Here are the first few clips from Charlie Kaufman's directorial debut Synecdoche, New York. Kaufman, of course, wrote science fiction classics Being John Malkovich, Adaptation and The Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless MInd. In this case, the science fiction hook is a mysterious disease that's slowly shutting down Philip Seymour Hoffman's body's autonomic functions, one by one.
Does Hoffman need a neurologist? Or a urologist? Are the eyes part of the brain, or something separate? As you might expect from a film with "synecdoche" in the title, things being part of other things is an important theme.
Early summaries of the film suggested that Hoffman's character is staging a huge play in a warehouse (as seen in the first clip) and the warehouse slowly transforms into a scale model of New York, the city it's in. In other words, it becomes a synecdoche for New York itself. And meanwhile, Hoffman's mystery scifi disease becomes a metaphor for parts of the whole shutting down or becoming unreliable — as Hoffman himself becomes unreliable. Oh, and there are cute tattoos. [Slashfilm]