Genius. The word gets tossed around more than Britney Spears at a Frat party. Just recently Kanye West proclaimed to the world that he, himself was a genius. Isn’t there some rule that says: You can’t nickname yourself, and you can’t proclaim yourself to be a genius. (This rule applies to you as well, Erica Badu.) And, what makes Mr. West a genius? Sampling? I don’t think treating other people’s songs like a 24-hour – Non-Stop – All – You – Can – Eat Buffet qualifies someone as a genius. If so, then P-Diddy and Madonna are geniuses too. And the kid at the Metro with a Casio Keyboard and his itunes Shuffle. It doesn’t help that most of Kanye’s “fans” are in their 20’s and have never heard music that was made before Beyonce. Kanye West is what happens when you tell your children that everything they do is great, and they can sing when they can’t, that they are THE BEST and the prettiest. Maybe if Kanye’s mom had been a little more honest with him as a youth, we wouldn’t have to deal with the total Douche Baggery that is Kanye West.
I recently saw the film “Synecdoche, New York” and left the theater thinking, “Holy crap. That man is a genius.”
I am talking about Charlie Kauffman.
This film is a total departure from any “normal” movie you go and see. And I don’t mean that in a David Lynch sort of way. There are no atmospheric dwarves or metaphoric trees in this film. It doesn’t have any high urethane glossy love scenes, most of the people in it are flawed physically and emotionally, and it is completely frustrating to watch, but it is a product of pure genius. I saw the film 3 weeks ago and I am just now coming to grips with it and how truly new and beautiful, sweet and heartbreaking it really was.
It stars Phillip Seymour Hoffman as a man whose body begins to fail him little by little, and his entire life follows suit. That’s the bare bones version. It deals with loss and love. Parenthood and death. Beauty and pain. And living. Actually living your life – not missing it.
The film is harder to explain than quantum physics, so you’ll just have to go see what I am talking about.
But, the best thing about the film is that you get a brief glimpse inside the total mind fuck that is Charlie Kauffman. I sat there wondering just what kind of brain, what kind of creative super awesome brain thought this up? When we are riddled with films that have as much creative force behind them as a high school stage version of “Grease”, we have to really applaud something different. It follows none of the rules of film making, but not in a pretentious “I am smarter than you” way. It breaks the rules simply and honestly, making you wonder about yourself.
So, Kanye, if you are listening and I know you are not, please PLEASE! Do us all a favor. Try writing your own music. You might be surprised.