edge psychopharmacology and the manner in which these technologies will create environments that will be shit storms of mcluhanesque proportions. that’s a love story or should I say fetish story that needs to be told.
i think what her might really be about, quite by accident, is the power of the female voice over male sexual psyches. although men like to think they are attracted to a certian physical type, what really counts at the unconscious level is the sound, timber and grain i.e. eroticism of a women’s voice. its ability to evoke in the male listener - without the poor schmuck even realizing it - all sorts of mommy phantasies. and scarlett johansson’s voice has obviously echoed deeply in the psyches of spike jonze and his demographic.