By David LaRocca

From the Academy Award--winning everlasting Sunshine of the Spotless brain (2004) and Academy Award--nominated model (2002) to the cult vintage Being John Malkovich (1999), author Charlie Kaufman is extensively well-liked for his cutting edge, philosophically resonant motion pictures. even if he just recently made his directorial debut with Synecdoche, ny (2008), so much enthusiasts and critics seek advice from "Kaufman films" the way in which they'd another way speak about works by way of administrators Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, or the Coen brothers. not just has Kaufman reworked our feel of what can ensue in a movie, yet he additionally has made an important effect on our realizing of the function of the screenwriter.

The Philosophy of Charlie Kaufman, edited by way of David LaRocca, is the 1st selection of essays dedicated to a rigorous philosophical exploration of Kaufman's paintings by means of a group of able and important students from a variety of disciplines. From political theorists to philosophers, classicists to theologians, professors of literature to filmmakers, the contributing authors delve into the guts of Kaufman's cutting edge screenplays, supplying not just unique philosophical analyses but in addition prolonged reflections at the nature of movie and picture criticism.

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And yet Charlie Kaufman’s adaptation of this material, the commissioned screenplay, must also exist, and on its own terms, which for Charlie means figuring out how to dramatize Orlean’s prose without tapping into the “artificially plot-driven” master-patterns from which most movies are cut. “I wanted to present it simply,” Charlie tells Robert McKee, after he’s begun to lose faith in his ability. “I wanted to show flowers as God’s miracles. I wanted to show that Orlean never saw the blooming ghost orchid.

I don’t know! Do you see what a metaphysical can of worms this portal is? 2 Paired with the philosophical aspects of Being John Malkovich is its dark and deadpan comedy, as the protagonist finds himself in a series of increasingly absurd situations that explore the consequences of entering the portal. There is no reason why comedy should preclude serious philosophical questioning, especially because showing the ridiculous consequences of an argument is a potent form of critique. In Kaufman’s hands, Craig’s progress represents a kind of reductio ad absurdum; his eventual fate calls the existence of the very self that makes the journey possible into question.

27. , 11. 28. Dauber, “Begining at the Beginning,” 331. 29. In these last two sections of the essay I talk often about the real-life Susan Orlean and her book The Orchid Thief. Given the likelihood of confusion between these Orleans I’ve tried to clearly mark the movement between film and book. 30. Susan Orlean, The Orchid Thief (New York: Ballantine Books, 2008 [1998], 47. 31. , 46–48. About these low yielding schemes, Orlean writes: “There are orchids that smell like rotting meat, which insects happen to like.

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