June 5 - June 8, 2024

Charlie Kaufman: An American Cinematheque Retrospective

Series | I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS, ANOMALISA, SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK, ADAPTATION, BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND

ABOUT THE SERIES:

The American Cinematheque is excited about welcoming one of the seminal auteurs of modern American cinema, Charlie Kaufman, in-person for a retrospective celebrating his work as both writer and filmmaker. Kaufman’s films consistently scavenge the innards of the human mind in search of something profound and uniquely personal to say about the loneliness of human experience, revealing the often strange ways we construct our identities.

Kaufman’s oeuvre is distinctly 2-fold. He began his career as a visionary screenwriter who collaborated with like-minded directors – Spike Jonze and Michel Gondry – in making BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, a surreal comedy interrogating the desire to escape your own skin, to be somebody else; ADAPTATION, a self-reflexive portrait of an isolating writer struggling with notions of self-worth as he aches to write something of substance to present to the world; and ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, in which Kaufman explores the intersection between memory, identity, and human experience, suggesting that the fleeting presence of both happiness and sadness in individual moments are what amalgamate to eventually form something resembling a human life.

Following the success of these collaborations, Kaufman confidently stepped into the role of director for his own scripts, resulting in the tone and outlook of his subsequent work to feel even heavier. Perhaps his bleakest film, SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK is yet another self-reflexive foray into the mind of a struggling artist; a surreal masterpiece littered with hints of a life passing one by too quickly, commenting on the insurmountable weight that time holds in our lives, as we desperately try to balance our longing for meaningful human connections with our desire to create. Although still riddled with metaphors, Kaufman’s lone stab at stop-motion, ANOMALISA – a sober look at the ways interaction and connection can reveal our true selves, even to ourselves – might ironically be his most grounded in human experience. Kaufman’s most recent film, I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS, a claustrophobic ode to the human spirit and the vitality of conversation, offers a grandiose perspective on everything that persists throughout Kaufman’s cinematic universe and reveals them all to be reminiscent of the various particles that make each of us, simply, a person. In their totality, Kaufman’s films feel at once all too familiar, and indisputably like nothing we’ve ever seen before. Join us as we celebrate one of cinema’s most original voices of the century.

Read More about I'M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS / ANOMALISA
WED JUN 5, 2024

7:30 PM

I'M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS / ANOMALISA

$15.00 (members-only)

Aero Theatre | Q&A with filmmaker Charlie Kaufman. Moderated by film critic and author Tim Grierson. 

‘Bleak Week: Cinema of Despair – Year 3’ and ‘Charlie Kaufman: An American Cinematheque Retrospective’

Read More about SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK
THU JUN 6, 2024

7:30 PM

SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK

$15.00 (members-only)

Egyptian Theatre | Q&A with filmmaker Charlie Kaufman. Moderated by film critic Amy Nicholson. 

‘Bleak Week: Cinema of Despair – Year 3’ and ‘Charlie Kaufman: An American Cinematheque Retrospective’

Read More about ADAPTATION
SAT JUN 8, 2024

1:00 PM

ADAPTATION

$15.00 (members-only)

Egyptian Theatre | Q&A with screenwriter Charlie Kaufman

Read More about BEING JOHN MALKOVICH
SAT JUN 8, 2024

4:30 PM

BEING JOHN MALKOVICH

$15.00 (members-only)

Egyptian Theatre | Q&A with screenwriter Charlie Kaufman

25th Anniversary!

Read More about ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND
SAT JUN 8, 2024

8:00 PM

ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND

$15.00 (members-only)

Egyptian Theatre | Q&A with screenwriter Charlie Kaufman

20th Anniversary! Sponsored by Focus Features