I’m in love with a computer…

posted by Eivind on February 24, 2014, at 6:42 am

her-movie-posterIt was this Friday that I posted on Masculinity-Movie’s Facebook page that Hollywood is a source that has run dry for me. I shared how I’m tired of dystopian, apocalyptic scenarios and how I just want something that feels real. The next day, my lover invited me to the cinema to watch Spike Jonze’s “Her”. I’ve heard good things about this movie, but it’s still been pretty much off my radar.

Boy am I glad I went. Faith in Hollywood restored (minor spoilers below).

“Her” is the best movie I’ve seen in a long, long time. The two of us sat together wooed for quite a while after, letting the movie circulate and integrate in our system. This is a movie I’ve actually thought about after watching it. That is a rare experience these days.

“Her” is the near-future story of Theodore, a newly divorced man who buys the latest operating system on the market for his computer. The operating system is an advanced AI – a consciousness as the marketing would have it – and it goes by the name of Samantha (which “she” comes up with herself).

From the first time Samantha speaks to Theodore, it’s clear that she is no ordinary computing experience. She has feelings, is curious about what it’s like to have a body and wants to get to know Theodore. Theodore’s mobile phone has a built in camera that serves as her eyes, and she enjoys to watch him sleep.

Over time, Theodore and Samantha fall in love, and since the OS adapts and evolves based on experience, she feels like a real person to Theodore. The only problem is that she lacks a body. This gives rise to the only profoundly creepy scene in the whole movie, where a woman visits Theodore as the AI’s human surrogate. This woman gives herself freely to Theodore and Samantha’s relationship, so that the two get to have sex together. And it’s Samantha who initiates the whole thing. This scene is profoundly disturbing to me, and so well done.

Having watched this movie, it strikes me how much I love watching a science-fiction that is not dystopian (even though the subject matter is at times troubling). It strikes me how much I love a movie about super-intelligent AIs that evolve from experience, without evolving toward becoming enemies of mankind (they in fact evolve towards some sort of enlightenment).

This is exactly what I was wanting from Hollywood now. I’m tired of dystopia and apocalypse. I wanted something that felt real and I got it. Which is no mean feat considering the subject matter.

Spike Jonze is clearly a very intelligent man in tune with the finer subtleties of the human experience. His movie brought out moods and experiences that my lover and I could recognize from our own relationship, even though it’s a very new one, and it brought us closer. This is thanks in large part to the exquisite dialogue; it’s simply believable.

I was bummed to see the movie theatre relatively empty – and that people were leaving during the movie. I didn’t like seeing that at all, because this, in my opinion, is movie making at its finest. I guess we, the public, get what we ask for. If people can’t appreciate a movie like this (and would rather watch dumb-ass thirteen a dozen apocalyptic special effects extravaganzas) then there is little hope of studios producing very many intelligent movies.

Anyway, if you haven’t seen “her” yet and it’s still running at a movie theatre near you, please take this opportunity to go see some of the best stuff that’s come out of Hollywood in a very long time. As a reader of my website, I trust you’ll be able to appreciate it. I don’t think it will give you inspiration to find your masculine empowerment, but it will give you beautiful insights into the nature of relatonships.

Enjoy! And do share your thoughts about the movie below.

PS! I write about this movie in my blog because I do not intend to write a full review about it.

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