The cast from the stage/radio version of Anomalisa is officially on deck for the animated version. Charlie will be co-directing with Duke Johnson, and HanWay are taking the film to Cannes. Says Screen Daily:
Charlie Kaufman is to co-direct anticipated animation Anomalisa, which HanWay will take to Cannes.
Adapted by Kaufman from his own stage play, Anomalisa will be the director’s first animated film. Production is already underway.
Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan, and David Thewlis are set to lend their voices to the film, reprising their roles from the original stage production. Composer Carter Burwell who will write the score.
The film follows Michael, a man who is struggling with his inability to connect with people. Everyone in the world seems the same to Michael until he meets Lisa. (Source)
I really like this cover of "Little Person," Jon Brion and Charlie's song from Synecdoche, New York. It's by Foxtails Brigade, a chamber pop band from Oakland, California, and Laura Weinbach's vocals really suit this song. Observe the video:
Over at Mental Floss, you can read about 10 reported incidents of Cotard's Syndrome. Synecdoche, New York's Caden Cotard was named after the bizarre condition. Matt Soniak describes it like this:
Cotard’s Delusion is a mental disorder where people suffer the nihilistic delusion that they are dead or no longer exist. First reported in the 1700s, the disorder is still a largely a mystery today. The underlying cause isn’t understood; it’s been linked to bipolar disorder, depression and/or schizophrenia depending on the patient’s age.
Here's #3 on the list:
3. In 2008, New York psychiatrists reported on a 53-year-old patient, Ms. Lee, who complained that she was dead and smelled like rotting flesh. She asked her family to take her to a morgue so that she could be with other dead people. They dialed 911 instead. Ms. Lee was admitted to the psychiatric unit, where she accused paramedics of trying to burn her house down. After a month or so of a drug regimen, she was released with great improvement in her symptoms. (Source)
NEWS! ACTUAL NEWS! SWEET JESUS IT'S AN EASTER MIRACLE.
FX Networks has greenlighted How And Why, a half-hour comedy pilot from Oscar winner Charlie Kaufman. It tells the story of a man who can explain how and why a nuclear reactor works, but is clueless about life. Kaufman will write and direct the pilot and serve as executive producer. FX Prods will produce. (Source)
You might've noticed, BCK went kaput for a little bit in February. My computer died, see, and I was out of action for about a month. I tend to have an annual computer meltdown. I live on the coast -- salt air and corrosion are problems. While I was out of action, my web host shifted my websites to a new server, and I think there was a minor hiccup, and BCK temporarily vanished. Not much I could do about it while computerless. But then BCK came back online, with no help from me, and it's still online, and I have a new computer, and I'm here, and everything's good again.
"Star Wars: Sequel Debacle" is a completely silly but clever (but mostly silly) Flash game that, as WIRED puts it, "lets you choose the parameters that you think could/would/should underlie the announced Star Wars: Episode VII and see how the public and critics would receive the film thus produced." You can choose a writer (INCLUDING CHARLIE!), director (INCLUDING CHARLIE!), star and title for the film, then hit "Launch" and see what kind of review the film receives. WIRED again: "Obviously, it’s all in fun, and in fact the parameters clearly only somewhat affect the outcome, as hitting the “Launch” button repeatedly with the same entries often produces wildly different results."
Recommended if you enjoy silly pointless things and/or procrastination.
Thomas and Joey point me to a blog entry, in which Joey has a two-degrees-of-Kaufman experience in a gallery -- randomly bumpin' into a woman and her mother, who worked as an RN on the set of Synecdoche, New York. It's a trippy read with a unique style. It starts like so:
BENNINGTON -- Lisa and Julia were putzing around on their phones during lunch in the brew pub across the street when they stumbled upon a link for Fiddlehead at Four Corners. The cuties hit the link and loved one of the pictures -- Brian Hewitt's "Carriage Barn Gala" oil painting -- and then saw a link for the Google Street View virtual tour inside the art gallery. They took and loved the tour and decided to walk across the street to check out Fiddlehead at Four Corners in person.
At first AGD was pretty stoked to hear the cuties tell this little ditty of a tale because Fiddlehead's Street View tour went live on Google just an hour or two earlier, so he immediately thought how sweet it was that this new technology was working as intended. But the longer AGD engaged the cuties in conversation the more he wondered if they weren't in on the jig, whatever that jig might be. (Source)
From all of us at BCK (there's only one of us, really, but it sounds more professional if I pretend I'm a team) Happy New Year! May your 2013 be better than your 2012, especially if your 2012 sucked, but also if your 2012 was spiffy. There can never be too much spiff.
Here's a fireworks display for you. I had to get permits to do this. I hired a fireworks technician named Sven "Two Fingers" Fredriksson to design the show.
I hope you enjoyed that Totally worth it, I think.
Hopefully, too, we'll see a new, completed, Kaufman project some time in 2013. Probably Anomalisa. Maybe we'll see -- or hear more about -- that Catherine Keener HBO series. (If anyone has the pilot script, you know where to find me...) Maybe Frank or Francis will come to life again. (Failing that, if it gets officially canned, maybe we'll at least see the Francis screenplay online, eh?) Maybe we'll hear more about Charlie's novel. Or the Chaos Walking adaptation. Or that world leaders Spike Jonze project thingy. SO MUCH IS GOING ON. SO LITTLE OF IT WE ARE SEEING.
Being Charlie Kaufman.com's first few pages were uploaded on this day, 11 years ago. We are 11. That is old in website years. BCK is older than 10-year-old websites. It is older than 10-year-old kids. Your webmaster is 11 years older than he was when he started this thing.
In 2001, these things were going on:
September 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S., of course.
The #1 song for the year on Billboard was "Hanging By a Moment," by Lifehouse. (Here in Australia, it was "Can't Fight the Moonlight," by LeeAnn Rimes.)
The #1 song for the week, according to Billboard, was "How You Remind Me," by Nickelback. Yup. (In Australia: "Smooth Criminal," Alien Ant Farm.)
The #1 album for that week was "Weathered," by Creed. (In Australia: "The Final Dig?" by the 12th Man.)
This is getting really depressing, but let's press on.
Best selling book of the year, according to Publishers Weekly: Desecration, Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye (hardcover, fiction). Best-seller for the week: Skipping Christmas, John Grisham.
A Beautiful Mind (2001) took out Best Picture at the 2002 Oscars.
Denzel (Training Day) and Halle (Monster's Ball) were Best Actor and Actress.
Gosford Park and A Beautiful Mind won the Screenplay Oscars.
Six Feet Under debuted. So did Alias, 24 and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.
Ray Walston, Douglas Adams, Carroll O'Connor, John Lee Hooker, Aaliyah, and George Harrison died. So did Don Bradman (an Aussie cricketer -- essentially he was the equivalent of, say, Babe Ruth).
And what have I done in the last 11 years? NOTHING WORTH MENTIONING.
The Huffington Post has an interview with Guillermo del Toro, in which the director reveals he and Charlie were thinking about adapting Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five. It's near the end of the article:
You know, the one I'm most disappointed that it looks like it won't happen is your version of "Slaughterhouse-Five." I will tell you, my idea was to get Charlie Kaufman to write it. And I spoke to Charlie Kaufman about it and we came up with an idea on how to approach it, which I thought was very, very interesting. But, it was right at the time I went and started "Pacific Rim." So the studio, they didn't want to invest in that project if it was not going to be my next movie. So, you know, it gradually cooled a little bit. But the exact take I proposed to Charlie Kaufman is the exact take I would do with the material.
I have to admit, I would have loved to have seen that combination with that material. It doesn't seem like an easy book to adapt. No, but, then again, Charlie Kaufman is the guy doing it. How can I put it? The first "Slaughterhouse-Five" movie that was done was a really good movie, but it's about flashbacks and flash-forwards. And what is gorgeous about the book is that he becomes detached from time.
Right, time is all happening at a once. The Tralfamadoians say, "Like we can see a mountain range. We can see the alive, we can see the dead, we can see ourselves at age five and we can see ourselves ancient. It makes no difference." It makes no difference. And that was the idea that we were talking about. We were talking about how it was going to be very experimental. But, you know, if I had the money to pay for any of these movies, I would do it. I would do it in a second.
So is that 100 percent dead? No, no, no. It may still happen. But, I don't control the material. Let me put it this way: when I control the material, I never give up on a movie. I mean, "The Count of Monte Cristo" was 15 years. "Devil's Backbone" took me a decade or more. But, if I don't control the material, I have no say. It's a property of Universal. (Source)
I don't know if any film could do justice to the book (on the other hand, movies are not books and shouldn't really be compared to each other, eh), but this would've been really interesting, no?