Love and Sex in the Age of Capitalist Realism: On Spike Jonze’s Her
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Flisfeder, Matthew, and Clint Burnham. "Love and Sex in the Age of Capitalist Realism: On Spike Jonze’s Her." Cinema Journal 57 (1) (Fall 2017): 25-45. DOI: 10.1353/cj.2017.0054.
Spike Jonze’s Her (2013) is a film about a romantic relationship between a man and an operating system. Using a Lacanian and Žižekian psychoanalytic framework, we interpret this film in the context of what the cultural theorist Mark Fisher has called “capitalist realism.” Referring to the Lacanian thesis that “there is no sexual relationship,” we discuss the film’s unique treatment of our enjoyment of digital technology and how it deals with the parallel deadlocks of the sexual relationship and the work relationship. We address these topics by looking at how Her deals with the sexual relationship, love, work, and fantasy. The premise of the film is original—suited to the zeitgeist of the digital present—and we claim that it reveals important insights about processes of subjectivization.