Charlie Kaufman Builds An Infinite Space-Time Trap

The trailer for Charlie Kaufman's directorial debut, Synecdoche, New York, is out and it's as awesome as you might have hoped from the guy who wrote Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. Philip Seymour Hoffman plays a theater director who builds a complete scale model of New York inside a New York warehouse. (Hence "synecdoche," which refers to a literary trope where a part stands for the whole.) But it looks like it gets more complicated than that, judging from the new trailer. Hoffman is suffering from some weird disorder that is causing all his autonomic nervous system functions to break down. And it looks as though Hoffman's warehouse is inside a larger warehouse, and also the model of New York seems to contain a model of the warehouse — apparently with its own model of New York inside. As Life Without Buildings points out:

When this film was announced last year, I wondered what would happen if we discovered that the portion of New York being reproduced includes the very warehouse within which the model is being constructed? Is it possible that the play will include an actor hired to play the director, who then hires an actor to play himself? Will this create some sort of infinite spacial vortex, like two face-to-face mirrors, the land-o-lakes butter label, or some sort of spatial Tristram Shandy? Judging from what we’ve seen so far, it looks like that’s exactly what happens.


It's worth reading the whole reaction, which references my favorite Paul Auster novel, The Music Of Chance. [Yahoo! Movies and Life Without Buildings]

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Tim Faulkner

Oh no, it's ambiguous, features wordplay, an unheroic protagonist, lots of ordinary, boring people... and maybe even a few tea cups and... gasp, numbers! Run for your lives! It's LITERARY!!