Noah Baumbach Digs Into A 'Marriage Story'

The Frame


It's the opening scene in the film ahead of a screening of marriage story at the telluride film festival this year and in front of a live audience. I spoke with driver. Just after Martin Scorsese presented him with a career. Honor driver was at telluride for marriage story and another upcoming movie the report in which he plays a US Senate investigator looking into this as use of torture after nine. Eleven driver explain what his relationships are like with directors. He's worked with multiple times and that list includes Jim Jarmusch and marriage story. Filmmaker Noah Baumbach. There's there's something that we are way of working. Our work ethic is similar in that. They don't take it for granted that we're making a movie. The has the potential to reach a plays that as far away and either give language to a culture. That's completely different than ours. And someone's paying a lot of money for us to be here right right now for this amount of time to do this thing that will last forever and labeled the feeling and how powerful that is why why take that for granted why show up and kind of wing it you know or not. Consider what it is. You're saying and that no detail is too who small now. Obviously there's traps and all of that that you can get so worked up in details that you're trying to control everything and don't leave room for you know something. That's more abstract with those people. They're brilliant writers and create a set an environment onset where you're free to You know all those things that hope from from people you're free to get it wrong and you're free to explore and but really don't take it for granted if I was trying to summarize summarize it which is kind of hard. They very much curated the people that they want to work with in front and behind the camera and you feel like as much as everything thing is both has meaning and as meaningless. You don't don't take it for granted and finding people that have your same work ethic gets a rare thing. I think I just repeated myself three times the best show of hands. How many people in telluride for the atom driver double feature marriage story and the report? Wow okay. That's about half a house as quick question without spoiling either film. I WanNa ask you about Dan. Jones and CIA's post nine eleven detention and interrogation program which a lot of people would call torture. They call it extreme rendition of the things. What would you say about that film going into it without giving it away about why? That movie spoke. Oh Q.. And why you thought it was something you wanted to do. I mean the topic is was something that I you know embarrassing. They didn't know anything about and I mean the original report is over six thousand thousand pages. The redacted version is just over five hundred and our script with one hundred thirty. How do you how do you tell that story as economically as possible astle but not without leaving the humanity out of it so that all of those things just an opportunity to potentially bring a topic to light that has been in the dark and that I was inspired by you? Hope there's people like that in a room alone toiling away for six years with no support trying to trying to make a difference and that relationship with something that you've grown up with thinking that you can trust and suddenly you know you have to not only do you feel like you're trying to make a moral judgment for the country but internally as well they all those the reasons why I want to do it you were recently doing. Burn this and I'm wondering when you're doing it play and then going. Lean into film or television. What are the things that you might miss retain as an actor? WHO's doing a show in front of a different audience every night when you're not able oh to replicate that on a film set yeah? It's a totally different thing. It's I working with Mila. For example he likes to do a lot of takes and that actually feels more familiar to working on out of play because the lines of the lines. There's no there's no Improv. This is what it is blocking it out. But the intention can be a million different things and he he structured the day smartly so we have enough time to explore all the possibilities of what it could be not just arbitrarily but I mean sometimes and and then sometimes you have to rebel against him and then just do it the way you WanNa do it just to shock yourself and shock the system and then maybe come up with something better but you know it's like a whole run of a rehearsal truncated into a day. which is I rare with? Someone like Noah and you're also rehearsing you know if you can be as much as you can before you start just being prepared to give yourself time to explore all the options and when you don't do that with a soderbergh then I tend to have regret of like you can't help but go home and imagine I had all these ideas that now but then again. Maybe those were bad ideas that I don't know oh anything. The tribute is a sham. Last question I think there are a lot of things that different people will take away from marriage story one being. If you're thinking about going into family law you might reconsider it. But what was the thing that you treasure about making this film with knowing scarlet again. That could be a long answer that I know I should keep short. I mean this movie is hard to. I feel hard to talk about because it's very personal and it was personal. The people who made a collectively and we talked about it a couple of years before we started making those conversations tens of what it's about or what will retry into are still happening but how love can transition and how that can be violent set not not physically violent but an internal violent thing of you know someone kinetically where you know. It's everything your way. Oh you were in a room together a second nature then suddenly to divorce that from yourself That could be painful but maybe it's just transitioning into something different. I thought that was a beautiful idea. This is not a sham. Adam coming up on the frame the writer and director of marriage story Noah Baumbach on capturing the heartbreak of divorce Welcome back to the frame. I'm John Horn. Our next guest is filmmaker Noah Bam back he wrote and directed indie darlings like Margot at the wedding and the squid and the okay all his stories often feature realistic and flawed characters and it holds true for his latest film marriage. Story Charlie and Nicole played by Adam driver ever and Scarlett Johansson are a couple struggling with the early stages of their divorce bombeck painstakingly mapped out the process of their separation. And that makes watching watching marriage story. especially if you're married a bit like watching a horror film. Here's how bombeck described the movie when we recently spoke at the Middleburg Film Festival. I've a friend who said the movie gets divorced so you don't have to which I think is a nice message from married couples relatively Glib but I can see it Netflix has another movie. That's planet Middleburg called two popes. Your movie is called Marriage Story. They both seem like obvious. Titles but almost inevitable bowl. Did you play around with other things to call this. I didn't coordinate with Fernando Morass. I I It was it was the working title from the beginning. The the idea that I'd come up with something else but like pseudo you know Phil Collins but something about the movie resisted more more specific or poetic titles things like the squid and the whale. Didn't there was no squid in the whale to be found and so I I kept coming back to it. I liked it as its in. Its simplicity. I want to ask you a little bit. Because Adam drivers said that this was a collaborative process and hobbies. You're the writer the director. But how would you describe the process of putting the story together and before we started filming what you were talking to due. At least you're actors about it from the onset. It was important for me to know who the actors who are some of the actors were in the movie. I wanted To Have Charleena Nicole in my head is inspiration but also because I wanted to bring the actors in to the process a bit I Adam. I've I've been friends with now. When so when I brought him sort of some of these ideas he would say like? Oh these are things I might. He he was interested in playing a theater director. That's you know as I remember it. That's how that came into the movie. You have often had characters who you are very articulate. That could be writers. They could be theater directors that could be. They are very capable expressing themselves and talking about. Maybe maybe what they're feeling or what they're feeling about somebody else. Is that something that you think is a pattern. That you like articulate characters who happen to have particular jobs does one beget the other. I don't know I I don't think about it like that. Quite the artistic the fact that they were artists and and creative and professional partners in this movie was I thought important and also narrative interesting because there was sort of more at stake.

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