Synecdoche, New York. Even the name — both a pun on the city of Schenectady and the figure of speech — is cool. In fact, it appears there’s very little to dislike about screenwriter Charlie Kaufman’s directorial debut. Casting is complete, according to The Hollywood Reporter: Starring will be Capote pals Philip Seymour Hoffman and Catherine Keener (pictured at a Berlin Film Festival screening of Capote last year) as a theater director and his first wife; also on board are Michelle Williams,Samantha Morton, and Tilda Swinton as the director’s second wife, his sometime mistress, and the Keener character’s best friend, respectively. Spike Jonze, who directed Kaufman’s Being John Malkovich script, is producing. The film is slated to begin shooting this spring and I’m already counting down the days until it’s released.
As the brain behind Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Adaptation, and Malkovich, Kaufman is in a (twisted) league of his own in Hollywood, and this project in particular sounds like more of the same. Which is a good thing. Especially since Kaufman’s one of the few scripters in Hollywood who can get away with keeping his vision fully intact.
addCredit(“Keener & Hoffman: Sean Gallup/Getty Images”)
As a preview, Los Angeles Times columnist Jay A. Fernandez managed to flip through the script last year and had this to say:
“Ambitious doesn’t even begin to describe the sublime and scary head-trip that is Synecdoche, New York.[It’s] really a wrenching, searching, metaphysical epic that somehowmanages to be universal in an extremely personal way. It’s about deathand sex and the vomit-, poop-, urine- and blood-smeared mess that lifebecomes physiologically, emotionally and spiritually (Page 1 features a4-year-old girl having her butt wiped).”