That was, in short, how this writer (initially) assessed the Kickstarter page promoting Anomalisa, a stop motion film written by Charlie Kaufman. Once I got over various aspects of the account — him even bothering to help set it up, the stop motion format, and such — I knew this was worth lending attention to.
And if there’s a second creative half people will get excited about, it’s Community creator Dan Harmon; he’ll executive produce alongside Starburns himself, Dino Stamatopoulos, while Duke Johnson is set to direct. The lattermost’s Community connection is a mighty strong one, by the way: He directed their excellent claymation Christmas episode from 2010.
The video with which this thrilling announcement was made explains that, in Anomalisa, the collective team wants to make this project “without the interference of the typical ‘big studio process’” — hence the page — and craft “a true, uncorrupted artistic endeavor built with the blood, sweat, and tears of countless artisans.” Or, more succinctly, ” [s]omething pure [and] beautiful.”
Here’s how their page sums up the plot:
“The film follows a celebrated motivational speaker travelling the country, changing the lives of countless people. But in the course of transforming others, his life has become hollow and meaningless. It’s a grey and monotonous existence where people literally look and sound identical.
Suddenly one day, a girl’s voice pierces through the veil of nothingness. She fills him with such a rush of ‘aliveness,’ he’s willing to abandon everything and everyone, including his own family, and escape with her to a better life.”
Not to be reductive here, but… am I detecting a three-way melding of Synecdoche, New York, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Being John Malkovich? Those projects have their narrative stamp, from what I can tell — especially the idea of “escaping” into another world via portals and, eventually, wanting to live there permanently — but Kaufman, that mad genius, is never one to write the same story twice. I just think it’s a fascinating intersection of sorts.
And, seeing as Frank or Francis might never happen — a weird part of me thinks the matter was, in a roundabout way, even addressed in this video — it’s not so foolhardy to assume Anomalisa is the next project he gets to release. So it goes without saying, then, that our collective help is the most crucial thing right now; I’ve already planned to put up some money, myself, and I’d actively encourage anyone else to throw at least a couple of dollars toward the thing. I can almost promise it’ll be worth the funds.
Does Anomalisa sound like an endeavor that justifies this cause? Will you donate to help it get going?
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