Friday, December 19, 2008

At the Movies: Synecdoche, New York

Last weekend, I ventured to see the new Charlie Kaufman film (his directorial debut) Synecdoche, New York. If you've seen any of the previous work penned by Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Being John Malkovich), you know he can be trippy as hell and SNY is no different.

Philip Seymour Hoffman stars as Caden Cotard, a theater director with health and marital problems. After a series of events, he decides to stage a huge reality theater piece, where he basically recreates scenes from his life and the lives of his fellow New Yorkers. He experiences love and loss and, you know, the stuff of life, but these themes are juxtaposed with weird, Kaufman-esque touches like a constantly burning building and a weird psuedo-stalker. Confused? Yeah, I was, too. After my viewing, I emailed Garney and said "I loved it, but I don't think I got it," and he, being his brilliant self, said, "I don't think there's too much to really get about it but rather appreciate Kaufman's work for its bizarre authenticity." Then he compared it to Fellini's 8 1/2 and it actually made more sense...sort of.

Synecdoche, New York is totally weird and, at times, incomprehensible, but it's definitely worth seeing. Plus, Samantha Morton plays a buxom, curly haired redhead and I can kind of relate to that kind of woman...for some reason. Check it out and report back with your thoughts.


Dr Zibbs said...

I just read a review and the reviewer said it's almost impossible to understand the first time. I do want to see it.

MelO said...

I like some pretty weird movies but I hate it when I don't "get" a movie.

That being said, I'll probably see this anyway, if only out of pure curiosity. :)

Liz said...

My brain is kind of mush this time of year. Not "Marley & Me" mush, but not ready for Kaufman either. I might wait for DVD.

pistols at dawn said...

Kaufman's not always great, but he's always interesting. Also, "Sunshine" may have had the most brilliant movie about a relationship I've ever seen, so he gets a life pass from me.

words words words said...

I was kind of interested in seeing this until you compared it to "8 1/2". Now I will stay away like it's the plague.