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Wolfville, Nova Scotia



Chris Campbell

I finally was able to see Adaptation yesterday and I wasn't disappointed. It was made by the same team of writer Charlie Kaufman and director Spike Jonze that created the amazing Being John Malkovich.
It's a great film that you end up thinking and talking about a lot about afterwards. It's probably not a good idea to go to the film alone as you could be frustrated that there isn't someone to talk with afterwards. A big part of the film is seeing how things unfold so I won't spoil any of that... it's not "The Crying Game" spoiling, but more how things happen.
The film is very much in the "meta" category and it reminded me a bit of Italo Calvino. There is a constant blurring of reality and fiction and it continues the style that began with "Being John Malkovich" both literally and figuratively. It's a lot of fun, but seriousness creeps in from time to time and moves the film from being quirky and funny to a level of seriousness and poignancy that can be surprising. Jonze creates things that are deceptively rough. While a lot of it looks casual, rough and hand-held, it's actually very meticulously constructed. I identified a lot with Charlie Kaufman (who is the main character in the film along with his (possibly fictional) twin brother Donald. I'm a shy, obsessive, procrastinator as well...but that's where the similarities end...
I found out about Being John Malkovich from the great cheesy web site for JM Inc. which is now defunct, but I linked to the Internet Archive version of it so you can still see it. It features bad design and a scrolling status bar message. When you sign up for more info you go to the real site with info about the film. The DVD also features a great design along with a tv ad for the (fictional) Web site.
The site for Adaptation features a good use of Flash to present clips, script excerpts and photographs from the film. Jason Kottke has also assisted with the meta aspects of the whole thing with a 'blog for Susan Orlean (regarding: Adaptation) about the film which is an adaptation of her book...