Wednesday, February 04, 2015

The Auteurs #41: Noah Baumbach

One of the new voices to emerge in the mid-1990s as an alternative to the era of Quentin Tarantino, Noah Baumbach is a filmmaker that plays by his own rules as he makes film about people dealing with changes in their lives. While he had gained promise from his first feature film in 1995’s Kicking and Screaming, his career would come to a halt following a couple of back-to-back disappointing features where many thought he had disappeared. Instead, Baumbach came back with a vengeance as he would continuously create films that played into young adults adjusting to changes as well as maintain an independent voice against the backdrop of mainstream cinema.

Born on September 3, 1969, Noah Baumbach was the third of four children to novelist/film critic Jonathan Baumbach and the revered Village Voice critic Georgia Brown in Brooklyn, New York. Throughout his early life, he and his siblings was surrounded by the world of high culture in films, books, and art while the young Noah would make his own explorations into the mainstream films that were around him as a child. It was around this time that the young Baumbach would also experience an event that would shape his work when his parents divorced. In 1987, Baumbach graduated at the Midwood High School in Brooklyn which led him to attend Vassar where he would get a BA in English four years later as would spend some time working for The New Yorker magazine as a messenger. It was during those years as a post-graduate where Baumbach would create material for what would be his first feature film.

More can be read here at Cinema Axis.

© thevoid99 2015


Anonymous said...

I'm a fan of his work, but he's hit or, I either really love it, or it feels forced and 'too self aware' for it's own good.

But he should always work with Gerwig. She brings out the best in him.

Wendell Ottley said...

Of his work I've only seen Frances Ha. I didn't like it near as much as everyone else seems to. That said, I'm looking forward to While We're Young.

thevoid99 said...

@Fisti-I think his work with Gerwig so far has been his best while Kicking and Screaming and The Squid & the Whale are among some of his finest works in terms of exploration of adulthood.

@Wendell Ottley-See Kicking and Screaming and The Squid & the Whale which I think are some of his best work though I think Frances Ha is his crowning achievement.

Ruth said...

Baumbach is another director whose work I still need to check out. That's interesting that both of his parents are film critics, hmmm I wonder how they feel about their son's film if they were still actively reviewing films ;)

thevoid99 said...

@ruth-Well, that is an interesting question. Though I bet they squirmed over The Squid & the Whale because it was about them.