Skip to main content

Joaquin's Creepy Mustache, and Her


Well, that was certainly unexpected. And expected.

Stefan and I spent a couple days watching the Oscar-winning drama Her, and both came away with the feelings of being impressed, creeped out, informed, and well, entertained.

The plot is a modern take on a 1984-esque story. The main character, Theo, played by Joaquin and his creepy mustache (and yes, the mustache was a perfect fit for the character!), falls in love with his computer, Samantha, a female companion 'matched' for him from a series of questions. Scarlett Johannson plays the perfect body-less, sexy voice of the artificial intelligence, who 'learns' as she is used. Think charging your car battery while you run the car, but in a much more complex way.

As Theo is finalizing a divorce, he starts to spend most of his free time with Samantha, who quickly becomes his girlfriend. The other characters try to accept this new 'different' lifestyle, as a lot of people in the culture have started dating their computers, and most take to Samantha very well. Theo's soon to be ex-wife,  Catherine, is the only one who calls him out on it, telling him he has to take an artificial being because he can't deal with real feelings and real people.

The thing, though, about this movie, is that it was presented as futuristic, but our culture is much closer to this than Huxley's Brave New World was to him. The plot of a person becoming enamored with the internet, artificial reality, and a personality found through software is either happening currently or we're teetering near the edge, as a culture, so closely it's hard to say this is distant future science fiction.

Samantha can never put a finger (see what I did there?) on her feelings, but because she is learning new things all the time, she experiences, learns, and grows almost exponentially. She writes music for Theo (amazing soundtrack, by the way, music by Arcade Fire), helps him achieve a goal through his work, and becomes friends with his friends, all as a voice and a personality turned on by beeping an earplug. It's completely wild. And completely realistic. And really intriguing. The setting was a large metropolitan area, similar to Tokyo or Shanghai with architecture similarly found in those cities, adding to the virtual reality consumption believability.

In one scene, Theo has a near panic attack because he can't find Samantha. The computer program reads something to the effect of "offline". He's in the subway system and every single person there is talking out loud, also to their own artificial companion, and the audience realizes how lonely these people all are, and if they'd just communicate with the people they come into contact with, they'd be living much more balanced lives. Instead, they dissolve into these bizarre mind-prisons where they have chosen to believe that their computer 'gets them' better than anyone else; friends, family, neighbors. They've all but given up on each other, and have forgotten that with a few randomly asked questions and a chosen preference for a male or female voice, they have created their own fake god, and it's modeled after themselves.

I don't want to give any spoilers, but I do think this movie is worth the watch, there is so much going on under the surface. Spike Jonze has created a world so closely resembling ours, where virtual reality and the internet has completely taken over human engagement, and the struggle it is to reach the surface of true emotion, real world commitment, and trust. 

Comments

Victoria Wilson said…
OH MY GOODNESS. I think I'd really love this film. I'm a sucker for movies that make you think in really unexpected and beautifully captured ways. Now I just need to find 2 free hours LOL

Popular posts from this blog

How To: DIY Sand/Water Table

How To: Build A Sand/Water Table for Under $30!
Sorry this took me so long to blog, but I had to have a tool list and full instructions before I could do so.
A little history on my love for the sand/water table. I love the idea behind tools for tiny hands, i.e. the Montessori Method, and like to have Lukka 'figure things out for himself', even when he is playing. I try to have the most simple and basic toys available for 3 reasons: a) simple toys generally have less parts, which means less of a hassle for me
b) simple toys inspire way more creativity and imagination than do 'exact replica' toys
c) they are much more aesthetically pleasing to look at, therefore, not making every nook and cranny of our house an eyesore!
I know the last reason is just for me, but it's true. Plastic things don't generally last 1/2 as long as wooden or fabric toys, and they are unattractive. For this reason, I started to look for a wooden sand/water table as opposed to a plastic one …

Subscription Boxes as Homeschool Curriculum

Ani painting her first diarama
The subscription service business sector is exploding the online retail market. You can now buy toys, pet products, clothing, stationary, beauty products, eco-cleaning supplies, and even organic snacks all in monthly packages with excellent branding. While print magazines are slowly fading away, a new type of subscription purchasing is taking place in droves--for those who are too busy or depleted to run one more errand (hand raised here), you can get a fun surprise on your doorstep for a decent price. These are excellent as curriculum because all the work of planning and gathering has been done for you! Now it's just up to the child to execute and enjoy the process. 
I have tried a few subscription services as either birthday gifts or a trial run for homeschooling, and let me tell you there are some awesome businesses going up! I want to highlight a few of them for you that can be used as homeschooling curriculum for elementary grade kids. With each…

What Takes Time

Our 17 footer, hitching a ride
Two weeks ago, we bought a canoe from Craigslist. It's nothing fancy. It's green, with mildew on the bottom from being unused, and it came with a solitary wooden oar. We'd been scouring craigslist with little luck under the $300 limit, and finally came across this one and joy of joys, they took $150 because they were putting everything in the moving truck the day we came. They didn't want it -- cash looks better than a canoe sitting by the curb. 
We'd squirreled away about $15 a month for the past year or so, just to put towards this little goal, and with a few life jackets, and 3 more oars to boot, we were out for our own little family adventure. The first time we took it out, we saw so much wild-life we couldn't believe it: a diving bird returning from his catch down under just a few feet from our boat, a Bald Eagle, and some sort of seal who popped up, stared at us, and promptly went back underwater. I didn't even know seal…