Download Alexander Payne: Interviews by Julie Levinson PDF

By Julie Levinson

Since 1996, Alexander Payne (b. 1961) has made six characteristic movies and a quick phase of an omnibus motion picture. even though his physique of labor is quantitatively small, it's qualitatively striking. His video clips have garnered quite a few accolades and awards, together with Academy Awards for top tailored Screenplay. As multiple interviewer during this quantity issues out, he continues a magnificent and unbroken profitable streak. Payne’s tales of human strivings and follies, along his mastery of the craft of filmmaking, mark him as a modern auteur of unusual accomplishment.

In this primary compilation of his interviews, Payne finds himself as a charming conversationalist to boot. The discussions accumulated the following diversity from 1996, presently after the discharge of his first movie, Citizen Ruth, to the 2013 debut of his movie, Nebraska. Over his profession, he muses on many matters together with his personal inventive techniques, his dedication to telling character-centered tales, and his abiding admiration for video clips and administrators from throughout many years of movie history.

Critics describe Payne as one of many few modern filmmakers who continually manages to dollar the present development towards bombastic blockbusters. just like the Nineteen Seventies director-driven cinema that he cherishes, his motion pictures are small-scale personality experiences that be able to continue a fragile stability among sharp satire and real poignancy.

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I don’t give a shit about “liking” a lead character. I just want to be interested in him or her. You also have to make the distinction between liking a character as a person and liking a character as a character. I mean, I don’t know whether I like Alex in A Clockwork Orange or Michael Corleone in The Godfather as people, but I adore them as characters. Besides, “liking” is so subjective anyway. So many American movies of the eighties and early nineties bent over backwards to make the protagonists “likable” in a completely fraudulent way, and I detested them.

And I said the movie it’s going to be most like is probably Citizen Ruth. Nocenti: Even though it’s a comedy, you paint a very realistic portrait of high school, with the dull hallways and the inane rituals. Payne: That’s just who we are as filmmakers. Whatever we would be exploring, we would do research and try to achieve great verisimilitude. [laughs] I just wanted to use that word. Nocenti: Alexander, I read somewhere that your junior high school was blown away by a tornado. Was that fuel for the movie?

Payne: Yeah, just after we’d cut the film and previewed it, Jim and I were then given an opportunity to come up with a new ending if we wanted to. So Jim and I just holed up in a hotel for a week and thought, if this were an original, what would we have come up with? Nocenti: Why are endings so hard—is it because life doesn’t end? Payne: Certainly in our case, yes. ” And even Citizen Ruth, while having a seemingly victorious ending, also says, quietly—but she’s going to turn that corner and take drugs again.

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