My favorite movie to date is Spike Jonze’s ‘Her’. I was instantly mesmerized by the theme, the acting and the sentiment. Although ‘Her’ is far from a love story, it contains all the ingredients for the perfect, yet hopeless, romantic narrative. ‘Her’ is an insanely ambitious piece by Jonze that explores humanism in its purist form. Perhaps what I love most about the movie, aside from Joaquin Phoenix pulling out his best (in my humble opinion) performance to date, is the movie’s homage to the great, and late, Alan Watts.
Watts has been a hero of mine since my teenage years. His simple ‘Western’ explanation for eastern philosophy is delivered in a way that makes complex themes comprehensible to even the most simple of folk, such as me! Within the narrative of ‘Her’ is contained two of my favorite Watts’ quotes:
For the vast majority of American families, what seems to be the real point of life—what you rush home to get to—is to watch an electronic reproduction of life … this purely passive contemplation of a twittering screen.
—Alan Watts, What Is Wrong With Our Culture
In the beginning there was only the Self, like a person alone … But the Self had no delight as one alone has no delight. It desired another. It expanded to the form of male and female in tight embrace and then fell into two parts…. She thought, "How can He have intercourse with me, having produced me from Himself?”
—Alan Watts, OM: The Sound of Hinduism
And let us not forget the stunning ‘audio’ performance by Scarlet Johansen. In her role as Samantha, the operating system, she has perfected the art of making a piece of technology charming, alluring and sexy.
I shall say no more for fear of spoiling the experience of viewing this wonderful piece but, what I will say is this: if you haven’t seen this movie, download it immediately.