Charlie Kaufman on Directing Synecdoche, New York, Spike Jonze and Being a ‘Recluse’

Charlie Kaufman, the famously private writer of Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, promises that he’s not a recluse. But he was being a little spooky in this interview with The Hollywood Reporter about his directorial debut Synecdoche, New York, which will have a big premiere at the Cannes Films Festival this week. “I’m not here cowering in a corner,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “I don’t have a veil over my head. I don’t say ‘I vant to be alone.'”

Mr. Kaufman is finally coming out of the LA woodwork to promote his film, which follows a theater director (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman), who, according to the article,> “uses a grant to create the ultimate play: a city within a city within a warehouse.” The movie was originally going to be a horror film written with Spike Jonze, but evolved into a much worse nightmare: real life. “In a general way, it’s about the experience of going through life, and heading toward the end of it,” Mr. Kaufman explained. “The movie follows this character for 40 years, and it’s about people’s losses and death and fear of death and intimacy and relationships. Romance and regret and struggle and ego and jealousy and confusion and loneliness and sex and loss — all those things are in the movie. I wanted it to be an all-inclusive experience of a person’s life. It’s this guy’s world.