What do we talk about when we talk about music video aesthetics? We are basically talking about those new visual elements which “have long been central to the music video genre because they illuminate musical form: relying on close shots, wide-ranging camera movements and rapid editing”. Those elements alway appear in the films of directors who used to be training in music video industry for a long time, such as Spike Jonze.
Spike Jonze played a major role in his film Her (2013) that he is not only director, but also producer and script-writer. He brings a “particularly powerful sensibility to the cinema”. In addition, the soundtrack was created by Arcade Fire whom Spike previously took music video for. He used to make music video for Slim Fatboy, Bjork and etc., possessing an unique style, such as dollying and handheld camera movements. Her is also strongly shape by his music video stylistic aesthetics, for example characters appear in the film by slightly swaying close-ups, the dazzling array of flashbacks, and the music flows as a connection between narrative and environment.
Being a loose science-fiction film, its storytelling and post-production in Her is also remarkable. The background of the story is set in the future, Samantha is just an updated version of Siri appearing in this film only through voice. So it offers more space for Spike to try more things. As a result, the lighting, set off and musical materials all become heightened to shape the film as “intensified audiovisual aesthetics”, basically delivering many emotions and Jonze’s own ideas on artificial intelligence to audience.
David, B. (2006). The Way Hollywood Tells It: Story and Style in Modern Movies. Berkeley: University of California Press, pp. 92-93.
Vernallis, C. (2014). Unruly media. 1st ed. New York: Oxford University Press Inc, pp.99-106.