|Featuring:||Philip Seymour Hoffman
Sadie Goldstein, Tom Noonan, Peter Friedman, Charles Techman, more »
“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “Being John Malkovich,” “Adaptation”
|Producer:||Sidney Kimmel Entertainment
“The Kite Runner,” “Married Life,” “Lars and the Real Girl,” “Charlie Bartlett,” “Breach”
Likely Story, Ray Angelic, Anthony Bregman, William Horberg, Spike Jonze, Charlie Kaufman, Sidney Kimmel, Bruce Toll
Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “Theater director Caden Cotard is mounting a new play. Fresh off of a successful theatrical run in his hometown of Schenectady, New York, Caden decides to trade in the suburban spectators and local theater for the cultured audiences and bright footlights of Broadway. Awarded a ‘Genius’ grant and determined to create a piece of brutal realism and honesty, something into which he can put his whole self, he gathers an ensemble cast into a warehouse in Manhattan’s theater district. He directs them in a celebration of the mundane, instructing each to live out their constructed lives in a small mockup of the city outside.
As the city inside the warehouse grows, Caden’s own life veers wildly off the tracks. The shadow of his ex-wife Adele, a celebrated painter who left him years ago for Germany’s art scene, sneers at him from every corner. Somewhere in Berlin, his daughter Olive is growing up under the questionable guidance of Adele’s friend, Maria. Caden is helplessly driving his marriage to actress Claire into the ground while neglecting his second daughter. Sammy Barnathan, the actor Caden hires to play himself within the play, is a bit too perfect for the part, and makes it difficult for Caden to revive his relationship with the alluringly candid box office girl, Hazel. Meanwhile, his therapist, Madeline Gravis, is better at plugging her best-seller than counseling him. And a mysterious condition begins systematically shutting down each of his autonomic functions, one by one.
As the years rapidly fold into each other, Caden buries himself deeper into his masterpiece. Populating the cast and crew with doppelgangers, he steadily blurs the line between the world of the play and that of his own deteriorating reality. As he pushes the limits of his relationships, both personally and professionally, a change in creative direction arrives in Millicent Weems, a celebrated theater actress who may offer Caden the break he needs.
By seamlessly blending together subjective points-of-view with traditional narrative structures, writer/director Charlie Kaufman has created a world of superbly unsteady footing. His richly developed cast of characters flutter between moments of warm intimacy and frightful insecurity, creating a script that brings to life all the complex and beautiful nuances of shared life and artistic creation. ‘Synecdoche, New York’ is, as its definition states: a part of the whole or the whole used for the part, the general for the specific, the specific for the general.”
Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary defines “synecdoche” as: “a figure of speech by which a part is put for the whole (as fifty sail for fifty ships), the whole for a part (as society for high society), the species for the genus (as cutthroat for assassin), the genus for the species (as a creature for a man), or the name of the material for the thing made (as boards for stage).”
The title to this movie is a play on Schenectady, New York, where the movie takes place.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.