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Being John Malkovitch (1999) - Spike Jonze

Related: 1999 - American cinema - Spike Jonze

Being John Malkovitch (1999) - Spike Jonze [Amazon.com]


Being John Malkovich is a 1999 film written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Spike Jonze.

The film centers around a puppeteer named Craig Schwartz, who gets a job at the Lestercorp company in the fictional Mertin-Flemmer building in New York City. One day he finds a door in the wall of an office; going through it, he is transported into the brain of actor John Malkovich. He sees, hears, and feels everything Malkovich experiences for about fifteen minutes, and is then deposited into a ditch next to the New Jersey Turnpike. Schwartz and Maxine, a co-worker to whom he is unrequitedly attracted, set up a night business charging people to experience it. Schwartz eventually becomes adept at controlling Malkovich and resides in the body for several months before an ending in which he is absorbed into the body of the unborn baby of Maxine and Malkovich (conceived while Schwartz's wife Lotte was inside Malkovich).

The film was widely praised for its originality, both in terms of the script and Jonze's direction. Kaufman's blending of fact and outrageous fiction was a theme continued in his next film with Jonze, Adaptation (which features Kaufman himself as a character and briefly touches on the making of Being John Malkovich). Jonze's direction and the performances of the lead actors was also viewed favourably by most critics. As well as Malkovich's performance as himself (or at least a version of himself; his middle name in the film is Horatio, which is not his real middle name), Cameron Diaz's small role attracted considerable attention, at least partly as she was almost unrecognizable as the dowdy Lotte. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Being_John_Malkovitch [Apr 2005]

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