Sweet films for cold days- ‘I’m here’: Spike Jonze
There is something fundamentally depressing about Mondays. Whether it’s the excesses of the weekend finally catching up with you; the double hangover and paranoia to match, the knowledge of being tied to a desk for the next five days, or the glut of University work that you’ve tried(and failed) to toil through. ’I'm here’ is a nice way to counter this depression.
‘I’m here’ was released in 2010 so it’s not exactly new but it managed to slip through a lot of people’s radars. It is directed by Spike Jonze, who is largely known for ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ and his music-video collaborations with Arcade Fire, Sonic Youth, LCD Soundsystem and the Beastie Boys. In ‘I’m here’, Jonze turns his attention to a short animated love-story between two robots. The premise sounds a little bit sentimental and unappealing but there’s something really soft and beautiful about the film which is perfectly constructed and simultaneously weird and amazing. Or weirdly amazing. The soundtrack is an unobtrusive yet powerful addition to the film. In includes a range of music from Aska Matsumiya,Sleigh Bells, Sam Spiegel and a host of other independent artists.
The film is sponsored by Absolut vodka and fashions the tagline ‘A Love Story in an Absolut World.’ These brand endorsements being attached to independent films is a tricky and oft-contested relationship. However, there are no references to Absolut in the film at all and their funding has enabled the construction of the film and of a well designed website where you can watch it for free. The association was probably an attempt to make the brand more personable and creative. It is reminiscent in some ways of Costa now asking your name and writing it on your coffee, as if the experience is in some way personal and you are not merely a consumer of a big corporate brand.
The website is designed to be akin to the experience of going to the cinema with only 5000 ‘tickets’ or viewings allowed every day. You can connect via facebook too so that you enjoy the experience with your friends, as you would the cinema. This strategy is not altogether convincing as I am acutely aware that I am not at the cinema with friends but instead watching it from my laptop. The website is well designed though and does exude an air of exclusivity and it is an impressive and original way of utilizing social media, and online media platforms. Screened around various festivals such as ‘Sundance’ the film has managed to retain independent status despite its big brand endorsement.
The film is available online and lasts 30 minutes, so its perfect if you’re busy and can’t afford time to devote to a full film. Or if like me, your attention span is that of a five year old.
‘I’m Here’ is available to watch here: If you’re over 18.
By Anna Paul