Over at Mental Floss, you can read about 10 reported incidents of Cotard's Syndrome. Synecdoche, New York's Caden Cotard was named after the bizarre condition. Matt Soniak describes it like this:

Cotard’s Delusion is a mental disorder where people suffer the nihilistic delusion that they are dead or no longer exist. First reported in the 1700s, the disorder is still a largely a mystery today. The underlying cause isn’t understood; it’s been linked to bipolar disorder, depression and/or schizophrenia depending on the patient’s age.

Here's #3 on the list:

3. In 2008, New York psychiatrists reported on a 53-year-old patient, Ms. Lee, who complained that she was dead and smelled like rotting flesh. She asked her family to take her to a morgue so that she could be with other dead people. They dialed 911 instead. Ms. Lee was admitted to the psychiatric unit, where she accused paramedics of trying to burn her house down. After a month or so of a drug regimen, she was released with great improvement in her symptoms. (Source)

That's not even the weirdest one.

 

 

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Thomas and Joey point me to a blog entry, in which Joey has a two-degrees-of-Kaufman experience in a gallery -- randomly bumpin' into a woman and her mother, who worked as an RN on the set of Synecdoche, New York. It's a trippy read with a unique style. It starts like so:

BENNINGTON -- Lisa and Julia were putzing around on their phones during lunch in the brew pub across the street when they stumbled upon a link for Fiddlehead at Four Corners. The cuties hit the link and loved one of the pictures -- Brian Hewitt's "Carriage Barn Gala" oil painting -- and then saw a link for the Google Street View virtual tour inside the art gallery. They took and loved the tour and decided to walk across the street to check out Fiddlehead at Four Corners in person.

At first AGD was pretty stoked to hear the cuties tell this little ditty of a tale because Fiddlehead's Street View tour went live on Google just an hour or two earlier, so he immediately thought how sweet it was that this new technology was working as intended. But the longer AGD engaged the cuties in conversation the more he wondered if they weren't in on the jig, whatever that jig might be. (Source)

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Similar to Adele Lack's micro art in Synecdoche, New York, Jacqueline Lou Skaggs creates tiny oil paintings on pennies. Phwoar!

 

penny-oil-paintings
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Here's a music video Anne Williamson created for Jon Brion's "Little Person," from Synecdoche, New York. I came across it today. I thought it was cute and sweet and stuff.

 

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  Mark Friedberg was the production designer on films for Wes Anderson, Ang Lee, Julie Taymor, Jim Jarmusch and Todd Haynes. He was also the designer on Synecdoche, New York. Friedberg delivered the first in a new series of master classes at the Museum of the Moving Image, and Capital New York have a report on the event. Synecdoche doesn't get a mention past the introductory paragraph, but you still might want to read the article:

His big break came when he was asked to pinch-hit for an absent crew member on New York Stories. "They needed these African masks for a set, hanging on the walls," Friedberg said, "and they knew I was going home every night and painting, so they asked me to make them, and paid me extra for it. It was the first time I had actually gotten paid for something I had made."

Soon, he started production designing for friends' films, and eventually found himself talking to Ang Lee about the design for his 1997 The Ice Storm: "I came prepared for a job interview, but Ang said, "˜I was always curious about art history, but never got a chance to learn. Let's talk about Cubism, because I think it might have something to do with this story.' So I started talking about Cubism, and it turned into this amazing conversation about personalities shown from different angles, and how the ice is like a lens, and there's no real eye contact." (Source)

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On the New York Times website there's an interesting article about factory production of fake chicken (for the purposes of eating) -- it's the kind of thing Mr. Caden Cotard might read over breakfast with little Olive, yeah?

IT is pretty well established that animals are capable of suffering; we've come a long way since Descartes famously compared them to nonfeeling machines put on earth to serve man. (Rousseau later countered this, saying that animals shared "some measure" of human nature and should partake of "natural right.") No matter where you stand on this spectrum, you probably agree that it's a noble goal to reduce the level of the suffering of animals raised for meat in industrial conditions. (Source)

Bonus: you can't catch bird flu from a fake chook or turkey. (The animal turkey, that is; not the country Turkey.)

The article includes a link to a 2003 New Yorker review of Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake. (Susan Orlean has been known to write for the New Yorker, and she was a big part of a different Kaufman film. Coincidence?! I THINK SO. Now I'm confusing myself.) Anyway, that review is also worth checking out:

In her towering and intrepid new novel, "Oryx and Crake" (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday; $26), Atwood, who is the daughter of a biologist, vividly imagines a late-twenty-first-century world ravaged by innovations in biological science. Like most literary imaginings of the future, her vision is mournful, bleak, and infernal, and is punctuated, in Atwood style, with the occasional macabre joke—perhaps not unlike Dante's own literary vision. Atwood's pilgrim in Hell is Snowman, who, following a genetically engineered viral cataclysm, is, as far as he knows, the only human being who has survived. (Source)

Thanks to Dave!

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In 2010, Charlie popped over to Bologna, Italy, to talk about Synecdoche, New York and to receive the prize "Lancia - Celebration of Lives". He mentioned his Kung Fu Panda 2 work and a script which may or may not have been called Tentative. It was a bit confusing. (By which I mean, "I was a bit confused.") ANYWAY. The fabulous Andrea sent me a link to an article about the event (heads up: it's written in Italian) and the article includes some video clips. The audio quality is pretty horrid, though. But it's always nice to see Charlie walkin' and talkin'. The article is here, and below is the first of 3 clips.

 

 

Thanks, Andrea!!

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This makes my head spin.

The last Broadway production of "Death of a Salesman" was only 13 years ago, starring Brian Dennehy in a Tony-winning performance as Willy Loman, yet audience interest in Arthur Miller's landmark drama appears higher than ever. A new "Salesman" arrived on Broadway last week, starring Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman ("Capote") as Willy and the movie star Andrew Garfield ("The Amazing Spider-Man") as his son Biff, and grossed $613,569 for its first six preview performances "“ more money per performance than the early previews for either the Dennehy production in 1999 or its predecessor, the Dustin Hoffman-led "Salesman" in 1984. (Source)

You can prolly connect the dots yourself, but indulge me, yeah? In Synecdoche, New York, Philip Seymour Hoffman starred as Caden Cotard, a playwright. At the beginning of the film, Caden was directing a production of Salesman. And then he won a MacArthur Grant and staged an enormous play replicating his own life, and it was all very trippy and he **SPOILER**died**NO SPOILER** and we were sad, and now the guy who played Caden is in Salesman and it's doing very well. And now I need a nap.

Thanks to Dave!

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