Adaptation: Writing and Film Charlie

Topics: Charlie Kaufman, Writing, Spike Jonze Pages: 3 (1256 words) Published: March 11, 2007

Directed by: Spike Jonze

1) Our film starts with a monologue. The voice is that of Charlie Kaufman, a screen writer with a tendency to take every aspect of his own life into a negative, pessimistic mindset and rationalization. Set to begin in Hollywood, California just after the release of "Being John Malkovich". (A film Charlie had previously adapted into a screen play and hence, launched himself into the spotlight in the writing world.) Charlie is attempting to write a screen play that is simple and pure. A movie simply about flowers. No added drama, no special effects. The canonical of our film is that of a very surreal world. Enhanced by Charlie's neurotic voice-overs and esthetically framed day dreams, nothing seems to be working for Charlie. The canonical also seems to set the idea that every aspect of this movie we are going to see will be through the eyes and thoughts of Charlie, weather in a good light or bad. Mostly bad.

2) Much of the beginning of our film is spent learning more of Charlie and also introduces Susan Orlean, author of "The Orchid Thief". Charlie seems to have developed a writer's block with his screenplay as well as with his life. Unable to rationally think and with very little self confidence we watch as Charlie desperately tries to sort out his "simple" adaptation of the book. The inciting incident of our film, to me, was when Charlie's twin brother Donald Kaufman decides he also would like to be a screen writer. Charlie finds him to be an annoyance and doesn't seem to be very supportive of his brother's ideas and methods of writing. Charlie believes that no self help book or seminar can possibly teach one person to write an amazing script. Some dramatic irony is introduced as Charlie receives a phone call from his agent exclaiming how brilliant Donald's script is. Irony at its greatest, an...
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