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Radmila Djurica is your guide to the festival scenes: Sarajevo, Cannes and many more

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Sarajevo Film Festival 2008

Sarajevo Film Festival 2008
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“Confessions of a Dangerous Mind”

The Oscar winner Charlie Kaufman we’ve met on Sarajevo Film Festival in a very relaxing discussion when Kaufman spoke about the frequent presence of Darwin’s theory of evolution in his screenplays.
“Synecdoche, New York” film shown on Sarajevo Film Festival, was actually so very anticipated directorial debut done by Charlie Kaufman, the unusual writer who stands behind “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, “Adaptation” and “Being John Malkovich”. His scripts examine the nature of memory, love and identity on rather bizarre way. This renowned screenwriter and director explained that his writing and his work in general is always connected to evolution and human nature, and that what fascinate him are man and his psyche.
Ordinary human life, the problems that man faces and the emotions that he feels as a result are the source of topics that he could think about for days. He finds inspiration in everyday life in the day to day thoughts of ordinary people. The issues he struggles with and the situations he faces are often fused into his work. For that reason he says, he often strives to write precisely while such times last, and not later from distance when they are all over. Writer is always a writer even if it would happen during a recent big writers strike.
“Well I was doing my movie. I wasn’t allowed to do writer’s job even if I had to do it. But I supported the strike with courtesy.”

Charlie Kaufman has gained success as a director and as a screenwriter. He sees the differences between writing and directing. For him writing is very lonely task and directing is a very social process. Directing is an entirely different task when you direct you need to keep so many other things in mind and you depend on so many things that you are actually not responsible for. Kaufman states that the role of director gives him control over what he does. It is very frustrated when he as a screenwriter is not able to influence the filming of his work and the final product. For instance, Kaufman was not allowed to participate in the process of filming “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” which was, in his own words, a very frustrating experience.
Kaufman:
“Yes, I did write “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” but the script was cut in the process. I won’t talk about Clooney here’ cause I’m digging my own grave here. He was very flattered and he told me his ideas. He told me that I was the writer, a guy, but when I’ve told him what I didn’t liked about it he simply didn’t wanted to talk to me and the movie ended done by his own idea. There were stages of process where I was involved. But also there were parts in the movie that I didn’t wanted to be. I definitely didn’t want to have some silly game show of the day. What was interested about it was the writer of the book; he was very serious about it and reading it didn’t sound as a joke. What is interesting about this is that people in movies would turn fantasy into reality, like in the case of middle aged man who decided to be a secret agent. I wanted to write about that. You really have to be serious about Chuck and to know who he really was on that level. “

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