adaptation

I just saw the film “Adaptation” (written by Charlie Kaufman, directed by Spike Jonze, and starring Nicholas Cage as Charlie Kaufman.) I liked it, although it made me uncomfortable at times.

I’m probably not alone in thinking what I’m about to tell you. I’m sure that lots of socially awkward and somewhat obsessive people who saw the film thought the same thing… But I was struck by how much the character of Charlie Kaufman thought and acted like me. Like I said, I bet a thousand people scattered around the United States are thinking that same thing right now, but I still wanted to mention it. I don’t know if I’ve ever sat in a movie theater and had the same odd feeling that I felt just now, like I was on screen.

It’s the kind of thing I’m sure an author tires of hearing. More often than not, it’s probably a sign of an unstable person (see the chapter of Mark David Chapman).

“You’re just like me. You really understand me. It’s like you’re reading my mind.”

I don’t know if, until now, I’d ever been in danger of muttering something like that to a writer. Now, I feel like I might. Fortunately, I don’t suspect that Charlie Kaufman gets to Ypsilanti, Michigan very often and I’m rarely able to leave.

The character wasn’t exactly like me. My balding pattern is a bit different and I’m not a chronic masturbator. The self-hatred though, and the constant narrative of worry that’s running through his mind, those things I think he’s captured just about right. Much better, in my opinion, than Jack Nicholson in “As Good As It Gets,” where he plays a writer with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). While Kaufman’s character didn’t seem to be locked into any particular compulsive behaviors, he definitely had the “what if?” thinking that comes along with OCD.

Speaking of OCD, I’ve often thought that I should advertise this site to other obsessives. Being one, I know how they think. The number of hits my site would get would grow exponentially as they checked and rechecked all day long to see whether or not I’d updated. I figure if I go after my fellow obsessives, my numbers will swamp Jeff’s in a few month’s time.

Watching Cage, an actor that I don’t usually like, playing a guy dealing with some of the same things that I deal with, put knots in my stomach. The scene where he makes up an excuse not to go home with the woman who liked him was torn right out of the fucking book of my life. It was eerie. He’s a better actor than I give him credit for and I have to stop holding “Con Air” against him.

Anyway, I liked the movie but I hated the theater. Our movie started at 2:10. That means that tickets cost $8.50 each. If the movie had started at 2:00, they would have been $5.00 each. That’s the kind of thing that can just ruin my entire weekend… And then, to make it worse, I had to buy a $3.00 bottle of water. I hate everybody and everything.

The movie was good though. It left you not knowing what was real and what was fiction. You can, I’m sure, find better analysis of the movie elsewhere. I’m just going to tell you it’s good. I’m not going to try to explain it (it’s about a screenwriter, Charlie Kaufman, who’s hired to write the script for a film adaptation of book, by a “New Yorker” author, about a man, obsessed by orchids) or, worse yet, to try to figure out where the line between fact and fiction is drawn (Charlie Kaufman may have an identical twin in real life, but it is doubtful that Susan Orlean, the author of the book “The Orchid Thief,” was responsible for his death.)

So, in conclusion: It was a very good film. You should see it.

Here, again, is the link to the “Adaptation” blog. I haven’t read it yet, but I will.

I have to go to work on Monday, but, other than that, I am off for the next two weeks. My hope is that that translates to a great deal of writing and working on this web site. Lindsay J Hammond has lit a fire under my fat ass.

a christmas story
Oh, here’s one last thing before I go. It’s an odd little story about a women in Urbana, Ohio who shaved her 7 year-old daughter’s head, fed her sleeping pills and tried to convince her, and the rest of the community, that she was dying of cancer. She even put the daughter into a counseling program, preparing her to die. Of course, the motive was money. The mother raised a bunch from the community.

Happy Holidays!

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