Skip directly to content

Film Series: ANOMALISA

Saturday, May 6, 2017 - 19:00 to 22:00
All day: 


With David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan
Directed by Duke Johnson & Charlie Kaufman, 2015
90 min
Discussant: Chip Hartranft

How May I Help You Help Them? is the title of a book by customer service industry guru, Michael Stone, and it is the topic of his forthcoming keynote at a CS convention in Cincinnati. It is Michael, though, who seems to need help the most. Bored, barely capable of interpersonal connection, and beginning to perceive everyone around him as the same—even an old girlfriend the family man haltingly invites to the hotel bar for a drink—Stone stumbles through the synthetic world he’s helping to create. Isolated amidst his encounters with a parade of fitfully sincere service workers and monotonic settings, he comes across only one person who speaks to him in an authentic voice: the wounded but distinctive Lisa. Anomalisa is an increasingly surreal love story for adults, rendered in a unique style of stop-action puppet photography where the seams and joints are not only visible but somehow part of the point. Artificial though they appear, Michael and Lisa move each other deeply (and us as well)—particularly when things become awkwardly, touchingly sexual. Winner of every major animated film award including an Oscar and Golden Globe, Anomalisa is a one-of-a-kind work of art—antic, entertaining, uncomfortable, and ultimately revelatory in its no-strings account of our human need to connect.


About the Film Series:

Each evening, a film addressing key elements of Buddhist psychology will be shown, followed by a presentation and a discussion moderated by a faculty member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy and Chip Hartranft, Director of the Arlington Center. Read more here: