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Charlie Kaufman got his start in television, but it was his first film, the eccentric Being John Malkovich, that won notice for his unique storytelling style. With the aid of a plethora of contributions from those with whom the writer has worked, Charlie Kaufman: Confessions of an Original Mind presents the intriguing story of that movie and others as it examines one of the most innovative voices in modern film.

This exhaustive study of Kaufman’s life and work is organized chronologically to cover his early influences as well as his most-recent ventures. Highlights include explorations of Kaufman’s collaboration with Being John Malkovich director Spike Jonze—who stood him up for their first meeting—and the writer’s conflict with George Clooney (about whom Kaufman says, “I can tell you that George Clooney is my least favorite person”). There are analyses of Human Nature, Adaptation, and the hauntingly beautiful Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which led to an Academy Award. The book also studies Kaufman’s sound plays for Theatre of the New Ear and his directorial debut, Synecdoche, New York.

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