Aesthetics for Birds

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

Kate Manne on Charlie Kaufman


This is entry #79 in our ongoing 100 Philosophers, 100 Artworks, 100 Words Series.

Philosopher: Kate Manne, Cornell University

Artwork: I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020), film written and directed by Charlie Kaufman

Words: This was a work that moved me recently. Without giving too much away, it is a powerful reflection on the way people in general, and women in particular, often live on as projections of a fantasized interiority that is gratifying to a man with whom they had but the briefest exchange. The film is also a meditation on the incoherence, desperation, and fatuousness of such fantasies—the female protagonist blows them a raspberry. Nor does it let its anti-hero off the hook in the end. 

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