Tag Archives: Charlie Kaufman

Anomalisa (2015)

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If there’s a vanguard of comic insecurity, Charlie Kaufman is leading it. In the seven films he’s thus far written (and more recently, directed), Kaufman’s characters are often overwhelmed, crippled by an oil/water mix of ego and self doubt. It’s important to maintain the distinction between an author and his voices, but with Kaufman it’s just lip service — he is deeply embedded in his work. In the stop-motion animated Anomalisa, this penchant for gluttonous self-examination produces Michael Stone, a man of misanthropy and mania. Or, in other words, a man.

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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

While good films are allowed a few missteps, truly great films are about the confluence of many great things. Great films are about the serendipity of timeless talent doing their best work together. If this can’t be said for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, then it can’t be said for any film. As collaborations go, Sunshine sits in the stratosphere with films like Network or Star Wars; moments of such dramatic success that it seems impossible luck wasn’t somehow involved. It’s not precisely that the individuals involved with a movie like Eternal Sunshine will never again achieve a similar success, so much as they can forever after know that they achieved what they set out to do when they decided to make films: produce something timeless, and universal, and thoroughly, unequivocally great.

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