I feel as if I already know too much about mad metaphysical screenwriter Charlie Kaufman’s directorial debut. With Kaufman’s films, I like to know almost nothing before going in; he warps expectations at every turn, and when I have specific ideas about not only the genre or story framework he’s using, but specifically what he might be doing to/with it, well…it gets messy.

I definitely have expectations now about Synecdoche, NY. Like the city set the main character builds inside a warehouse, the scope of the film appears huge. In at least one shot, the warehouse itself could be something out of Alien, or even 2001. And yet, in another shot, there’s a guy spraypainting ‘Miller Time’ on an exterior wall. Watching a few more times, I wonder to what extent this is Kaufman’s 8 1/2, a supposition that comes not only from the meta aspect of using a creative process to represent a life, but from the great variety of interesting women that populate the film. (Or, with Philip Seymour Hoffman aging so dramatically throughout the film, will we think more of Benjamin Button once both are released?) And if Kaufman is already feeling the depth of angst intimated here (Adaptation already seemed deep enough) where’s he going to end up in another decade?

See the trailer in various definitions at Yahoo.