Spike Jonze appeared on Newsnight to discuss 'Her' and things got really awkward.
‘Her’ director Spike Jonze found out on 'Newsnight', what happens when an innovative American director appears on a British news programme to discuss his latest film. The answer is, it gets really really awkward. Check out these Top 10 moments from Jonze's chat with journalist Emily Maitlis.
Spike Jonze, director of 'Her' appeared on 'Newsnight'
1. The preceding ‘news’ item
Ok so ‘Newsnight’ is a news programme and in order to justify having an entertainment angle they usually like to tie it in with something more news-y. So here we got a rather long segment about how, like in ‘Her’, a virtual assistant could be the future. The segment which looked at current technology advances was awkward in itself, as reporter David Grossman tried to crack a few jokes with his ‘virtual assistant’
2. Spike shakes his head
The director hadn't even said his first word when things already started looking awkward as we see Spike shaking his head after watching the report. What made it even more brilliantly awkward was it happened when presenter Emily Maitlis was saying ‘we’re delighted to have you on the programme’, ouch.
3. Have you seen the movie?
First, Spike was asked to "talk us through the movie", to which the director responded with "have you seen the movie Emily?" Unbeknownst to Emily her opinion on the film would become the major theme of the interview as the director tried to reverse the roles. Jonze then said he was curious as to what Maitlis’s reaction was because, "the lead in was all about falling in love with software, which actually the movie wasn’t about."
Joaquin Phoenix in 'Her'
4. A man’s ideal woman?
Jonze was keen to point out that the movie is really an emotional film about falling in love. Emily seemed to be having none of it telling the director, "I was just curious if wether the man had found his ideal woman who just works for him as his PA." Oh dear, things are starting to get just a little bit more icy between the mismatched pair.
5. Did you feel it emotionally at all?
Spike really pushes that this movie is a love story but he knows Emily isn't going for it. After explaining a bit more he then asks the 'Newsnight' presenter, "did you feel it emotionally at all?" Maitlis doesn't take the bait and embarks on another ill advised software based question.
6. The movie is not about technology or software!
If anyone learns anything from this interview it has to be that ‘Her’ ‘is not about technology or software, as Jonze is once again forced to repeat this. He then tell Maitlis that "most people find it an emotional movie", before reiterating again that it is not about technology.
7. Our audience wants to hear from you not me
As Emily does a bit of question dodging worthy of a politician, Spike once again asks her how she felt about the film, to which she replies "our audience want to hear from you not me". Well the audience might well want that, but it seems Spike is really keen to get Emily’s opinion. When it becomes clear the director really wont give up she does admit she was moved by it, but something tells us she might not be being 100% honest.
8. Tell me what moved you
So now Emily’s admitted she was moved by ‘Her’, the director pushes it at little bit more wondering what exactly moved the presenter. Instead Maitlis prefers to discuss what she found ‘curious’, namely that technology was not obvious or in your face, she then asks if this was deliberate. Im guessing it was because ‘Her’ is ‘not about technology!’
9. The awkward goodbye
After an another awkward exchange, this time about the filming locations, the interview finally draws to a close. But not before a less than sincere sounding goodbye is said. Their encounter ends with Maitlis saying, "it’s great to hear from you Spike, probably more from you then me," giving the presenter the final word.
10. The aftermath
Once the show went off air we did get to finally here what Maitlis thought of the movie, for real this time. The presenter tweeted, "Ok...now I can tell you what I thought of #her. Sad, male fetish fantasy of disembodied female who does his bidding. Like lost in translation for mood but nowhere near as good." On the upside she did say she would go see it but, ‘Is it simplistic to call it " just a love story". Yes, hugely.’ Oh dear, now who wants to call Spike Jonze and ask what he thinks of Newsnight?
Set in the Los Angeles of the slight future, 'Her' follows Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), who makes his living writing personal letters for other people. After splitting from his wife, he becomes intrigued with an advanced operating system and is assigned 'Samantha,' (Scarlett Johansson) a bright, female voice who is sensitive and surprisingly funny. The pair's relationship begins to grow into something more personal and complex.
Perhaps Emily should have read our critic Rich Cline's thoughts on the movie. He called it a "boldly inventive exploration of how we connect with each other," adding "It's also one of the most involving, witty and evocative movies of the year."
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