Author Topic: Alexander Payne  (Read 16778 times)

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Stefen

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Re: Alexander Payne
« Reply #60 on: March 16, 2010, 03:47:29 AM »
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Election is funny as fuck.
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72teeth

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Re: Alexander Payne
« Reply #61 on: March 16, 2010, 03:49:00 AM »
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and Citizen Ruth is a 90's gem
but i admit, Schmidt is way over rated
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matt35mm

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Re: Alexander Payne
« Reply #62 on: March 16, 2010, 03:55:49 AM »
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 :(  I love About Schmidt.  It's one of my favorites.

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Re: Alexander Payne
« Reply #63 on: March 16, 2010, 03:59:06 AM »
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Schmidt is a film I thought I wasn't particularly into whilst first watching it, until the final moments, which are really something special. Returning to it recently having not seen it for years, I found I was quietly impressed by the whole thing. If there are real problems with it they're tonal, and that's something that can iron itself out on repeat viewings because you're not so surprised by the shifts.

Also, I think the most perfect thing Payne has made is the final segment of Paris Je T'aime.
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Gold Trumpet

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Re: Alexander Payne
« Reply #64 on: March 16, 2010, 04:35:16 AM »
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About Schmidt is deadpan comedy, but my problem has always been that Payne insists in the comedy carrying over in obvious ways because the tone, composition and everything else just exasperates the good performance Jack Nicholson gives. You notice the intention of the scene's comedy before noticing the comedy itself. I think if the film found more gears and ways to tell the story I would have liked it better, but the over pronouncement of the theme is just too much for me. Sideways is much more restrained and even handed, but it also has a story that facilitates more story and levels of facetious human despair.

Election is still a funny comedy, but it's like Rushmore and more funny in terms of generality. Never saw Citizen Ruth.

matt35mm

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Re: Alexander Payne
« Reply #65 on: March 16, 2010, 04:45:46 AM »
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Schmidt is a film I thought I wasn't particularly into whilst first watching it, until the final moments, which are really something special. Returning to it recently having not seen it for years, I found I was quietly impressed by the whole thing. If there are real problems with it they're tonal, and that's something that can iron itself out on repeat viewings because you're not so surprised by the shifts.

It has indeed become one of my favorites through repeated viewings.  I don't recall ever feeling like there were any problems with the tone.  It mixes tones, which is perfectly fine.  I don't know if we're talking about the same thing, but the slower, somewhat ridiculous meditative moments when we're alone with Warren Schmidt mirrors how he sees himself and I think it's represented well through the tone.  That tone is of course interrupted by outside events, and that the film should shift into a broader comedic tone feels uncomfortable but appropriate.

I liked it right away, largely because Warren Schmidt is a lot like my dad and it's scary and hilarious how well Nicholson nailed that.  It also spoke to my fear that I'll fuck everything up between now and age 70 and end up as pathetic and alone as Warren.  That's how I initially responded to the film, but subsequent viewings have been rich with discovery regarding the way that Warren understands the world and absorbs what is happening around him.  Everything that he does, from plot-moving decisions to subtle interactions with his environment, really strike me as something that's silly and honest (definitely not mutually exclusive things to be).  I relate to him probably more than I should care to admit, in sort of the way that I see myself in my father sometimes, really in all the ways that I'm trying to run away from, because I don't want to be like my dad or Warren in most ways.

Anyway, a lot of what draws me into it is quite personal, and the film has so many moments that evoke thoughts of my deepest fears.  When I think about them and then re-watch the film, I see that those things are THERE in the film; I'm not just making them up in my head.  So it's one of my favorites and one that I will re-watch from time to time for the rest of my life, I think.  I also think it's really hilarious.

About Schmidt is deadpan comedy, but my problem has always been that Payne insists in the comedy carrying over in obvious ways because the tone, composition and everything else just exasperates the good performance Jack Nicholson gives.

I feel like the tone, composition, and everything else mirrors Warren Schmidt's view of himself and thus supports his performance.  At times it draws you in, but at other times it distances us from Warren, all in ways that I thought helped me to get a fuller view of this man.  Watching the film allows me the opportunity to relate to the guy, feel sorry for him, feel like him, laugh at him, etc.  Nicholson's performance supports all of that.  I confess that when I think about the film, I am mostly interested in this character, and not particularly concerned with the storytelling.  Whether the tone and composition and music and pacing is great for the story, I don't know--I feel like it's at least adequate--but it works very well for me in terms of circling this character and really taking a look at him.

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Re: Alexander Payne
« Reply #66 on: March 17, 2010, 01:26:28 AM »
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Also, I think the most perfect thing Payne has made is the final segment of Paris Je T'aime.

absolutely agree with this.
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Alexandro

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Re: Alexander Payne
« Reply #67 on: March 17, 2010, 01:45:04 AM »
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Election is brilliant: it works as political satire and as a high school comedy. Witherspoon will apparently never be this funny or perfect for any role. This is a role and performance that suggested a kind of Johnny Depp inclination in her. She hasn't followed that inclination.

Schmidt at first wasn't very impressive to me. It wasn't too funny or misanthropic as Election, but then it wasn't effective as a drama either. This was my initial reaction. Years later I saw it again and was blown away by it, halfway through I started crying. I have seen it a couple more times and it always gets better.

The Perineum Falcon

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Re: Alexander Payne
« Reply #68 on: March 17, 2010, 08:13:31 AM »
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Also, I think the most perfect thing Payne has made is the final segment of Paris Je T'aime.

absolutely agree with this.
Me too. The 14th was where I stayed for 5 weeks, and I always tear up just a little when she's sitting on THAT bench in THAT park and describing EXACTLY what i felt 5 years ago....

:cry: oh jeez....
We often went to the cinema, the screen would light up and we would tremble, but also, increasingly often, Madeleine and I were disappointed. The images had dated, they jittered, and Marilyn Monroe had gotten terribly old. We were sad, this wasn't the film we had dreamed of, this wasn't the total film that we all carried around inside us, this film that we would have wanted to make, or, more secretly, no doubt, that we would have wanted to live.

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Re: Alexander Payne
« Reply #69 on: November 18, 2010, 11:09:29 PM »
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'Wilson' Lands At Fox Searchlight With Alexander Payne
By MIKE FLEMING; Deadline Hollywood
 
EXCLUSIVE: Fox Searchlight has made a deal for Wilson, a Dan Clowes-created graphic novel that the author will adapt as a potential directing vehicle for Alexander Payne. Payne's Ad Hominem will produce with Josh Donen, on behalf of Sam Raimi's Stars Road. Wilson tells the story of an opinionated middle-aged loner who loves his dog and maybe nobody else and who begins a quest to find human connection with his ex-wife. You know that can't end well.

Clowes adapted his graphic novel into the Terry Zwigoff-directed Ghost World, and his comic creations include  the anthology Eightball. Clowes turned one of those stories into the 2006 film Art School Confidential, which Zwigoff also directed. Mr. Wonderful, the next graphic novel by Clowes, will be published by Pantheon next April. He's repped by UTA, Payne by CAA.
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Re: Alexander Payne
« Reply #70 on: January 18, 2011, 01:45:06 PM »
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Exclusive: Alexander Payne’s Next Film Will Be ‘Nebraska’
Source: The Playlist

It’s been almost seven years since Alexander Payne released his critically acclaimed road trip drama “Sideways” in 2004. The film earned four Academy Award nominations (including one win for Best Adapted Screenplay) and that helped put Fox Searchlight on the map paving the way for future success with films like “Little Miss Sunshine,” “Juno” and “Slumdog Millionaire.”

Now with his upcoming drama “The Descendants” essentially complete from a post-production perspective, Payne is looking towards his next project which will shoot later this year. Titled “Nebraska,” and set up over at Paramount, the picture is finally getting off the ground after some six odd years of sitting in Payne’s queue waiting for the right opportunity to be made. Centering on a father and son dynamic, “Nebraska” is about an aging alcoholic father who thinks he’s won a million dollar Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes prize. He is unbowed when his family tries to dissaude him from making the long trip from Montana to Nebraska to cash in his winnings. So his estranged 20-something son—who doesn’t believe the ticket is a winner—is forced to go along with him for the ride to keep him out of trouble, providing an opportunity to bond with his father after years of separation.

Written by Robert Nelson, the script was brought to Payne circa 2004 by Bona Fide producers Alex Berger and Ron Yerxa (the team behind “Little Children,” “Election,” “Little Miss Sunshine”) in the days when Paramount Vantage was known as Paramount Classics (both have since been swallowed up into Paramount proper). Payne immediately responded to the screenplay, but had just come off “Sideways” and “About Schmidt” and wanted to put some distance between himself and road-trip tales which he had just tackled back-to-back. However, Payne is now retuning the script with Phil Johnston (the writer of the upcoming comedy “Cedar Rapids” which Payne produced with his longtime Ad Hominem partner Jim Taylor) and Yerxa tells us that the plan is to shoot the film in the late summer or early fall before “The Descendants” is released by Fox Searchlight.

While no actors have been cast the filmmakers have had some vague, very early ideas of who they could envision in the role. One is coming off a semi-hit doc-mockumentary (he’s an Affleck) and the other is potentially Robert Forster (”Jackie Brown”) for the father role who is also in “The Descendants,” but no deals are in place for either actor and Yerxa stresses that true casting and audtions won’t begin until much later in the year when Payne is satisfied with the script. “Casting is still wide open,” Yerxa said. “Alexander can’t cast an actor until he’s read for the part and he knows he’s exactly right for it.”

So the what does that mean for “Downsizing,” the high-concept and ambitious dystopian satire screenplay Payne wrote about a world that miniaturizes humans to combat against overpopulation, excessive waste and global warning? Jim Taylor at Ad Hominem tell us while budgeting was a concern, technical issues were also a reason the film was temporarily delayed (yes, its still in the queue for later down the road). So after a six-year drought, Alexander Payne is virtually making back to back films, which definitely has us excited.

We’re told “The Descendants” is eyeing a late fall, possibly early winter release from Fox Searchlight and we wouldn’t be surprised if it turns up at TIFF to begin its awards season run. It’s been too long since we last had a Payne full-length film on the big screen but we’re not only glad that he’s back, but that he’s busier than ever.


MacGuffin

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Re: Alexander Payne
« Reply #71 on: October 19, 2011, 08:06:57 AM »
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Alexander Payne Calls ‘Downsizing’ His “Epic Masterpiece”; Says ‘Nebraska’ Could Be In Color For TV
But Says ‘Downsizing’ May Have To Wait Two More Films

Source: The Playlist

Not only is Alexander Payne back with his first feature film in seven years, “The Descendants,” he’s once again going to be one of the major players of the awards season. Moreover, he doesn’t intend for there be another lengthy gap between pictures. He’s already putting the pieces together for his low budget, father/son road trip drama “Nebraska.” Granted, his aim to deliver the film to theaters in black-and-white means that Paramount is only giving him $10 million to play with, and greenlighting the film will be contingent upon getting a major star to sign on (Gene Hackman, Robert Forster, Jack Nicholson and Robert Duvall are some of the candidates being tossed around). However, as he begins to navigate the press gauntlet in the run up to “The Descendants,” Payne spoke with Thompson On Hollywood and revealed that his long absence from movie screens was due to the “time suck” of his long gestating project “Downsizing”—something he still hopes to make—and that he’s willing to play ball with the studio and deliver a color cut of “Nebraska,” if required, for television.

To rewind a bit, when “Downsizing” was first announced, it was easily—and still is—the most ambitious project Payne has ever attempted to tackle. A high-concept social satire, the film was to star Paul Giamatti and Reese Witherspoon as a married couple who are low on money and decide they can have a much nicer life retiring as little people. Witherspoon’s character decides to pull out at the last minute, leaving Giamatti as the sole tiny person in the relationship. But wait, there’s more. Sacha Baron Cohen was lined up to play two roles, a pint-sized Spaniard and his normal-sized twin brother and business partner. Financing initially put the project on hold, and then “The Descendants” came along and took priority, but when Payne returns to “Downsizing,” he will have learned his lesson from the first time around about how much prep work needs to be done in terms of the digital effects required for the film.

Describing the film as “expensive,” Payne says that it’s “a large canvas, science-fiction social satire” that he describes as an “epic masterpiece” that he co-wrote with frequent collaborator Jim Taylor. But it will have to wait a bit, as the project likely won’t get moving again until after “Nebraska.”

”[It’s] still going to be a couple years away,” Payne said. “I’m so anxious to just shoot movies now, just regular human old films, I want to do about two more [films] before I enter that time suck of pre-visualization and visual effects and all that kind of stuff. I just want to shoot.”

And the next movie to get his attention will indeed be “Nebraska.” In development by Payne since 2004, the story centers on an aging alcoholic father who thinks he’s won a million dollar Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes prize. He is unbowed when his family tries to dissuade him from making the long trip from Montana to Nebraska to cash in his winnings. So his estranged 20-something son—who doesn’t believe the ticket is a winner—is forced to go along with him for the ride to keep him out of trouble, in an opportunity to bond with his father after years of separation. And while Payne is insistent on delivering his movie in black-and-white, a format which many mainstream audiences shun away from just as they shirk from subtitles, he’s not going to pull a Woody Allen (who demanded the aspect ratio and format for “Manhattan” be maintained for all TV showings), but instead remain flexible so the studio can more easily sell it to networks.

Admitting that going monochrome comes with a heavy sacrifice on the budget, he says, “...it’ll be black and white for theatrical, DVD and streaming. If they need a color version for their TV output deals, they will have it.”

But Payne is more than aware that in the era of tentpole/toy/comic book/franchise moviemaking, it’s getting harder and harder to get dramas made. “I had dinner about a year ago with a venerable older director and his wife. And I told them what sort of film I was making, and they said, ‘You’re so lucky to be making a drama right now.’ Hollywood is not making dramas,” Payne states plainly. “It’s a genre which has fallen out of fashion, at least as far as the financiers/studios are considered. So, empirically, I don’t know. I’ll see what comes out this fall to verify if what they say is really true.”

So, show your support for mature, adult dramas when “The Descendants” hits theaters on November 18th.
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72teeth

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Re: Alexander Payne
« Reply #72 on: October 20, 2011, 02:11:47 AM »
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Oh My God, this guys just getting started and he's already high on my shortlist... im getting a boner  :oops:

pt must be... not quite spinning in his bed, but its a definite turn
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Pubrick

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Re: Alexander Payne
« Reply #73 on: October 20, 2011, 04:06:01 AM »
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Oh My God, this guys just getting started and he's already high on my shortlist... im getting a boner  :oops:

he might be just starting in terms of how many movies he's made but this guy is one of the oldest directors to be called a young up and comer since Altman in the 70s! it always struck me as weird when they included him in the brat pack of the late 90s. in fact, i think he made Citizen Ruth when he was in his mid-30s and didn't even get noticed until Election which was a few years after that. i actually admire the guy more for being a late bloomer than for any of his actual work.

i always tell myself, i'm way past being welles, i'm now past being kubrick/pta, at the rate i'm going i am just thankful that Alexander Payne didn't do shit until most people would be ready to throw in the towel. so i've got until 35 to make something of myself. and in the absolute worst case scenario, i pull out the kaufman card.


pt must be... not quite spinning in his bed, but its a definite turn

haha, great reference. dude is spinning in his kid's diapers right now, if anything. seriously did anyone ever bother to check if he was Irish? i guess we should all have expected him to have a big family considering his obsession with that theme in his films. like how kubrick could have been expected to be superhuman.
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theyarelegion

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Re: Alexander Payne
« Reply #74 on: October 21, 2011, 12:18:56 AM »
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how old are you Pubrick?

 

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