Monday, November 3, 2008

Depends on What Your Meaning of "Is" Is...

SYNECDOCHE [Sih-NECK-doh-kee] -A figure of speech in which:
A Part is used for the Whole - The Screen for Movies
A Whole stands for a Part - The Law for Police
A Species (specific kind) stands for its Genus (general kind) - Cutthroats for Assassins
A Genus stands in for its Species - Creature for Person
A Material stands for a Thing - Ivories for Piano Keys

So I saw Synecdoche.

To say the least Charlie Kaufman's new movie (which the writer also directed) is difficult to describe.

A hundred shades of melancholy.

A love letter buried under the author's psychosis.

A non-conventional narrative Godard would be proud of.

It's all these things and more. A difficult movie to describe and at times perhaps to figure out. It engages you. There is no spoon feeding.

Charlie Kaufman has filled his film with all his personal peccadilloes. Obsessing over sickness and death. Art and creation.

But at its heart. At its murky, twisted, dark, wry, blackly comic is about relationships. About long lost loves and chances recovered.

Try and imagine the bastard child of Charlie Brown + Kafka with a smidgen of Terry Gilliam. Yup Gilliam. Keep you eyes out for the crazy clowns loading refugees onto a bus.

I wont say much more, except when I first watched Synecdoche I left feeling Philip Seymour Hoffman was a hero. He plays the main character, Caden, a theatre director who creates a play that never ends, constantly examining and reexamining his own life (including the very play he's creating.)

So dazed by the recursive storyline I swooned for Caden. The tireless artist who never stops searching.

Now a couple days removed it doesn't seem so glorious. More like a tragedy. The dangers of terminal tunnel vision. An obsessive case of self obsession.

So, ah see it, will ya?

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