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“Think.”

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Charlie Kaufman‘s Synecdoche, New York aka If You Can’t Pronounce My Title, You’re an Effin’ Plebe!!! showed at Cannes and the reviews are hitting the Web like steaming intellectual veg patties. We’ll include the plot synopsis at the bottom, but for now just imagine it’s about a former disgruntled employee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) of Rockstar Games who spirals into an existential crisis and rebuilds New York City in pixels as a set, and you should be okay. If I had Slashfilm’s psychic pitching machine, it would spit out “a brilliant mess,” “mindf*ck,” “abstruse,” “enlightening,” “Red States won’t get it, but it’s pretty good,” and “[P.C. allusion to] bong rip.” But since I don’t (Peter has it for the long weekend), let’s get to searchin’ and pasting (interns, it’s all yours)…

Non-linking, old people media outlet, Variety, goes the “it’s for smart people, and outside of New York and L.A. it will be dust…” route…

“A wildly ambitious and gravely serious contemplation of life, love, art, human decay and death, the film bears Kaufman’s scripting fingerprints in its structural trickery and multi-plane storytelling. …it will intrigue Kaufman’s most loyal fans but put off fair-weather friends on the art house circuit, where a venturesome distrib will have its work cut out for it to move the film commercially beyond cult status.”

Oh, wow, they used the adjectives “obscuritanist and incomprehensible,” too. This will make a nice segue into the NY Times and the vetted Mr. A.O. Scott, who says that Kaufman, as a first time director, absolutely skullbangs the cool films made from his screenplays like Spike Jonze’s Being John Malkovich and Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

“Like his protagonist, a beleaguered theater director played by Hoffman, he has created a seamless and complicated alternate reality, unsettling nearly every expectation a moviegoer might have …But though the ideas that drive “Synecdoche, New York” are difficult and sometimes abstruse, the feelings it explores are clear and accessible. These include the anxiety of artistic creation, the fear of love and the dread of its loss, and the desperate sense that your life is rushing by faster than you can make sense of it.”

“Abstruse”! I swear to Bill Maher’s God I actually called it. Thanks A.O. This is better than winning at Scrabble for a prolonged sexual favor. In a wise move, our friends at Cinematical provide the definition of “synecdoche” preceding a positive review…

“The directorial debut of screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Adaptation), Synecdoche, New York is a sprawling, messy work of inspired brilliance and real humanity, a film that enthralls and affects even as it infuriates and confounds. …Kaufman wedges every frame full of set design, side notes, visual tricks, subtext, , deadpan jokes, prosthetic makeup, voice-over, post-modern inventions and old-fashioned melodrama.”

Okay, after this post is done, I’m going to go scream the following pull-quote from Cinematical into the streets: “It’s Jacob’s Ladder for New Yorker subscribers!” Yes! I’m sold like Sissy Spacek in Prime Cut. Moreover, it seems that bringing pot is essentially like bringing glass-ridden sand to the beach: “Synecdoche, New York, might be easier to analyze than enjoy, easier to think about than feel.” There are so many reviews popping up right now and they’re all riding the same WTF rocket, so if you like what you’ve heard, go see this flick. And if you aren’t an original urban outfitter, no worries, just illegally download it and put it on a disc with both Ches. Support! Here’s the Slashfilm plot synopsis…

Synecdoche, New York stars Philip Seymour Hoffman as a theater director named Caden Cotard, whose life in Schenectady, New York is looking bleak. His wife Adele has left him to pursue her painting in Berlin, taking their young daughter Olive with her. A new relationship with the alluringly candid Hazel has prematurely run aground. And a mysterious condition is systematically shutting down each of his body’s autonomic functions. Worried about the transience of his life, he moves his theater company to a warehouse in New York City. He directs them in a celebration of the mundane, instructing each to live out their constructed lives in a growing mockup of the city outside. Catherine Keener, Michelle Williams, Samantha Morton and Tilda Swinton co-star. Running time is 124 minutes. Your life is in minutes as well.

Definition of synecdoche: noun, word that you had to look up for a movie that .001% of the world saw, but that .004% said was brilliant.

Discuss: If you comment, you MUST USE at least one $10 WORD. Do not blow it.

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