charlie kaufman

Karlovy Vary is far from the most exposed international film festival, but their programming is generally rather fine and the more immediately accessible endeavors — e.g. public talks with cinematic luminaries — are nothing to ignore. Case in point: they were kind enough to offer extended discussions presided over by Charlie Kaufman and Willem Dafoe — and, really, what can we do other than embed them for your viewing pleasure?

The former is a standard career rundown whose relaxed approach compounded by its lounge-like setting; the latter, in a press-conference setting, is a series of questions from international journalists, and fortunately, if in no small part because of its subject’s charisma, is not the foul-smelling dumpster fire that you might otherwise expect. While there aren’t a ton of “scoops” to be taken from this, do note that Kaufman is still hoping to make Frank or Francis — his long, even-by-his-standards hard-to-locate musical about the relationships between filmmakers, studios, and the very angry, sometimes vengeful people who write about them on the Internet — with Nicolas Cage, Jack Black, Steve Carell, Kevin Kline, Elizabeth Banks, Emma Thompson, Cate Blanchett, Jacki Weaver, and Paul Reubens still attached years later.

One assumes the combination of helmer and stars makes Frank or Francis a natural go-to for many movers and shakers, but it’s been in development (or development hell) since late 2011. Now, though, Kaufman says this much: “I think we’re estimating we can do it for $11 million, but only outside of the United States.”

So: are you a very, very wealthy investor with strong international connections? Should the answer to both be “yes,” I wouldn’t tell you what to do with either of those things — but if the final film sticks to what I read, you will help bring what is possibly one of cinema’s greatest climactic scenes to the screen. (The rest of it is pretty good, too, so long as Kaufman is at all your thing.) Your priorities are ultimately your own.

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