Spike Jonze

Spike Jonze

Madcap Shorts — To celebrate the release of Spike's futuristic masterpiece, we dig out four of his madcap shorts from the archives.

Spike Jonze has always been interested in the life of the mind, illuminating it through angsty voiceover (Adaptation), fantastical adventures (Where the Wild Things Are) and an actual portal (Being John Malkovich). In sci-fi rom-com Her, Jonze’s first foray into directing a feature penned exclusively by himself, the guide to lead man Theodore’s (Joaquin Phoenix) inner world is future technology.

The setting is a projected vision of LA in which artificial intelligence has evolved making it socially acceptable to date your Operating System – or ‘OS’ as characters casually dub them. As Theodore fires up an OS called Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson), Her melts seamlessly into a tender love story that feels realer than real.

To celebrate the release of Spike’s futuristic masterpiece, we took the opportunity to delve into his past. Here are our favourite edits from his madcap archives.

I’m Here

Proof that Jonze has been thinking about cyber-love long before bringing Her to life, this 2010 love story features two robots who live in an alternate LA where they coexist with humans. The touching tale is based on The Giving Tree, a kids book written and illustrated by Shel Silverstein.

How They Get There
If you’ve ever wondered how lonely shoes end up in gutters around the world, this short film – featuring an unforgettable performance from Gonz – explains one of life’s great mysteries. If you needed any more proof that Mark Gonzales is THE MAN the ridiculous dancing he throws down here will end any debate.

Rockafeller Skank – The Spike Jonze audition
Spike drops the moves, busts some heavy grooves and freaks the fuck out of passersby on Hollywood Boulevard in this hilarious spoof audition for Fatboy Slim’s Rockafeller Skank. His character is one of Jonze’s many alter egos, Richard Koufey, the leader of the Torrance Community Dance Group.

Video Days – Blind
The word “classic” gets thrown around far too often these, but this 1991 video for Blind Skateboards is an undeniable skate classic, setting the definitive template for all skate videos that that followed. Some of the many highlights include Mark Gonzales drinking with underage kids in the back of a Cadillac as it speeds around California and a young Jason Lee with beasty sideburns singing an anti Gulf War ballad.

Read the full review of Her in HUCK 042.