From all of us at BCK (there's only one of us, really, but it sounds more professional if I pretend I'm a team) Happy New Year! May your 2013 be better than your 2012, especially if your 2012 sucked, but also if your 2012 was spiffy. There can never be too much spiff.
Here's a fireworks display for you. I had to get permits to do this. I hired a fireworks technician named Sven "Two Fingers" Fredriksson to design the show.
I hope you enjoyed that Totally worth it, I think.
Hopefully, too, we'll see a new, completed, Kaufman project some time in 2013. Probably Anomalisa. Maybe we'll see -- or hear more about -- that Catherine Keener HBO series. (If anyone has the pilot script, you know where to find me...) Maybe Frank or Francis will come to life again. (Failing that, if it gets officially canned, maybe we'll at least see the Francis screenplay online, eh?) Maybe we'll hear more about Charlie's novel. Or the Chaos Walking adaptation. Or that world leaders Spike Jonze project thingy. SO MUCH IS GOING ON. SO LITTLE OF IT WE ARE SEEING.
Being Charlie Kaufman.com's first few pages were uploaded on this day, 11 years ago. We are 11. That is old in website years. BCK is older than 10-year-old websites. It is older than 10-year-old kids. Your webmaster is 11 years older than he was when he started this thing.
In 2001, these things were going on:
September 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S., of course.
The #1 song for the year on Billboard was "Hanging By a Moment," by Lifehouse. (Here in Australia, it was "Can't Fight the Moonlight," by LeeAnn Rimes.)
The #1 song for the week, according to Billboard, was "How You Remind Me," by Nickelback. Yup. (In Australia: "Smooth Criminal," Alien Ant Farm.)
The #1 album for that week was "Weathered," by Creed. (In Australia: "The Final Dig?" by the 12th Man.)
This is getting really depressing, but let's press on.
Best selling book of the year, according to Publishers Weekly: Desecration, Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye (hardcover, fiction). Best-seller for the week: Skipping Christmas, John Grisham.
A Beautiful Mind (2001) took out Best Picture at the 2002 Oscars.
Denzel (Training Day) and Halle (Monster's Ball) were Best Actor and Actress.
Gosford Park and A Beautiful Mind won the Screenplay Oscars.
Six Feet Under debuted. So did Alias, 24 and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.
Ray Walston, Douglas Adams, Carroll O'Connor, John Lee Hooker, Aaliyah, and George Harrison died. So did Don Bradman (an Aussie cricketer -- essentially he was the equivalent of, say, Babe Ruth).
And what have I done in the last 11 years? NOTHING WORTH MENTIONING.
The Huffington Post has an interview with Guillermo del Toro, in which the director reveals he and Charlie were thinking about adapting Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five. It's near the end of the article:
You know, the one I'm most disappointed that it looks like it won't happen is your version of "Slaughterhouse-Five." I will tell you, my idea was to get Charlie Kaufman to write it. And I spoke to Charlie Kaufman about it and we came up with an idea on how to approach it, which I thought was very, very interesting. But, it was right at the time I went and started "Pacific Rim." So the studio, they didn't want to invest in that project if it was not going to be my next movie. So, you know, it gradually cooled a little bit. But the exact take I proposed to Charlie Kaufman is the exact take I would do with the material.
I have to admit, I would have loved to have seen that combination with that material. It doesn't seem like an easy book to adapt. No, but, then again, Charlie Kaufman is the guy doing it. How can I put it? The first "Slaughterhouse-Five" movie that was done was a really good movie, but it's about flashbacks and flash-forwards. And what is gorgeous about the book is that he becomes detached from time.
Right, time is all happening at a once. The Tralfamadoians say, "Like we can see a mountain range. We can see the alive, we can see the dead, we can see ourselves at age five and we can see ourselves ancient. It makes no difference." It makes no difference. And that was the idea that we were talking about. We were talking about how it was going to be very experimental. But, you know, if I had the money to pay for any of these movies, I would do it. I would do it in a second.
So is that 100 percent dead? No, no, no. It may still happen. But, I don't control the material. Let me put it this way: when I control the material, I never give up on a movie. I mean, "The Count of Monte Cristo" was 15 years. "Devil's Backbone" took me a decade or more. But, if I don't control the material, I have no say. It's a property of Universal. (Source)
I don't know if any film could do justice to the book (on the other hand, movies are not books and shouldn't really be compared to each other, eh), but this would've been really interesting, no?
I'm a little late on this one. Michel Gondry's The We and the Itook out the International Critics' Prize at the Deauville American Film Festival in France last month. YAY. The flick was co-written by Paul Proch (Charlie's sometime partner in crime, and a partial inspiration for Joel in Eternal Sunshine, not to mention just an all-round swell guy).
I stole that headline directly from an article on indieWIRE. The article starts:
While a truly original and interesting movie like Charlie Kaufman's "Frank or Francis" struggles to scrape together the $10 million dollars more it needs to get made, it's a pretty good indication of where we're at these days that movies based on Hasbro games/toys "Monopoly," "Action Man" and "Hungry Hungry Hippos" are happening. Because who among us hasn't been sitting down during the fourth hour of a grueling game of "Monopoly" only to say, "Man, this would make a really great movie!" (Source)
Vulture has a new interview with Jack Black, and the last question they ask is about Frank or Francis:
Is Frank and Francis totally done? I wish that it would fucking happen, but I think it is a little too expensive for how ambitious it is. It is a very surrealand dark look at Hollywood. I fucking love it. We are just about 10 million dollars shy of the cost to make it, so if anyone out there reading this can scrape together a cool 10 mil, this thing can happen. (Source)
Get a Life! is now on DVD -- it's the first time the entire series has been available to buy on disc. Charlie wrote a couple of episodes in the second season, you know. Over here is a contest where you can win a free copy (you'll need a Twitter account to enter). The A.V. Club has a great new article about the show, too. Here's how it starts:
Watching Get A Life two decades after its enormously influential—though little-watched—run, it’s remarkable that a show so strange ever made it onto the air, let alone lasted two seasons and 35 episodes. Then again, the upstart Fox network had taken huge gambles on unconventional, boundary-pushing fare like The Simpsons and Married… With Children and hit big, so there was at least some level of calculation behind the risk of green-lighting such an unusual show. Nonetheless, Get A Life had the misfortune of being both a product of its era and defiantly ahead of its time. Decades before Community, Get A Life deconstructed both the sitcom genre and entertainment as a whole in ways both silly and surreal. And well before the rise of Curb Your Enthusiasm,Eastbound & Down,and other sitcoms featuring sociopathic antiheroes, Get A Life featured a protagonist who wasn’t just goofy or a little misguided, but completely insane, a horrible, narcissistic human being. (Source)
Thanks to Jonah!
If you're interested in the DVDs, you might wanna consider buying them via this Amazon link -- BCK gets a teeny tiny percentage, which we use to help cover our running costs. (If you buy anything via that link, we get a little of it).