Monday, April 27, 2009

Synecdoche, New York

I just watched the movie which gives this entry it’s title.  It’s the new movie from Charlie Kaufmann, who also brought us Being John Malkovich and Adaptation, and had a helping hand in The Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind.  This movie completely blew my mind.  I’m going to have something to think about for months, if not years, and re-watch again and again.  This is definitely the kind of movie you either love or hate, there’s no middle-ground.  It truly achieves what many movies claim.  It’s up to the viewer to decide what it means. 

And whenever that’s the case, a majority will hate it.  “How dare entertainment ask me to make a decision!?”.  I think that moment when you’re forced to decide something about yourself and how you view the world is when something becomes art.  I strongly recommend this movie, even though there’s a good chance you’ll hate it.  But either way, please feel free to talk to me about what you got out of it, because I’d be glad to talk your ear off about my take!

I’ve always been a fan of movies that tell it’s story through metaphor.  Movies where what you see is not what’s happening.  Every scene and character represent something else, and the actual story is deciphered in your mind, and never shown on screen.  This was one of those movies.  When someone asks the question “What’s it about” I could describe what takes place on the screen, but it comes across as a chaotic mess, which when taken literally, it is.  But if you are able to grab the under-currents it takes you on a wild ride.  And to describe that ride to anyone else would probably come across as even more of a chaotic mess.  Especially when, if they caught the under-currents of the film, it probably took them on a vastly different ride.

I guess I just love films that have a firm grasp on the subjective.  Anyone can tell an objective story.  True journeys are told through emotions, not words or scenes.  And it takes a true artist to know how to use that language while chained to an objective medium.

You can probably deduce whether or not you’d like this movie from that rant alone.  And I leave you with this:

I'm singing this song
But it's about you
Whoever else is listening
It's only about you

See there's just one story
And everyone's the star
And it goes like this...
No one will ever love you
For everything you are

And so you build up layers of deception
And you leave out things to alter the perceptions
Of the ones you love
Who would never love you back
If they knew all about you
Every solitary fact

And the sadness of your life
Is built upon this lie
Of really knowing anyone
Or having them know you
It's the sadness of the world
There's nothing left to do

And so just go to sleep
Just let the hours pass
Sleep it all away
None of it will last

Soon it's all over
You're under clover
And none of it matters anymore

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