C/D -- Charlie Kaufman

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Okay, so here's one for you, brought to my mind by the Eternal Sunshine thread revival. Now I admit I'm avoiding that film because frankly, fuck a Jim Carrey. But I've seen most of the other films he's written (Human Nature excepted -- no reason, just haven't seen it yet) and he's definitely good from where I sit though I'm resistant to the endless hosannas, and also because a lot of it is all in the execution, though he seems to work out well with his collaborators. Bucking the tide, perhaps, and allowing for the fact I do enjoy Being John Malkovich as a self-contained puzzle, I think I'd have to vote for Confessions of a Dangerous Mind as actually being his best script, though it and Adaptation make a(n inadvertant?) tag team in terms of working from source texts and playing around with what truth is supposed to be. Adaptation is the more overt attempt on his part as a mindfuck, I'll grant, but I almost think that by reworking Chuck Barris's own attempt at a mindfuck Kaufman was able to take a theme and run with it better. (I also admit, sidestepping slightly, that I love Confessions more thanks to Newton Thomas Sigel's cinematography but that's another matter!)

Thoughts, objections, comparisons? (I've actually wondered sometimes if he doesn't have his best contemporaries in the guise of animators like Svankmajer...)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 6 May 2006 21:26 (fourteen years ago) link

see Eternal Sunshine, Carrey is defanged throughout and while it doesn't hit the manic peaks of Malkovich, it's essential to Kaufman's work.

jinx hijinks (sanskrit), Saturday, 6 May 2006 21:31 (fourteen years ago) link

but what do i know, i havent seen Confessions yet, save for the twenty mintures or so at the theater i snuck in before some other film.

jinx hijinks (sanskrit), Saturday, 6 May 2006 21:32 (fourteen years ago) link

Confessions was forgettable, I think Clooney's participation/acting is what sticks out most now. Entertaining, though.

Adaptation, I don't think I made it all the way through. Maybe it's better than I thought at the time, but I doubt it.

Malkovich hasn't aged well.

Eternal Sunshine, OTOH, is brilliant, much better than I gave it credit for at the time. The only one of Kauffman's scripts that has a heart and emotions and human messiness, rather than just reading like a meta-joke or pure formal problem.

milo z (mlp), Saturday, 6 May 2006 21:39 (fourteen years ago) link

Eternal Sunshine is lovely for most of it, but the part inside Jim Carrey's head lasted waayy too long. I would've wanted to see more of the real Kate Winslet and his relationship between her and Carrey instead of the imaginary one.

Adaptation I really liked. I think there was something profound in it, if that's a good word. Though most of the meta stuff was kinda pointless.

Confessions of A Dangerous Mind made absolutely no sense to me. It's one of those movies where you don't get bored watching it, but after it's over you have no idea what it was supposed to do.

Malkovich is cool for the first half or so, but when the plot turns into a competition of who controls Malkovich it gets kinda farcical and pointless.

Tuomas (Tuomas), Saturday, 6 May 2006 21:50 (fourteen years ago) link

yeah eternal sunshine towers over the rest pretty easily. and i like kaufman but i don't think he's a surrealist at all really any more than say woody allen (purple rose has to be the closest those two sensibilities meet probably), he doesn't seem, um, sensual (?) enough, things never get truly out of hand any more so than in say yr standard new yorker cartoon. i haven't seen human nature but the rest of the flix are basically 'elaborate scenarios sprung forth from awkward dork horniness' right? i mean i know adaptation vaguely hints at a larger theme (before settling down to 'and then charlie finally got the nerve to make a move on that girl. the end.') and malkovich hints at pretending it has a larger theme but really these on some level are just grander versions of those cartoons cusack made in either better off dead or one crazy summer (i forget which) right? even confessions the only one where the protagonist isn't a kaufman surrogate (and even that's debatable obv) is basically 'dude really really is afraid of commitment', it's basically about the relationship with barrymore with everything else serving as a 'you gotta understand'.

j blount (papa la bas), Saturday, 6 May 2006 21:56 (fourteen years ago) link

I'll say this much about emotions and human messiness, I only just learned after posting this thread that Grant McLennan died and now I can't think about anything else for a while. Do carry on, though, I'll chime back in later (though I will note I think jokes/purely formal problems provide better hats to hang squishiness on than most).

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 6 May 2006 21:58 (fourteen years ago) link

i'm trying to remember if they're using his script for benjamin button or not, it would seem to be the sort of thing right up his alley.

j blount (papa la bas), Saturday, 6 May 2006 21:59 (fourteen years ago) link

i don't think he's a surrealist at all

yeah he's basically an existentialist. (or maybe a phenomenologist?) i think the woody allen comparison is apt, though kaufman's neuroses feel less corrosive (and therefore possibly less interesting). i like him a lot.

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Saturday, 6 May 2006 23:16 (fourteen years ago) link

Eternal Sunshine is the best of the three I've seen (haven't bothered with Confessions). I think I much prefer Gondry to Jonze.

Abbadavid Berman (Hurting), Sunday, 7 May 2006 00:32 (fourteen years ago) link

Gondry has directed Kaufman's best film and his worst.

polyphonic (polyphonic), Sunday, 7 May 2006 00:44 (fourteen years ago) link

Being John Malkovich and Adaptation both left me cold, and I liked Adaptation a little more than BJM.

Abbadavid Berman (Hurting), Sunday, 7 May 2006 00:57 (fourteen years ago) link

Eternal Sunshine is lovely for most of it, but the part inside Jim Carrey's head lasted waayy too long. I would've wanted to see more of the real Kate Winslet and his relationship between her and Carrey instead of the imaginary one.

IOW, you wanted to watch a completely different movie?

Dan (I Think You Missed The Point Of The Story) Perry (Dan Perry), Sunday, 7 May 2006 20:20 (fourteen years ago) link

shockah

j blount (papa la bas), Sunday, 7 May 2006 20:28 (fourteen years ago) link

Human Nature is pretty horrible, save for Arquette being nude most of the time.

Adaptation is a total dud. I was on the fence about it until seeing it for a second time.

erklie (erklie), Sunday, 7 May 2006 20:38 (fourteen years ago) link

IOW, you wanted to watch a completely different movie?

Well, maybe, the movie started as a relationship between real people, but spent way too much time showing the interaction between Carrey and the imaginary Winslet. I didn't really see what was the point of it.

Tuomas (Tuomas), Sunday, 7 May 2006 20:58 (fourteen years ago) link

i sort of think Adaptation way better than any of the rest. but i can barely remember BJM. Eternal Sunshine is just kind of miserable and overly sentimental and mopey. and the music sucks. and the photography is dark and dull and colorless. and it panders to people who think their romantic relationships are the ultimate existential experience that can be had. fuck that.

ryan (ryan), Sunday, 7 May 2006 21:44 (fourteen years ago) link

and it's always cold in the movie and i hate the cold.

i mean gondry's hermetic style here is as much as the culprit for me as kaufman's writing. but for christ's sake shallow self-involved hipsters break up all the time and their solipsistic fetishization of their relationships AND their break-ups stay in their own head where it belongs!

i mean i just ask for one "wow these two are kind of pathetic huh?" kind of moment to validate this feeling but it never came.

ryan (ryan), Sunday, 7 May 2006 21:58 (fourteen years ago) link

love BJM, really really like Adaptation, liked Eternal Sunshine, but thought was not as good as the first two, and haven't seen Confessions

Dominique (dleone), Sunday, 7 May 2006 22:07 (fourteen years ago) link

Now I admit I'm avoiding that film because frankly, fuck a Jim Carrey.

I would usually agree with you 100% here, but he really does give a startlingly restrained performance in this film - it's a revelation.

Eternal Sunshine, OTOH, is brilliant, much better than I gave it credit for at the time. The only one of Kauffman's scripts that has a heart and emotions and human messiness, rather than just reading like a meta-joke or pure formal problem.

I see what you're saying, but I personally love his first two films for daring to be so meta and formal in an age of formulaic blockbusters. Also, I think they have more heart and emotional resonance than you give them credit for; it's just that those aspects tend to be a bit overwhelmed by the wackiness.

chap who would dare to be a nerd, not a geek (chap), Sunday, 7 May 2006 23:03 (fourteen years ago) link

i agree. plus the "heart and emotions and human messiness" of Eternal Sunshine are just lame.

ryan (ryan), Sunday, 7 May 2006 23:13 (fourteen years ago) link

ryan u mad

jaymc (jaymc), Sunday, 7 May 2006 23:30 (fourteen years ago) link

Ryan, wtf are you talking about?

Dan (Very Odd Read On This Movie, IMO) Perry (Dan Perry), Sunday, 7 May 2006 23:33 (fourteen years ago) link

Well, maybe, the movie started as a relationship between real people, but spent way too much time showing the interaction between Carrey and the imaginary Winslet. I didn't really see what was the point of it.

Uhh, that *was* part of the point of it, wasn't it? I mean, they've wiped their memories of their relationship then spend time scrambling thru the mind trying desperately to recover it out of regret. At least thats what I brought from it.

Caveat: I was quite stoned when I watched it, so my attention span was all over the place; I need to watch it again. Or several times, even.

Trayce (trayce), Sunday, 7 May 2006 23:41 (fourteen years ago) link

Also I'll echo: Ned, I'm not a huge Carrey fan either, but he is great in this, completely subdued. Think the more humble parts of his Truman Show performance, and ramp it down even more.

Trayce (trayce), Sunday, 7 May 2006 23:42 (fourteen years ago) link

Uhh, that *was* part of the point of it, wasn't it?

That was the ENTIRE point of the movie.

Dan (Oh, Tuomaspaws) Perry (Dan Perry), Sunday, 7 May 2006 23:44 (fourteen years ago) link

Heh.

Trayce (trayce), Sunday, 7 May 2006 23:50 (fourteen years ago) link

that's fair Dan, it is an odd reading i admit!

look im perfectly willing to admit that playing under the covers with a lover* can be a perfect memory you wouldnt want to lose, a real life affirming moment and all that, but on the other hand it is a major cliche and a bit cloying the way it is staged. and this is symptomatic of the ENTIRE movie for me in a sense. elevating the banal and quite boring (come on, their relationship is boring!) visscisitudes of a typical relationship and subsequent break up to the heights of sublimity is just sort of, well, pandering to people's already heightened self-regard in these matters.

in other words: i wanted some objectivity and critical distance but didn't really get any. (tho this appears in the winslet character being a bit of a bitch, but not in the Carey character if i remember)

*I may have this wrong

ryan (ryan), Sunday, 7 May 2006 23:53 (fourteen years ago) link

i should note: the movie is GREAT on its own terms.

ryan (ryan), Sunday, 7 May 2006 23:54 (fourteen years ago) link

I admit im being a bit Armond White on this movie, i guess i just want to defend Adaptation (a movie i found as movie as many find Eternal Sunshine to be) so I am being overly-critical.

ryan (ryan), Sunday, 7 May 2006 23:57 (fourteen years ago) link

movie=moving. haha

ryan (ryan), Sunday, 7 May 2006 23:57 (fourteen years ago) link

I found both Adaptation and Eternal Sunshine extremely moving, and affecting to me on a personal level.

I guess that must mean I have boring cutsey relationships and I am a neurotic, paranoid writer trying to find validation who is a boring sod.

Or something.

Trayce (trayce), Monday, 8 May 2006 00:01 (fourteen years ago) link

I never saw "Adaptation" so I can't compare.

I don't think the point was so much that being in bed with Clementine was the greatest memory Joel ever had as much as it was each memory that was taken away made him that much more desperate to hold onto the ones he had left; the implication was that if he could hold onto at least one memory of her, he could get back all of the others.

Every long-term relationship I know of has extremely rough patches where the very things that attracted you to each other now drive you completely crazy; I thought the movie did a marvelous job of capturing this.

Dan (Don't Hate!) Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 8 May 2006 00:13 (fourteen years ago) link

Carrey's also good (and subdued) in that fake Frank Capra movie he did between the Truman Show and Eternal Sunshine. The Majestic, I think, or something like that.

milo z (mlp), Monday, 8 May 2006 00:15 (fourteen years ago) link

the movie started as a relationship between real people, but spent way too much time showing the interaction between Carrey and the imaginary Winslet.

y'know, almost all movies are about imaginary people.

Sym Sym (sym), Monday, 8 May 2006 00:18 (fourteen years ago) link

Every long-term relationship I know of has extremely rough patches where the very things that attracted you to each other now drive you completely crazy; I thought the movie did a marvelous job of capturing this.

Totally spot on!

Trayce (trayce), Monday, 8 May 2006 00:50 (fourteen years ago) link

I'm going to file that away for retrieval if/when in a long-term relationship again and the holy-shit-i-am-going-to-kill-you-nows hit.

And I'm going to watch this RIGHT NOW too!

rrrobyn (rrrobyn), Monday, 8 May 2006 00:59 (fourteen years ago) link

y'know, almost all movies are about imaginary people.

see one (1) Maysles Bros film

jinx hijinks (sanskrit), Monday, 8 May 2006 01:02 (fourteen years ago) link

Yeah this thread has me wanting to go out and buy Adaptaion and Sunshine on DVD now.

Trayce (trayce), Monday, 8 May 2006 01:08 (fourteen years ago) link

I think Adaptation is a bitt too smart for it's own good, and that the screenplay overpowers the actual film, which is unfortunate.

The Brainwasher (Twilight), Monday, 8 May 2006 02:48 (fourteen years ago) link

whew, well that was good. spookier than i remembered. and it seemed, well, deeper on this watching. but this is, i guess, a subjective thing. and perhaps that is why the movie impresses me too, now.
(i didn't realize that the end-credit song was Beck! weird. it's a good song. the use of music/score is really impressive throughout, i noticed.)

rrrobyn (rrrobyn), Monday, 8 May 2006 03:12 (fourteen years ago) link

Ryan saying "the music sucks" was the main reason I got all ad-hominem.

jaymc (jaymc), Monday, 8 May 2006 03:13 (fourteen years ago) link

haha, i didn't even notice that he said that! i just thought it worked for the film.

and it panders to people who think their romantic relationships are the ultimate existential experience that can be had. fuck that.
hrm. i can understand where this is coming from. but again, different viewers, different responses. i don't think this re: relationships, but i like the movie. i just thought it was about, well, life, not nec in an existential way.)

i like adaptation too. esp the ending.

rrrobyn (rrrobyn), Monday, 8 May 2006 03:20 (fourteen years ago) link

very clever

gabbneb (gabbneb), Monday, 8 May 2006 03:24 (fourteen years ago) link

D

gabbneb (gabbneb), Monday, 8 May 2006 03:24 (fourteen years ago) link

is that an eyeless smile?

rrrobyn (rrrobyn), Monday, 8 May 2006 03:25 (fourteen years ago) link

crepey

rrrobyn (rrrobyn), Monday, 8 May 2006 03:25 (fourteen years ago) link

de sucre

gabbneb (gabbneb), Monday, 8 May 2006 03:26 (fourteen years ago) link

D

rrrobyn (rrrobyn), Monday, 8 May 2006 03:27 (fourteen years ago) link

http://www.moviexplosion.com/silenthillpostersmall.jpg

jaymc (jaymc), Monday, 8 May 2006 03:29 (fourteen years ago) link

My hot take. Irritating, yes. Consciously so. I think everything up until when they leave the house is easily the best thing he’s ever done. So clearly.

circa1916, Sunday, 13 September 2020 22:10 (one week ago) link

I’m not even a big Kaufman fan, but there’s so much to chew on moment to moment. And it’s a masterful tightrope walk. Lot of people shitting on this don’t seem to care to actually reckon with it. How is this “ham handed”? Somehow inscrutable yet obvious.

circa1916, Sunday, 13 September 2020 22:18 (one week ago) link

I like synecdoche but it swings so hard and doesn’t quite hit. The artifice is too clear, distractingly. This did the same things in such a more primal (fuck I hate myself) Kafka way.

circa1916, Sunday, 13 September 2020 22:23 (one week ago) link

Synecdoche is much less dialogue dependent. The ideas he's interested in and returns to frequently are best expressed (imo) visually, with terse absurdist dialogue and as little speeches as possible. Someone or something is taking the piss out of PSH in every scene of Synecdoche. When it's two people just barfing out hyperlinks and suggestions of themes and ideas he's been working through--mostly through images--I wanted to put a fucking gun in my mouth. When illustrated--the always burning house, the fucked up floor in Being John Malkovich and the cave and the dream sequence, the bed on the beach and the childhood home set and all the disappearances in Eternal Sunshine--the stuff he's interested in is really compelling, to me.

When delivered in a car setting that reminded me of The End of the Tour (I was stunned when he actually mentioned DFW), with a pathetic D-level PSH clone gibbering in Plemmons, and again, this just struck me as ineffective and silly and immature compared to his prior work. I was really disappointed. Doesn't even approach the awfulness of Antkind though, Jesus Christ. I'm Thinking of Ending Things has a great case (Plemmons is very good, just given a shit role), the cinematography is particularly great, and like I said I enjoy when the film is freed from that fucking car.

No I don't relate to these sad fanboys who feel they have wasted their lives! I don't find them interesting. At least Caden spent the last 50 years of his life DOING something, even if he never opened the show... I mean, fuck, look at that set! Sets?

flappy bird, Monday, 14 September 2020 01:04 (one week ago) link

But that's really not the issue--it's being monologued at in the most boring fucking possible setting for a scene in a movie. There is nothing more dull than a car conversation.

flappy bird, Monday, 14 September 2020 01:05 (one week ago) link

How are those car dialogues not beautifully suffocating? It’s grueling and entrancing in equal measure. That’s when I immediately knew the movie was special, never felt quite that way watching a dialogue. Their looks, tells, everything, it’s one hundred things.

circa1916, Monday, 14 September 2020 02:32 (one week ago) link

Those initial car scenes are so elegantly put together. I wish you guys could see what see in it.

circa1916, Monday, 14 September 2020 02:39 (one week ago) link

Elegance of composition and detail are not the primary components of great art io, otherwise there are some amazing oil paintings of dead things that would qualify, e.g. this:

https://i.pinimg.com/236x/0b/44/16/0b4416711eb115118f1c908fc8e30973.jpg

the unappreciated charisma of cows (Aimless), Monday, 14 September 2020 02:49 (one week ago) link

They're just suffocating. Beyond what I've written in this thread I can only hold up Synecdoche as proof of what I'm talking about. I'm not talking about "elegant composition," I'm talking about images illustrated. This movie has a dearth of stuff Kaufman is dependable for--the ice cream stop goes nowhere--but for an example of what I'm talking about, the Betty Boop cartoons playing on the windshield to the janitor. That's beautiful--not dull car conversations that add up to nothing more than bad breakup riffs, pop philosophy hyperlinks, and relationship/loneliness territory that has been mined clean. The windshield shot is alone here--Synecdoche is filled with them. And these aren't paintings, they're moving images: the flower tattoo wilting and falling off of Olive's arm as she dies, the search blimps over the make believe city, the pink box... There's nothing in here half as compelling as any of that stuff. "A wife shaped loneliness"--come on. That shit sucks. That's just Adele in the first half of Synecdoche! "Everyone's disappointing the more you get to know them." THANK YOU! Excellent. ALL THATS' NEEDED!!! Her behavior says the rest.

Long story short, Kaufman is not Rohmer!

flappy bird, Monday, 14 September 2020 04:25 (one week ago) link

Elegance of composition and detail are not the primary components of great art

Who says? Of course they can be.

I think the car conversations in this were fine - exactly the kind of chat that two youngish, college-educated people who don't know each other that well might have on a long desolate journey together.

Ward Fowler, Monday, 14 September 2020 09:04 (one week ago) link

more paintings of dead things pls

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Monday, 14 September 2020 13:58 (one week ago) link

the ice cream stop goes nowhere

this is the best part of the second car ride imo. actually hits the note of eerie lynchiness

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Monday, 14 September 2020 14:01 (one week ago) link

the negative letterboxd reviews make me want to like this movie more bc they're just... too much. everybody seems to think that charlie kaufman thinks that he's better than them (or seem to have gotten their taste insulted by an imported pauline kael review) and i don't get that at all from this movie. they have this same complex about ari aster tho

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Monday, 14 September 2020 14:03 (one week ago) link

ppl are extremely obnoxious about Ari Aster yes (not that there aren't legit criticisms or ehat have you)

unpaid intern at the darvo institute (Simon H.), Monday, 14 September 2020 14:09 (one week ago) link

I see flappy found it "astonishingly awful", but any other thoughts on Antkind? I'm really thinking I might be into a Kaufman novel that even hints at the same territory of Synedoche, but the reviews I've read are (unsurprisingly) divisive.

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 14 September 2020 14:10 (one week ago) link

i am also curious about antkind, prob exclusively bc i heard the main character invents and gets obsessed with a gender-neutral pronoun, which could be and probably is obnoxious but i like the idea anyway

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Monday, 14 September 2020 14:13 (one week ago) link

The gender stuff in Antkind is a thin joke played out over 700 pages. The character is a caricature of an over the top overcompensating "guilty white male," and a couple of the main characters are very similar to Sabbath's Theater. That's vibe--neurotic self sabotaging perv.

There are some really cool Synecdoche style images in it, lots of bureaucracy absurdism, the lost film itself and how it's described. If you're a fan of any one of his movies I'd say it's a necessary read. It has been really polarizing, like almost everything he's done (everything?). But my expectations were extremely high: this--and now the new movie--were the first new things from him since Synecdoche (the play Anomalisa had been out there for about a decade, I liked the movie).

Another really frustrating thing about Antkind is that it's always on the edge of getting interesting. He's dealing with film history, film's complicity in evil of the 20th century, how it lies and rewrites history in real time... and then five pages of self-cancelling worrying apologizing for being white or a man or looking Jewish while not being Jewish...

There's a lot in there and I may have skated over greater treasures. Not one I'm eager to revisit. I'm curious about others' thoughts though on the pronoun/white guilt stuff in the book, I just found it dysfunctional at a basic level (an unfunny joke played out throughout).

flappy bird, Monday, 14 September 2020 16:35 (one week ago) link

I'm weirdly more interested in Jim Carrey's Kaufmany-sounding book than Antkind.

unpaid intern at the darvo institute (Simon H.), Monday, 14 September 2020 16:36 (one week ago) link

I'm really thinking I might be into a Kaufman novel that even hints at the same territory of Synedoche, but the reviews I've read are (unsurprisingly) divisive.
It has a very different tone than Synecdoche (which I love). It's subject is loss and regret, but the touch is light-hearted, silly. I thought it was brilliant anyway. It makes me laugh that a film director-turned-novelist would choose a pompous, irritating film critic who’s wrong about everything, especially Charlie Kaufman movies, as his protagonist. But that’s just one gag. There’s more than revenge fantasy here -- biting social satire, time travel, wistful thoughts on love and death, and a transcendent love of art. True, some of the comic build is kind of tedious, but the punchlines (maybe hundreds of pages later) are often ridiculously rewarding. Even short term, though, it’s funny enough I kept reading passages aloud to my son during the shutdown.

I liked Matthew Spektor’s NYT review.

I'm curious about others' thoughts though on the pronoun/white guilt stuff in the book, I just found it dysfunctional at a basic level (an unfunny joke played out throughout).
It wasn’t very funny, true, but its main purpose is to show how awful he is. It’s all fake; he’s a terrible human being!

Cherish, Monday, 14 September 2020 21:17 (one week ago) link

My second quote is from flappy bird, not the NYT, if that's not clear.

Cherish, Monday, 14 September 2020 21:27 (one week ago) link

Thanks! Sounds worth checking out at least.

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 14 September 2020 21:28 (one week ago) link

its main purpose is to show how awful he is. It’s all fake; he’s a terrible human being!
― Cherish, Monday, September 14, 2020 2:17 PM (thirty-nine minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

hmmm yeah maybe i should stay away

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Monday, 14 September 2020 21:57 (one week ago) link

It wasn’t very funny, true, but its main purpose is to show how awful he is. It’s all fake; he’s a terrible human being!
― Cherish, Monday, September 14, 2020 5:17 PM (thirty-eight minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

I figured as much -- was beating a dead horse for me. But the book is obviously using repetition and accretion for something, idk what though. And I keep bringing up Sabbath's Theater, but I probably would've liked Antkind more if I hadn't read the former, because Mickey Sabbath is a very similar character--physically and mentally--and there's some overlap with the Tsai character in Antkind (certainly the soiled panties). So a lot of the self hatred perv stuff fell flat for me because I'd read another thick book about the same thing last year. I don't read as many books as I would like to... when will there be time enough at last... 😔

Antkind is often funny tho. I love when he asks Ingo if he's read any of his monographs and Ingo, without missing a beat, replies "Of course. It's on my nightstand."

flappy bird, Monday, 14 September 2020 22:00 (one week ago) link

Brad--and anyone else interested in this aspect of the book--read the first 30-40 pages if you can. The joke and its entire extent are played out by then

flappy bird, Monday, 14 September 2020 22:01 (one week ago) link

I completely forgot the thing about this movie that I liked the most: It references Anna Kavan's book "Ice" at least twice, maybe more than that; there's also a fair amount of it that has the same feel of that novel. I feel often like the only person who has ever read any of her books, she's really under appreciated, so it was nice to see that kind of very public mention.

akm, Thursday, 17 September 2020 21:45 (one week ago) link

great book, I perked up there too

error prone wolf syndicate (Hadrian VIII), Thursday, 17 September 2020 21:57 (one week ago) link

found this almost exactly equal parts riveting and annoying, which is a neat trick I guess

Simon H., Saturday, 19 September 2020 03:57 (one week ago) link

at least it was an admirably impenetrable way to toss a few of Netflix's millions into a snowy trashcan

Simon H., Saturday, 19 September 2020 04:07 (one week ago) link

I definitely agree w/ flappy that Synecdoche was his peak and the ultimate iteration of The Kaufman Thing, this convinced me he'll never top it

Simon H., Saturday, 19 September 2020 04:12 (one week ago) link

something that occurred to me a couple days after watching:

when they're in the car and she notices the abandoned house with the brand new swing-set outside and he responds irritably, he's frustrated because she's noticing design flaws in his own imagination. despite her being a figment of his imagination (or whatever) she has agency which threatens to derail his fantasy. i've had similar things happen to me in dreams, where some part of my brain suddenly becomes aware that it's just a dream, while another part feels disappointed or annoyed that the ruse is up

flopson, Saturday, 19 September 2020 22:39 (one week ago) link

one thing i didn't like about the ending was i felt like the build-up of layers of chaotic meta-psychological navel-gazery was just getting started; it would've been fun if it had continued to tie itself into knots for another 30 mins instead of just bursting into song

flopson, Saturday, 19 September 2020 22:45 (one week ago) link

I definitely agree w/ flappy that Synecdoche was his peak and the ultimate iteration of The Kaufman Thing, this convinced me he'll never top it

― Simon H., Saturday, September 19, 2020 12:12 AM (eighteen hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

haven't watched any of them recently enough but i found the end of synecdoche dragged on foreverrrr. i think being john malkovich and adaptation are my faves

flopson, Saturday, 19 September 2020 22:48 (one week ago) link

flops i'm with you on the ending

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Saturday, 19 September 2020 22:54 (one week ago) link

also thanks for reminding me about the swingset exchange, one of my favorite parts of the movie

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Saturday, 19 September 2020 22:54 (one week ago) link

i was totally waiting for like, the names from the credit of the movie set in the diner to show up as characters

flopson, Saturday, 19 September 2020 23:06 (one week ago) link

one thing i like about charlie kaufman movies is they seem really fun to write. i saw or read an interview with him where he said the usual line about how 'writing is excruciating torture', which is prob true, but i like to think that i'd have a blast if *i* were writing a CK-style screenplay

flopson, Saturday, 19 September 2020 23:10 (one week ago) link

one thing i like about charlie kaufman movies is they seem really fun to write. i saw or read an interview with him where he said the usual line about how 'writing is excruciating torture', which is prob true, but i like to think that i'd have a blast if *i* were writing a CK-style screenplay

flopson, Saturday, 19 September 2020 23:10 (one week ago) link

Synecdoche is a great movie about one of my favorite themes: trying to determine the correct way to lead "the examined life" (and how you completely destroy your life when you fuck it up)

Simon H., Saturday, 19 September 2020 23:40 (one week ago) link

I wanted to love this but

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 20 September 2020 01:58 (six days ago) link

same. by the time the Kael recitation started the roomie and I basically exclaimed "oh, come on!" in concert.

Simon H., Sunday, 20 September 2020 02:13 (six days ago) link

especially since the Kael review has sharper writing than Kaufman offers.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 20 September 2020 02:14 (six days ago) link

I wondered aloud if the movie was overlong on purpose as a supremely meta reference to the revie. I think that was when I really turned against it, lol

Simon H., Sunday, 20 September 2020 02:17 (six days ago) link

The horror-movie setup & lighting & camera-work made the first half of this weirdly tense. I watched this with my wife and she was sure a jump scare was coming any minute ("Don't go in the basement!" etc.)

dinnerboat, Monday, 21 September 2020 15:30 (five days ago) link

I can see the ending of Synecdoche as dragging, but that last scene with the old woman? The slow fade to white? the in ear command to "DIE"?

https://i.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/001/498/077/88e.png

flappy bird, Monday, 21 September 2020 18:58 (five days ago) link

Too on the nose

plax (ico), Monday, 21 September 2020 19:06 (five days ago) link

Maybe for you but it hit me in the gut! I was 16 when it came out but damn, still does!

flappy bird, Monday, 21 September 2020 19:10 (five days ago) link

Synecdoche is also his funniest movie

Simon H., Monday, 21 September 2020 23:38 (five days ago) link

OTM

I love the overeager actor that doesn't age yet continues working with Caden thru Death of a Salesman up into Caden's 70s in the warehouse(s).

"I shall walk more... ambivalently."
"Yeah that's good, use that."

flappy bird, Tuesday, 22 September 2020 05:14 (four days ago) link

Jon Brion's score is perfect and I can't imagine the movie without it

flappy bird, Tuesday, 22 September 2020 05:15 (four days ago) link

i started antkind & im enjoying

johnny crunch, Tuesday, 22 September 2020 13:04 (four days ago) link


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