Jonze at the 2013 New York Film Festival
October 22, 1969 
Rockville, Maryland, U.S.
|Occupation||Film director, film producer, screenwriter, actor|
|Spouse(s)||Sofia Coppola (m. 1999–2003)|
|Relatives||Sam Spiegel (brother)|
Spike Jonze (pronounced "Jones" //; born Adam Spiegel on October 22, 1969) is an American director, producer, screenwriter and actor, whose work includes music videos, commercials, film and television. He started his feature film directing career with Being John Malkovich (1999) and Adaptation (2002), both written by Charlie Kaufman, and then started movies with screenplays of his own with Where the Wild Things Are (2009) and Her (2013).
Jonze is well known for his music video collaborations with Daft Punk, Fatboy Slim, Weezer, the Beastie Boys, Björk and Kanye West. He was a co-creator and executive producer of MTV's Jackass. He is currently the creative director of Vice Media, Inc.. He is part owner of skateboard company Girl Skateboards with riders Rick Howard and Mike Carroll.
He has been nominated for four Academy Awards: Best Director for Being John Malkovich, and Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay and Best Original Song ("The Moon Song") for Her. He won the Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay, the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay, and the 2014 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Her.
Early life and education
Jonze was born on October 22, 1969 in Rockville, Maryland, and grew up in Bethesda, Maryland and in Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania. His father, Arthur H. Spiegel III, was a distant relation of the Spiegel catalog family, and founded APM Management Consultants. His mother, Sandra L. Granzow, is a writer, communications consultant in developing countries, and artist. His brother, Sam "Squeak E. Clean" Spiegel, is a producer and DJ. He also has a sister, Julia. His father was from a German Jewish family, while his mother has German, Scottish, and English ancestry.
Jonze attended the San Francisco Art Institute in San Francisco, California. When he was a junior in high school (Walt Whitman High School), Jonze spent time at a Bethesda community store, where the former owner Mike Henderson gave him his nickname "Spike Jonze" in reference to Spike Jones. He fronted Club Homeboy, an international BMX club, with Mark "Lew" Lewman and Andy Jenkins, both co-editors of Freestylin' Magazine in the mid- to late 1980s, where Jonze worked as a photographer. The three also created the youth culture magazines Homeboy and Dirt (the latter of which was described as "Sassy Magazine for boys," being published by the same company and distributed in cellophane bags with the landmark magazine for young women).
|This section is missing information about most of Jonze's career. It jumps around a lot, but does not provide anything close to an organized narrative of his working career.. (February 2015)|
In 2006, he was nominated by the Directors Guild of America for "Outstanding Achievement in Commercials in 2005." He was nominated for a body of work that included Hello Tomorrow for Adidas, Lamp for IKEA, and Pardon Our Dust for The Gap. He was a producer and co-creator of MTV television series Jackass and Jackass: The Movie, also directing some of the segments. Jonze has acted in some videos and films; his most prominent role was in Three Kings as the sweet, dimwitted, casually racist Conrad, in which he was directed by friend David O. Russell.
Jonze was a co-founder and editor of Dirt magazine along with Mark Lewman and Andy Jenkins, as well as an editor for Grand Royal Magazine and senior photographer for Transworld Skateboarding. In the past, Jonze shot street skateboarding videos, most notably Blind's highly influential Video Days in 1991, and Lakai Footwear's Fully Flared in 2007. He co-directed the Girl Skateboards film Yeah Right! and the Chocolate Skateboards video Hot Chocolate. In the closing credits montage of Yeah Right!, Spike is shown doing a nollie heelflip in loafers. He is co-owner of Girl Skateboards.
Jonze has many alter egos, including Richard Koufey (alternately spelled Coufey or Couffe), the leader of the Torrance Community Dance Group, an urban troupe that performs in public spaces. The Koufey persona appeared when Jonze, in character, filmed himself dancing to Fatboy Slim's "The Rockafeller Skank" as it played on a boom box in a public area. Jonze showed the video to Slim, who appears briefly in the video around the 3:57 mark. Jonze then assembled a group of dancers to perform to Slim's "Praise You" outside a Westwood, California movie theater and taped the performance. The resulting clip was a huge success, and "Koufey" and his troupe were invited to New York City to perform the song for the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards. The video received awards for Best Direction, Breakthrough, and Best Choreography, which Jonze accepted, still in character. Jonze made a mockumentary about the experience called Torrance Rises. At the 2001 Grammy Awards, the music video for Weapon of Choice won Best Short Form Music Video.
Spike Jonze was part of the Detour-Moleskine project in New York in 2007. The project invites authors to compile and illustrate Moleskine notebooks to provide an intimate insight into the artists' creative process.
Jonze directed Where the Wild Things Are, which opened in the United States on October 16, 2009. It was arguably his most anticipated film to date, the product of an almost decade long collaboration with author Maurice Sendak. The film received generally favorable reviews, and appeared on many critics' end-of-the-year top ten lists.
In July 2009, Jonze acquired the rights to make a film adaptation of the Shane Jones novel Light Boxes. However, Jonze, in an interview with Times Online, said that Ray Tintori was no longer a director for that project as expected. In an interview with Interview Magazine in June 2010, Jones said the film option had been dropped.
In 2010, he made a 28-minute short titled Scenes from the Suburbs, inspired by the Arcade Fire album The Suburbs. Scenes from his short were used in the music video to the album's title song, "The Suburbs". A dystopian vision of suburbia in the near-future, the short was co-written by Jonze, Win Butler, and Will Butler. Expanding on the themes of nostalgia, alienation, and childhood, the short premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival and saw its online premiere at MUBI on June 27, 2011.
In 2011, Jonze collaborated with the Beastie Boys for the release of their Santigold collaboration, "Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win." In a similar fashion to Jonze's work with Arcade Fire, he directed both "short and epic-length videos" to partner with the single.
In 2011, Jonze directed the music video for "Otis" the second single from the album Watch The Throne by Jay-Z and Kanye West. On November 3, 2013, Jonze directed the live music video for Arcade Fire's "Afterlife" and documented Lady Gaga's live performance of "Dope" with Chris Milk for the YouTube Music Awards.
Jonze's next theatrical project Her was released in late 2013. Her is a science fiction romance film starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde, Rooney Mara, and Scarlett Johansson, and is Jonze's first feature-length original screenplay. The film follows a man (Phoenix) who develops a relationship with a seemingly intuitive and humanistic female voice, named "Samantha" (Johansson), produced by an advanced computer operating system. Jonze won the 2014 Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay for Her. Jonze has been nominated for three Academy Awards for Her, as producer for Best Picture, writer for Best Original Screenplay, and lyric writer for Best Original Song. On March 2, 2014, Jonze won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, which marks his first win. In 2013, Jonze played a role in The Wolf of Wall Street.
On June 26, 1999, Jonze married director Sofia Coppola, whom he had first met in 1992. On December 5, 2003, the couple filed for divorce, citing "irreconcilable differences." The character of John, a career-driven photographer (Giovanni Ribisi) in Coppola's Lost in Translation (2003), was rumored to be based on Jonze, though Coppola commented ”It’s not Spike, but there are elements of him there, elements of experiences".
Jonze began dating Michelle Williams in July 2008, after the death of Heath Ledger. They met on the set of Synecdoche, New York, which Williams starred in and Jonze produced. Williams called the timing of their relationship "impossible", and ended it in September 2009.
|Year||Film||Role||Awards and nominations|
|1997||How They Get There||Writer, director|
|1998||Amarillo by Morning||Director|
|1999||Torrance Rises||Co-director, choreographer, actor|
|2009||Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak||Co-director|
|We Were Once a Fairytale||Writer, director|
|2010||I'm Here||Nominated – Berlin International Film Festival – Golden Berlin Bear (Best Short Film)|
|2011||Scenes From the Suburbs||Co-writer, director|
|Mourir Auprès De Toi||Co-writer, co-director||Nominated – Warsaw International Film Festival – Short Grand Prix Prize (shared with Simon Cahn)|
|"High in High School"||Chainsaw Kittens|
|"100%"||Sonic Youth||Co-directed by Tamra Davis|
|1993||"Cannonball"||The Breeders||Co-directed by Kim Gordon
Produced by Steve Reiss
|"Country at War"||X|
|"Daughters of the Kaos"||Luscious Jackson|
|"Hang On"||Teenage Fanclub|
|"Time for Livin'"||Beastie Boys|
|1994||"All About Eve"||Marxman|
|"Ditch Digger"||Rocket from the Crypt|
|"Divine Hammer"||The Breeders||Co-directed by Kim Gordon, Richard Kern|
|"Feel the Pain"||Dinosaur Jr.|
|"I Can't Stop Smiling"||Velocity Girl|
|"If I Only Had a Brain"||MC 900 Ft. Jesus|
|"Old Timer"||that dog.|
|"Ricky's Theme"||Beastie Boys|
|"Undone - The Sweater Song"||Weezer|
|"Crush with Eyeliner"||R.E.M.|
|"Freedom of '76"||Ween|
|"It's Oh So Quiet"||Björk|
|"The Diamond Sea"||Sonic Youth|
|"Who Is Next?"||Wax|
|1997||"Da Funk"||Daft Punk|
|"Elektrobank"||The Chemical Brothers|
|"It's All About the Benjamins" (Rock Remix)||Puff Daddy|
|"Liberty Calls"||Mike Watt|
|"Sky's the Limit"||The Notorious B.I.G.|
|"Praise You"||Fatboy Slim||A Torrance Public Film Production|
|"Root Down" version 2||Beastie Boys|
|2000||"Weapon of Choice"||Fatboy Slim||Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video|
|"What's Up, Fatlip?"||Fatlip|
|"Wonderboy"||Tenacious D||As Marcus Von Bueler|
|2002||"Island in the Sun" (version 2)||Weezer|
|"Guess I'm Doing Fine"||Beck|
|"It's in Our Hands"||Björk|
|2003||"Big Brat"||Phantom Planet|
|"Y Control"||Yeah Yeah Yeahs|
|2005||"Triumph of a Heart"||Björk|
|2008||"Flashing Lights"||Kanye West||Co-directed with West|
|2009||"Heaven"||UNKLE||Co-directed with Ty Evans|
|"25"||AsDSSka||Co-directed with Crystal Moselle|
|2010||"Drunk Girls"||LCD Soundsystem||Co-directed with James Murphy|
|"The Suburbs"||Arcade Fire||Edited from the short film Scenes from the Suburbs|
|2011||"Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win"||Beastie Boys feat. Santigold|
|"Otis"||Jay-Z & Kanye West|
|2013||"Afterlife" (live, YouTube version)||Arcade Fire||Directed live for the YouTube Awards|
|"Dope"||Lady Gaga||Directed live for the YouTube Awards|
|2015||"Only One"||Kanye West feat. Paul McCartney|
- Ciao L.A. (director) (1994)
- Spokes. Pond (1997)) (Actor) Music Video
- An Intimate Look Inside the Acting Process with Ice Cube (director) (1999)
- What's Up, Fatlip? (director) (2003)
- The Work of Director Spike Jonze (director) (2003)
- The Mystery of Dalarö (director) (2004)
- Corporate Ghost (actor, director) (2004)
- Tell Me What Rockers to Swallow (cinematographer) (2004)
- Rubbish Heap for SMA World Industries (1989)
- Two World Industries Men for World Industries (1990)
- Video Days for Blind Skateboards (1991)
- Goldfish for Girl Skateboards (1993)
- Mouse for Girl Skateboards (1996)
- The Chocolate Tour for Chocolate Skateboards (1999)
- Yeah Right! for Girl Skateboards (2003)
- Hot Chocolate! for Chocolate Skateboards (2004)
- The Krooked Chronicles for Krooked Skateboards (2006)
- Fully Flared for Lakai (2007)
- The Final Flare! for Lakai (2008)
- Pretty Sweet for Girl Skateboards (2012)
|Year||Film||Role||Awards and nominations|
|1993||Mi Vida Loca||Actor|
(Private First Class Conrad Vig)
|Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Breakthrough Artist (also for Being John Malkovich)|
|2001||Human Nature||Producer||Munich Film Festival High Hopes Award (shared with Anthony Bregman, Ted Hope, Charlie Kaufman)|
|Keep Your Eyes Open||Actor|
|2002||Jackass: The Movie||Producer/Actor||Golden Raspberry Award for Most Flatulent Teen-Targeted Movie|
|2006||Jackass: Number Two|
|2008||Synecdoche, New York||Producer||Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature (shared with Charlie Kaufman, Anthony Bregman, Sidney Kimmel)
Nominated – Gotham Award for Best Film
|Heavy Metal in Baghdad|
|2009||The 1 Second Film||Producer/Actor|
|Higglety Pigglety Pop! or There Must Be More to Life|
|2013||Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa||Producer/Writer|
|The Wolf of Wall Street||Actor (Dwayne)|
|2014||Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa .5||Producer/Actor (Gloria)|
|2000||Jackass||Creator, executive producer|
|2004||Sonic Youth Video Dose||Actor|
|2010–2012||The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret||Actor (Doug Whitney)|
|2015||Girls||Actor (Marcos)||Episode: "Home Birth"|
|2016||The Late Show with Stephen Colbert||Director||Guest director of intro|
- Spike Jonze at the Internet Movie Database
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- "Spike Jonze Biography (1969–)". film reference. Advameg, Inc. 2012. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- "Obituary for Spiegel". Obits.abqjournal.com. Retrieved 2014-08-12.
- Encyclopedia of American Cinema for Smartphones and Mobile Devices - MobileReference - Google Books. Books.google.ca. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
- O'Donnell, Kevin. "Hot Star Magnet: Sam Spiegel". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 12, 2009.
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- Spike Jonze - Biography - IMDb
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- Andy Jenkins; Mark Lewman (June–August 1984). "publications/Freestylin/1984". 23mag.com. Bob Osborn (Wizard Publications). Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- Awards for Spike Jonze at the Internet Movie Database
- "Sneak peek: The monsters of where the wild things are". Slashfilm.com. January 16, 2009. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
- Fatboy Slim (October 15, 2009). "Rockafeller Skank (Spike Jonze Audition Demo Version)". YouTube. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
- Landay, Vincent (Producer) Brown, Richard (Producer) (2003). The Work of Director Spike Jonze (DVD). New York City: Palm Pictures. Event occurs at Side A, Commentry Track of Praise You spoken by Normal Cook (Fatboy Slim).
- "Spike Jonze-Moleskine". Moleskine.com. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
- Business Wire (13 January 2009). "Vice Music Chooses The Orchard". Reuters. Thomson Reuters. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- Chocolate "Easy Steady". Vimeo. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
- "Spike Jonze On Where The Wild Things Are", Empire Online Fovember 19, 2008
- Saki Knafo (September 6, 2009). "Bringing 'Where the Wild Things Are' to the Screen". New York Times.
- "The Top Ten Chart For January 21, 2010". Movie City News. October 18, 1999. Retrieved January 21, 2010.
- Tim Teeman (May 15, 2010). "A cure for Aids? Spike Jonze is not joking". London: Times Online. Retrieved March 18, 2011.
- Laura Van Den Berg (June 22, 2010). "Shedding Light on Shane Jones". Retrieved March 18, 2011.
- "Scenes from the Suburbs". MUBI. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
- "Spike Jonze to direct 'epic' Beastie Boys video". London: The Independent. July 5, 2011. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
- Breihan, Tom (August 1, 2011). "Spike Jonze to Direct Jay-Z/Kanye "Otis" Video". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
- "Spike Jonze to direct live music videos for Arcade Fire and Lady Gaga at YouTube Awards". NME. IPC Media. October 31, 2013. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
- "Sony Picks Up New Spike Jonze & David O. Russell Movies". Screenrant.com. November 14, 2012. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
- Los Angeles Times (January 12, 2014). "Golden Globes 2014: The complete list of nominees and winners". latimes.com. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
- "How Spike Jonze Ended Up in The Wolf of Wall Street". Retrieved July 10, 2014.
- "Jonze and Coppola Announce Divorce Plans". IMDb. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
- "Sofia Coppola, Spike Jonze to divorce". USA Today. December 9, 2003.
- "Sofia's Choice ", Entertainment Weekly, October 3, 2003.
- "Michelle Williams Confirms Split From Spike Jonze". Us Weekly. Retrieved March 2, 2014.
- "Rinko Kikuchi: the interview", The Guardian, February 27, 2011.
- Awards for Being John Malkovich at the Internet Movie Database
- Awards for Adaptation. at the Internet Movie Database
- Awards for Where the Wild Things Are at the Internet Movie Database
- "Her (2013) (2013) - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved April 28, 2015.
- Her - Awards - IMDb
- Los Angeles Times (February 1, 2014). "'Her,' 'Captain Phillips' win top Writers Guild film awards". latimes.com. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
- Awards for Scenes from the Suburbs at the Internet Movie Database
- Awards for Mourir auprès de toi at the Internet Movie Database
- Awards for Synecdoche, New York at the Internet Movie Database
- Waxman, Sharon, ed. (2005), Rebels on the Backlot: Six Maverick Directors and How They Conquered the Hollywood Studio System, HarperEntertainment.
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