For many of us who came of age (whatever age that may be) in the aughts, Charlie Kaufman defined a large part of our sensibilities. Between Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Being John Malkovich, and Adaptation., he was mainstream enough to be accessible, but crazy/abstract/existential enough to break our minds and hearts wide open. His last movie, which was also his directorial debut, was seen by about twelve people nationwide, and he hasn’t been back since. (Well, okay, he wrote and directed a pilot for FX that wasn’t picked up. He did do that.)
But now he is back, in a spectacular way. A full trailer for the stop-motion Anomalisa was released today and, fair warning, it may crack your heart right open. These 110 seconds are so utterly moving, I don’t care that they offer nothing in the way of plot (it’s better that way, isn’t it?), and I don’t even mind the usually ultra-disturbing uncanny valley animation.
Your heart, it’s cracked, right? The movie, by the way, comes from Starburns Industries (via Kickstarter), the animation production company founded by Dan Harmon, Dino Stamatopoulos (aka Starburns), and others. I had Trumbo squarely atop my list of most anticipated movies left this year, but with this having a release date of December 30th, this may have eked into that spot. When was the last time a trailer let you know exactly what it was, while giving away zero plot? Because after reading this brief synopsis, I realized none of it was in that preview above. (From Vanity Fair,)
Suffering from Fregoli syndrome, a rare psychological disorder that deludes victims into seeing and hearing every person as the same, the dejected protagonist sees everyone around him as having the same face and voice (courtesy of Tom Noonan), except for a sweet customer-service representative (Jennifer Jason Leigh) with whom he has an affair.That’s Kaufman, isn’t it? Sure the plots to his movies are important, and fantastic, but when you think back to your favorites, it’s not the story you think of first, is it? It’s the way they make you feel, that ache. This seems perfectly fitting with that legacy.