by Steven Rosen
Posted In: Movies
at 11:15 AM | Permalink
The film joins 'Carol' as a Cincinnati-related movie garnering praise
to be another very artful Cincinnati-related movie, besides Carol, that is on important Best Films
of 2015 lists, wins critics awards and even figures in Oscar nominations.
wouldn’t be Don Cheadle’s Miles Ahead,
which like Carol was predominately
filmed in Cincinnati but set in New York. Sony Classics isn’t planning to
release that Miles Davis biopic, which Cheadle directed and stars in, until
this is a film that is set in Cincinnati but wasn’t shot here because it’s an
animated feature for adults that uses stop-motion puppets.
Anomalisa and was written and
co-directed by the always-adventurous Charlie Kaufman, who wrote Being John Malkovich and Adaptation and also wrote and directed Synecdoche, New York. (The co-director
is Duke Johnson.) Anomalisa started
life as a 2005 play called Hope Leaves
I have not
seen it, but going by online and print stories from those who have, it is the
tale of a depressed, married motivational speaker who, on a trip to Cincinnati
that features a one-night hotel stay, believes he has found his ideal mate. But
there may be complications.
voices the lead character; Jennifer Jason Leigh is the woman he is attracted
to. All other characters are voiced by Tom Noonan and have the same faces. That
latter fact is important because it could be interpreted as a characteristic of
a delusion called Fregoli Syndrome. In fact, the hotel in the film is named
financed, partly through Kickstarter, Anomalisa
has won raves since premiering at Telluride and Venice film festivals in
September. Britain’s Sight & Sound,
one of the world’s most important film journals, has just ranked it the 11th best new film of 2015 — Carol ranked
second. And both it and Carol are
Best Feature nominees for the Independent Spirit Awards.
It has been
acquired by Paramount Pictures and is getting a limited release at the end of
this month, after playing at film festivals, to qualify for Academy Awards. A
huge poster board for its (still-undetermined) Cincinnati opening is already up
at Esquire Theatre.
If all this
sounds too good to be true, there is a catch. Advance reports and early reviews
don’t make it appear that Anomalisa’s
depiction of Cincinnati is an especially complimentary one. In fact, the city just
might have been chosen intentionally as an appropriate place for someone like
the film’s principal character, Michael Stone, to have an emotional crisis.
Rodrigo Perez’ review on Indie Wire began:
apologies in advance to the people of Cincinnati, in the worldview
of Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson's Anomalisa, or at
least to the misfortune of its characters, the Queen City represents a
soul-crushing dullness and boredom that could drive any man mad. For customer
service guru and author Michael Stone (brilliantly voiced by David Thewlis as a
classic Kaufman-esque misanthrope), already fundamentally unhappy and in the
midst of a huge existential crisis, Cincy is a grueling hell on Earth of
fatuous people and irritating small talk.
fairness, it could be any faceless and anonymous city — part of Kaufman’s aim
is to examine and send-up the mundanity of the business trip and that odd
experience of feeling like an alien exploring the world of this not-quite-real,
single-serving fantasy existence where people wait on you hand and foot.”
its take on Cincinnati, the work that went into making Anomalisa is impressive. According to the Crafting Anomalisa short, it involved the creation of 1,261 faces
and 1,000 costumes and required 118,089 frames of film to reach its final 90-minute
Illustrator Dave Gibbons discusses a new 'Watchmen' book and movie
0 Comments · Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Director Zack Snyder's reputation from box-office smash '300' and a much-publicized court skirmish over the rights to his latest film, 'Watchmen,' has generated a lot of hype, getting mainstream moviegoers interested and whipping comic-book fanboys into a frenzy.
A powerful look at the impact of war
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 25, 2009
The yellow eyes of the dogs, one of the first images in Ari Folman's animated documentary 'Waltz With Bashir,' sear the frame with their surreal heat. The sensation is not about burning, not in any traditional understanding, because the eyes in combination with the ferocious barking, disassociated from the foaming, disjointed mouths and bodies ripping through the streets of a dreamscape, have no heat themselves. Grade: A.