Synecdoche, New York
Photo from Amazon
Quotes from IMDB
Written and directed by Charlie Kaufman, which was enough to make me want to see this film. Just dove into it not knowing the story, and not knowing how to see the story. A mistake.This is a film where the edges blur, where dream and reality merge and interact. I was a stubborn viewer; I kept insisting that everything I saw onscreen was literal. And so the images came and I just filed them away as frustrating and inaccessible. One character lives in a house that is eternally on fire, and I kept thinking “fireplace gone awry” and “arson” and finally, “what the fuck?” Only after I saw the film did I realize I was looking at it the wrong way. It is a dream. It is a view of a life that looks in places other films avoid – from a bloody stool to a man’s many neuroses. It is a synecdoche – a part for a whole, a life representative of other lives. (“What was once before you – an exciting, mysterious future – is now behind you. Lived; understood; disappointing. You realize you are not special. You have struggled into existence, and are now slipping silently out of it. This is everyone’s experience. Every single one. The specifics hardly matter. Everyone’s everyone. So you are Adele, Hazel, Claire, Olive. You are Ellen.”)
Only in looking back did I fully realize how brutal this film is, how big and incredible and haunting and ambitious. And frightening. And sad. It is a story of a life (“As the people who adore you stop adoring you; as they die; as they move on; as you shed them; as you shed your beauty; your youth; as the world forgets you; as you recognize your transience; as you begin to lose your characteristics one by one; as you learn there is no-one watching you, and there never was, you think only about driving – not coming from any place; not arriving any place. Just driving, counting off time. Now you are here, at 7:43. Now you are here, at 7:44. Now you are…Gone.”) – a life I didn’t want to have, but probably had or will have (for don’t we live many lives, don’t we suffer and un-suffer from many crippling sadnesses?), even for just a moment or two.
In the Loop
A comedy about the bureaucracy and sound bites and leaks and spins, and how a single word in an interview (“unforeseeable”) can lead to war . Ah, politics. Also says something about climbing the mountain of conflict, like a Nazi Julie Andrews. Really smart writing.
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
Stupid film. Didn’t even bother to finish this.