HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Deadpool 2
Smart Money
Lupin the Third vs. Detective Conan: The Movie
Gangsta
3 Nuts in Search of a Bolt
Magic Serpent, The
That's Not Me
There Goes the Bride
Billy the Kid versus Dracula
Liquid Sword
I, Tonya
Universal Soldier: Regeneration
Bad Match
Güeros
Anchor and Hope
One, The
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
Lucky
Still of the Night
Home Sweet Homicide
Mannaja - A Man Called Blade
Spitfire
Killers from Space
Castle of the Creeping Flesh
Ghost Stories
Wild Boys, The
Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai, The
Four Rode Out
Lethal Weapon 3
Kit Curran Radio Show, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Manor On Movies--Black Shampoo--three three three films in one
Manor On Movies--Invasion USA
Time Trap: Last Year in Marienbad and La Jetée
Gaining Three Stone: Salvador, Natural Born Killers and Savages
Right Said Bernard: Cribbins on DVD
1969: The Year Westerns Couldn't Get Past
A Network Horror Double Bill: Assault and Death Line on Blu-ray
The Edie Levy: Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol and Ciao! Manhattan
The Ultimate Trip: The Original Psychedelic Movies
Players of Games: Willy Wonka, Tron and Ready Player One
What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round? The Ends of The Monkees
Flings and Arrows: Conquest vs Flesh + Blood
Orson Around: F for Fake and The Late Great Planet Earth
ITC What You Did There: Retro-Action on Blu-ray
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
   
 
  Synecdoche, New York Where Have All The People Gone?Buy this film here.
Year: 2008
Director: Charlie Kaufman
Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Samantha Morton, Michelle Williams, Catherine Keener, Emily Watson, Tom Noonan, Dianne Wiest, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Hope Davis, Sadie Goldstein, Robin Weigert, Daniel London, Jerry Adler, Lynn Cohen, Amy Wright, Tim Guinee
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Weirdo
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Caden Cotard (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is a theatre director and playwright who is prone to soul searching and lightly neurotic behaviour. He wakes today and drags himself out of bed, barely registering that his artist wife Adele (Catherine Keener) has her own worries, but then, she is glossing over the fact that their four-year-old daughter's shit is green, so they're not really on the same wavelength at this time in the morning. Or have they been for some time? After all, they attend a psychiatrist to see if they can work out their marital problems, although it is Caden's body that he's beginning to worry about, not least when the tap flies off and hits him while he's shaving.

Synecdoche, New York was the directorial debut of acclaimed screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, which saw him delving ever deeper into the minds of the creative to work out what made them tick, and not being especially clear on his findings. It was plain early on that it would sharply divide opinion, either regarded as so self-indulgent as to be meaningless to anybody but Kaufman, or actually a moving exploration of the lengths artists go to to make sense of their lives through their work, and the impossibility of ever being truly satisfied with what they come up with. It resembles a twisted biopic of a subject even the man himself cannot get a handle on, despite him being his own subject, striving to collect as much detail as he can in growing desperation.

The trademark fantasy elements of the Kaufman universe were present and correct, from incidental, where one character's house is permanently burning - not to the ground, but in selected corners - to major, where the project that Caden embarks on spirals ludicrously out of control so that an entire city is acting in it under his direction; maybe even the whole world. At first glance it looks like a collection of random scenes picked from the protagonist's life as we watch him grow older while still never achieving everything he feels he is capable of, yet prone to doubt that ensures whatever he undertakes rambles on without any conclusion in sight. Well, there is one conclusion, and that is death, the spectre of which pops up regularly.

The play that Caden is meant to be putting on, he has a grant and everything, is supposed to be a tribute to his own talent, endorsed by the powers that be in the theatre world, which you would think would offer him newfound confidence to truly nail it. However, while he has managed to put on other people's work with some success, although we're never convinced he is a towering talent, when it comes to examining his own existence it is like knitting fog. The production's rehearsals don't begin until the film is a quarter of the way over, as before that we are privy to Caden's troubles as his marriage breaks down and Adele moves to Germany with their daughter, he fails to substitute her with a follow-up relationship (his life revolves around women even more than his work does) and his health worries mount up as he frets that he is deterioriating, with accidents, skin conditions and a leg tremor among his concerns.

What is actually concerning him is that he getting older, and everyone else is doing the same so that he cannot keep track of it all: he still thinks his daughter is four when he sees her in a magazine as a ten-year-old with a full body tattoo, and soon she is an adult dancing in a seedy club, then on her death before he has even had a chance to get to know her. Time moves on with alarming pace here, and when the actors in the play complain that they have been rehearsing for seventeen years, it's deliberately disorienting. The main problem that Kaufman is wrestling with is that the creative impulse, stronger in some than in others, leads to a mire of self-examination, and when has that prompted anything but criticism and self-loathing? The depressive nature typical to his work is well in evidence here, and while his film can be very funny, it is weighed down with dejection and a feeling of futility on the face of oblivion, as the apocalyptic ending depicts. Yet if you respond to it, one viewing will probably not be enough. Music by Jon Brion.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2104 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Steven Seagal
Pam Grier
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
  Patrick Keenan
Enoch Sneed
Ian Phillips
  Afra Khan
  Dan Malone
   

 

Last Updated: