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Watch an Extensive Talk with Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson as New ‘Anomalisa’ Poster Arrives

Written by on December 8, 2015 


Having seen it last week, it should be noted one might not want to offer up an immediate reaction to Anomalisa, the latest film from Charlie Kaufman (and co-director Duke Johnson). Smaller in scale and scope than I might have expected, it all didn’t perfectly click on first viewing. Yet in the days since, I’ve been taken aback by the deliberate pace and various emotions conveyed in the breadth of a single shot, and look forward to revisiting the stop-motion animation.

Today we now thankfully have a new poster (via /Film) worthy of the film, unlike the cookie-cutter, rush-to-the-presses, quote-heavy intial one that was unveiled earlier this fall. While it still uses the same technique of singling out a still from the film, this one much better conveys the feeling of our lead, voiced by David Thewlis. Along with that, we have a great half-hour talk with the directors as they discuss the detailed making of the project.

We said in our Venice review, “What exactly has been brewing in Charlie Kaufman’s head for the last 7 years? This heart-wrenchingly worrying film, it seems. After a slew of near misses, the singular screenwriter-turned-director is back with Anomalisa, his first film since the well-received but financially calamitous Synecdoche, New York in 2008. Based on a “sound play” developed by directors Kaufman and Duke Johnson, with input from longtime Coen bros. composer Carter Burwell, it is a coarsely unsettling, tragically profound, and often quite funny stop-frame animated picture that focuses on two lost souls who meet in a faceless hotel and share a one-night stand.”

Check out the talk and new poster below.


Michael Stone, husband, father and respected author of “How May I Help You Help Them?” is a man crippled by the mundanity of his life. On a business trip to Cincinnati, where he’s scheduled to speak at a convention of customer service professionals, he checks into the Fregoli Hotel. There, he is amazed to discover a possible escape from his desperation in the form of an unassuming Akron baked goods sales rep, Lisa, who may or may not be the love of his life. A beautifully tender and absurdly humorous dreamscape, from the brilliant minds of Charlie Kaufman (SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK) and Duke Johnson (“Community” episode, Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas), this stop-motion animation wonder features the vocal cast of Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan and David Thewlis and a stirring strings-based score by Carter Burwell. The darkly comedic and surreal stop-motion journey of a man’s long night of the soul, ANOMALISA confirms Charlie Kaufman’s place amongst the most important of American filmmakers, and announces Duke Johnson as a major creative force.

Anomalisa opens on December 30th and expands wide in January.

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