The LA Times calls '07 "the Year of the Writer-Director," and Charlie's one of them. A few choice quotes:
Last year, when he directed Meryl Streep and Peter Dinklage in a set of radio plays, he noticed that directing allowed him to further his idiosyncratic development process. "I was able to change a line and change the play and add things and take away things. The product felt more finished by being able to do that. I'm imagining that will be part of the process here."
ODDLY enough, "Synecdoche, New York" began three years ago as a horror film for Sony with Jonze directing. "I was thinking about things that are really scary to me, not horror-movie scary," says Kaufman, and the film evolved into a meditation "about getting ill and dying, about time moving too quickly as you get older, and not feeling that you've accomplished what you've hoped for. There are issues of enormous relationship nightmares that I was thinking about. Losing his family. Losing the respect of his wife."
Kaufman adds that the film reverses the tropes of a work such as "Eternal Sunshine," in which his hero literally climbs into his inner life. Here, "The outside world is a reflection of his inner state." In fact, the hero, a dying theater director, attempts to stage a play — a kind of living simulacrum of his life — in a New York warehouse.
On paper, "Synecdoche" is positively epic compared with Kauffman's earlier films, but he sounds undaunted: "It's feeling feasible at this point. The basic idea of how we're going to create an entire city in a warehouse — we've solved that problem."
Thanks to Mike and Mark, who sent me that link ages ago and had probably figured by now that I was never gonna post it.
If you're in Howell, MI next month, go check out their community theatre's production of "Tom Sawyer":
Music will be provided by the Blue Grass Combo, featuring musicians from throughout Livingston County.
Charlie Kaufman will be on bass, banjo, dulcimer and second fiddle, while Kim White will be playing lead violin and fiddle. Ray Stillwell will be on the mandolin, tenor guitar and banjo, and Mike McKusick will be playing the six, 12 and dobro guitars. (Source)
Admittedly this may not be the Charlie Kaufman we're thinking of. In fact, it definitely isn't. But you never know -- our Charlie has apparently taken harp lessons (no joke) and that's the same as a banjo. So maybe rock up and ask for his autograph, just in case.