Tag Archives: Joaquin Phoenix

Her (2013)

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Superficially, Her is striking because it’s entirely plausible. From the Apple-tinted future tech to the subtle revisions to fashion to the utter solitude found in a crowd, the film has a great deal to say about the near future, and the world we’re in the process of creating. And yet, Her isn’t about the science fiction. It’s not about predicting the future or scaring us straight. It is, simply, a love story in a different time than ours, with a different set of rules and the same expectations. Had he wanted to, Writer/Director Spike Jonze could have explored the futurist angle — there’s ample evidence that he designed his world far past what was necessary for the story he’s telling — but that’s not where his interests as a storyteller lie. They lie with people, and the connections between people, and the unexplored places to which these connections can take us.

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The Master (2012)

Lead or follow. At one time or another some puffed up authority figure has pointed to these as your two options in life. Not both, and certainly not neither. With this edict comes the implication that a leader is what you should want to be. Leaders are powerful and impressive, and followers are simply everyone else. While the world tends to consist of only leaders and followers, the idea that we can and should choose our path is tradition. The Master is flooded with followers and the leaders who lead them, but even more so with the notion that these roles are changeable. In every leader resides a follower, and vice versa, and the side we show is ultimately a product of the other person in the room. This may seem like a minor epiphany, but as Paul Thomas Anderson proves in his latest opus, it can change the way you view the world, and it can change the way the world views you.

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