Being John Malkovich

“There's a tiny door in my office, Maxine. It's a portal and it takes you inside John Malkovich. You see the world through John Malkovich's eyes... and then after about 15 minutes, you're spit out... into a ditch on the side of the New Jersey Turnpike."

Many people consider 1999 to be one of the great years in cinema. Countless great movies released that year, and one of those was Spike Jonze’s fantasy comedy about a man who discovers a portal into John Malkovich’s head and the two women in his life. It’s truly one of the strangest films but also one that is absolutely fantastic and introduced the world to the crazy stories by screenwriter Charlie Kaufman. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — in our new series about Charlie Kaufman.

We talk about the quirky fantasy nature of this film and how it reflects the characters fantasies in conflict with their identities. We also talk about the obsession and control exhibited in John Cusack’s character, Craig Schwartz. We discuss how the film can be construed as a feminist film, particularly when looking at the relationship between Catherine Keener’s and Cameron Diaz’s characters, Maxine and Lotte. And we chat about the brilliant idea to bring the real John Malkovich into the story and how it creates a real world in the film that still has plenty of crazy, as exhibited in the 7 1/2th floor in the building holding the portal.  It’s one heck of a wild ride and one we love chatting about. Listen in!

Film Sundries