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Synecdoche, New York (2008) Poster

Quotes

Pastor: Everything is more complicated than you think. You only see a tenth of what is true. There are a million little strings attached to every choice you make; you can destroy your life every time you choose. But maybe you won't know for twenty years. And you may never ever trace it to its source. And you only get one chance to play it out. Just try and figure out your own divorce. And they say there is no fate, but there is: it's what you create. And even though the world goes on for eons and eons, you are only here for a fraction of a fraction of a second. Most of your time is spent being dead or not yet born. But while alive, you wait in vain, wasting years, for a phone call or a letter or a look from someone or something to make it all right. And it never comes or it seems to but it doesn't really. And so you spend your time in vague regret or vaguer hope that something good will come along. Something to make you feel connected, something to make you feel whole, something to make you feel loved. And the truth is I feel so angry, and the truth is I feel so fucking sad, and the truth is I've felt so fucking hurt for so fucking long and for just as long I've been pretending I'm OK, just to get along, just for, I don't know why, maybe because no one wants to hear about my misery, because they have their own. Well, fuck everybody. Amen.

Caden Cotard: I will be dying and so will you, and so will everyone here. That's what I want to explore. We're all hurtling towards death, yet here we are for the moment, alive. Each of us knowing we're going to die, each of us secretly believing we won't

[over radio]

Millicent Weems: What was once before you - an exciting, mysterious future - is now behind you. Lived; understood; disappointing. You realize you are not special. You have struggled into existence, and are now slipping silently out of it. This is everyone's experience. Every single one. The specifics hardly matter. Everyone's everyone. So you are Adele, Hazel, Claire, Olive. You are Ellen. All her meager sadnesses are yours; all her loneliness; the gray, straw-like hair; her red raw hands. It's yours. It is time for you to understand this.

Millicent Weems: Walk.

Millicent Weems: As the people who adore you stop adoring you; as they die; as they move on; as you shed them; as you shed your beauty; your youth; as the world forgets you; as you recognize your transience; as you begin to lose your characteristics one by one; as you learn there is no-one watching you, and there never was, you think only about driving - not coming from any place; not arriving any place. Just driving, counting off time. Now you are here, at 7:43. Now you are here, at 7:44. Now you are...

Millicent Weems: Gone.

Caden Cotard: I know how to do it now. There are nearly thirteen million people in the world. None of those people is an extra. They're all the leads of their own stories. They have to be given their due.

[last lines]

Caden Cotard: I know what to do with this play now. I have an idea. I think...

Millicent Weems: [voice over] Die.

Hazel: The end is built into the beginning.

Caden Cotard: I wanted to ask you, how old are kids when they start to write?

Madeleine Gravis: Listen, there's an absolutely brilliant novel written by a four year old.

Caden Cotard: Really?

Madeleine Gravis: 'Little Winky" by Horace Azpiazu.

Caden Cotard: That's cute.

Madeleine Gravis: Hardly, Litty Winky is a virulent anti-Semite. The story follows his initiation into the klan, his immersion in the pornographic snuff industry, and his ultimate degradation at the hands of a black ex-convict named Eric Washington Jackson Jones Johnson...

Caden Cotard: -Written by a four year old?

Madeleine Gravis: -Jefferson.

Caden Cotard: Wow, written by a four year old.

Madeleine Gravis: Well Azpiazu killed himself when he was five.

Caden Cotard: Why did he kill himself?

Madeleine Gravis: I don't know, why did you?

Caden Cotard: What?

Madeleine Gravis: I said, 'Why would you?'

Sammy Barnathan: I've watched you forever, Caden, but you've never really looked at anyone other than yourself. So watch me. Watch my heart break. Watch me jump. Watch me learn that after death there's nothing. There's no more watching. There's no more following. No love. Say goodbye to Hazel for me. And say it to yourself, too. None of us has much time.

Adele Lack: Everyone is disappointing the more you know them.

Sammy Barnathan: I don't have a resume, or a picture. I've never worked as an actor.

Caden Cotard: Good. Tell me why you're here.

Sammy Barnathan: Well I've been... I've been following you for twenty years. So I knew about this audition because I follow you. And I've learned everything about you by following you. So hire me. And you'll see who you truly are. Peek-a-boo. Okay... Hazel, I don't think we need to talk to anyone else, this guy has me down. I'm going to cast him right now. And then maybe you and I can get a drink and we can try and figure out this thing between us. Why I cried... Because I've never felt about anybody the way I feel about you. And I want to fuck you until we merge into a Chimera, a mythical beast of penis and vagina, eternally fused, two pairs of eyes that look only at each other, and lips, ever touching, and one voice that whispers to itself.

Caden Cotard: Okay. You got the part.

Hazel: I like it. I do! I'm - I'm just really concerned about dying in the fire.

Burning House Realtor: It's a big decision - how one prefers to die.

Millicent Weems: Caden Cotard is a man already dead, living in a half-world between stasis and antistasis. Time is concentrated and chronology confused for him. Up until recently he has strived valiantly to make sense of his situation, but now he has turned to stone.

Millicent Weems: [voice over] Now it is waiting and nobody cares. And when your wait is over this room will still exist and it will continue to hold shoes and dress and boxes and maybe someday another waiting person. And maybe not. The room doesn't care either.

Olive: Dear diary, I'm afraid I'm gravely ill. It is perhaps times like these that one reflects on things past. An article of clothing from when I was young. A green jacket. I walk with my father. A game we once played. Pretend we're faeries. I'm a girl faerie. My name is Laura Lee. And you're a boy faerie. Your name is Tita Lee. Pretend, when we're faeries we fight each other, and I say "Stop hitting me I'll die!" And you hit me again and I say, "Now I have to die." And then you say, "But I'll miss you." And I say, "But I have to. And you'll have to wait a million years to see me again. And I'll be put in a box, and all I'll need is a tiny glass of water and lots of tiny pieces of pizza and the box will have wings like an airplane." And you'll ask, "Where will it take you?" "Home." I say.

Caden Cotard: I won't settle for anything less than the brutal truth. Brutal. Brutal. Each day I'll hand you a paper, it'll tell you what happened to you that day. You felt a lump in your breast. You looked at your wife and saw a stranger, et cetera.

Needleman Actor: Caden?

Caden Cotard: What?

Needleman Actor: When are we gonna get an audience in here? It's been seventeen years.

Caden Cotard: All right, I'm not excusing myself from this either. I will have someone play me, to delve into the murky, cowardly depths of my lonely, fucked-up being. And he'll get notes too, and those notes will correspond to the notes I truly receive every day from my god! Get to work!

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Caden Cotard: Try to keep in mind that a young person playing Willie Loman thinks he's only pretending to be at the end of a life full of despair. But the tragedy is that we know that you, the young actor will end up in this very place of desolation.

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Caden Cotard: My father died. They said his body was riddled with cancer and that he didn't know, he went in because his finger hurt. They said he suffered horribly, and that he called out for me before he died. They said that he said he regretted his life. They said he said a lot of things, too many to recount, and they said it was the longest and the saddest deathbed speech any of them had ever heard.

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Caden Cotard: Hazel, you've been a part of me forever. Don't you know that? I breathe your name in every exhalation.

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Tammy: I feel ok, mostly... fucking might help.

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Sammy Barnathan: Why did we leave Adele, Caden?

Caden Cotard: She left us. Nobody knows that better than you. Except me.

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Claire Keen: Knowing that you don't know is the first and most essential step to knowing, you know?

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Maria: It's all about your artistic satisfaction, Caden.

Caden Cotard: You're stoned.

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Caden Cotard: I didn't jump, Sammy! A man stopped me before I jumped! Get up! I didn't jump.

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Caden Cotard: I know how to do the play now. It will all take place over the course of one day. And that day will be the day before you died. That day was the happiest day of my life. Then I'll be able to live it forever. See you soon.

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Caden Cotard: [Giving a stage direction] People don't walk like that.

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Adult Olive: I need to forgive you before I die... but I can't forgive someone who has not asked for forgiveness.

Caden Cotard: I just want...

Adult Olive: I have no time. I need you to ask for forgiveness.

Caden Cotard: Can you ever forgive me?

Adult Olive: For what?

Caden Cotard: For abandoning you.

Adult Olive: For abandoning you to have anal sex with my homosexual lover, Eric.

Caden Cotard: I will, I'll say it... For abandoning you... to have anal sex with my homosexual lover, Eric.

Adult Olive: No...

[Starts crying]

Adult Olive: No, I'm sorry. I cannot...

[Dies]

Maria: I hope you are happy, faggot.

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Caden Cotard: I don't think you should tell her she doesn't have blood...

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Caden Cotard: I breathe your name on every exhalation.

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Caden Cotard: I wish we had this when we were young. And all those years in between.

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Caden Cotard: Was my father standing with us at the funeral?

Tammy: I don't know what he looks like.

Caden Cotard: He's dead. So he looks dead I guess.

Tammy: Hmm. Probably wasn't him then.

Caden Cotard: He was a big guy.

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Caden Cotard: I don't menstruate, so I don't know how I could smell like I'm menstruating.

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Millicent Weems: Glad to be weirdly close.

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Caden Cotard: I don't know what I'm doing.

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Hazel: Sammy's fun!

Caden Cotard: I'm fun!

Hazel: Oh honey, no you're not.

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Caden Cotard: I think I have blood in my stool.

Adele Lack: [barely awake] That stool in your office?

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Caden Cotard: Can you step out for a while?

Plumber: Go ahead, I've seen boy parts.

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