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Spike Jonze Tapped as First Imax Artist in Residence (EXCLUSIVE)

Spike Jonze, director of “Being John Malkovich” and “Her,” will serve as Imax Entertainment’s first “artist in residence,” Variety has learned.

The company said Jonze, an Oscar-winner who has been involved with everything from music videos for Sonic Youth to the Jackass movies, will collaborate with Imax’s leadership to find new partnerships and creative opportunities.

“When Spike and I sat down to talk about this, the ideas just flowed organically,” said Megan Colligan, president of Imax Entertainment. “He has a real sense of what’s happening in the culture and he’s been operating on the cutting edge of a lot of different spaces.”

Colligan said she hopes that Jonze is the first of many such artists in residence. The role has been created to helped the company find new and innovative ways to use its network of screens, particularly at times when there are a dearth of summer or holiday blockbusters. In the past, Imax has experimented with showing concerts, sporting events, even episodes of “Game of Thrones” in its theaters. Just last month, Imax premiered Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Anima,” a short film scored and starring Thom Yorke of Radiohead, in a one-night-only event, and in July the company screened the concert film “Soundgarden: Live from the Artists Den.”

Jonze has been tapped to help curate the global network of some 1,500 theaters, as well as to find new ways to deploy Imax cameras and the company’s distribution system.

“I love seeing movies in Imax,” Jonze said in a statement. “I love the room. I love the sound. I love the picture. The possibilities and their openness to experiment with things that can be done in that room — whether in film, music, live, or beyond — are very exciting to me.”

Jonze’s films also include “Adaptation” and “Where the Wild Things Are.” As a director of music videos, Jonze has worked with the likes of Fatboy Slim, Weezer, Kanye West, Beastie Boys, and Björk. Earlier this year, he directed a single-take live music video for Karen O and Danger Mouse’s single “Woman” on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and in 2018 he directed Apple’s “Welcome Home” ad featuring fKa Twigs.

Colligan said she hopes Jonze will help “demystify” the experience of using IMAX’s technology. She’s also eager to see what kind of projects he identifies for the company to host on its screens.

“It’s important that we work hard to diversify voices and find all sorts of content that can satisfy all types of audiences,” said Colligan.

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