Charlie Kaufman

Confessions of an Original Mind

by Doreen Alexander Child


Charlie Kaufman is one of the few screenwriters moviegoers recognize by name. He was ranked on Premiere's Power 100 list and in 2004 was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of all time. The Oscar-winning Kaufman is known for quirky, innovative stories that set him apart from his Hollywood brethren.

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Cover image for Charlie Kaufman

July 2010


Pages 168
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Popular Culture/Film

This revealing study looks at the influences and creative impulses that shape one of today’s most progressive, thoughtful filmmakers.

Charlie Kaufman got his start in television, but it was his first film, the eccentric Being John Malkovich, that won notice for his unique storytelling style. With the aid of a plethora of contributions from those with whom the writer has worked, Charlie Kaufman: Confessions of an Original Mind presents the intriguing story of that movie and others as it examines one of the most innovative voices in modern film.

This exhaustive study of Kaufman's life and work is organized chronologically to cover his early influences as well as his most-recent ventures. Highlights include explorations of Kaufman's collaboration with Being John Malkovich director Spike Jonze—who stood him up for their first meeting—and the writer's conflict with George Clooney (about whom Kaufman says, "I can tell you that George Clooney is my least favorite person"). There are analyses of Human Nature, Adaptation, and the hauntingly beautiful Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which led to an Academy Award. The book also studies Kaufman's sound plays for Theatre of the New Ear and his directorial debut, Synecdoche, New York.


  • Includes more than 20 original interviews with Charlie Kaufman's producers, cinematographers, editors, actors, and film crews
  • Provides a gallery of photographs from Kaufman's movies


  • Is the first book to provide an in-depth analysis of Kaufman's life and writing
  • Covers his early writing, breakout work for television, book adaptations, and original screenplays
  • Draws on the author's access to producers, filmmakers, and production supervisors to provide readers with a private pass into the behind-the-scenes process of translating Kaufman's writing to the big screen
Author Info

Doreen Alexander Child is the managing editor of CinemaEditor magazine. Her work has been published in newspapers and literary magazines, and she has produced independent films and a television pilot.

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