At the press conference after the Cannes premiere of Synecdoche, New York, Charlie Kaufman’s feature directing debut, the screenwriter who hatched Being John Malkovich, Adaptation and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind looked understandably nervous. From the first question, asking why on earth he put a word in his title that most American won’t be able to pronounce, never mind understand, he was on the defensive. Synecdoche, in case you slept through that English class, is a figure of speech in which a part stands for a whole. It rhymes with the New York town of Schenectady—hence play on words in the title.
Here’s a video glimpse of the press conference, featuring Kaufman, Michelle Williams, Emily Mortimer, Catherine Keener and Philip Seymour Hoffman (rhymes with Kaufman). This is Michelle Williams’ first public appearance since the death of Heath Ledger