If Charlie Kaufman decides not to write another screenplay, that will of course be a great loss. I’ve written here before about his latest film, Anomalisa (2015), as well as my fandom for what I call his “aesthetic of despair.”
In his recent interview with HuffPost, Kaufman and co-director Duke Johnson touched upon the financial difficulty this latest of their experimental films has had. And it’s true, small films can have a very hard time making money even if they are critical successes, due online torrents. (Although I’d be really curious to see the kind of internet pirates illegally downloading a bizarre little film like Anomalisa.)
No, I won’t shake my fist at the internet.
As much as it can hurt small films, it can help them too — to find funding, an audience, or a community. In the article, Kaufman worries that if he writes another screenplay he won’t be able to get the funds to make it. Has he heard of Indiegogo? But I digress.
It’s truly a sad thing when a great writer is in such a diminished position, while empty frivolities have no trouble attracting mass audiences. But the idea he lays out of writing a novel… well, that would be enough to pull me from some hazy despair. Can you even imagine what a Kaufman novel would look like? To read on paper the winding imagination of such a creatively experimental mind? It would be House of Leaves on acid. I hope.
So while I would be upset if the body of Kaufman-written films were now complete, it would be a great concession to find him in a bookstore soon.