Her: Between Utopia and Dystopia
Castro Alderete, Loinaz
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Dystopian fiction is a literary and film genre that explores contemporary social and political issues and is, therefore, inspired by the anxieties and worries of the society that produces it. Set in a distant place and time, it is an undoubtedly valuable resource for the field of cultural studies. However, most previous work on dystopian fiction have focused on studying films such as Blade Runner (1982) or The Matrix (1999) that depict bleak, urban and highly technologized futures and fall within the scope of the cyberpunk subgenre, while little research has been devoted to recent popular dystopias such as Ex Machina (2014) or Black Mirror (2011- ) that are set in aesthetically pleasuring and almost utopian places. Drawing from the tradition of dystopian fiction and the evolution of the genre in both literature and film, the present study analyses Spike Jonze’s film Her (2013) in an attempt to identify the dystopian and utopian elements in it and reveal a new turn in the visions of the future of dystopian fiction. The paper concludes by discussing the results of the analysis, which suggest that the film offers a mild social criticism and mingles both utopian and dystopian elements, findings that determine that Her (2013) is a film that belongs to the genre of speculative fiction.