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Synecdoche, New York

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The love-it-or-hate-it movie of the year, Synecdoche, New York will definitely separate Charlie Kaufman-come-latelys from the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind/Being John Malkovich scenarist's hardcore fans. After only one viewing, it’s not easy to comprehend the film. But that's a normal reaction to any film as meta, multi-layered and crazily ambitious as this homegrown variant on Fellini's epochal, hallucinatory, "artist-through-the-looking-glass" masterpiece 8 1/2. The fact that Caden's theatrical crazy-quilt more closely resembles a movie than a stage piece — a huge, out-of-control movie in which an auteur director has been given carte blanche by deep-pocketed Hollywood suits — is surely deliberate. Yet there's method to Kaufman's madness, and Synecdoche, New York is as exhilarating and (frequently exasperating) as it is spectacularly entertaining. Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque. At 7 p.m. Monday, March 2. HHHH

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