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Charlie Kaufman’s Intro to Synecdoche, New York

The Rumpus has published Charlie Kaufman’s introduction to the shooting script of his film, Synecdoche, New York. It’s everything you’d expect a piece of Kaufman writing to be: amusing, neurotic, brilliant, and thought-provoking:

Maybe it’s easier to see people as peripheral. Maybe that’s why we do it. It’s a weird and daunting experience to let other people in their fullness into our minds. It is so much easier to see them as serving a purpose in our own lives. In any event, this somehow seems to lead me to some of the things explored in the screenplay that you, imaginary person, are holding in your hands right now. And the relentlessly experienced life of yours that has brought you to this book at this time will now perhaps interact with the relentlessly experienced life of mine as it is represented by this script. I hope we recognize each other.

  • thats so great and so true. i remember as a teenager i went through a phase whereby i thought, philosophically, that maybe the only people who are alive are the people i interact with – whilst everyone else are merely 'padding' for life. its awful that i thought such a thing – and i guess all teenagers have this selfish streak – but how kaufman has put it is brilliant.


  • ben

    My friend and I were recently talking about how difficult it is to stay aware of other people's perspectives. We tend to see unknown individuals as supporting actors in the movies of our lives, but they are actually sentient beings with internal thought processes. And it's easy to lose track of that.

    the funeral monologue in Synechdoche is possibly THE BEST movie monologue of the decade, and it sums up the film's thesis well:

  • That monologue is also one of my favorites of all time. That scene makes me cry almost every time I watch the movie. It also has taken on many different meanings as I have revisited this movie over the past couple years.

    Still one of my all time favorite films!!!