Jack Black is at the SXSW Film Festival promoting Bernie, and he chatted with indieWIRE about Frank or Francis. The whole article's worth a read, and it's brief, but here are snippets:
Black revealed he didn't know how soon shooting was set to begin, but he characterized the film to The Playlist as an incisive portrait of celebrity culture.
"It's really an incredible look at our entertainment-obsessed societ. [...] It's the most original film about Hollywood that I've ever read. I love it and I'm very excited about it."
[...] "It's a musical, but I don't know how much of it will be sung and how much will just be spoken," Black explained. "I haven't heard the music yet; that's still in production."
[...] Black added that it offers a particularly savvy dissection of the obsessive attention that celebrity-worship inspires. "There's some just beautifully written examinations of celebrity as a mental illness that blow my mind." (Source)
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)
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.
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.
Kate Winslet was given an honorary Cesar Award in France at their equivalent of the Oscars. Michel Gondry was on hand to help pay tribute and give her the statue. Check out the video below:
As always, I have no idea what Michel is saying. (Plus I was a little bit distracted.) BCK's official translator picked up these phrases: "kitty cat", "career printers", "buttocks" and "boobs." So there we have it. (And when Kate says stuff that I actually can understand, a French translator drowns her out.) Our translator also give the heads up that, in another video, Gondry lets slip that Kate and Carrey did not get along while shooting Eternal Sunshine. Faux pas! Apparently this is an open secret.
I don't think I've posted this before. I don't know why. I'm lazy. (Okay, I do know why.) It's the introduction Charlie wrote for the Synecdoche, New York script book, and it's really cool and kinda sweet. It starts out irritably and ends up nice and reflective and stuff. Here's the beginning:
They want me to write an introduction to this thing. They're pestering me. This guy, Keith, at Newmarket Press. I've already consented to and gone through a long interview for this book and am currently mired in endless press for the movie, which opens soon enough but not soon enough for me. I'm traveling the country (San Francisco, Boston, New York, D.C., Chicago, Dallas, Austin, Denver, Seattle—I think that's it) and back and forth twice to Europe in the month of October alone. On a plane almost every night for the entire month. So on top of that, they keep asking me to do this introduction thing and I keep saying, through intermediaries, that I don't have the time or the inclination.
And here's the end:
Maybe it's easier to see people as peripheral. Maybe that's why we do it. It's a weird and daunting experience to let other people in their fullness into our minds. It is so much easier to see them as serving a purpose in our own lives.
In any event, this somehow seems to lead me to some of the things explored in the screenplay that you, imaginary person, are holding in your hands right now. And the relentlessly experienced life of yours that has brought you to this book at this time will now perhaps interact with the relentlessly experienced life of mine as it is represented by this script. I hope we recognize each other. (Source)
And there's a lot of neat stuff in between. I love his intros.
Being John Malkovich is gonna get the Criterion treatment in May. Yay! According to indieWIRE:
The meta movie (in addition to getting some fantastic artwork) will be graced with a selective scene commentary by Michel Gondry, two documentaries by Jonze pal and longtime collaborator Lance Bangs, two films-within-the film ("7½ Floor Orientation" and "American Arts & Culture Presents John Horatio Malkovich, 'Dance of Despair and Disillusionment'") and much more. So where's Jonze on the commentary? Well, he generally does not do them at all (though here he does discuss the film via production photos). But Gondry has directed Charlie Kaufman scripts twice, and is a friend of Jonze as well, having founded the famed Director's Label with him back in the day. (Source)
Adaptation was released on Blu-ray recently, too. If you're interested in buying that one, you might like to grab it via any of the Amazon links here on BCK. Cos we get, like, a teeny tiny percentage of the profit.
Story Charts is a website that sets about "visualizing the structure of a story," using all kinds of nifty charts, graphs, tables and whatnot. Eternal Sunshine is on there (subheaded "Love as Fate and Willing Acceptance"), and it's a doozy. Here's a little sample:
Today Deadline reported that Samantha Morton and Amy Adams are circling the project as well. BUT! HOWEVER! Deadline later updated that report, and the update goes like so:
Sources tell me that the project that Morton, Adams and Mulligan and Phoenix are doing was written by Spike Jonze himself, and not Charlie Kaufman. The film is about a guy who falls in love with the voice of a computer, similar to the Siri feature on the new iPhone. (Source)
(Emphasis added by me.)
You can read the original announcement of Morton and Adams' involvement at the "source" link above, too.
In conclusion: I DO NOT KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON. I am just a humble Aussie boy. I reports what I hears.