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Adaptation: The Shooting Scriptby Charlie Kaufman and Donald Kaufman
I don't even know how to begin writing anything in relation to the work of Charlie Kaufman. Is he really the most original voice working in Hollywood or, just an escaped mental patient who has gone undetected amidst the denizens of LA? In either case I love his work. I also love the incentive he gives us to want to buy one of his screenplays: not just for the script itself, but for the wildly funny introductions and deadpan mock interviews the one in Human Nature had me scratching my head, until I realized he was doing a send-up of a P. T. Anderson interview about Magnolia hilarious! Adaptation also has a great piece of critical commentary by Robert McKee, whose screenwriting seminar book Story was as much a basis of the script as was Susan Orlean's The Orchid Thief. And, for those of you who have been wondering, "When will Charlie Kaufman release a new picture that will send shockwaves through my brain?" you don't have long to wait. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is being released in theaters in March 2004.
Synopses & Reviews
One of the most talked about scripts of the year, Adaptation is the story of an orchid collector (Chris Cooper), a journalist (Meryl Streep, as author Susan Orlean), and the screenwriter (Charlie Kaufman, played by Nicolas Cage) who, in adapting Orlean's bestselling book The Orchid Thief, writes himself and his twin brother (also played by Cage) into the movie.
In the foreword, written exclusively for this Newmarket edition, Orlean reveals her own struggle to tell the story of the orchid, and her delight that “strangely, marvelously, hilariously, Kaufman's screenplay has ended up not being a literal Adaptation of my book, but a spiritual one.”
In a fascinating interview, Kaufman and Jonze take readers behind the scenes of Adaptation and their other films to speak about how they collaborate, where truth and fiction diverge, the challenges of balancing various storylines, why they do not like to comment on the meaning of their work, and Kaufman's approach to writing:"I try to write in the midst of confusion and be strong enough to stay there, rather than swim to the shore of some kind of conclusion."
Finally, screenwriting guru Robert McKee's commentary attempts to analyze Kaufman's work, identifying many of his themes including "that grand twentieth-century preoccupation with the Self."
In the acclaimed Newmarket Shooting Script series format, the book includes the complete screenplay, Orlean's foreword, the interview with Kaufman and Jonze, McKee's critical commentary, 24 black-and-white stills, and cast and crew credits.
"Smart, inventive, passionate and rip-roaringly funny. An altogether remarkable movie from the creators of Being John Malkovich. (****)" Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"Adaptation is fantastic, in every sense of that word. (****)" Glenn Kenny, Premiere
"Adaptation is the best movie of the year." Andrew Sarris, The New York Observer
This latest head trip from director Spike Jonze ("Being John Malkovich") concerns an orchid collector (Chris Cooper), a journalist (Meryl Streep as author Susan Orlean), and the screenwriter (Charlie Kaufman, played by Nicolas Cage) who, in adapting Susan Orlean's book "The Orchid Thief" writes himself into the movie. Includes the complete screenplay and a selection of b&w movie stills.
From the director and writer of Being John Malkovich — a film by Spike Jonze, starring Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep, from a screenplay by Charlie and Donald Kaufman about the adaptation of the bestselling book The Orchid Thief — an exciting new filmbook in the Newmarket Shooting Script® series.
This latest head trip from director Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich) concerns an orchid collector (Chris Cooper), a journalist (Meryl Streep as author Susan Orlean), and the screenwriter (Charlie Kaufman, played by Nicolas Cage) who, in adapting Susan Orlean's book The Orchid Thief, writes himself into the movie. The Orchid Thief tells the story of a Florida man who schemes to clone the "ghost orchid" and sell it to people all over the world who are struck with orchidelirium, the obsession with collecting rare orchids at any price.
Adaptation: The Shooting Script® includes the complete screenplay, a selection of 20 black-and-white movie stills, commentaries by Susan Orlean and Robert McKee, an interview with director Spike Jonze and screenwriter Kaufman, as well as an introduction by Charlie Kaufman.
About the Author
Screenwriter Charlie Kaufman wrote Being John Malkovich, Human Nature, and the screenplay adaptation of Chuck Barris's memoir, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, directed by George Clooney.
Director Spike Jonze has directed Being John Malkovich, and music videos for artists including Björk, The Beastie Boys, Weezer, Daft Punk, Fatboy Slim, and Tenacious D. He also co-starred in Three Kings.
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