MONDAY MOVIE MEME
Synecdoche, New York (2008) a theater director, Caden Cotard, (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) struggles to produce a new play on Broadway with a MacArthur Grant. It's to be his masterpiece "a piece of brutal realism and honesty, something into which he can put his whole self". In a wharehouse in Manhattan's theater district, he builds a replica of NYC and intructs his cast to live out their lives in this mockup of the city as a celebration of the mundane. Meanwhile, Caden's life is falling apart, it's out of control and filled with a variety of women, too many women! Caden's destroyed his current marriage and he's plagued by thoughts of his ex-wife, Adele,(Catherine Keener) a celebrated painter who left him years ago for the art scene, something he's never been able to accept or reconcile. He's also tortured by thoughts of his daughter, Olive, growing up under the guidance of his ex-wife's questionable (to Caden) friend. He thinks the actor he hired to play himself, Sammy Barnathan (Tommy Noonan), is too perfect and is preventing Caden from reviving a relationship with an old girlfriend, Hazel (Samantha Morton). Then there's his ineffective therapist, his disabled daughter, Ariel and Caden has a mysterious condition that is shutting down each of his autonomic functions. All of these things and more assault and harass Caden over the years as he continue to work on his masterpiece, eventually seriously blurring the lines between his deteriorating reality and the world of the play. The only hope is that someone will come along to save Caden and the viewers because, by now, your mind is a swirl of names, faces, weird happenings and there's no rhyme or reason to it all!
The Life Acquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) Steve Zissou (Bill Murray), an oceanographer, believes his partner was killed by a mythical, possibly nonexistent Jaguar Shark. Steve assembles Team Zissou including his estranged wife, a journalist and a man who may or may not be his son, to hunto and kill the Jaguar Shark. Steve Zissou's life isn't going so well right now. Along with his partner being eaten, his wife maybe be spending time with her ex-husband, his recent films haven't done well, he cannot raise money for the expedition to avenge his partner's death, he's attracted to the pregnant journalist who seems interested in this young man who is claiming Steve is his father. Steve Zissou hates fathers. But he's determined to make a documentary of the expedition to hunt down the Jaguar Shark so off they all go, with very little money, on a bizarre and wild adventure that has more twists, turns and nonsensical occurrences as well as a pirate attack. It's fun and strange!
Solaris (2002) At an isolated space station studying Solaris, a bizzarre planet where some strange spatial phenomena is occurring. Dr. Gibarian, on board the space station, makes a strange video request to his friend, civilian psychiatrist Dr. Chris Kelvin (George Clooney), to come to the space station. Kelvin is still struggling with the death of his wife but his background and experience may enable him to discover and explain what's happening at the space station. The space program wants Kelvin to go because the security team they sent is now missing. When Kelvin arrives he finds only two surviving members, Drs. Gordon and Snow. They tell him Dr. Gibarian committed suicide. Kelvin also discovers something very unexpected: aboard are Dr. Gibarin's adolescent son and Kelvin's deceased wife. The appearance of the crew's loved ones is why Kelvin was asked to come. The rest of the movie becomes confusing as to why the people are appearing and what to do about it. There are some sinister overtones implying they might be there to cause the death of those on the space station.