If you were to walk up to a stranger on the street Billy-Eichner-like and grab them about the shoulders and shake and yell the name "Charlie Kaufman!" at them, well I imagine you'd get a lot of blank (and/or terrified) stares back. But out of those a few bright shining souls would register some recognition, a familiar blink or three. If you were then to ask these cinema superstars what emotions the name "Charlie Kaufman" made them think of or feel first, well it would probably be something along the lines of, you know, "depressive" or "suicidal" or "navel-gazingly self-indulgent," perhaps. There would be a lot of that, amongst these few movie magicians.
But carving the pool even smaller, out of those few good men and women, might one say "romantic" back at you? Might one swoon their fool-loving head off? And then would you know that you'd found your soulmate? I know that person would be mine, that one out of a thousand, a million, the one with the sweet voice speaking truths not too many can hear. He or she might sound like Jennifer Jason Leigh (whisper the word Anomalisa at me), or maybe like Cyndi Lauper, or maybe like Sarah Brightman covering Cyndi Lauper - a distant romantic language echo of an echo, across an ocean, through the cotton ball clouds, a time after a time, an Eighties pop-maker, melodious and simple and true, for a moment, a moment, one moment enough.
Charlie Kaufman makes love like nobody else. He builds it up from the basement, all the gangly genitals of it, knickers whittled and shined up, authentically imperfectly exquisite. He is the poet of our age -- he is the Keats of OK Computer, the Rimbaud of Eraserhead. Yes, he can make familiar landscapes seem twisty and alien - the generic boxes of full courtesy suites infinitely oppressively unfolding down telescopic corridors, the rattle of ice cubes an award-winning Minotaur, in and out and maybe in, just the tip, again - and yes, he can make the very fabric of human flesh seem the same, foreign - faces falling off, and what not - but then he gets his folks talking, talking, talking, and the sweet no-nonsense fills in all the gaps. Oh yes it's weird, but it's easy, instant, and a whole lot of everything.