Films of the week: A portrait of the artist as a Kaufman double in Synecdoche, New York

 

Tuesday

Synecdoche, New York

12.30am BBC1

(Charlie Kaufman, 2008) Having written several of the most original screenplays of the past decade, Charlie Kaufman made his directorial debut: an overwhelming ontological Möbius strip of a film about the interior life of a New York director (Philip Seymour Hoffman) working on an unending theatre piece "about everything". Surely, the most ambitious film ever made about the limitations of art. *****

Saturday

The American

10pm Channel 4

(Anton Corbijn, 2010) A film in the tradition of existential European thrillers such as The Conformist and Le Samourai, The American doesn't have a lot of plot but it does have an intensified mood; an economy of style and expression; and a studied elegance and classicism. George Clooney stars as an inscrutable, apparently unfeeling hitman lying low in a small Italian town. ****

Sunday

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

6am & 8pm Sky Movies Comedy

(Adam McKay, 2004) The pompous Ron Burgundy, Seventies San Diego's favourite local newsreader, is the character best fitted to the talents of the comedian Will Ferrell, and this is the most consistently hilarious of his semi-improvised comedies. Christina Applegate, as the female news anchor who turns Burgundy's world upside down, is a perfect foil for his absurdist bluster. ****

Monday

Se7en

10pm Sky Movies Select

(David Fincher, 1995) In an unnamed city where it's always night and it never stops raining, two detectives, played by Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, follow the trail of a serial killer who arranges his victims' corpses in tableaux to illustrate the seven deadly sins. Its plot isn't especially distinctive, then, but this influential thriller is so relentlessly stygian that it becomes a masterpiece of mood; a symphony of gloom. ****

Wednesday

Once Upon a Time in the West

12.35pm & 7.15pm Sky Movies Select

(Sergio Leone, 1968) After the US success of his Italian spaghetti Westerns, Sergio Leone made this one – which many consider his masterpiece – for Paramount. He cast Henry Fonda brilliantly against type as a remorseless gunslinger, and Charles Bronson and Jason Robards as the guns for hire who go after him. It is richly cinematic, uniquely styled, epic, elegiac and cruel. *****

Thursday

Dancer in the Dark

1.15am Film4

(Lars von Trier, 2000) The concluding part of Lars von Trier's "Golden Heart" trilogy of films about saintly, suffering women stars Björk as an immigrant factory worker in Sixties rural America, saving for her son's eye operation. Her performance and her musical score and songs are all excellently realised, and it's an extremely potent – albeit self-consciously manipulative – musical melodrama. ****

Friday

The Kids Are All Right

11.10pm Channel 4

(Lisa Cholodenko, 2010) Julianne Moore and Annette Bening star as a well-off married couple whose teenage children establish contact with their sperm-donor father (Mark Ruffalo). On one level a very funny comedy of modern manners skewering a particular LA way of speaking, this sharply written film is also about ordinary, everyday family life – and how full of surprises it can be. *****

News
Northern exposure: social housing in Edinburgh, where Hassiba now works in a takeaway
books An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop
Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment

 

film review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Relocation, relocation: Zawe Ashton travels the pathway to Northampton
Arts and Entertainment
BBC Three was launched a little over five years ago with the slogan: “Three, is a magic number, yes it is.”

BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital move

TV
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer

film
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
Armie Hammer in the new film of ‘The Lone Ranger’

TV
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

TV
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

    The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
    How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

    Heavy weather

    What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
    World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

    World Bodypainting Festival 2015

    Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
    alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

    Don't call us nerds

    Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
    How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

    How to find gold

    Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
    Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

    Not born in the USA

    Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
    10 best balsamic vinegars

    10 best balsamic vinegars

    Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
    Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

    Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

    Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
    Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

    Greece referendum

    Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
    Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

    7/7 bombings anniversary

    Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

    Versace haute couture review

    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
    No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

    No hope and no jobs in Gaza

    So the young risk their lives and run for it
    Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

    Fashion apps

    Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy