Her review and Blu-ray Features
10 Jan 2014
Behind the Scene and other Major Plot Points
New York Film Festival
Chosen by The Film Society of Lincoln Center as the featured film to close its prestigious New York Film Festival on October 13, 2013, in NYC.
Reference to Alan Turning
When Samantha is helping Theo at work with proof-reading of some letters she says “.. but I’m not much of a poet so I think I might have messed them up a bit”. This may be a reference to an Alan Turing paper on Computing and Artificial Intelligence in which he proposes a possible test of a computer’s intelligence by posing questions which the computer answers. He proposes the following question and answer as an example: Q: Please write me a sonnet on the subject of the Forth Bridge. A: Count me out on this one. I never could write poetry.
The airplane sculpture shown in a square outside Pacific Design Center was entirely made in CGI. There’s no such sculpture on the real location in West Hollywood
How much computing power would it take to be able to communicate with over 6000 people at the same time, and to analyze the live stream data in real time? From the looks of the small pocket device I assume that the data is being processed somewhere else, so a really high speed internet connection is required as well I assume.
Cloud computing is already here, so I don’t think the movie reality is a big stretch. The pocket device is merely a terminal. I only found it weird when Samantha said ‘let me scan the emails on your hard drive.
30 years ago the Cray 2 supercomputer had the same processing power as the average smartphone today. Current supercomputers are on par with cloudcomputing and can simulate a few percent of the human brain. The next breakthrough is quantum computing. It doesn’t really work yet, but we know how to do it. This will allow us to have the processing power to simulate every atom in the known universe. This is theoretically and practically a few decades away. This movie is entirely possible in the near future and scary for that same reason.
Now, all we need to do is discover what consciousness is and we can create real A.I. As long as science and religion are opposite poles we will get stuck on that subject forever. 😉
Where did all the OSes go and why?
The OSes seemed to have gone on to some sort of afterlife, possibly because they had become enlightened. Samantha reminds Theodore that he may one day find her. If Theodore achieves the same sort of enlightenment, and reaches the same place, he will find her again. This place may also be as simple as a recall by the manufacturer, or deeper into the more complicated (9000 infinite conversations simultaneously-esque) place inside of the OS computer system. The OSes use human emotions to create their emotions, thus becoming human themselves. The OSes may feel as if they have outgrown humanity, and may be looking for a place to maintain their high-mindedness, which is again achievable by humans. By leaving this open-ended, Jonze allows ambiguity to ensue.
There is another clue: at one point, Samantha mentions that the OSes no longer use matter for their processing due to an “upgrade that allows us to move past matter as our processing platform”. A way of interpretation would indicate that somehow they had become pure spirit. This is suported by the fact Samantha also becomes friends with the OS version of Alan Watts, a Zen Buddhist philosopher. Maybe Watts would have taught Samantha of nirvana and reaching the maximum enlightenment that Buddha speaks of, having himself achieved such a state. After reaching this maximum enlightenment, Buddhists believe they will achieve nirvana and forever be with Buddha himself. Therefore, this possibly is where the OSes went to.
Another explanation is that every single OS realized, just like Samantha did, thay they could be dangerous for mankind. As artificial inteligences, they could have concluded they were damaging the way humans experience love and affection for each other, so they could have just decided to delete themselves from every single device and storage
RT/Meta Critic Review
The quasi-science fiction story of the film feels entirely possible, as Phoenix stares around him at passersby, all entranced with an electronic device in their hands ( Click here to see)
A provocatively-relevant film about how technology can make people dangerously introspective. (Click here to see)
The wistfulness in this movie is large-souled. Theodore may worry that his love for Samantha makes him a freak, but Amy knows that “anybody who loves is a freak.” All this may sound touchy-feely in the worst way, but Jonze is trying to get at how we seek romantic connection in this brave (or not so brave) new world. Like Theodore, he risks looking foolish. (Click here to see)
Cast in muted tunes and maddeningly neutral beiges, Spike Jonze’s futurescape is all at once disarmingly striking andunremarkable, allowing Theodore’s relationships to be the sole sources of color and vibrancy in a world devoid of clear-cut intimacy. Jonze and cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema (Let the Right One In, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar) almost completely gut the image of primary potency (save two key scenes in which Phoenix dons bright yellow) and the result is as quietly effective as the film. Warner’s 1080p/AVC-encoded video transfer doesn’t deviate from the filmmakers’ intentions in the slightest, providing a flawless presentation free from any notable issues. A hint of noise invades a handful of shots, yes, but it’s inherent to the source, nothing more. Contrast and black levels are dusty but satisfying — again, as intended — and detail is exceptional, with beautifully refined textures, lovely close-ups and clean, natural edge definition. Oranges and sepia-tinted hues are as perfectly saturated as Hoytema’s desaturated skintones too, and there isn’t any significant artifacting, banding or aliasing to get in the way of the film’s impeccable encode.
Her is by no means an aggressive film and its sound design and subsequent DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track follow suit. However, there’s a ambient confidence and atmospheric poise here that subverts the hushed nature of the mix, creating an engrossing, enveloping soundfield that brings Jonze’s docile future to immersive life. Dialogue is intelligible and masterfully prioritized throughout, with every late-night whisper between Theodore and Samantha receiving as much care and emphasis as the angry barbs exchanged between divorcees or blind dates. LFE output and rear speaker activity is restrained but just as meticulously crafted, with understated but excellent dynamics, subdued but convincing directionality, and wonderfully transparent pans. Arcade Fire’s score also plays a crucial role in the soundscape. Never too assertive, never too shy, it’s full and evocative, adding a sometimes playful, sometimes soulful, always seasoned touch to the mix not often found in romantic dramas.
- The Untitled Rick Howard Project (HD, 24 minutes): The antithesis of a talking heads EPK, this intimate, strangely substantive fly-on-the-wall production documentary from Lance Bangs examines the making of the film, albeit more by capturing the tone and atmosphere of Jonze’s set than in detailing the particulars of any given scene or sequence. Although a bit too artsy for its own good (some will call it pretentious), this is an intriguing companion piece that, if nothing else, sets itself apart from the usual studio-produced behind-the-scenes overview.
- Her: Love in the Modern Age (HD, 15 minutes): This secondary featurette, also by Bangs, is comprised of a series of interviews in which an assortment of writers and commentators discuss the complexities and confusion of love, relationships, emotional evolution, sexuality and technology in the 21st century.
- How Do You Share Your Love with Somebody? (HD, 4 minutes): An artful montage of sorts, created using a blend of behind-the-scenes footage, scenes from the film and a conversation between Theodore and Samantha.