Monday, April 22, 2013

Dept. of Next Chapters

Here is a fantastic New Yorker profile of Noah Baumbach. Baumbach's personal and creative relationship with Greta Gerwig is the spine of the article, but if (like me) you're a Baumabach fan from way back you'll want to read this for the context it gives to certain received ideas about the director regarding his personality and the autobiographical nature of his work. Baumbach has a number of projects in the offing, including an animated film, but the biggest surprise in his resume is that he is a credited co-writer of Madagascar 3. Watch the trailer for Baumbach and Gerwig's forthcoming Frances Ha here.
Baumbach described “Frances Ha” as a more even collaboration than past ones, in which he’d either supported someone else’s vision (Anderson) or asked others to support his (Leigh). Gerwig recalled worrying that if she acted in “Frances Ha” people wouldn’t believe that she really co-wrote it; because of the improvisation in her past, “It would be ‘He shot her while she was talking and gave her a credit.’ ” A writing partner who deepens someone’s work even as she lightens it does not want to be mistaken for a director’s muse, like the actresses who inspired Bogdanovich, Woody Allen, or John Cassavetes. When we talked in New York, Gerwig said, “Noah’s a realist and pragmatist, and he sees things without adornment. Which is helpful for someone writing about how people actually are and how they feel. For me, I feel like the adornment sometimes is what is true.” Gerwig occasionally goes to church. “Noah says, ‘You do that because you’re a guilty person.’ ” She laughed. “No, I think I do it because it connects me with a story that I don’t think is true, but I think is somehow resonant. Everything doesn’t have to be true to have power.”

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