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From Flavorwire, referencing this interview with indieWIRE:
[...] Kaufman had noted how frequently his name becomes an adjective — “Kaufman-esque” — because so many lesser films seem to be inspired by his sensibilities. “Why do they get to make Charlie Kaufman movies and I don’t? I think about that all the time,” he said.
[...] It’s telling, then, that the one Kaufman project that we might see now is not even a Kaufman project at all, but rather someone else using Kaufman’s film as a vessel through which to get people interested through familiarity/nostalgia — and it all oddly speaks to the validities of the concerns about the industry, and artistry in general. It’s at once completely frustrating… yet speaks to the artistic value and weight and cyclical telepathy of his work. If you wanted proof of how prescient Charlie Kaufman’s films are, the potential of a TV-fied version of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind being made — while the past decade of his new material goes largely ignored — would certainly fulfill concerns at the heart of so much of his output. (Source)
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This news comes from Hollywood Reporter, but as we've come to learn: news of a Kaufman-related project doesn't always turn into a Thing We Mortals Will Ever See. Also: Charlie won't be involved in the TV series. So it will be somewhat ironic, and Charlie will pull his hair out, if this gets picked up.
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Anonymous Content's Steve Golin, who produced the original film, is remaking the romantic drama into a TV series with studio Universal Cable Productions attached. The project is in its early stages and has not yet been taken out. Zev Borow (Forever, Chuck) is near a deal to pen the script for the drama. UCP declined comment.
[...] Golin and Kaufman are not involved in the potential series. Anonymous Content will produce the project alongside True Detective executive producer Richard Brown.
For Anonymous Content, this becomes the company behind hits including True Detective and Mr. Robot's latest foray into TV. The production and management company also has Netflix's Brit Marling series The OA and Selena Gomez's 13 Reasons Why upcoming as well as TNT's The Alienist. (Source)
Jay Electronica's "Eternal Sunshine" remix, and Ryan Tanner's folk album inspired by Charlie's BAFTA speech
This is new to me: in 2007 Jay Electronica released Act I: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge), backed by Jon Brion's score.
Thanks to Tram for that one!
In other music news, singer-songwriter Ryan Tanner won the Grand Prize for the American Songwriter Lyric Contest back in 2010. His new album Promised Land came out last month, and American Songwriter.com says:
In the liner notes, Tanner writes that the album was inspired by a lecture that screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind) delivered at the British Academy of Film and Television arts in 2011. (Source)
You can read a review here.Add a comment
I stumbled across a HuffPo interview from March, conducted on the last day of Anomalisa's press cycle, and in it Charlie gives a couple more details about the novel he's writing for Grand Central:
"[...] I'm writing a novel now," Kaufman told HuffPost. "It [is] kind of a way out. Or at least theoretically a way out from this business."
The upcoming Kaufman novel in his own words “is by design something I think is impossible to make into a movie. Sort of the opposite of what you're usually trying to do with a novel these days. It's like, it cannot be made. And that's what I set out to do."
And what's it about?
"It's about a movie," the writer said. "An impossible movie." (Source)
Kaufman is still writing a separate screenplay for "a sprawling satire about the United States," but he's unsure if he'll get the money to make it.
His head will explode if a studio offers to pony up $100 million to adapt the unfilmable novel about the impossible movie.
I wonder if Charlie's read any David Foster Wallace. I'll bet he has.Add a comment
The BBC's list of the 21st century's greatest 100(ish) movies (so far) was made in consultation with 177 international film critics. Charlie's work makes an appearance not once, but twice--and the second of his two films on the list is somewhat surprising but very cool.
10. No Country for Old Men (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2007)
9. A Separation (Asghar Farhadi, 2011)
8. Yi Yi: A One and a Two (Edward Yang, 2000)
7. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011)
6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004)
5. Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)
4. Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001)
3. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)
2. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai, 2000)
1. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001)
22. Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola, 2003)
21. The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)
20. Synecdoche, New York (Charlie Kaufman, 2008)
19. Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)
18. The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke, 2009) (Source)
With Synecdoche, New York garnering such mixed reviews upon release, it's great that the movie is thought of so highly by so many, eight years later.
Thanks to Tram for the heads up.Add a comment
Here's a fun little interview with Charlie. Areas covered: Charlie's first big crush; making films in a graveyard as a kid; not doing Hitchcock cameos; favourite dramatists; Barton Fink.
What is your earliest film memory from your childhood in New York?
I think The Sound of Music was the first movie I saw in a theater, in Long Island. I fell in love with Julie Andrews, and she was my first big crush. Especially for a little kid, there’s something very maternal about her.
Have you never been tempted to do a Hitchcock and make a small cameo in one of your films?
Both times I worked with Spike Jonze, he tried to get me to do that. But no, I wouldn’t do it, it’s too nerve-wracking! (Source)
Alas, there's no mention of any upcoming Kaufman releases from Criterion.
Thanks to Tram and Tim!Add a comment
Off-Screen is a screenplay review podcast, and a couple of weeks back the two hosts looked at an early draft of Frank or Francis. Verdict: they sort of like it?
I don't think I can embed the episode here, so follow the linky dink. Fair warning: the review is spoilerific, and Charlie is no fan of anybody reviewing his scripts when the script is still a work in progress.Add a comment
Here's a long, relaxed Q&A with Charlie at the recent Karlovy Vary Film Festival. It's essentially a film-by-film overview of Charlie's career--no big news or revelations, but still fun viewing, and a few little tidbits I didn't know. He does mention future and abandoned projects like Frank or Francis and Chaos Walking.
One thing worth mentioning: when the interviewer Scott Feinberg gets to Synecdoche, New York, Charlie at first thinks he's asking about Eternal Sunshine, so things get a little confusing for a bit. Other thing worth mentioning: Charlie says Rosie O'Donnell was in Human Nature. But he means Rosie Perez.
Also fun: if a person could only see one Kaufman movie, which one would Charlie pick for them? "Human Nature, simply because no one ever mentions it. Like, you didn't even mention it and no one ever mentions it." That made me laugh.
One final thing: for business reasons, Charlie has a corporation that he's named Projective Testing. The origin of that name is pretty cool--you can Wiki it yerself or watch the video below--and it implies a bit about how he approaches his work.
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In the vein of the great short film What I Have To Offer, which was drawn from Charlie's brilliant BAFTA lecture, here's Charlie Kaufman on Zombie Ants, Mind Control & Consumerism, a short film produced by High Existence and "The Unknown". It's accompanied by a good short essay on Kaufman, Hollywood and creativity, which you can read at the link. [As I write this post, that site's offline. I guess it'll be back soon. You can still watch the video here.]
“I think ultimately if ‘Synecdoche, New York’ had made $50 million, or even $20 or $30 million, then things would have been different.” [...] (It grossed $4.4 million.) “People want to be associated with things that they think are cool, and the business — the indie business, especially — is built on that. I wonder if it’s not cool or sexy to be in business with me.”
[...] “One speculates a lot on one’s failures,” Kaufman said again, “but there’s not really a lot of reason to speculate, because the only reason to speculate about bad box office is to decide that you don’t want to do something that you believe in next time in order to make more money — that’s not a choice I’m willing to make.” (Source)
That's from an equally downbeat interview with indieWIRE, in which Charlie laments the commercial failure of Anomalisa, the current state of cinema, and his future in the business. Downbeat or not, it's a worthy read.
Thanks to Julie and Arnold for this one.Add a comment