World-famous tattoo artist Tim Kern talks to Premiere about working on the extensive tattoo designs for Charlie Kaufman’s greatly anticipated directorial debut, ‘Synecdoche, New York’ — and which star tattooed him behind the scenes.
Synecdoche, New York is the hotly anticipated directorial debut from Charlie Kaufman, the eccentric writer behind Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Adaptation and Being John Malkovich. His trippy scripts, which examine the nature of memory, love and identity in bizarre new ways, feature elevators that stop between floors to reveal alternate universes, a blocked writer who jumps into his own screenplay and a machine that erases the heartbreak of losing a lover with Kool-Aid colored hair.
This time around, Kaufman stepped behind the camera when frequent collaborator Spike Jonze, the director originally attached, bowed out to helm Where the Wild Things Are. The flick stars Philip Seymour Hoffman as Caden Cotard, a theater director whose new play calls for a warehouse-sized replication of New York. The title is both a nod to the city where it takes place, Schenectady, NY, and the SAT bonus word that means “[a] figure of speech by which a part is put for the whole (as fifty sail for fifty ships), the whole for a part (as society forhigh society), the species for the genus (as cutthroat for assassin), the genus for the species (as a creature for a man), or the name of the material for the thing made (as boards for stage),” according to Merriam-Webster. Caden’s world and his work collide in his complicated relationships with the women around him: his ex Adele, played by Catherine Keener; her friend Maria, played by Jennifer Jason Leigh; his daughter Olive, played by Robin Weigert; his wife Claire, played by Michelle Williams. Subplots and intertwining relationships unpack themselves like Russian nested dolls.