Short Film Screening: Where the Wired Things Are

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Published March 19, 2010

 

 

“It’s a robot love story for all you romantics,” said Spike Jonze, introducing his latest short film, I’m Here at the Tribeca Grand last night. Sure, the concept of robot love might strike as paradoxical, but after watching the film’s protagonist, a melancholy mechanical man named Sheldon with a head fashioned out of a vintage PC, fall hard-drive over heels for a haphazard, fun-loving she-bot, it becomes abundantly clear that, in Spike’s world, robots are as fragile as the rest of us.

Maybe it was their doe-eyed,impressively CGI-animated faces, or their endearing English accents, but we couldn’t help but feel for the well-wired pair. Set in an LA suburb, I’m Here is tinted with the sweet, painful nostalgia that marks each of Jonze’s films. The unlikely robot duo dances in parking lots, snuggles during a picture-perfect sunset and even hosts a raging apartment party at which an intriguing robot-human relationship is revealed. “That really spoke to me because I kind of questioned it,” said co-host, Opening Ceremony’s Humberto Leon while OC’s Olivia Kim speculated that “the humans want to be robots just as much as the robots want to be human!” Spike nodded in approval of her hypothesis.

Both Johan Lindeberg and LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy properly pegged the film as “emotional” and “exceptionally beautiful.” And although Spike’s parents left the screening just before the crowd began dancing to the DJ set by Sophomore designer Chrissie Miller and her boyfriend, actor Leo Fitzpatrick, there was no question that they’d set a romantic example.