If you've ever wondered what Susan Orlean thought upon reading Charlie's Adaptation script, or if you've already read what she thought but would like to see a YouTube video of her speaking about her reaction to the film, here's the video for you. At about the 8:20 mark, Susan talks about meeting Charlie for the first time.
It's not official, but a bunch of people are saying Frank or Francis will be filming in Pittsburgh at the beginning of next year. The Glitzburgh blog reports:
According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, "New York-based production company Likely Story Inc. has been awarded a $4 million tax credit to shoot "Frank or Francis" in Allegheny County, according to public investment records with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, which oversees the state's film tax credit program." (Source)
Videogum have an ongoing feature where they hunt for the worst movie of all time. Readers are allowed to nominate films, based on a set of rules, and Videogum takes a look at the choices. This week: Synecdoche, New York. You might think they spend several paragraphs bashing the film, but that's not what it is at all.
Because as you will find, although we are discussing Synecdoche, New York in the Hunt for the Worst Movie today, it would appear that the trail has gone cold (good metaphor) because in fact this is not the worst movie. In fact it's a very good movie. It might even be a great one.
[...] why do people think that this is the Worst Movie of All Time? It's clearly not. But obviously people's dislike of it goes beyond a simple dislike and into something deeper. The best I can manage is what I mentioned earlier about some of the film's focus on "existential crisis" feeling simplistic and pushy. Ultimately, I think the movie has a lot more to say, but maybe people get stuck on that. Also, there is plenty of Charlie Kaufman-esque absurdity that does, at times, feel unhinged from any narrative purpose. Even after the second viewing, I'm still not sure why Samantha Morton's house was always on fire? (Source)
And the review finishes with the declaration that the film is good, and you should see it twice. See? Not what you were expecting.
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind is now available on Blu-Ray. Culture Mob has a write-up (or have a write-up?):
You'd never mistake it for a bad movie; would that all bad movies were as immaculately shot and acidly funny and brilliantly acted as this one. However, when stacked against its head architects' seminal works (for Clooney: Michael Clayton, Syriana, Up in the Air, Three Kings, Out of Sight. For Kaufman: Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), Confessions of a Dangerous Mind feels like a footnote, rather than a whole chapter.
[...] Confessions of a Dangerous Mind is nowhere near the Clooney/Kaufman Brain Trust it should be. Clooney uses style to overwhelm Kaufman's sensitive and bizarre human story, and the result is visually sumptuous yet emotionally empty. Still worth a watch, for Sam Rockwell's lead performance as well as for Clooney's directorial acumen. (Source)
Features are the same as those on the Miramax DVD. If you're interested in buying the Blu-Ray, you might want to do it via this link, or via BCK's little store -- we get a teeny tiny percentage from Amazon. Helps us with running costs and stuff.
If you're a regular here, none of the five things will be news to you, but NY Mag have a little primer on the project for anyone who's interested. Having said that, #2 is worth reprinting here:
2. We'd heard before that Frank or Francis was about Frank Arder's relationship with this entertainment blogger who constantly insults him online, but it turns out, that isn't quite right: Arder's nemesis is Francis Deems, an entertainment blog commenter. He'll be played by Jack Black. (Source)
I keep calling Francis a blogger, too. I should stop that. He's more of an internet troll, rather than a blogger.
This is nifty and awesome, cos it's true. I love this.
Five years ago, a relatively unknown (and unhinged) director began one of the wildest experiments in film history. Armed with total creative control, he invaded a Ukrainian city, marshaled a cast of thousands and thousands, and constructed a totalitarian society in which the cameras are always rolling and the actors never go home
[...] Khrzhanovsky came up with the idea of the Institute not long after preproduction on Dau began in 2006. He wanted a space where he could elicit the needed emotions from his cast in controlled conditions, twenty-four hours a day. The set would be a panopticon. Microphones would hide in lighting fixtures (as they would in many a lamp in Stalin's USSR), allowing Khrzhanovsky to shoot with multiple film cameras from practically anywhere—through windows, skylights, and two-way mirrors.
The Institute's ostensible goal was to re-create '50s and '60s Moscow, home to Dau's subject, Lev Landau. A Nobel Prize"“winning physicist, Landau significantly advanced quantum mechanics with his theories of diamagnetism, superfluidity, and superconductivity. He also tapped epic amounts of ass. (Source)
This is one part interesting, two parts gross*, and would probably make Caden Cotard beam.
A performance artist who said giving birth is the "highest form of art" has delivered a baby boy — inside a New York City art gallery
[...] The gallery said 19 to 20 people were present for the relatively quick birth in a birthing pool. The gallery gave no other details. A video of the birth will be added to the gallery's upcoming exhibition.
The 36-year-old artist had set up a home-birth center at the gallery, turning the space into a brightly decorated bedroom with ocean blue walls and photo-imprinted pillows. (Source)
The baby's name is Ajax.
*I know, I know. "Giving birth is one of the most beautiful things, yadda yadda."
Rhetorical question: would it have been easier to spend nine months working on a painting?
I even feel odd calling myself a writer or a screenwriter. I do when I have to, I put it on my income tax form but I feel like it's a lie, even though it's technically true. I write screenplays for a living but it's not what I am. When I was young I really wanted that label, I wanted to be something, I wanted to be a writer. There was this movie Serpico. Al Pacino is a cop and he has an artist girlfriend, and there's a party scene with all these different artist types. They're saying "˜I'm a painter but I work in a restaurant,' "˜I'm an actor but I work in an office,', and this goes on for a while. Then Al Pacino says "˜I'm a cop and I work for the police department,'. But there's that feeling when you want say you're something, and you have nothing to back it up because everyone says they're a writer, or everybody says they're this or that "“ this is what I felt "“ and everyone else thinks it's bullshit. It's funny now that I don't want to call myself that but at the time I did and I think that it was necessary at the time, but now it doesn't feel necessary because I think the thing I realise is I'm not those things. (Source)
That is not the entire lecture. But it'd be funny if it was. Or were. Or something.
[Carey] Mulligan is in negotiations to take the lead opposite Joaquin Phoenix in an untitled Spike Jonze project about world leaders uniting to discuss cataclysmic events. The director of Adaptation and Being John Malkovich hopes to shoot in the spring from a screenplay by his erstwhile collaborator Charlie Kaufman. (Source)
Before that, she'll star in the Coen brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis. Mulligan was Oscar-nominated for her role in An Education.
I have a cold and my brain's more muddled than usual (hard to believe, I know), so this'll be quick. Carson from Script Shadow has taken a look at the Frank or Francis script and hands down a mixed verdict:
[...] as I look back on the script, I felt like I had to work too hard to get there. I had to push through too many characters and subplots that weren't necessary to experience the good stuff. Kaufman may be a great writer, but it wouldn't hurt to go back to the basics. Streamline your story. Only tell the parts that need to be told. Don't fall in love with stuff that doesn't really matter, because it's just going to get in the way of telling your story. (Source)
[EDIT: Forgot to mention when I first posted this: the full review is heavy on spoilers.]
That being said, it's presumably a first draft. There was a bunch of stuff in Synecdoche's first draft that didn't make the final version (I remember a cute German film buff who was bowled over by a bus -- I liked her; and Hazel's pet dog), and new things that weren't in the first draft (the preacher's speech, which a lot of people cite as a highlight). So keep in mind: these be very, very early days.