Synecdoche, New York

It’s rare for a film that so impresses can put me in a depressed funk for 2 weeks but my first viewing of “Synecdoche New York” on a cold drizzly night downtown did just that. Charlie Kaufman’s magnum opus may have been career suicide but I’m sure will become regarded as one of the greatest films of the 21st century. Yes, it’s a real “feel bad” inner trip but it’s also hilarious and emotionally stimulating. The story involves a hypochondriac theater director (Philip Seymour Hoffman in his greatest role) who splurges his “genius grant” money on a reconstruction of his private life and his surroundings in a humongous warehouse. There he retreats from the world into a self reflexive quagmire, preparing a show that will never be finished or have an audience. Kaufman’s free wheeling imagination takes on a much darker tone toward the end where the protagonist becomes a cleaning lady in his ex-wife’s recreated apartment and willfully looses control of the production as the outside world grows more chaotic. Warning: do not watch this film if you are feeling depressed!


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