Interview: Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson on the soulful stop-motion of Anomalisa

Moviemaking is a fundamentally collaborative process. But even by the standards of this all-hands-on-deck medium, Charlie Kaufman is a born team player. Possessed of a radical and almost limitless imagination, Kaufman cut his teeth in the writers’ rooms of network television, before breaking into Hollywood by penning the feature directorial debuts of Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich), Michel Gondry (Human Nature), and George Clooney (Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind). These films belong both to their screenwriter and the filmmakers who brought his vision from page to screen; they are unique syntheses of sensibilities. All of which is to say, Kaufman works well with others, even if his neurotic, existentially terrified characters do not.

But Anomalisa, Kaufman’s second film as both writer and director, is collaborative even by his standards. For one thing, it’s a feature-length stop-motion project, meaning that you can add a team of tirelessly toiling animators …

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