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Just a small snippet from a National Post profile of Stephen Colbert, by David Berry:
He might be our finest deadpan artist, someone who will not break character even while roasting presidents to their face. If that’s not immediately identifiable as an interrogatory gift, just watch his recent guerilla-ish interview with Eminem. When was the last time a celebrity seemed genuinely off-kilter in a televised spot, didn’t know exactly how to take something? Combined with Colbert’s love of messing with people — one of my favourite Colbert stories is how he used to torment the even-then-eternally-tormented Charlie Kaufman when both used to work on The Dana Carvey Show, forever finding ways to turn the latter’s self-seriousness against him — it’s a way of cracking through the eternal facade of the publicity tour. (Source)
HOORAY! Anomalisa reviews are coming in! Here's a selection:
[T]his is a wonderfully odd consideration of those questions about love, pain, solitude and human connection we all ask; its emotional power creeps out from under the subtle humor and leaves a subcutaneous imprint that lingers long after the movie is over. It needs an adventurous distributor to help it extend the Kaufman cult and find the adoring audience it richly deserves. (Source)
That's from the Hollywood Reporter. This is from the Guardian:
It gives Kickstarter, which is how it was funded, and the 2015 Telluride film festival, where it has premiered, their first real masterpieces. It innovates with stop-motion in ways your brain struggles to compute. Kaufman and co-director Duke Johnson offer images so moving and yet also so filthy Anomalisa might just make the first R-rated best animation Oscar winner.
[...]It’s more mainstream than much of Kaufman’s previous: there’s little of the meta, no distracting stars, no distancing in-jokes. Rather, it’s interested in a world many of us inhabit. In the excitement of recognising someone who might be like us in the landscape – as well as how it looks when that connection crumbles, and how it feels to be isolated by deep depression. (Source)
Kaufman has done it again, writing a deeply flawed male protagonist and a woman who seems so incredibly ideal despite (or perhaps due to) her imperfections, and he’s engineered it so that we fall in love: Michael’s gray and overcast, Lisa just wants to walk in the sun, and for as long as he can make the moment last, she’s the one. The anomaly. The Anomalisa. (Source)
They're all a little spoiler laden, to one degree or another; consider yourself warned. More stuff soon!
The L.A. Times has a great little interview with Charlie to coincide with Anomalisa's premiere at the Telluride Film Festival. In the piece, Charlie speaks about the animated movie and why we haven't seen anything new from him in a while.
These past seven years have not been, he stresses, a hiatus of his choosing.
"I've tried. I've tried," he said, emphasizing the words plaintively when asked why he hadn't had any work produced. "I'm constantly trying."
"It's always been a push-pull with studios, this kind of thing of 'How long can we let audiences go without letting them know what's going on?' The executives' theory is at a certain point people are going to say 'Forget it,' " Kaufman said. "And for myself watching a movie or a TV show, I want to feel like I'm discovering something. Otherwise it makes me bored and distrustful[...] Of course it's easy for me to sit here and say they don't want [my shows] because they don't want to change. Maybe my work isn't good, or it's too weird or not well-constructed. It feels weird and braggy to say they don't want them because I'm too wild." (Source)
It's great to hear from Charlie again. Can't wait to read the reviews for the film!
Thanks to Tim and Chris!
Associated Press is uploading its film archive to Youtube, a massive undertaking, and the Village Voice have singled out a bunch of New York clips on their site. Caden Cotard would dig it.
"Aren’t they a treasure trove?" says Jenny Hammerton, an archivist for the videos based in London. She adds, "The main reason for us putting our collection on YouTube is financial. Up until now, only filmmakers, news channels, and documentary makers really had access to our collection.
"The added bonus to this, of course, is that historians, educators, and members of the general public now have access to the biggest collection of historical material ever loaded up to YouTube." (Source)
Here's "a look at the Flatiron building in 1901, horses and trolleys in 1903, and the subway and Broadway in 1904":
Thanks to Cristian!
The jimi Hendrix Case is a free game in which you solve Jimi Hendrix's murder, and every character is Jimi Hendrix.
The fact that literally every person in the game world is Jimi Hendrix allows fun things to happen with the classic format—at one point the game quizzes you to remember the victim and suspects, and of course, all the answers are Jimi Hendrix.
Looking into this game a little bit, I learned there are actually lots of conspiracy theories about whether the real Jimi Hendrix was murdered. I don't know enough about them to know if there's anything for Hendrix fans in the game related to those theories, but the game is made with lots of love and doesn't take a lot of your time. (Source)
On another note: China China China, brought to you by Trump...
Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich.
Thanks to Sarah for that one!
... if it goes ahead, that is. Deadline brings word that Fox have ordered a "put pilot" for a TV series based on the novel Horrorstör, and it'll be produced by Josh Schwartz, Gail Berman and Charlie K.
Written by Schwartz and Black List screenwriter Michael Vukadinovich, Horrorstör centers on 26-year-old Amy. Newly sober, she lands a job at ORSK, the U.S. Flagship of the European furniture superstore. It feels like just the opportunity she’s needed to get her life back on track, but as Amy comes to discover, the store actually preys upon its customers’ desires to a supernatural degree, selling products that make their wishes and fantasies come true in unexpected and insidious ways.
It was Oscar winner Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind), who brought the book to Berman’s attention. (Source)
The book is "designed in the format of an Ikea-esque furniture catalog."
So I would say the How and Why pilot is dead and buried, but now we have this to (tentatively!) look forward to. And Anomalisa, which we definitely can look forward to!!
Why do some films--with their good-looking characters, their perfect one-liners and their heart-swelling musical scores--make us depressed or angry, when they've set out to make us feel something else--something more upbeat? This StoryBrain video posits a theory, and the narrator coins it "Kaufman's Folly," because of something Charlie said in his interview with Charlie Rose.
Thanks to Cristian!
Bonus throwback video: Charlie Rose by Samuel Beckett.
Charlie finds a spot in the BBC's "100 Greatest American Films" list, according to a new poll of film critics around the world. Eternal Sunshine grabbed the #87 spot, wedged between West Side Story and The Lion King. Gone With The Wind is in #97. Here's the Top 10, and you can click through for the rest of the list:
10. The Godfather Part II (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)
9. Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942)
8. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
7. Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly, 1952)
6. Sunrise (FW Murnau, 1927)
5. The Searchers (John Ford, 1956)
4. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
3. Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)
2. The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)
1. Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941) (Source)
Thanks to Tim!
The Anomalisa ball is pickin' up momentum, on its roll around the globe. It'll be shown in competition at the Venice Film Festival. Here's the full list of films in competition (I've bold-erated Anomalisa):
“Frenzy,” Emin Alper (Turkey, France, Qatar)
“Heart of a Dog,” Laurie Anderson (U.S.)
“Blood of My Blood,” Marco Bellocchio (Italy)
“Looking for Grace,” Sue Brooks (Australia)
“Equals,” Drake Doremus (U.S.)
“Remember,” Atom Egoyan (Canada, Germany)
“Beasts of No Nation,” Cary Fukunaga (U.S.)
“Per amor vostro,” Giuseppe M. Gaudino (Italy, France)
“Marguerite,” Xavier Giannoli (France, Czech Republic, Belgium)
“Rabin, the Last Day,” Amos Gitai (Isreal, France)
“A Bigger Splash,” Luca Guadagnino (Italy, France)
“The Endless River,” Oliver Hermanus (South Africa, France)
“The Danish Girl,” Tom Hooper (U.K., U.S.)
“Anomalisa,” Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson (U.S.)
“L’attesa,” Piero Messina (Italy)
“11 minutes,” Jerzy Skolimowski (Poland)
“Francofonia,” Aleksander Sokurov (France, Germany, Netherlands)
“The Clan,” Pablo Trapero (Argentina, Spain)
“Desde alla,” Lorenzo Vigas (Venezuela, Mexico)
“L’hermine,” Christian Vincent (France)
“Behemoth,” Zhao Liang (China, France) (Source)
Thanks to Andrea, who reached me first with the news, via this Italian language article.
Anil Ananthaswamy is the author of The Man Who Wasn't There: Investigations into the Strange New Science of the Self. In it, he "examines the ways people think of themselves — and how those perceptions can be distorted by certain brain conditions". Among those conditions? Cotard's Syndrome. Fresh Air's Terry Gross interviewed Ananthaswamy, and you can check it out here:
Thanks to Sarah!