fauxklore (fauxklore) wrote,

Synecdoche, New York

I didn't have off from work today. As is typical for government holidays which we don't get off, many of us were around the corporate mothership for the day. I did get a few things accomplished - the latest mandatory ethics training, clearing out some email - but didn't get as far along as I'd hoped to on reviewing a document for which comments are due on Thursday. So it looks like much of tomorrow will be spent plowing through 180 or so pages of turgid prose.

After work, I ran into the city to pick up theatre tickets. The revival of West Side Story (the second best musical of all time, behind only Guys and Dolls) is going to be at the National Theatre before heading to Broadway. Since I was in the area already, I decided to go to the E Street Cinema and see Synecdoche, New York.

This is more or less an impossible film to review, since the plot is fairly abstract. The main character comes to interesting realizations, but describing them would be too much of a spoiler in some ways without actually telling you anything. The main thing to know is that it's a Charlie Kaufman film. If you liked Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, you'll like this one. If you hated those, go see something like Madagascar 2 instead. kaasirpent should stay far away.

Even for those of us who like this stuff, there are weak points. The major one is that it's about a half hour too long. And the large number of characters, some of whom are playing one another, can get particularly confusing in what is already a confusing movie.

I should mention two other things:

1) Synecdoche is an actual word (meaning "a figure of speech in which a part stands in for the whole or vice versa.") But there's also another play on words since part of the movie is set in Schenectady. Knowing that will help you avoid embarrassment at the box office. (Fortunately, the person ahead of me on line was also going to see it.)

2) Philip Seymour Hoffman was very impressive in the lead role. However, I really would prefer not seeing him shirtless.
Tags: movies

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