Sunday, 31 May 2009

Synecdoche, New York

Charlie Kaufman needn't prove his artistic worth to anyone. He's written Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Being John Malkovich. For some reason, the 50 year old writer's worried about his heritage, his mortality; he's still trying to show how broad, vivid, inventive his imagination is.

Synecdoche, New York is a vanity project. Kaufman is not entertaining anybody's concerns; he's just telling us all of his own. He is 50; it's time for his pièce de résistance, his magnus opus (not necessarily his masterpiece).

What a world he depicts: a central character insecure, unhappy, unhealthy, deserted by his wife, longed for by a receptionist whom he cannot fuck, admired by an actress whom he does fuck, ... Meanwhile, he receives a generous grant and embarks on a lifetime project lasting 20-25 years, in which actors play actors playing actors (ad finitum). His project becomes a full replica of an NYC cityscape, with the stories of his main characters taking part inside apartments.

An epic imagination; a crazy, fevered desire to leave, make a mark, to have insight; a bleak, nihilistic, vision; a dream.

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