Her (2013)

Everyone please share one substantive response (50-word minimum) to Spike Jonze’s film Her (2013).

 

Here is mine:

 

What I admire (and also find disturbing) about Her is the way the film has you buy into the relationship between Theodore and Samantha.  Her uses the basic format of the romantic comedy (boy meets girl; they have a relationship; boy loses girl, etc.) but places it into a science-fiction context that doesn’t seem far away from 2018.  Her retains a fascinating ambivalence regarding the “love” between humans and artificial beings.  It would have been easier to make a critical film about the pathetic and solipsistic relationship between humans and their technology.  Instead we get this more nuanced story that has me somehow wishing (in part, at least) that Samantha had never left Theodore.  They could have worked things out and lived happily ever after!  It makes me wonder about the ending.  Has Theodore been liberated emotionally in some way because he writes the deeply felt electronic letter to his ex-wife?

 

Volkswagen Blues (150-Word Blog Post)

In preparation for our final exam, let’s pay close attention to Jacques Poulin’s language at the end of Volkswagen Blues.  Perform a close reading of the last two paragraphs of the novel.  How does Poulin render the long-awaited finale?  Would you say the novel resolves the tensions raised between the protagonists, or leaves them unresolved?  Explain what is gained and/or lost by Poulin’s approach here.  For those of you who can read French (or who would like to grapple with the original language), here is the text:

 

Alors ils se serrèrent l’un contre l’autre, assis au bord de leur siege, les genoux mêlés, et ils restèrent un long moment immobiles, étroitement enlacés comme s’ils n’étaient plus qu’une seule personne.  Ensuite Jack prit la petite valise qu’il avait préparée et il sortit du Volks, et la fille remit le moteur en marche.  Lorsqu’il se retourna pour la saluer, elle dit:

–Que les dieux vous protègent!

Il agita la main jusqu’à ce que le Volks eût disparu, et lorsqu’il entra tout seul dans l’aérogare, il souriait malgré tout à la pensée qu’il y availt, quelque part dans l’immensité de l’Amérique, un lieu secret où les dieux des Indiens et les autres dieux étaient rassemblés et tenaient conseil dans le but de veiller sur lui et d’éclairer sa route.