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Synecdoche, New York features as part of a six-book series called "Arts in Entertainment" on Kickstarter.
With this series of books -- which will continue as long as authors and readers exist to carry it -- each author takes one particular work of art...novel, album, movie, anything at all...and shares the experience of being changed (deeply, urgently, irreversibly) as a result.
The books are as varied as their authors. They're funny, they're tragic, they're charming. They're profound and they're silly. They take sharp turns into memoir, history, interview, self-help, criticism, confession, and psychology.
Zachary Kaplan writes Synecdoche, New York, the fourth book in the series:
Synecdoche, New York is a film about life, time, memory, and our struggle to find meaning in our stories and stories in our lives. These ideas always resonated with my worldview, but after my mother took her own life, they began to take on a much greater significance to me.
They began to help me understand her suicide, my grief and my purpose. As I explore the film, I will use it as a compass to guide me through the grieving process as I plumb the emotional depths of the movie and of myself; to do anything less is to not heal fully. My mother is the fourth member of our family to take her own life, after her father, her mother and her brother.
I will intimately discuss ideas in this film as well as my family's sad past, one story illuminating the other. In doing so, I will put myself through an emotional hell -- and, hopefully, come out stronger in the end.
Writing this book is my dealing with it, my therapy. Writing this book is my grief process. Writing this book is my moving on. Writing this book is my ending the cycle.
You can find more info on the Kickstarter page. 16 days left in the fundraiser.
Thanks to David!Add a comment
Let's go to Philly! Says indieWIRE:
Not only will the writer-director screen his latest existential comedy-drama, "Anomalisa," on Opening Night and receive the festival's Artistic Achievement Award, he will also be the subject of a retrospective at the Prince Theater, which will include all six titles from Kaufman's filmography, including "Adaptation," "Being John Malkovich," "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," "Human Nature" and "Synecdoche, New York." (Source)
You know they're hardcore about it when Human Nature gets a mention. Hardly anyone ever mentions Human Nature. Likewise Confessions.
The festival runs from October 22 to November 1.Add a comment
Mike Ryan interviewed Charlie and Duke Johnson for Uproxx, and the interview will be published soon. Ryan's been dying to ask Kaufman about an unaired sketch Charlie wrote for The Dana Carvey Show, titled "Weirder Al Yankovic," and that snippet from their conversation is already online:
Robert Carlock said you wrote a sketch in which Weirder Al Yankovic converts Weird Al’s songs back to normal?
No, I think the sketch went: There was Weird Al Yankovic, Weirder Al Yankovic, Weirdest Al Yankovic and — I’m not sure, I may be making this part up — then there was Regular Al Yankovic. And they were just named that by their parents. So, it got more and more insane. One of them would do a parody of the other one doing the other one. And then the third one would turn it back to the regular song.
I wish this existed.
Well, a lot of people really liked it and talked about it. And then they were going to do it on Mr. Show, because Dino Stamatopoulos and David Cross and Bob Odenkirk all worked on Carvey. But Mr. Show decided that they didn’t want to do anything that was based on real people in popular culture. That was one of their rules. So, it never got made. It’s a shame. [Sarcastically] It’s a terrible shame. (Source)
Charlie was Charlie, even back then.Add a comment
If you're in Chicago or New Orleans on October 21, you might want to try getting yourself into a screening of Anomalisa--especially if you're in Chicago, because Charlie and Duke Johnson will be attending that one.
Re: the Chicago Film Festival...
[...] the directorial duo is set to attend the festival during its special screening, which is scheduled to be shown on Wed, Oct 21, 2015 at 7:00PM at the AMC River East. (Source)
Re: New Orleans...
"Anomalisa," co-directed by Kaufman ("Synecdoche, New York") with Duke Johnson, will screen at 9 p.m. on Oct. 21, at the Theatres at Canal Place. (Source)
NEAT. If you do make it to one of screenings, let us know how it goes and what you thought, eh?
Thanks to Tram and Alice for the news!Add a comment
The Verge isn't quite as enthused as other reviewers of Anomalisa. The headline is "Do we need another Charlie Kaufman film about a sad man and the woman who reminds him to smile?" and the answer leans toward Betteridge's Law.
Anomalisa is a remix of Charlie Kaufman's previous films, Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: the never ending hallways, and mysterious middle management office spaces; a male lead who has it all, but is crippled by a fear that happiness is impermanent; and a just-quirky-enough woman who exists to remind this man how it feels to really be alive. We've seen parts of Anomalisa in Kaufman's earlier films, and often to greater effect. (Source)
Can't please everyone.Add a comment
Buzzfeed has a feature on Kaufman, similar to some of the other articles I've been posting lately--so if you've read those, there's not a lot here you didn't already know. But here's a new quote:
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[M]eta-commentary is something Kaufman’s famous for — never more so than in Adaptation., in which self-awareness weighed on its protagonist, who shares a name with the writer, like an anvil around his neck. But it’s not something he likes to intellectualize. “It’s not theoretical for me. I’m not going, OK, now I need to address what storytelling means in the modern age,” he says with laugh.
“I’m always thinking that this is a thing that helps with whatever emotion I’m exploring. For me, that’s what it is, and if it isn’t that, then I don’t want to do it. It isn’t the thing that comes first. I like to leave myself open to the irrational — I feel like that’s fruitful for me in my writing, because there is a cornucopia of metaphorical imagery in dreams that I find fascinating.” (Source)
Remember the epic-in-every-sense video series from Your Movie Sucks, analysing Synecdoche, New York? Charlie has seen those, and made himself available for an interview with YMS at the Toronto film festival. He was joined by Duke Johnson, and the result is this great 15-minute chat. There are Anomalisa spoilers throughout, but they've been helpfully signposted in the clip.
When you're done listening to that, here's YMS' review of the film. In brief: Your Movie Sucks thinks Anomalisa doesn't:
There's a great article on indieWIRE about "a movie made with 100 percent creative freedom, beyond the constraints of the studio system, that found its way there anyway":
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In late April, they started showing it to programmers. "We screen hundreds of films between April and June," said Toronto's artistic director, Cameron Bailey. "‘Anomalisa' was like nothing else we saw. I remember coming out of our screening room feeling shaken and altered somehow, like somebody had peeled a layer of skin off. The film is so attuned to the sensitivities most of us have but never reveal. I wasn't sure how other people would respond to it, but I knew I loved it." (Source)
Says David Rosen:
So I'm a film score composer (and sometimes comedy-rapper... long story haha) and back when the Kickstarter for Anomalisa came out (I'm a backer, of course), I had contacted them to see if they might need help with any music. This was before it was announced that Carter Burwell would be handling the score. They said no but if I wanted to make a song that they could maybe give out as a thank you to the backers, they'd love to hear what I come up with.
So he did, and although the song wasn't used in the Kickstarter campaign, here's the result:
Only a minute and a half long, but it contains so many words that have never shared space in a single song. That's impressive.Add a comment
The good news keeps coming. On the heels of Paramount's "Anomalisa" acquisition, the film's now been picked up by Curzon Artificial Eye for the UK. Says Deadline:
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Curzon Artificial Eye has acquired Charlie Kaufman’s buzzy stop-motion Anomalisa for the UK. [T]he Curzon deal gives the well-respected distrib-exhib an awards contender straight off the bat. It represents a canny buy for the UK company, who moved quickly and quietly to acquire the title soon after its Venice screening. They now appear to have one of the most eagerly-anticipated speciality titles on their hands and one that seems well-suited to Curzon’s prestigious brand. (Source)