‘Her’ and the fairy tale of technology

December 24, 2013 2:01 AM

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I have seen an astounding number of movies in the past month. I can recommend many of them — “American Hustle,” “12 Years a Slave,” “All Is Lost,” “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Nebraska,” “Gravity” — but “Her” is in a category of its own. It is not about someone special up there on the screen — someone crazy or larcenous or brave, someone in outer space or alone on a boat — but you and me, especially if you’re a man. (I confess to not knowing if a “Samuel” is possible for a woman.)

Ever since the French sociologist Émile Durkheim introduced the concept of anomie in 1893, social scientists and their knockoffs, columnists, have been writing about the atomized society. We have seen the alienated man in countless movies, and he either goes on a killing spree or discovers the joys ...

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