Spike Jonze

"Throughout his varied career, Spike Jonze quickly established himself as a director whose remarkable vision and prolific output led to creating some of the most memorable films and music videos of his day." - Turner Classic Movies

Spike Jonze

Director / Producer / Screenwriter
(1969- ) Born October 22, Rockville, Maryland, USA
21st Century's Top 100 Directors

Key Production Country: USA
Key Genres: Science Fiction, Satire, Fantasy Comedy, Comedy Drama, Children's Fantasy, Black Comedy
Key Collaborators: Vincent Landay (Producer), Eric Zumbrunnen (Editor), K.K. Barrett (Production Designer), Lance Acord (Cinematographer), Carter Burwell (Composer), Catherine Keener (Character Actress), Charlie Kaufman (Screenwriter), John Cusack (Character Actor)

"Born in suburban Maryland, the freshly minted Spike Jonze dabbled in low-key journalism and skateboarding culture before finding his calling directing several clever, noteworthy, and now, iconic music videos and commercials, among them clips for Weezer, Björk, the Beastie Boys, and Fatboy Slim. Several of Jonze's videos have even since eclipsed the songs and artists they were intended to support. Following several short films, documentaries, experiments, and pranks, Jonze connected with screenwriter Charlie Kaufman for the highly acclaimed Being John Malkovich (1999)." - Joshua Klein (501 Movie Directors, 2007)
"Yes, there is an American New Wave and it’s exactly like the rest of America—casual, brilliant, spoiled, ironic, and devoutly youthful. Spike Jonze is very much an inspirational figure, not least for the way he was born an heir to the Spiegel mailorder catalogue and then married into the Coppolas—he married Sofia Coppola in 1999." - David Thomson (The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, 2010)
"A notoriously shy prankster with a penchant for skateboarding and tall tales, Spike Jonze might not have been the most obvious candidate for "most promising director" or "best first feature" status. With the release of Being John Malkovich in the fall of 1999, however, those were exactly the kinds of superlatives being lauded upon the impetuous wunderkind." - Michael Hastings (Allmovie)
"Interestingly, Jonze, whose real name isn't Spike Jonze (it's Adam Spiegel), shares his nom de guerre with Spike Jones, the bandleader of the '40s and '50s, who was known, among other things, for his satirical takes on popular favorites; one of his posthumous releases was even titled Spike Jones Is Murdering the Classics (1971). The extent to which that Spike Jones was operating in some overly self-conscious meta-capacity is unclear, but it's easy to imagine that he might have enjoyed this Spike Jonze's movies." - Interview Magazine
"Jonze, particularly in his two mind-meld collaborations with screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, has a history of choosing male heroes who are nerdy, creatively frustrated, and can’t quite express what they want, from John Cusack in Being John Malkovich (1999) to Nicolas Cage in Adaptation (2002) and beyond." - Tim Robey (The Telegraph)
"Spike Jonze is earnest, calm, thoughtful, artistic, lonely, private and a bunch of other things that I don’t want from a trickster. From the skate-punk photographer who pretended he was the leader of a group of awful local breakdancers, who co-produces the Jackass movies, who is the creative director of the gonzo-bro news brand Vice, who made the greatest music videos of all time, who was a brilliant actor in Three Kings before deciding he was too cool for acting, who directed the weirdness that is Being John Malkovich and Adaptation, who fought bitterly with his studio to turn Where the Wild Things Are into a kid’s movie so true to what it feels like to be a kid that kids didn’t see it and who shares a name with the novelty-song big-band leader of the 1940s–I want a little bit of edge." - Joel Stein (TIME)
TSPDT Guide
Worth a Look
Being John Malkovich (1999), Adaptation (2002) , Where the Wild Things Are (2009) , Her (2013)
Acclaimed Films / IMDB Filmography
21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films
Amazon Products
Films / Books
    Her
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