Film Club Blog

Being John Malkovich Jun 04, 2014

beingjohnmalkovich1.jpgIn the dark comedy, Being John Malkovich, self-important street puppeteer Craig Schwartz is out of work (“Nobody's looking for a puppeteer in today's wintry economic climate,” he explains to his pet-obsessed wife). After being beaten up, Craig grudgingly takes a job as a filing clerk on the uniquely bizarre 7 ½ floor (about half the height of a normal office floor) of LesterCorp, a company whose purpose remains dubious. Craig leads a pretty wretched existence. At first, Craig goes through the portal out of sheer curiosity and is astonished by its fantastic implications (“It's supernatural, for lack of a better word. I mean, it raises all sorts of philosophical-type questions, you know... about the nature of self, about the existence of a soul. You know, am I me?”).

The old adage “power corrupts” becomes true. Unfulfilled Craig seeks acknowledgment for his work, even if he has to live in the skin of actor John Malkovich to do it. Most of the characters are flawed, none escape the trappings of what the portal brings out the worst of human failings. Like a Twilight Zone episode written by John Steinbeck. Indeed, the memorable sequence in which Malkovich finds himself in a world populated only by duplicates of himself owes a little to the episode “The Mind and the Matter.”

Discuss Being John Malkovich with the Film Appreciation Club on Wednesday, June 11, at 6 pm in the auditorium.




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