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‘Anomalisa’: Venice Review

On 05, Sep 2015 | In Press & News | By

Charlie Kaufman and co-director Duke Johnson deliver a unique reflection on love, pain and loneliness in this animated account of one man’s long dark night of the soul pierced by light.

Whether in his screenplays for Being John MalkovichAdaptation and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, or his directing debut, Synecdoche, New YorkCharlie Kaufman‘s surreal, cerebral chronicles of despair, obsession and failure are like nothing else out there. So it was a given that his first animated feature, Anomalisa, co-directed with stop-motion specialist Duke Johnson, was going to be another idiosyncratic entry in a small but wildly distinctive body of work. However, that doesn’t nearly do justice to the beguiling poignancy and emotional nuance of this funny-sad, haunting meditation on depression, disguised as a melancholy love story.

Funded via Kickstarter and in production for more than two years, the material began life as an original “radio play” performed in New York and L.A. as part of composer Carter Burwell‘s Theater of a New Ear project, involving Joel and Ethan Coen as well as Kaufman. The one-act works were performed by seated actors reading from scripts, with live musical accompaniment by Burwell and sound effects created on the spot by a foley artist. Anomalisa was written by Kaufman under the pseudonym Franco Fregoli. Read more

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