So just go to sleep, just let the hours pass

April 30, 2009

One of my recurring dreams finds me in a big city. It’s New York, but no New York that really exists. And in the dream I am in the city and also on it. I’m low down, where the pipes and the steam and the bricks are, looking up at bridges and freeways in the sun. But at the same time I’m on the bridges and freeways, riding over the city, looking down on the chaos. The city is the biggest city I have ever seen. And I’m so small in it, but I can also contain it. It’s a mess and it’s clean; it’s sunny and shady; it’s big and it’s small.

And then along comes the poster for Synecdoche, New York and it’s the nearest thing I have ever seen to my dreams.

synecdoche_new_york_poster2

I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am about this movie. It came out in America last October. However, waiting, passing time, may be appropriate for something like this. It’s by Charlie kaufman, the writer of, among other things, Being John Malkovich, Adaptation and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. This is his first film as writer and director. And look at the cast; Philip Seymour Hoffman and a big bunch of great women. And a soundtrack by Jon Brion, the musical master behind Magnolia, Punch Drunk Love, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, I Heart Huckabees. it’s going to take me a lifetime to realise just how good this film is.

Laura Barton interviewed Charlie kaufman for the Guardian magazine, and, if it is ok for me to pinch some of the stuff he said… well, I don’t know if it’s ok… I’m going to do it anyway. Look, if it causes problems. They’re his words, and they were spoken to Laura Barton. She did the work, he did the speaking, I’m just doing the copying.

“I was trying to present a life, with it’s moments of nothing”, he says softly. “There is something that happens to people when they get old, which is that they get sidelined. There isn’t a big, dramatic crescendo and then their life is over. They’re forced out of their work, the people in their lives die, they lose their place in the world, people don’t take them seriously, and then they just continue to live. And what is that? What does that feel like? I wanted to try to be truthful about that and express something about what I think is a really sad human condition.”

And now, to get yourself in the mood, to get ready to go and see this film, have a listen to this. I should warn you though, you may find it a little sad.

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