Which really isn’t that many, I know. I mean, I used to love cueing up the whole STAR TREK series, watching them back to back. Anyway, all over the spectrum here:
SYNECHDOCHE, NEW YORK. Free screening with Charlie Kaufman there for the Q&A. Which was great. Or, great if you like watching somebody writhe under a series of ridiculous questions. But he handles them well, seems like a good guy. And, as for SYNECHDOCHE, I don’t know. I mean, I was all over BEING JOHN MALKOVICH and ADAPTATION, and ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND was fun, in that good HEAVEN CAN WAIT way. And this one, it has all the trappings, for sure — the intelligent kind of slapstick Kaufman’s known for — but . . . it’s kind of like if you give David Lynch just free rein to make a movie about making movies, you get something like INLAND EMPIRE. Which I thought was great, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve been sold on Lynch for a long time now, so am maybe not the best critic. SYNECHDOCHE, though. For the first fifty minutes or so, it’s great, is all kinds of fun. Even though, sure, you can feel the narrative kind of holding its breath, getting ready to spool out into the comic unknown. But then the story, it starts getting just so nested. Which again, I mean, I worship at the PKD altar, I cut my teeth on Barth; nesting’s what it’s about. The problem here, though, I think it’s that we get that initial carpet pulled out from under our feet — whoah, this is all kind of a play? reflections of reflections etc? — but then the narrative stops escalating. Or, the development, it’s all horizontal. There’s no more carpet to deprive us of. The same way THE MATRIX blew us away, thereby kind of dooming the next two if they didn’t do the same thing, so the first half of SYNECHDOCHE sets the second up to fail. Not at all sad I went, though.