Unlike other filmmakers, Jonze neither indulges in what one music critic has coined “Retromania,” nor does he imagine a uniformly dystopian or utopian future. Instead, writes Christopher Hawthorne, he finds a thought-provoking middle ground.
Jonze drew on two sources to create the Los Angeles seen in “Her”: first, he digitally altered the city’s existing skyline, with input from architect Elizabeth Diller. Second, he shot more than a few scenes in Shanghai.
“Filming in Shangai . . . allows him to capture something significant about the character, and the anxieties, of contemporary L.A.,” Hawthorne writes. “This is a city caught in limbo between two very different kinds of urbanism: between its private and car-dominated past and denser, more public and more connected future.”