Charlie Kaufman gets to chatter away in this Q&A about his new movie Synecdoche, which will screen for all at Cannes later in the week. So what’s it about? Well, you know, it’s a simple story really:
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: I HEARD THE SCRIPT STARTED OUT AS YOU WANTING TO WRITE A HORROR FILM FOR, BUT THEN YOU BEGAN DISCUSSING SOME OF THE DREAMS YOU’D BEEN HAVING …
Kaufman: … I think the impetus was to think about things that were scary to me — which may always be the impetus for me, I don’t know — not what’s marketable scary. Then I just spent a few years writing it and it kind of evolved into what it became. In a general way, it’s about the experience of going through life, and heading toward the end of it. The movie follows this character for 40 years, and it’s about people’s losses and death and fear of death and intimacy and relationships. Romance and regret and struggle and ego and jealousy and confusion and loneliness and sex and loss — all those things are in the movie. I wanted it to be an all-inclusive experience of a person’s life. It’s this guy’s world.
And they ask him, Hey Charlie, why so reclusive?
Kaufman: The first thing people will say to me in interviews is that you don’t do interviews and I’ll say “Well, I’m sitting here talking to you!” I don’t particularly like to be photographed and I don’t like to talk about my personal life — that doesn’t make me a recluse. My feeling is that my work speaks about my life in ways that are very generous. I want to protect the privacy of people I know and of myself and I’m not interested in that kind of celebrity. I find it unappealing and scary, but I’m not a recluse. I live a regular mundane life in Los Angeles. Don’t know what else to say except I’m not here cowering in a corner. I don’t have a veil over my head. I don’t say “I vant to be alone.”
I can attest to the mundane part as I’ve actually seen him a few times in and around Los Angeles, once at an ice skating rink, of all places. He wasn’t hiding but he seemed relaxed in a way that only people who can go unrecognized can.