Halfway through the Spike Jonze/Charlie Kaufman peculiarity Being John Malkovich,
the actor is expelled from within his own head and onto the New Jersey
Turnpike, where he’s promptly beaned in the noggin with a beer can by a
passerby. It’s the perfect analogy for one of the weirdest and most
beautiful films of the late-’90s cinematic boom. Its quirk belies a very
serious meditation on jealousy and longing, steeped in the bizarre yet
using everything from cerebral vessels to marionettes to speak to
existential crises. The biggest surprise in a film built on surprises is
that the era’s oddest story is also a huge downer. But that’s how Jonze
and Kaufman announced their arrival: They snuck up and walloped
expectations like a tin can to the back of the head.
- Showing at: Academy Theater.
- Best paired with: PBR.
- Also showing: Endless Summer (Laurelhurst).