For this week’s feature, we’re putting the spotlight on American filmmaker Spike Jonze!
Spike Jonze is Adam Spiegel in real life, born on October 22, 1969 in Rockville, Maryland. He attended the San Francisco Art Institute, and his moniker was a reference to musician Spike Jones, given to him by the former owner of the Bethesda community store Mike Henderson. From the mid- to late ‘80s, Jonze worked as a photographer for the Freestylin’ Magazine. He was also part of the international BMX club, Club Homeboy, and co-created the “youth culture magazines” Homeboy and Dirt.
Jonze has actually helmed more music videos than anything since 1992, at more than 50, collaborating with acts such as the Beastie Boys, Weezer, Björk, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, to name a few. Jonze has directed the music video for Fatboy Slim’s “Weapon of Choice”, which was named the “greatest ever” video by VH1 back in 2002. His latest work was Arcade Fire’s “Afterlife”, which was filmed live during the recently-concluded YouTube Music Awards.
In 1999, Jonze made his feature film debut by directing the critically-acclaimed and award-winning “Being John Malkovich”. This was followed by “Adaptation” (2002), “Where the Wild Things Are” (2009) , and “Her” (2013) . He has directed eight shorts, including the Berlin International Film Festival’s Best Film nominee, “I’m Here” (2010) and the Warsaw International Film Festival’s Short Grand Prix prize nominee, “Mourir Auprès De Toi” (2011).
Jonze’s affiliation with skateboarding continued to manifest in the skateboarding videos that he has created. He’s also a part-owner of Girl Skateboards, a skateboard company. He also co-created and produced the popular MTV show “Jackass” as well as “Jackass: The Movie”, and co-founded the Directors Label with Chris Cunningham and Michel Gondry. Jonze is also affiliated with Palm Pictures.
Aside from directing, Jonze has also performed other duties such as actor, cinematographer, producer, and writer. His most recent feature film, the sci-fi romance “Her”, is also his solo screenwriting debut. It is slated for a limited release on December 18 this year and a wide release on January 10 next year. It stars Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, and Rooney Mara. “Her” had its world premiere at the 51st New York Film Festival last October.