BEING JOHN MALKOVICH gets the Criterion treatment
In 1999, Filmmaker Spike Jonze and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman took movie audiences on a new kind of existential adventure with Being John Malkovich.
The film tells the tale of Craig Schwartz (John Cusack) a poor puppeteer who, needing some extra money, applies for a file clerk job at LesterCorp. There he meets a sexy tease named Maxine (Catherine Keener) who he immediately falls in love with. One day Craig discovers what seems to be an attic door behind one of the office cabinets. When he opens it to see whats inside he finds himself transported into the mind of the famous actor John Malkovich! After experiencing the world through Malkovich’s eyes for a certain amount of time, Craig is then ejected out of nowhere onto the New Jersey turnpike. Unable to put a handle on what’s just happened, but knowing it is one of the most amazing journeys anyone could experience, Craig sees it as a perfect way to make a lot of money. He quickly partners with Maxine and they make the John Malkovich portal into a kind of amusement park ride for anyone interested. When Craig’s girlfriend Lotte (Cameron Diaz) a frizzy haired frump (whose main concern is taking care of their pet monkey) also falls for Maxine and the two women begin a relationship, Craig is driven to madness. Meanwhile, John Malkovich is being used as Craig’s human puppet and when the master actor finally catches on to what’s happening, things get even more out of control!
What’s so great about Being John Malkovich is the fact it is one of the most interesting works of cinema from modern times with a concept that is so absurd, yet highly entertaining and very unique. Combining fantasy, dark comedy, puppeteering, John Malkovich and a cast of eccentric personalities, it’s just a wild cinematic excursion to places you definitely haven’t been before. Thanks to Criterion, the film has been now been remastered in high-definition and comes packed with extra features that fans of this cult classic will surely enjoy every minute of!
• New, restored digital transfer, supervised by director Spike Jonze, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack
• New selected-scene audio commentary featuring Jonze’s friend and competitor the filmmaker Michel Gondry
• New behind-the-scenes documentary by filmmaker Lance Bangs
• New conversation between actor John Malkovich and humorist John Hodgman
• New interview with Jonze in which he discusses his on-set photos
• Two films within the film: 71/2 Floor Orientation and “American Arts & Culture” Presents John Horatio Malkovich: “Dance of Despair and Disillusionment”
• An Intimate Portrait of the Art of Puppeteering, a documentary by Bangs
• Trailer and TV spots
• PLUS: A booklet featuring a conversation between Jonze and pop-culture critic Perkus Tooth