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FilmStubs: Being John Malkovich (1999)

A puppeteer discovers a portal that leads literally into the head of movie star John Malkovich. (R, 113 min.)


Wednesday, June 5, 2024

7:00 PM

The FilmStubs series is Free and made possible by a grant from Friends of the Library.
For more Springfield-Greene County Library events click here.

Have you ever wanted to be someone else? Or, more specifically, have you ever wanted to crawl through a portal hidden in an anonymous office building and thereby enter the cerebral cortex of John Malkovich for fifteen minutes, before being spat out on the side of the New Jersey Turnpike? Then director Spike Jonze and writer Charlie Kaufman have the movie for you. Melancholy marionettes, office drudgery, a frizzy-haired Cameron Diaz—but that’s not all! Surrealism, possession, John Cusack, a domesticated primate, Freud, Catherine Keener, non sequiturs, and absolutely no romance! But wait: get your Being John Malkovich now and we’ll throw in emasculation, slapstick, Abelard and Heloise, and extra Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich!

Starring: John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener, John Malkovich
Director: Spike Jonze
Genre(s): Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

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"Devilishly inventive and so far out there it's almost off the scale."

— David Rooney, Variety

"It's clever, witty, dark and, most importantly, unwaveringly bizarre."

— Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune

"The beauty of the film is the way it elevates John Malkovich from an actor to an axiom."

— Chris Chang, Film Comment Magazine

"Kaufman and Jonze steer us through a truly twisted psychological and existential swamp."

— Adam Kempenaar, Filmspotting

"Being John Malkovich is a film of startling originality and creativity, a work of continual invention and hauntingly vivid imagery."

— Steven D. Greydanus, Decent Films

"Wonderfully inventive, wickedly funny, and thoughtful enough to keep your mind on full alert, it's a square peg in the round world of genre films."

— Rick Groen, Globe and Mail

"Fabulously funny and delightfully disturbed, 'Being John Malkovich'' is the ultimate voyeur movie, a dark and at times malevolent take on what it's like to be in someone else's skull, looking out."

— David Germain, Associated Press

"What an endlessly inventive movie this is! [Screenwriter Charlie Kaufman] supplies a stream of dazzling inventions, twists and wicked paradoxes. And the director, Spike Jonze, doesn't pounce on each one like fresh prey, but unveils it slyly."

— Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times