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Synecdoche, New York (Charlie Kaufman)

Old 09-17-06, 01:27 AM
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Synecdoche, New York (Charlie Kaufman)

Written & Directed by Charlie Kaufman
Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman & Michelle Williams

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0383028/

A friend of mine sent me this earlier, and it seemed interesting enough to start a thread over. We wont be seeing this flick until late 2007, but here is some word on the screenplay. The part in bold is almost laughable, it just totally caught me off guard. Anyway, I can't wait to check this out out. If I can track down the screenplay, I might even give it a read.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...ck=1&cset=true

Scriptland: Reading Charlie Kaufman's Next Project
Eternally expanding his art, the writer's "Synecdoche, New York" is personally epic.

By Jay A. Fernandez, Special to The Times
September 13, 2006


Scriptland, launching today, is a new weekly feature on the work and professional lives of screenwriters.




I have the new Charlie Kaufman screenplay on my desk.

I've read it — no, lived it. I've been moved and astounded by it. And I'm tortured by the dilemma of what I should or should not say about it here. I feel a bit like Frodo palming the One Ring.

The last two weeks have been a grueling cacophony of real and imagined voices — other journalists, producers, publicists, Kaufman, myself — trying to convince me either of my righteousness as a journalist or of my complicity in possibly hurting one of the greatest screenwriters in history, a man with a craving for privacy as singular and passionate as his creative vision.

Kaufman is widely and justifiably considered the most inventive screenwriter in Hollywood. He was nominated for an Oscar for both "Being John Malkovich" and "Adaptation," and finally won one (along with Michel Gondry and Pierre Bismuth) for "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind."

On a personal and professional level, I thought reading his latest script would bring me great joy. Charlie Kaufman is that rare artist who expands the possibilities of his art form. His work is designed to be experienced more than read or seen. His filmed screenplays become beautifully melancholy windows into some of life's most indescribable (and unavoidable) emotions.

But many people, beginning with Kaufman, do not want me to have the script, do not want me to read the script, and without question do not want me to write anything about the script. Words like "super-sensitive," "invasive" and "freaked" have been cautiously leveled at me as I've reached out to those involved with the project to get their thoughts on it.

And what a project. Ambitious doesn't even begin to describe the sublime and scary head-trip that is "Synecdoche, New York." For one thing, the marketers are going to have to borrow from the P.T. Anderson "Magnolia" poster campaign, in which the title was broken out syllabically, just to get people to pronounce the film properly. (It's sin-neck-duh-key, emphasis on the neck.)

For all those who aren't AP English professors, a "synecdoche," other than a clever play on Schenectady, where some of the film takes place, is a figure of speech in which a part is used to describe the whole or the whole is used to describe a part (think "threads" for clothes, or "the law" for a police officer). It's representative shorthand.

Yes, I had to look it up. Several times. And this is far from the only reference or play on words in Kaufman's story that rewards a closer look.

"Synecdoche" nominally concerns a theater director who thinks he's dying, and how that shapes his interactions with the world, his art and the women in his life. But it is really a wrenching, searching, metaphysical epic that somehow manages to be universal in an extremely personal way. It's about death and sex and the vomit-, poop-, urine- and blood-smeared mess that life becomes physiologically, emotionally and spiritually (Page 1 features a 4-year-old girl having her butt wiped). It reliably contains Kaufman's wondrous visual inventions, complicated characters, idiosyncratic conversations and delightful plot designs, but its collective impact will kick the wind out of you.

Spike Jonze, who directed Kaufman's scripts for "Malkovich" and "Adaptation," was once destined to helm this new project, but eventually opted for the Dave Eggers co-scripted "Where the Wild Things Are," now shooting in Melbourne, Australia. This left Kaufman, who's always been deeply involved with the making of his screenplays, to direct it himself. He's currently finalizing casting deals with an eye toward filming next spring.

If this film gets made in any way that resembles what's on the page — and with the writer himself directing, it will likely gain even more color and potency in the translation — it will be some kind of miracle. "Synecdoche" will make "Adaptation" and "Eternal Sunshine" look like instructional industrial films. No one has ever written a screenplay like this. It's questionable whether cinema is even capable of handling the thematic, tonal and narrative weight of a story this ambitious.

But, as one character says, "People starve for something of worth." Well, moviegoers will surely be gorging on the power and depth of this film for a long time.

Meanwhile, I feel terribly sick to my stomach.

Last edited by BrentLumkin; 09-17-06 at 01:30 AM.
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Old 09-17-06, 02:27 AM
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I like what I'm reading! Can't wait!
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Old 09-17-06, 02:38 AM
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This sounds just awesome. Charlie hasn't let me down yet!
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Old 09-17-06, 11:21 PM
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Sounds interesting. I'll be curious to see how Kaufman handles himself as a director.
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Old 09-18-06, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt
Sounds interesting. I'll be curious to see how Kaufman handles himself as a director.
Considering that he was on set for two films each from Spike Jonze and Michel Gondry, he at least has learned from some of the best.
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Old 09-18-06, 05:23 PM
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sounds interesting. i can only imagine this being one crazy movie that you leave and wonder what just happened.
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Old 09-18-06, 07:15 PM
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Wasn't Synecdoche the name of Jerry Lewis's "Philadelphia" wannabee on "The Critic"?
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Old 09-18-06, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by majorjoe23
Wasn't Synecdoche the name of Jerry Lewis's "Philadelphia" wannabee on "The Critic"?
That was "Schenectady," a real city in New York. It's also where Harlan Ellison tells people where he gets his ideas from when they ask.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schenec...ew_York#Trivia

Last edited by Jay G.; 09-18-06 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 09-08-08, 06:49 PM
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Two years later....This film is part of the Toronto Film Festival, with a general release date of 10/24. Anything that stems from the fertile mind of Kaufman has my immediate interest.









Three clips

Last edited by NoirFan; 09-08-08 at 06:52 PM.
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Old 09-08-08, 10:20 PM
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I'm there. Dear God am I there!

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Old 09-17-08, 12:25 AM
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Five part, two and a half hour audio interview with Kaufman from Wired magazine.
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Old 09-17-08, 12:43 AM
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This is getting a wide release, right? I still remember seeing Adaptation the day it came out. It blew my mind away.
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Old 09-17-08, 12:43 PM
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Can't wait! The title's gonna be a hard sell though - probably won't go mainstream, but I never miss anything Kaufman does.

Wonder how he's gonna be as a director..
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Old 09-17-08, 10:56 PM
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Trailer
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Old 09-18-08, 05:14 PM
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^I am LOVING that trailer. This looks to be one of the most promising films of the rest of the year.
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Old 09-18-08, 06:40 PM
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Holy crap, I can't believe I started this thread over two years ago now!

I love the trailer, great stuff. I've been following this one closely, so I'm happy to see that the long wait is almost over.
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Old 09-18-08, 06:46 PM
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That looks...wow. Been a huge PSH/Kaufman fan for years, and this looks fantastic.
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Old 09-19-08, 04:40 PM
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Variety review, from May:
A wildly ambitious and gravely serious contemplation of life, love, art, human decay and death, the film bears Kaufman’s scripting fingerprints in its structural trickery and multiplane storytelling. At its core a study of a theater director whose life goes off the rails into uncharted artistic territory, it’s the sort of work that on its face appears overreaching and isn’t entirely digestible on one viewing.
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Old 09-25-08, 06:46 PM
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Old 09-26-08, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by NoirFan View Post
Holy crap. That trailer was so excruciatingly dull I could not stand to even make it to the end of the trailer. This movie shoots to the top of my must miss movies of the year. Another steaming turd of pretentious overwrought drivel from easily the most overrated screenwriter I can think of. It's like Kaufamn is this used up fat whore with oozing sores and everyone is trying to say she is "exotically beautiful and interesting" when all I see is a diseased skank. And sadly that would be more interesting than this funeral dirge of a film.
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Old 10-21-08, 07:08 PM
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Ignoring the above post, here is a fourth clip from the film.
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Old 10-21-08, 07:19 PM
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3rd most anticipated movie of the year behind Benjamin Button and The Road. Can't wait.
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Old 10-23-08, 07:31 AM
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This is first on my list of movies to see this weekend, followed by Let The Right One In. I've been looking forward to this for months - the reviews are sorta middling, but I won't let that stop me from seeing this right after work tomorrow.

There's a cool interview with Charlie Kaufman over here: (LINK)
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Old 10-23-08, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by JPRaup View Post
3rd most anticipated movie of the year behind Benjamin Button and The Road. Can't wait.
Make this your second. The Road just got bumped to 2009.
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Old 10-25-08, 06:49 PM
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Another Charlie Kaufman masterpiece. Best film I've seen this year.
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