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Charlie Kaufman


Charlie Kaufman’s next film will be a musical

Charlie Kaufman‘s “Synecdoche New York” was about as divisive and hotly debated as any film of the last five years. It may not have been the most fun film to watch, but it was a damn fun movie to talk about. I suspect there will be equal amounts of discussion — if not equal amounts […]

“Synecdoche,” Empathy and Charlie Kaufman (photo)

“Synecdoche,” Empathy and Charlie Kaufman

The Rumpus has a reprint of Charlie Kaufman’s introduction to “Synecdoche, New York: The Shooting Script,” which was published by Newmarket Press two years ago. In typical Kaufman fashion, it quickly leaps the boundaries of what you’d expect in an intro for such a project and looks on the whole process from above, dealing with […]

Why? Why? Tell Them That It’s ‘Human Nature’ (photo)

Why? Why? Tell Them That It’s ‘Human Nature’

Much like the Lord (or Buddha or Santa Claus), minds work in mystery ways. Especially the strange minds of Charlie Kaufman, Spike Jonze, and Michael Gondry. Jonze and Kaufman hit mainstream success with the incredibly meta and bizarre yet brilliant Being John Malkovich, where John Cusack and a remarkably unattractive Cameron Diaz found an entrance […]

Bodies of work. (photo)

Bodies of work.

Writing about this week’s DVD release of “Where The Wild Things Are” in the LA Times, Dennis Lim notes that to really understand Spike Jonze, you can’t stop at his three feature films. “A true appreciation of Jonze’s sensibility requires a familiarity with his shorts, videos and promos,” he writes. It’s true — you can […]

The Naughts: The Film of the ’00s (photo)

The Naughts: The Film of the ’00s

I’m not sure if “Adaptation” is emblematic of the American-film ’00s — I’m afraid that the real culprit might be one blockbuster or another, exemplifying at this stage our fears instead of our hopes — but it’s certainly an endlessly resonating high-water mark, a mirror-hall launch that Godard could’ve loved, and which preemptively folded all […]

Minor Crises (photo)

Minor Crises

Whether he likes it or not — and we’re talking about a director whose characters feel so much ambivalence that you can practically see it radiating off of them in waves — Andrew Bujalski has become the patron saint of the burgeoning grassroots indie movement misleadingly known as mumblecore. (The people in these films may […]

Thomas Haden Church Rolls On (photo)

Thomas Haden Church Rolls On

A day after he traveled home from the sound of thunderous applause at the Tribeca Film Festival, Thomas Haden Church was driving through the pouring rain outside his ranch in Texas when he called to discuss “Don McKay.” Church left knowing the darkly comic film about a janitor who rekindles a relationship with a high […]

Slavoj Žižek’s Film Criticism on Film, Charlie Kaufman’s Autocritique (photo)

Slavoj Žižek’s Film Criticism on Film, Charlie Kaufman’s Autocritique

With the exception of Godard’s largely-unseen (on these shores) “Histoire(s) du Cinéma,” Sophie Fiennes’ and Slavoj Žižek’s “The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema” (2006) might be the greatest piece of film-criticism-on-film ever made. That’s not saying a pantload, of course; despite the obvious potentialities and the seductive pleasure to be had in perusing film history in […]

Sundance 2009: “Cold Souls.” (photo)

Sundance 2009: “Cold Souls.”

The shadow of Charlie Kaufman looms unignorably large over Sophie Barthes’ first feature “Cold Souls,” which stars Paul Giamatti as a well-known and very serious actor named Paul Giamatti, who’s finding that his role in a upcoming stage production of “Uncle Vanya” is weighing on him. An article in the New Yorker steers him to […]

“When have we ever had the chance to vote for the ‘most liberal’ of anything?”

A tour around the interview circuit: “Personally, the opportunity to vote for someone like Barack Obama will be one of the greatest things I will have done in my life. The Republicans aren’t kidding when they say he’s the ‘most liberal’ senator in the Senate. When have we ever had the chance to vote for […]