Synecdoche, New York

Synecdoche, New York (USA, 2008, 124 mins.) [Second showing on Thursday starts at 9:30PM instead of 9:15PM]   Synecdoche, which means the use of a part to refer to the whole, represents the attempt by a wounded theater director and tortured artist (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman) to discover that big picture of which he is a part. Deteriorating health and troubled relationships with his wife and daughter increase the urgency of his quest. With surreal techniques that bend time and defy logic, filmmaker and writer Charlie Kaufman plots a zigzag course of creativity, setbacks, and discovery spanning a biography of forty years and taking the director from his home in aptly named Schenectady, New York to Berlin and New York City. He learns that life is like theater (or to employ synecdoche, the stage), and that being alive means both directing and acting. It isn’t always easy, but the show must go on.