Charlie Kaufman

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Anomalisa Review

Essential

As he did in films like Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Charlie Kaufman continues to explore the nature of human identity in this bracingly original stop-motion animated feature. It's an exquisitely crafted drama following a man and woman who find a way to see beyond the sameness of the world around them. And with his co-director Duke Johnson, Kaufman creates a witty, complex, dreamlike world that's unashamedly aimed at grown-ups.

It's the story of Michael (voiced by David Thewlis), an efficiency expert who travels to Cincinnati to deliver a lecture at a conference. But his mind is preoccupied with Bella, an ex who lives there. He phones his wife and son to clear his conscience before arranging to meet Bella in his hotel. Then later that evening he runs into Lisa (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a fan of his book who feels like such an anomaly that she can't quite believe that Michael might be interested in her. But there's a spark of attraction between them, something that feels rare in this soft, bland place.

This is a story about how life is essentially selfish and lonely, only livened up by hopeful connections we make with the people around us. Yes, it's sometimes rather bleak and dark, but it's also breathtakingly honest. And the film is packed with staggeringly clever touches that touch on ideas in ways that cut right through to our hearts (we'll never year Girls Just Wanna Have Fun in quite the same way again). Aside from Michael and Lisa, all of the characters are voiced by Tom Noonan, a stylistic flourish that feels gimmicky until its meaning becomes clear. As played out by these delicately crafted puppets on remarkably detailed sets, the film looks simply astonishing. It's almost hyper-realistic, with characters who are packed with visible quirks that echo in the actors' vocal performances.

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Charlie Kaufman - Meet the Filmmaker "Anomalisa" Apple Store at Apple Soho Store - New York, New York, United States - Tuesday 8th March 2016

Charlie Kaufman
Charlie Kaufman
Charlie Kaufman
Charlie Kaufman
Charlie Kaufman
Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson

Charlie Kaufman , Jack Black - Variety's Creative Impact Awards And 10 Directors To Watch Brunch at The 27th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival - Los Angeles, California, United States - Sunday 3rd January 2016

Charlie Kaufman and Jack Black
Charlie Kaufman

Charlie Kaufman , Duke Johnson - Variety's Creative Impact Awards and 10 Directors To Watch Brunch at the Parker Palm Springs hotel - Arrivals at Parker Hotel - Palm Springs, California, United States - Sunday 3rd January 2016

Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson
Charlie Kaufman and Jack Black
Charlie Kaufman and Jack Black

Anomalisa Trailer


Anomalisa is a new film from directors Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson. Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Being John Malkovich) also wrote the film - his first animation. Initial funding for the movie was achieved on Kickstarter, the project raised over 400,000 dollars, doubling their initial asking price.

The stop-motion film used 3-D printers to create the puppets and the story follows the day to day life of Michael Stone, a man who's struggling with going through the same processes every day. When he meets a stranger in a hotel, she might just be able to show Michael a new view point.

The lead characters are voiced by David Thewlis and Jennifer Jason Leigh. The whole film was voiced by the total of three people. The film was said to be the surprise movie of the 2015 BFI Festival.

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Charlie Kaufman Monday 11th May 2009 Synecdoche New York - VIP Screening held at the Curzon Cinema Soho London, England

Charlie Kaufman
Charlie Kaufman
Charlie Kaufman
Samantha Morton and Charlie Kaufman
Charlie Kaufman
Samantha Morton and Charlie Kaufman

Charlie Kaufman and Anthony Bregman - Charlie Kaufman, Anthony Bregman Saturday 21st February 2009 at Santa Monica Pier Los Angeles, California

Charlie Kaufman and Anthony Bregman

Synecdoche, New York Review


Weak
If it weren't for Charlie Kaufman, the phrase "famous screenwriter" would be an oxymoron. Kaufman has never won an Oscar, and most people, even true movie geeks, probably couldn't pick him out of a police lineup, but he's the only writer in Hollywood whose name is used to promote his movies. From Being John Malkovich and Adaptation to Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, each of Kaufman's movies is a singular experience -- quirky, affecting, and humorous. Kaufman's renown as a screenwriter even surpasses that of Quentin Tarantino's back in the mid-nineties, when he penned a string of critical and box-office hits that included Reservoir Dogs, True Romance, and Pulp Fiction. Tarantino's real acclaim, however, came as a result of his work behind the camera, not the keyboard. So it's no surprise to find Kaufman making the same transition in Synecdoche, New York -- his debut film as a director.

Synecdoche (sih-NECK-doh-kee) is a word whose meaning is too long to type out here -- and isn't essential to understanding the film, anyway. But it's just the type of word you might throw in the title of your first movie as a director if you wanted to let people know in advance they're in for something offbeat. And Synecdoche, New York is nothing if not determinedly offbeat.

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Synecdoche, New York Trailer


Watch the trailer for Synecdoche, New York

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Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind Review


Essential
Jim Carrey fans who roll in the aisle and clutch their sides every time the lanky megawatt talks out of his rear will despise the first 30 minutes of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. They shouldn't be able to form an opinion on the remainder of the film because most of them will have walked out by then.

Carrey traditionally makes silly comedies for his loyal supporters and risky pictures for his critics. His career path to date has alternated every bombastic Bruce Almighty with a tragic The Truman Show, and whatever Carrey camp you subscribe to will help you determine whether or not Sunshine is worth your time.

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Adaptation Review


Excellent
Wrap your noodle around this one. Real-life screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich; Human Nature) writes a screenplay about screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Nicolas Cage) writing a screenplay adaptation of a real-life book, The Orchid Thief, written by real-life author Susan Orlean (played in Adaptation by Meryl Streep).

Thus spake Adaptation. Starting out with fake (or real?) behind-the-scenes footage of Malkovich, taking detours to the dawn of life on earth and story mogul Robert McKee's screenwriting class, Darwin's lab, Orlean's book (with Chris Cooper playing the swamp rat/scientist/orchid thief himself), voice-overs, and flashbacks, Adaptation finds inventive convolutions that might make it seem more esoteric than it really is.

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Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind Review


Very Good
'Tis the season for pillorying the TV stars of yesteryear. After Bob Crane got his comeuppance in Auto Focus, George Clooney takes the director's chair for the first time to bring us Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, the "unauthorized autobiography" of Chuck Barris, the man responsible for some of the most enduring and trashiest TV shows ever, including The Dating Game and The Gong Show.

Sam Rockwell (best known for show-stealing turns in Charlie's Angels and Galaxy Quest) makes for an engaging and wildly funny doppelganger for Barris, owning the character so completely it's hard to tell where the source material ends and Rockwell's interpretation picks up. With Barris appearing in almost every scene, the film takes us down his road from TV-producer wannabe to master of the 1970s game show. Oh, and not to mention, a stint as a freelance assassin for the CIA.

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Human Nature Review


Very Good
If nothing else, writer Charlie Kaufman has created a style of comedy all his own. He is one of the very few screenwriters able to distinctly stamp his unmistakable personality on a film. Much like his previous Being John Malkovich, Kaufman again has his script brought to the big screen by a music video/commercial director. This time French helmer Michel Gondry is behind the camera, and the result is every bit as uniquely offbeat and original as one might expect. The result being that Human Nature may be an acquired taste, but anyone who welcomes a dash of the avant-garde fused with their humor should take pleasure in this crazed, joyous romp of a film.

Patricia Arquette plays Lila, a best-selling environmental book author, who suffers from a hormonal disorder that causes her to sport an overabundance of body hair. Prior to finding success, the young woman learned to use the affliction as a source of strength and was able to get in touch with her true self while living in the wilderness for several years. Upon Lila's return to human civilization, she begins seeing an electrolysist named Louise (Rosie Perez) who helps her deal with the excess hair. She also introduces Lila to a brilliant, though maladjusted, behavioral scientist Nathan (Tim Robbins). A relationship soon blossoms.

Continue reading: Human Nature Review

Being John Malkovich Review


Good
The question on everybody's lips would be: Why John Malkovich?

The centerpiece of Being John Malkovich, in case you haven't guessed, is a portal, which provides the unique opportunity to "be John Malkovich." As one character, when approached with the chance, exuberantly improvises, "Great! That was my second choice." Which leads us right back where we started. Why John Malkovich?

Continue reading: Being John Malkovich Review

Charlie Kaufman

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Charlie Kaufman Movies

Anomalisa Movie Review

Anomalisa Movie Review

As he did in films like Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless...

Anomalisa Trailer

Anomalisa Trailer

Anomalisa is a new film from directors Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson. Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine...

Synecdoche, New York Movie Review

Synecdoche, New York Movie Review

If it weren't for Charlie Kaufman, the phrase "famous screenwriter" would be an oxymoron. Kaufman...

Synecdoche, New York Trailer

Synecdoche, New York Trailer

Watch the trailer for Synecdoche, New YorkCharlie Kaufman's is best know for his wonderful script...

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind Movie Review

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind Movie Review

Jim Carrey fans who roll in the aisle and clutch their sides every time the...

Adaptation Movie Review

Adaptation Movie Review

Wrap your noodle around this one. Real-life screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich; Human...

Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind Movie Review

Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind Movie Review

'Tis the season for pillorying the TV stars of yesteryear. After Bob Crane got...

Human Nature Movie Review

Human Nature Movie Review

If nothing else, writer Charlie Kaufman has created a style of comedy all his own....

Being John Malkovich Movie Review

Being John Malkovich Movie Review

The question on everybody's lips would be: Why John Malkovich? The centerpiece of Being John...

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