Thursday, 19 May 2011

Floor 7½

There are some ideas that make me happy and angry. Happy because they're brilliant, angry because I hadn't thought of them first. This happened about ten minutes into Being John Malkovich, when the puppeteer walks onto the seventh and a half floor. He's just got a new job working in this office, where the ceilings are low and everything is small. It's immediately and simply surreal, and it makes me angry. The whole film is like this. Spending fifteen minutes in John Malkovich's brain before being dumped out by the side of the motorway. Selling tickets. Becoming addicted. The central idea is so strong that it can be approached from any angle and still be interesting. What happens if Malkovich goes through his own portal? What happens if there's three people in there at the same time? It all makes me very, very jealous. Writers are looking for the big, original ideas all the time. This film has that big idea, and lots of smaller ones to go with it. The dialogue is effortlessly strange and funny, full of little moments that you forget to make room for the next one. It's films like this that can be rewatched, because it will always surprise you.
I know there aren't really any original ideas anymore, but sometimes I like to believe there are. Let's pretend Charlie Kaufman wasn't influenced by anything and all of this is his own invention. Because it's more fun like that. Then it can be inspirational.  Floor 7½ is a good place to be.


  1. There aren't many films that make my mind smile as much as this one.