I’ve been hearing about this film for a while now, since its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, Spike Jonze’s 30 minute short film, ‘I’m Here’ has been creating quite the online buzz. In a unique cinematic experiment, the film has been released in an online cinema, from the website.
In a wonderful meeting of the traditional, old school cinema trips and the digitalisation of the film industry (and shameless corporate sponsorship by a major alcoholic drinks brand whose name I refuse to write to prove a point), you walk up to the ticket booth, see when the next showing is, get your ticket and then take your seat! With only a limited number of seats available each day, you might find yourself waiting a few hours until you visit the site at the right time, but believe me, when those curtains open, it is definitely worth the wait.
The film follows the lives and loves of two robots, Sheldon (Andrew Garfield) a shy and awkward librarian with too-short trousers and Francesca (Sienna Guillory), a free-spirited but clumsy lady robot. Jonze’s world is breathtakingly beautiful, from the saturated colours that bleed through this surreal world to the soundtrack by LA based artist Aska Matsumiya and other soon-to-be-known artists, to the astonishingly expressive animated eyes of the robots. For that half hour you are suspended between what is real and recognisable and the not-so-distant future and the possibility of life with robots. This version of LA is far enough removed to retain its sci-fi properties but recognisable enough in its characters and themes for its powerful message to hit home.
If I were to delve into my cyber-feminism theory from university, one could argue that the tale warns against the fragile co-existence of technology and humans… but then again, there is a reason I didn’t get on board with that theory at university.
For me, this is a story about self sacrifice and what happens when we find ourselves taken over by a relationship, no matter how destructive it may be, and the lengths we will go to make someone we love happy even if it literally tears us apart. Next time I start giving parts of myself away in a relationship, I know the final scene of this simply gorgeous film will appear in my mind…