Being Spike Jonze: Intertextuality and convergence in film, music video and advertising | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 11, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1474-2756
  • E-ISSN: 2040-0578



For many, the films of Spike Jonze are metafictional works that rearticulate established postmodernist debates about ontology and identity. This article rejects these views and suggests that Jonze’s interest in metaphysical play is better explained as an engagement with the blurred boundaries of an increasingly convergent culture. Considering his advertisements and music videos alongside Being John Malkovich (Jonze, 1999) and Adaptation (Jonze, 2002) and reflecting upon the thematic and stylistic continuities that link them all together, the suggestion is that for Jonze these different practices can be read as parts of a creative whole. Made in a common production context, using a shared genepool of production staff and talent, and financed by media companies that are themselves continually merging and hybridizing, Jonze’s stories about celebrity and cinema do not just open ‘a metaphysical can of worms’, but speak more broadly about an environment in which the distinctions between the film business and other parts of the media are increasingly meaningless. The implication is that in narratives preoccupied with the ways in which supposedly different terrains bleed into each other, Jonze’s films, music videos and commercials offer a self-conscious vision of the intertextuality of the contemporary mediascape.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error