Thursday, November 13, 2008

Synecdoche New York

Charlie Kaufman is one of the most notorious scriptwriters in the world.
He wrote Human Nature and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind for Michel Gondry and Being John Malkovich and Adaptation for Spike Jonze. Gondry and Jonze are very strong visually and Kaufman is very sophisticated story wise so the collaborations made very good movies, maybe some of the best American movies in the last ten years. They come from the music video background and he started in the TV series "Get a Life" and doing comedy sketches.
Today I've seen Synecdoche New York and it has blown my mind. The idea behind the project was to write the "ultimate horror movie" and Spike Jonze was going to direct it, but Charlie fell in love with his idea so much that he asked Spike to withdraw from it.
The movie explores over the real fears of human nature. There's no zombies, nor ninjas or ghosts. The real fears: to die, to be alone, to lose your mind, to fail, to hurt your loved ones... And like in a game of Russian dolls he takes you on a trip through confusion to a fucked up mind (interpreted by Philip Seymore Hoffman). Everything fits, everything has been thought, the script is like a clockwork machinery in which the different pieces belong to different realities (the real world, the imagined world and the recreated world).
Kaufman doesn't have the strong visual eye of Jonze and Kaufman, but that makes the direction and the photography less fancy and the story more notorious. Everything disappears under the emotion of each scene... there's no acting, no editing, no music. Just a thing leading to another thing leading to an epic and humble end, to a pessimistic and yet optimistic conclusion.

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