Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Bizzarro: From Stranger Than Fiction to John Malkovich Being David Lynch

Ideas are a dime a dozen. Pulling it off is another story. Here are three stories in film that began as an idea.

Stranger Than Fiction
An I.R.S. auditor figures out that he is not a real person but rather, is a character in a book that someone is writing. When he learns that he's soon to be bumped off he goes on a quest. Can he find the author in time to have the end of the story re-written?

No doubt the story began with a "what if" question. Will Ferrell is the somewhat obsessive-compulsive lead character Harold Crick and he pulls it off. One reviewer of the film at imdb.com states that it could have gone further in exploring the issues it raised and labeled it "Charlie Kaufman Lite." I liked it though.

Adaptation
A lovelorn screenwriter becomes desperate as he tries and fails to adapt 'The Orchid Thief' by Susan Orlean for the silver screen.

This one, and the next, really are Charlie Kaufman screenplays. With echoes of Carl Hiaasen (Everglades, unusual characters and a plot that veers in unexpected ways) my only suggestion is that at a certain point in time you'll want your seat belt fastened when this film goes off the rails.

Being John Malkovich
The storyline reads: A puppeteer discovers a portal that leads literally into the head of movie star John Malkovich. Directed by Spike Jonze, this is another remarkable script by screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, a truly original film that takes you places you can't begin to imagine. This is what "Magical Realism" (Borges, Umberto Echo, Marquez) looks like when translated to the silver screen.

John Malkovich as David Lynch
The title of this trailer is Psychogenic Fugue, "a psychological state in which a person loses awareness of their identity or other important autobiographical information."**

It was this last little snippet that became catalyst for the blog post. This summer I've been reviewing everything I've ever written for this blog, and am finding a lot of material that was initiated but then abandoned in favor of something else for that day. Always hoping to make you visit worthwhile...

Imagination is an amazing thing. Where does it come from? Why is it so active in some and restrained in others? What will they think of next?

**Psychology Today:&nbsp -- https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/conditions/dissociative-fugue-psychogenic-fugue

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