Friday, January 27, 2012
Charlie Kaufman is cooking a new great film
Charlie Kaufman broke through in the industry by spec selling his eerie psycho-philosophical comedy Being John Malkovich (1999) about what's it like living inside real life actor John Malkovich. The weirdo genre tackle stands for no pseudo-intelectual crap but for a very funny story covering really complex debates of the human mind. After Human Nature (2001) and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002), he faced Fellini-like artistic block and thus following the Italian master put his creative conflicts in paper and wrote the semi-autobiographical psychological drama with a wing for thriller Adaptation (2002), one of the most engaging, puzzling and relevant pieces of work I've read. By the third time he finally accepted the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, for the romantic recollection psychological drama Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2006).
Kaufmanesque went to be coined throughout the years, a term of an assumed despise for Hollywood traditional storytelling, meaning the ability of turning philosophical concepts/theories and the functioning of the brain against the heart from an external viewpoint into deeply enveloping stories and characters, yielding some of the most impressive emotional results alternative and even cemented screenwriting has ever accomplished.
I am drawn to believe his most recent film, Synecdoche NY is much as far as someone can get of saying his/her movie is about life (don't get me wrong, I hate Gilles Deleuze). A man recreates his daily routine in a local theater only to realize at the end of his days he ended up rehearsing his entire life nonstop, loosing track of time, his peers and himself - don't take this deleuzian-like, not even as a metaphor, for all of this becomes strangely materialized and visual. This is Kaufman's directorial debut, extraordinary job, and I am sure I'd list it as one of the top 5 most underrated movies of all time.
I'm not done here. A great actor can't do without a great part. Charlie creates some of the most original and amazing characters of contemporary storytelling and is somehow responsible for taking Sam Rockwell to win Best Actor in Berlin'03, Catherine Keener, Nicholas Cage, Meryl Streep and Kate Winslet to be Oscar nominated and Chris Cooper to actually winning the Oscar in 2003. He also allowed Jim Carrey to act the performance of a lifetime (so far), proving himself as an accountable actor playing huge dramatic roles, something only matched by Adam Sandler and Paul Thomas Anderson's teaming up in Punch-Drunk Love.
He sure did take the film screenplay to a whole new level, respect and marketing-wise. People usually refer to his films as a Charlie Kaufman film, more than a Spike Jonzee or a Michel Gondry film (not disregard).
Now, dear reader, as I had previously noticed, the new K. after Franz is preparing what seems to be another astounding storytelling achievement. The synopsis I reported is still the same: the conflict between a 29-time Oscar nominee and a bitter frustrated film blogger. Now take a look at the awesome cast: Steve Carell (starring), Jack Black (antagonist), Nicholas Cage (washed-up actor), Kevin Kline, Catherine Keener and Kate Winslet. Once again, only talented funny and emotion triggering personnel.