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Creator / Charlie Kaufman

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"Say who you are, really say it in your life and in your work. If you’re honest about who you are, you’ll help that person be less lonely in their world because that person will recognize him or herself in you and that will give them hope. Give that to the world, rather than selling something to the world. Don’t allow yourself to be tricked into thinking that the way things are is the way the world must work and that in the end selling is what everyone must do. Do you. It isn’t easy but it’s essential. It’s not easy because there’s a lot in the way. In many cases a major obstacle is your deeply seated belief that you are not interesting. And since convincing yourself that you are interesting is probably not going to happen, take it off the table. Think, ‘Perhaps I’m not interesting but I am the only thing I have to offer, and I want to offer something. And by offering myself in a true way I am doing a great service to the world, because it is rare and it will help.’"

Charles Stuart "Charlie" Kaufman (born 1958) is an American writer, director and author known for his metatextual references, use of absurdism, and headache-inducing tendencies. Spike Jonze and Michel Gondry have each directed several of Kaufman's screenplays. Considered to be among the most brilliant contemporary screenplay-writers.

Outside of his original screenplays, he has worked as an uncredited script doctor for screenplays such as Kung Fu Panda 2. Yes, really.


Works include:

  • Being John Malkovich: The feature debut of director Spike Jonze.
  • Human Nature: The feature debut of director Michel Gondry.
  • Adaptation.: A meta-adaptation of The Orchid Thief, framed as the story of Kaufman's struggle to script an unfilmable novel adaptation and deal with his evil-hack-writer-twin.
  • Confessions of a Dangerous Mind: The directorial debut of George Clooney, although Clooney deviated considerably from the script without Kaufman's permission.
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: A science fiction film about a company which can selectively erase their clients' memories. Kaufman won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for this film.
  • Synecdoche, New York: Kaufman's directorial debut about a stage director who creates a life-sized model of New York City in his pursuit of verisimilitude on the stage. Considered by Roger Ebert to be the best movie of the last decade.
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  • How & Why: A TV pilot Kaufman pitched to FX, but to no avail. After his children's science show is canceled, Goodman Hesselman (Michael Cera) tries to start over with a new show in a little TV market - also a portal to the supernatural world.
  • Anomalisa: Kaufman's first animated feature, a lonely man struggles to connect with the first truly unique woman he's ever met. Co-directed by Kaufman and Duke Johnson.
  • Chaos Walking: Adaptation of the first book in the Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness. Directed by Doug Liman and co-written by Ness, Kaufman and John Lee Hancock.
  • I'm Thinking Of Ending Things: Kaufman will write and direct this adaptation of the Ian Reid novel of the same name. It will be released on Netflix.
  • Antkind: Kaufman's debut novel set for release in 2020.

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