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Watch: Charlie Kaufman Discusses the Making of ‘Anomalisa’ In 30-Minute TIFF Talk

Written by Rachael Moton on September 15, 2015 

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Charlie Kaufman, screenwriter of Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, has emerged after seven years with his new film, the animated Anomalisa. Following a premiere at the Venice Film Festival, he sat down during the Toronto International Film Festival for an enlightening 30-minute conversation.

The stop-motion film features Michael Stone, played by David Thewlis, who is a best-selling book author who has flown into Cincinnati to give a lecture on his novel. Michael cannot connect emotionally to anyone he meets until he discovers Lisa, Jennifer Jason Leigh, who he believes is the answer to all his problems.

Kaufman spoke in the press conference of how he wanted to make an animation for adults and went on to say how he believed he couldn’t specifically say his film was “about something.” His co-director, Duke Johnson, also touched on this, saying, “It’s really specific, it’s a story about characters…but anyone can read this story and relate to it.”

We said in our 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 full talk below.

Anomalisa is screening at TIFF.

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