Day 344: Anomalisa (February, 16)

I usually try not to read abut a movie before seing it. In the case of Anomalisa, by the Always great Charlie Kaufman, it was a smart decision.
I didn’t even know that this is an animation – sorry if I’m spoiling this to you, but with a nomination to an Oscar for better animated feature it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that is not a Martian (as myself). The non human traits of the dolls highlight every tiny detail of humane affairs on screen. It is astounding even. Taking a glass out, putting some liquor in it. Drinking. Seating on the bed, turning on the TV. Breathing. Trying to make sense of a day, a life that lost it in the overwhelming pressure of the daily life.
More than daily life, actually. I think that what is crushing here, making hard even to breath, is the perverse idea of happiness and fulfillment that we can have in front of life. It is so deceiving that we can easily pass away the extraordinary for somthing ordinary.
I was crushed by it. My eyes were a bit bugged, I wasn’t able to avert them from what I was witnessing. As I’ve said, the animated aspects makes it even more heartbreaking.
There’s a book that I love, by one of favorite authors, Geoff Dyer, that tells about how we can be unable to take happiness when it presents in front of ourselves. The story in Paris Trance is a bit more complex than that, but I thought about it when the things went down the gutter in this movie. We can take what is special and simply throw it down the toilet for fear of being anything else than miserable.
There’s other side to this, though, an usual one too: sometimes, we fell in love not for a person, but for the image we create of them. A shadow that is beyond the actual person, as Robert Johnson says in his jungian analysis of romantic love in We. When this fog fades out, what remains is the person, and usually one can choose to pursuit the lost shadow forever, forgetting about it is so much better right by their side.
As I've said, staggering sad.

Anomalisa. Directed by Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman. Cast: David
Thewlis, Jeniffer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan
(as everybody else :). USA,
2015, 90 min., Dolby Digital/Datasa, Color (Cinema).


  1. It really is quite sad, but a very peculiar look at life and human relations and its fragility. Charlie Kaufman has proven time and again to master this kinds of stories, but this time he gets extra points for directing this, a stop motion animation which most definitely took a lot of time and effort.
    Beautiful film, one to revisit every now and then.

    [ j ]

    1. It is true, I'm already planning to see it again. Kaufman is a very special filmmaker. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is one of my biggest loves on cinema. In Anomalisa, he was scathing and accurate in his views. Simply amazing.