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robertogreco : spikejonze   16

things weren't better then, they just spent less time nostalgic for the past
"Have you seen Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer lately? It popped up when something else I was playing on Youtube ended and I can’t stop thinking about it. Now I want to send it to every VR guy who says something like, “well, actually it took fifty years of film before Citizen Kane..” Well, actually it took four years of MTV before they made this:

[image]

Why isn’t VR as good as music videos were in the 80s? This week people went wild over an AR recreation of A-ha's “Take on me.” It’s a technical achievement but not a creative one. A creative achievement would be to this moment what “Take on me” was in 1984. Something doesn’t need to be technically advanced to capture people’s imaginations as that video did, but I don’t see any entry points in the industry or attempts to nurture that kind of talent. 

VR/AR is ad-tech. Everything built in studios (except for experimental projects from independent artists) is advertising something. That empathy stuff? That's advertising for nonprofits. But mostly VR is advertising itself. While MTV was advertising musicians, the scale and creative freedom meant that it launched careers for people like Michel Gondry, Antoine Fuqua, David Fincher, Spike Jonze, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, etc. A band from a town like Louisville or Tampa could get in touch with a local filmmaker and collaborate on a project and hope that 120 Minutes picks it up. There were entry points like that. And the audience was eager to see something experimental. But a VR audience is primed to have something like a rollercoaster experience, rather than an encounter with the unexpected. The same slimy shapeshifter entrepreneurs that could just as well build martech or chatbots went and colonized the VR space because they have a built in excuse that it took film "fifty years before Orson Wells." Imagine that. A blank check and a deadline in fifty years.

No one wants to get inside some sweaty uncomfortable headset unless they are going to be rewarded with something at least as good as music videos were in 1984. But who is ushering in talent rather than hype? VR is starting as an institutional and commercial monster rather than scaling into institutional power. It’s like if the art market came before art."
joannemcneil  2017  vr  ar  virtualreality  augmentedreality  mtv  musicvideos  art  advertising  michelgondry  spikejonze  antoinefuqua  davidflincher  jonathandayton  valeriefaris  experimentation  unexpected  surprise  creativity  artmarket 
july 2017 by robertogreco
‘This is the dirty, magical realism future of Los Angeles’ | Buildings | Architectural Review
"Maltzan’s bold, stacked forms engage with a formerly industrial neighbourhood in downtown LA

Fundamental transformations are taking place within the two main urban centres of California, the state that exemplified a previous model of laissez-faire sub-urbanity. The force of change is a new generation of urban dwellers that bring a different set of values around identity, community and responsibility. The effect of these changes seems to differ between the two cities, as a forum commenter recently pointedly summarised: ‘San Francisco is a utopia gone wrong, while Los Angeles is a dystopia gone right.’ While SF’s development has become dubiously intertwined with the tech boom and its relating social disparities, LA is possibly evolving towards a more enmeshed alternative. These developments deserve attention, as even more than the car-oriented suburb of the ’60s, this current idea of the city might well become the model for other developing regions around the globe.

Los Angeles for decades was understood as an entropic field of enclaves. A mat-city where sunshades and windshields allowed for a coexistence of minimal interaction, as depicted so cleverly in Robert Altman’s Shortcuts (1993). The city’s downtown frequents as hell-on-earth in numerous sci-fi movies. For years, the dark and haunted vision of this part of town, as depicted in Blade Runner (1982), was an idée fixe. Come 2014, Spike Jonze’s magical realism brings us a radically new notion of what LA’s future might look like. In Her, the movie in which protagonist Theodore Twombly falls in love with an OS with an exceptionally seductive voice, the future of downtown LA is clean, dense and comfortable. According to Her cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema, Jonze wanted an LA set in the not-so-distant future – a ‘world that was tactile and pleasant: the very opposite of a dystopian future’.

Los Angeles architect Michael Maltzan has been contemplating the not-so-distant future of LA for a while, leading in 2011 to his book No More Play. ‘The city is at a moment where much of the way that it has been developed in the past, which has created both the physical and psychological identity for the city – a city that just continued to push the boundaries outward and sprawl into the periphery – that data equation is probably untenable at this point. There is an extraordinary pressure back in and onto the city that is creating a kind of overwriting of the city in a very intense way.’ This brings up a number of questions that other cities, older more traditional cities, probably have dealt with in the past, things like transport, and certainly scale and density as important urban questions. What Maltzan has been most interested in, ‘is trying to imagine how you deal with those questions, but deal with them in a way that is inspired by and specific to Los Angeles. I don’t think it really helps at all to try to import models from other established or more traditional cities into a culture that has its own identity, its own character, its own spirit’.

This spirit is increasingly emerging in Maltzan’s own work. His lines and forms are daring and bold. His predominantly white massings, shaped through hard chamfers and sharp facets, gain their expression in the dark shadows of the Sunshine State. More particular is his embrace of the raw and given – the reality of the everyday in all its looseness and unpredictability. This engagement with the real, which was also crucial for fellow Angeleno and former employer, Frank Gehry, is helping Maltzan now add two significant projects to LA evolving downtown less than a mile apart."



"As the project’s linear form moves south, it begins to shift, delaminating to create views and ground-level connections across its width for a clear connection to the LA River and future transit nodes. Says Maltzan, ‘It’s seen as a three-dimensional armature that eventually weaves itself into the city.’ Interspersed in this connective network are the contemporary perks these buildings require such as pools, barbecue decks and gyms as points of orientation.

Both The Star Apartments and One Santa Fe are frugal encampments of wood and stucco on top of a new ground with its concrete structures and ordinary plumbing exposed. They are built to current economic realities and construction techniques. In their parti, the projects evoke Masato Otaka’s Sakaide Artificial Ground development (1968-86). This Japanese Metabolist established an artificial datum over a seismically unstable slum area in Sakaide, using a fixed concrete slab and beam platform, which housed itinerant salt workers in a series of prefabricated housing structures on the slab. Underneath was occupied by offices, shops, parking and a network of pedestrian alleys. The second ground certainly is not a new concept in architecture, but other than in its utopian or Structuralist precursors, Maltzan’s new ground is not infused with radical rhetorics. Somewhere within the amalgam of new realities, housing subsidies, affordability ratios, zoning requirements, ROI models, parking quota, etc, Maltzan is able to create two projects that are both unique and memorable.

In addition to that, in their pragmatism and embrace of the currents of our time, they form a ‘casual’ manifesto of how the city could transform. Unlike in other cities, space in LA is actually not yet precious, so doubling the ground is not to create more; it is the introduction of a layer within the city that can take on new community or urban roles. The new public layers appear as a testing ground, or antechamber, allowing the changing and diverse LA populace to gradually get reconnected, to both the outside and to the other. ‘I think architecture through building form has a responsibility to try to point to what urban forms are going to look like and what the city’s going to look like. These buildings are trying to do that,’ says Maltzan. If this is where the city is heading, a ‘dirty’, magical realism awaits us in the not-too-distant future."
losangeles  sanfrancisco  california  2015  architects  housing  cities  michaelmaltzan  design  urbanism  onesantafe  dystopia  spikejonze  her  future  sprawl  density 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Why Her Will Dominate UI Design Even More Than Minority Report | Wired Design | Wired.com
"In Her, the future almost looks more like the past."



"Jonze had help in finding the contours of this slight future, including conversations with designers from New York-based studio Sagmeister & Walsh and an early meeting with Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio, principals at architecture firm DS+R. As the film’s production designer, Barrett was responsible for making it a reality.

Throughout that process, he drew inspiration from one of his favorite books, a visual compendium of futuristic predictions from various points in history. Basically, the book reminded Barrett what not to do. “It shows a lot of things and it makes you laugh instantly, because you say, ‘those things never came to pass!’” he explains. “But often times, it’s just because they over-thought it. The future is much simpler than you think.”

That’s easy to say in retrospect, looking at images of Rube Goldbergian kitchens and scenes of commute by jet pack. But Jonze and Barrett had the difficult task of extrapolating that simplification forward from today’s technological moment.

Theo’s home gives us one concise example. You could call it a “smart house,” but there’s little outward evidence of it. What makes it intelligent isn’t the whizbang technology but rather simple, understated utility. Lights, for example, turn off and on as Theo moves from room to room. There’s no app for controlling them from the couch; no control panel on the wall. It’s all automatic. Why? “It’s just a smart and efficient way to live in a house,” says Barrett.

Today’s smartphones were another object of Barrett’s scrutiny. “They’re advanced, but in some ways they’re not advanced whatsoever,” he says. “They need too much attention. You don’t really want to be stuck engaging them. You want to be free.” In Barrett’s estimation, the smartphones just around the corner aren’t much better. “Everyone says we’re supposed to have a curved piece of flexible glass. Why do we need that? Let’s make it more substantial. Let’s make it something that feels nice in the hand.”"
her  spikejonze  design  ai  film  technology  ui  future  minorityreport  diller+scofidio  elizabethdiller  lizdiller  dillerscofidio  designfiction  speculativedesign  speculativefiction 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Spike Jonze's 'Her' a refreshingly original take on a future L.A. - latimes.com
"Critic's Notebook: Spike Jonze boldly bucks the retro trend in creating a vivid future L.A. in 'Her,' a thoughtful meditation on tech and culture."



""Her" bucks the retro moment by jumping enthusiastically, and blindly, into a future that is neither utopian nor dystopian but — like our own era, and like every era —somewhere in the slippery in-between. The film is set in the Los Angeles of two or three decades from now; the year is never specified.

The city has dense clusters of tall towers and a mass-transit system to rival London's. Cars seem to have been banished. The thoughtful but hopelessly needy hero, Theodore Twombly, lives in a large and serene apartment in a downtown high-rise and either walks or takes the train everywhere."



"Alternating between scenes shot in Los Angeles and Shanghai gives this limbo cinematic form. The city is stuck between two realms just like Theodore, with his feet on the ground in Los Angeles and his mind and heart in a digital reverie.

Those gestures by Jonze and Barrett turn "Her" into an extended and surprisingly kindhearted meditation on how we grapple with major change — personal, cultural, technological and architectural.

The reason the culture has become creatively stuck, endlessly reusing our own recent past, is not only that it has become so easy for artists and consumers to call up old material. It is also because we are in the midst of a dramatic and profound digital upheaval that is remaking our personal and professional lives.

We have had a tough time moving forward in part because we haven't had a chance to make any coherent sense of what this digital revolution means culturally.

The question seems so huge and unwieldy, so existential, that it has been easier to turn our backs and find either comfort and inspiration in the newly accessible past.

This retro turn hardly kills creativity; it has produced some energetic and important work, a lot of which seems to fully inhabit and animate past styles rather than simply ape them. This is particularly true of records and novels by artists in their 20s and early 30s, digital natives who effortlessly give fresh energy to discarded or antique genres.

Think of "Days Are Gone," the addictive 2013 debut from three twentysomething sisters from the San Fernando Valley in the band Haim, which shamelessly borrows tricks from '80s pop and still manages to sound fresh. Or "The Luminaries," the Booker Prize-winning novel by Eleanor Catton, a 28-year-old New Zealand writer who mines Victorian fiction for inspiration.

In architecture, too, the ease of looking backward has made looking forward tougher or simply more rare. Younger architects are relying on historic pastiche to a degree not seen since the heyday of postmodernism in the 1980s. Consider the work of the recently disbanded London firm FAT (Fashion Architecture Taste), which in recent years rescued tongue-in-cheek historicism from the margins of architectural practice.

Or the newly opened Ace Hotel on Broadway in downtown Los Angeles; occupying the ornate 1927 United Artists tower by the firm Walker & Eisen, the hotel has interiors remade by the Los Angeles design firm Commune as a loving tribute to 1920s architecture, with nods to Rudolph Schindler, Frank Lloyd Wright and the Viennese modernist Adolf Loos.

Like "The Way Way Back," which is essentially set in the 1980s and the present day at the same time, the hotel's design scheme is comfortable mixing historical eras: Layered atop the throwback architectural details are artworks by contemporary L.A. artists, including pencil drawings on the walls by the Haas Brothers.

At a certain point, though, we are going to have to confront the growing gap between the relentless pace of innovation in the high-tech world and the ever-faster cycle of rehash and rediscovery that dominates the cultural one.

"Her" is one of the first high-profile efforts to do so. Jonze sidesteps the retro riptide that has trapped so many of his peers. And he eagerly takes on the question of what it might mean to live in an era when nearly everything is capable of being delivered (and theoretically improved) in digital form — not just newspapers, music, novels and architectural blueprints but love affairs too."
her  losangeles  future  spikejonze  2014  elizabethdiller  dystopia  utopia  cities  christopherhawthorne  retro  culture  history  architecture  design  film  lizdiller 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Spike Jonze and Beastie Boys, Together Again | Open Culture
"Being John Malkovich director and longtime Beastie Boys collaborator Spike Jonze has directed yet another music video for the band: A high-concept sci-fi extravaganza that features zombies, GI Joe action figures, and, as usual, a soundtrack with a pretty decent hook.

The song is called “Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win,” and the version we’ve posted above is the 11-minute director’s cut.  You can watch a shorter version here, but why would you ever want to?"
spikejonze  beastieboys  video  music  musicvideo  2011 
july 2011 by robertogreco
SHORT FILM: I'm Here  | The Spectator
"I’m Here is the underrated short film by director Spike Jonze. As with all his previous projects, Jonze plays with camera tricks, miniatures, molds and models rather than special effects and it is more than evident here that he’s one of the most gifted and unusual directors out there. He’s a director who prefers exploring unmarked territory. He goes where no one has dared before and his latest short is so original that midway through you’ll wonder why this has never been done before.

The plot revolves around a humanoid robot who works at a library in an alternative world where machines and humans co-exist. Nope, this isn’t another robots taking over the world kind of movie: it’s a bittersweet love story with an all-robot cast. Even though the world displayed onscreen most probably takes place in the future, the robots here look retro, which provides a nostalgic touch to this subtle and emotional short…"
spikejonze  film  imhere  robots  retrofuture  future  shorts  loneliness  love  emotions  storytelling  classideas 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Op-Ed Columnist - Where the Wild Things Are - NYTimes.com [via: http://snarkmarket.com/2009/3794]
...philosopher’s picture: good life won through direct assault. Heroes use reason to separate virtue from vice...willpower to conquer weakness, fear, selfishness & dark passions lurking inside. Once they achieve virtue they do virtuous things...psychologist’s version: good life is won indirectly. People have only vague intuitions about instincts & impulses...implanted in them by evolution, culture & upbringing..no easy way to command all the wild things jostling inside. But possible to achieve momentary harmony through creative work. Max has all his Wild Things at peace when...immersed in building a fort or...giving another his complete attention. This isn’t the good life through heroic self-analysis but through mundane, self-forgetting effort & through everyday routines. Appiah believes these 2 views of conduct are in conversation, not conflict...seem[s] we’re in one of those periods when words like character fall into dispute & change meaning."
psychology  philosophy  politics  wherethewildthingsare  spikejonze  consciousness  character  neuroscience  davidbrooks 
october 2009 by robertogreco
The Mommy Files : Maurice Sendak tells parents to go to hell
"Reporter: "What do you say to parents who think the Wild Things film may be too scary?"
wherethewildthingsare  mauricesendak  spikejonze  film  children  parenting  childhood 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Bringing ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ to the Screen - NYTimes.com
"“Where the Wild Things Are” seems sure to appeal to the sensibilities of a certain cohort of urban young adults — the type who read comic-book novels and wear skateboard sneakers; who might concur with a note I saw one day scrawled on a legal pad in Jonze’s office: “There is no difference between childhood and adulthood.” Finding an audience beyond that demographic, though, may well pose a challenge to Warner’s marketing department, which is trying to position the movie as a family-friendly film for kids of all ages."
spikejonze  wherethewildthingsare  film 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Sendak Promises Wild Things Movie Will Be Dark and Controversial - Movies - io9
"The Where the Wild Things' trailer may have been declawed, but according to original author Maurice Sendak, the movie still has bite. In a new featurette, Sendak calls Spike Jonze's adaptation "dangerous," and promises it will stir controversy.

This featurette was screened with clips from the movie at the Comic Con Warner Bros. panel Friday morning. Here, we not only get Sendak's words on the film, but also brief snippets of the movie and footage from Jonze's set, including his fiery propane tank. The film visuals are incredibly lovely, but even the set footage looks somehow magical and it looks like that dreamy on-set fun is what really drives the movie."
mauricesendak  spikejonze  wherethewildthingsare  film  books 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Wild Things All Over - 2/4/2008 - Publishers Weekly
"screenplay by Spike Jonze & Dave Eggers...consulted with Sendak...film will carry blockbuster of a tie-in— a solo novel, written by Eggers (working title: The Wild Things) inspired by Sendak's iconic tale, to be published by Ecco Press."
daveeggers  spikejonze  mauricesendak  film  books  novels  children  literature 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Second Look: Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are « FirstShowing.net
"Warner Brothers has released the very first two stills from the movie and they certainly are eye brow raising."
mauricesendak  spikejonze  film  wherethewildthingsare  glvo  children  books  fantasy  dejavu  cinema 
december 2007 by robertogreco
We've Got Dave Eggers's and Spike Jonze's Script for ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ -- Vulture -- Entertainment & Culture Blog -- New York Magazine
"We were deeply nervous about anyone taking on a story this beloved yet difficult, even talents like Eggers and Jonze, but this screenplay goes a long way toward reassuring us that this movie, which is coming out in 2008, will be something special."
film  daveeggers  spikejonze  children  books  stories  wherethewildthingsare  mauricesendak  kids 
october 2007 by robertogreco

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