Thursday, February 26, 2009

Synecdoche, New York: Making Sense of a Masterpiece

This small piece of adoration appeared in an edited form on another site in a year end poll. The film will be released on DVD March 10th.

This is a mad fever-dream of a movie. Charlie Kaufman is able to simultaneously reflect and dissect life and of its stuff in an engaging, often funny, often heartbreaking fashion. It's a film so dense that on a third viewing connections are still being made, ones that you can soak in for days, weeks, months, years, lifetimes. A film you find yourself ebbing towards with a phrase, a look, a mood, or a song. "I'm just a little person, one person in a sea of many little people who are not aware of me." Bolstered by a cast of serious, precise performers, a melancholic but beautiful score by Jon Brion, and subtly masterful photography by Frederick Elmes, the film follows characters and their relationships to their absolute completion, all the while spinning back to comment on itself, ever reflective, and ever misunderstanding its own history. Kaufman has made an absolute portrait of life, so absolute because of its incompleteness. "I know you, you're the one I've waited for. Let's have some fun."