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Culture, The Exhibitionist Director-Producer Charlie Kaufman Animates Our Alienation in <i>Anomalisa</i>

Director-Producer Charlie Kaufman Animates Our Alienation in Anomalisa

In Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson's Anomalisa, which opened Jan. 8, customer service expert and author, Michael (David Thewlis) lectures reps across the country on how to assist others. But off on an overnight business trip in Cincinnati, he struggles to…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist In <i>Anomalisa</i>, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

In Anomalisa, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Attention Pixar fans: Charlie Kaufman’s new stop-motion animation film Anomalisa is not for you. There isn’t a single pop of bright color. No clever talking animals. Not a cheerful adapted fable in sight. If you’re looking for a stop…
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Calendar, Night&Day Antinomial Syzygy

Antinomial Syzygy

At the turn of the 20th century, Alfred Jarry produced the most compelling plan for a time machine yet published. This, and Jarry’s habit of speaking in a clipped, mechanized voice fashioned after his own character in Ubu Roi, probably…
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Calendar, Night&Day Nice Kid on a Dangerous Roll

Nice Kid on a Dangerous Roll

If Wes Anderson and Charlie Kaufman collaborated on a movie about skateboarding, they would be hard pressed to come up with something as whimsically original as the comic fantasia Machotaildrop. Teen skateboarding star Anthony Amedori, a Paul Dano lookalike, plays…
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Calendar, Night&Day Godardian Knot

Godardian Knot

Pop quiz: How many of you Michel Gondry and Charlie Kaufman fans out there have seen even one Jean-Luc Godard film? Frankly, friends, that’s plain embarrassing. You can’t go around touting the brilliance of your heroes’ fragmented narratives, surrealist alienation,…
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Calendar, Night&Day All That Show Must Go On

All That Show Must Go On

In interviews, Charlie Kaufman has floated the idea of building a scale-model Las Vegas in Las Vegas—which would entail building a scale-model scale-model Las Vegas, and within it a . . . well, you get the picture. That’s probably the…
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Film, Holiday Feast, Extra Stuffing

Holiday Feast, Extra Stuffing

Arnaud Desplechin is a cinema maximalist: A Christmas Tale feels like all 12 days of seasonal merriment and then some. This comic, ultimately touching family melodrama is a heady plum pudding of a movie, studded with outsized performances and drenched…
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Calendar, Night&Day I Think I'm Getting a Kauf

I Think I'm Getting a Kauf

If you traveled the length of John Malkovich’s medulla oblongata and walked through the adjoining door of the interstellar hotel room at the end of 2001, you might end up somewhere in the vicinity of Charlie Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York—a…
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Film, The World Is a Stage

The World Is a Stage

If you traveled the length of John Malkovich's medulla oblongata, hung a sharp left at the desk where Beckett's Krapp recorded his last tape, and walked through the adjoining door of the interstellar hotel room at the end of 2001,…
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Film, Anchor Man?

Anchor Man?

Once an actor gets big enough to take whatever kind of role he wants, it makes sense that the biggest stretch imaginable, given his current situation, is the part of a powerless man with no control over the world around…
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Film, Playtime


Sweet, crazy, and tinged with sadness, Michel Gondry's new feature, The Science of Sleep, is a wondrous concoction. The tricksy romantic narrative — in which Gael Garca Bernal plays a hapless, Chaplin-esque madman — may be reminiscent of Eternal Sunshine…
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Calendar, Night&Day Trumbo in Paradise

Trumbo in Paradise

Suppose Charlie Kaufman were suspected, along with most of Hollywood, of being a member of a "terrorist group." (Earth First!, maybe?) If Kaufman were hauled before a nationally televised right-wing inquisition, refused to name names, and was sent to prison…
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Film, Leaning <i>Sideways</i>

Leaning Sideways

Our best movies of the year may have been anything but the best to a few of our critics — such is the dilemma of offering employment to writers of dissenting opinion. In other words, the No. 1 film of…
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News, Feature The Golden Spike

The Golden Spike

In a strange new film that opened last week, people pay for the pleasure of slipping through a small door in an anonymous office building and spending 15 minutes inside John Malkovich's head. Turns out celebrity's not all it's cracked…
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