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18 September 2010

Synecdoche, New York (no spoilers please) I've been watching this for about an hour. I liked it a lot at first, and now it seems to be dragging. I was dismayed to find out that there is another hour left. Should I keep watching?
I wished I hadn't bothered finishing it.
posted by Ardiril 18 September | 21:49
It's one of my favorite movies of all time, but if you haven't found a way into it by an hour's interval, you may not. Others may have more passionate advice to offer.
posted by mykescipark 18 September | 22:14
Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind are some of my favorite movies, but this isn't, so far.
posted by grouse 18 September | 22:23
I liked a lot of it and it was visually inventive but thought that it was more than a little misogynistic and it felt way too smug about how smart and daring it all was. Possibly my perception is colored by the fact that Kaufman came out and gave a talk after the showing (Ebertfest) and came across as an insufferable jerk.

I loved Malkovich and Adaptation but never understood the love for Spotless Mind.
posted by octothorpe 18 September | 22:55
Malkovich is my favorite movie of all time, and Sunshine is in my top 20, but Adaptation and Synecdoche came across to me as forced. I would like Kaufman to do a couple linear screenplays before tackling the existential stuff again.
posted by Ardiril 19 September | 01:15
The feeling that it's going to go on forever is part of the experience.
posted by Obscure Reference 19 September | 03:15
I didn't get into it, either. And I know Ebert praises it uber-highly, but it's the kind of film that we hear someone we know likes and think, "Yeah, of COURSE he would like that [overrated faux-intellectual poser slog]."

posted by Madamina 19 September | 11:20
The feeling that it's going to go on forever is part of the experience.

I agree with this completely, at least for the first time a viewer watches it.

The first time I saw it, I couldn't believe how long it seemed. It felt like one of those almost-nightmare dreams where time slows to a crawl. I wasn't bored; I was actively angry at the film.

That same night, I watched it a second time. (That right there tells you something about my feelings for it). Though it's still quite long, it felt like it moved along well, though at a thoughtful, meditative pace. It felt like it was crawling because I couldn't have moved fast enough for my anxiety and anticipation.

I can't tell you whether you should finish watching it.
posted by Elsa 19 September | 11:30
It's probably going back to Netflix next time I leave the house.
posted by grouse 19 September | 13:21
Aha, I knew I'd expressed something very similar here before, even down to the one-hour-mark. Grouse, I'm certainly not trying to persuade you to watch the rest of the film, but here's something I wrote shortly after seeing Synecdoche, NY for the first (and second) time.

When I first watched Synecdoche, I was surprised to find how tense it made me, and how very hostile I was to the film. An hour or two in, I relaxed a little and started to... "enjoy" isn't quite the word. I guess I stopped being so resistant to the film's internal logic. I watched it again the next night and found it a bit less wrenching, and far more lovely: haunting and elegiac.

Note: that thread has SPOILERS, including the very next portion of my comment.
posted by Elsa 19 September | 13:52
Seconding mykescipark. It has its moments, and the ending is the point, but you have to work through a lot of pretty confusing stuff to get there. I didn't get the opportunity, myself, but I've heard that the second or third viewing is when some people start to grok it.

What kept me going was absolute worship of Philip Seymour Hoffman's acting.
posted by dhartung 19 September | 18:33
solace in journaling || of Montreal: