Noah Baumbach

Noah Baumbach
Noah Baumbach
  • Born: September 3, 1969
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Filmmaker









Quote Topics Cited
A film set becomes its own family anyway, and all family dynamics come out during a shoot. The trick is hiring people who know how to handle that. Families, Children & Parenting
A lot of black-and-white films generally have a color version that will be used for TV.
Adaptations are fun for me because they connect to the idea of filmmaking I had when I was a kid. I would see a movie and think: 'I'm gonna make that movie.'
Anyone who's putting money into your movie would always rather you cast well-known people. Money, Coins & Minting
As a kid, I thought of myself as a funny person who secretly wanted to be serious, but now I think maybe I'm a serious person who secretly wants to be funny. Humor
Being articulate, my parents could make anything sound reasonable.
Being funny, in some ways, is about being connected to psychology. Humor
Dance is a profession with an expiration date for many people.
Defining yourself by your taste is easier than defining yourself by any genuine stance on something.
Even fairly serious moviegoers can't shake this shadow of the corporate world.
'Frances Ha' is the closest final product to what I had in my head of any movie I've made. I'm not entirely even sure why that is.
Friends of friends had bands in college or in their early 20s and had a moment where they had some kind of interest from a record label or manager. It's always interesting how people handle those decisions and those moments.
How you start the movie is critical. And how often you feel that there's no reason for how it's starting.
I always viewed life as material for a movie. Life
I can feel pretty critical of people, and I understand that sort of feeling of when you're going through something that's painful, taking it out on the world and projecting onto other people, finding faults with other people because it's harder to find faults in yourself.
I didn't train in directing; I talk to actors the way I talk to anybody.
I do like having books on my shelves. I do value that life. Life
I don't agree with the idea that my characters are unlikeable.
I don't know any writer of fiction who enjoys trying to point out or dissect whatever they produced with strangers and let them go through it and pick apart what's real and what isn't.
I don't like when you necessarily know that this is the end of the movie. I like when a movie ends abruptly. You go through this, and some of the scenes are uncomfortable, and some are funny - and then suddenly it's over. Humor
I feel a real connection to Brooklyn, certainly, because I spent 20 years of my life there, but I don't think of myself as a Brooklyn artist any more than I think of myself as a male artist. Life
I find a lot of writing happens when you're not actually at the computer. So I carry a notebook.
I get a lot of responses to my movies. Some people say, 'Oh, I thought it was really funny - I hope that's okay!' And my answer always is 'Yes. It's totally okay.' Hope ;Humor ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I graduated in '91, so the '90s for me were very much the first years out of school, so I can't really look at that decade as independent of my own experience of my 20s, really.
I grew up in the heat of '70s postmodern fiction and post-Godard films, and there was this idea that what mattered was the theory or meta in art. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I guess I'm interested in people who are very sophisticated in intellectual ways, while being completely off the mark in emotional ones, with these huge blind spots in terms of their own behavior.
I kind of live like a writer. I get up and I write. I've done that my whole life. Life
I know people who are incredibly successful who still dress the way they did when they were 18, just because they still think that's how they look good.
I like shooting in New York because I have such a connection to the city. I have so many memories there.
I like the way corduroys feel. I like the sort of jean aspect of corduroys, but also the texture of them. They probably remind me of my childhood, too, I think. I wore cords, and my dad had a corduroy jacket. Families, Children & Parenting
I like to try to shoot in the city in a way that allows the city to go about its business while we're shooting, and that's always a challenge because, unfortunately, people on the street don't know not to look in the camera or interact with the actors. Business, Commerce & Finance
I love black-and-white movies that are about contemporary subjects. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I made two movies very young, and then I had trouble getting a movie made, and so - which was both, I think, a plus and a minus. It was a minus because it made me unhappy. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I read all the time. Sometimes I get asked if I've thought about writing a novel. Time
I really like my first movie a lot, 'Kicking and Screaming.' I think it's a - I'm very pleased and proud of that movie, but it wasn't the - it wasn't 'Citizen Kane' right out of the box, you know? It wasn't 'Sex, Lies and Videotape.'
I still carry the residue of the pressure I felt as a child to read and appreciate the right books. Growing up, I never allowed myself to read beach reading. I was always plowing through Ford Madox Ford's 'Good Solider' or something I wasn't equipped to understand.
I suppose some studio executive would say it's death for a comedy if people aren't all laughing in the same places, but I find with my movies that people laugh in very different places. I can't control it. Death ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I think all my movies are about transitions to some degree. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I think anxiety is dangerous, but it makes you think it's your friend.
I think I was going through a lot of change at 27, but I didn't know it was happening until it was over.
I think if we taped a lot of families that claim to be relatively normal, you'd be surprised when you hear some of the things said.
I think it's always interesting how music means different things to different people, and people who overthink it are looking to in some ways show off with music, versus people who just respond to a song and decide to sing it. Music, Chants & Rapps
I think I've always been drawn to the notion of talk as cinematic.
I think sometimes bad behaviour can be liberating for certain people. They need to behave badly to find themselves - to go off path to find their path. You see it with kids all the time: They're testing boundaries, and I think that's healthy. Time
I thought at the time of my parents' divorce that I was upset by deeper, more profound things and I was just taking it out on the joint custody agreement. But that disruption was bad enough. That was a huge deal for a teenager. Time
I try to procrastinate, if I can, productively, like I'll work on something else as procrastination. Or I take a walk. Because often I find, if you get out, more things come to you. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I used to get up and write every day, even if I wasn't working on a specific thing. Now, when I have a thing I'm in the middle of, I do that, but when I'm not, time can go by when I'm not writing at all. Time
I was late to the Knicks. My dad was a big fan. But I first started watching baseball; I became a Red Sox fan. My dad was a Mets fan. I wanted to have my own team and league. Families, Children & Parenting
I watch movies all the time, so it's hard to pick certain specific directors that have inspired me in the aggregate. Time ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I wouldn't say 'Frances Ha' is autobiographical, but it's definitely very personal.
I'm a huge proponent of therapy and analysis, but it's something that, in a nonprofessional way, can be abused.
I'm always interested in how people, myself included, have ideas of themselves, of how they thought they would be, or of how they want to be seen. And the older you get, the world keeps telling you different things about yourself. And how people either adjust to those things and let go of adolescent notions. Or they dig in deeper.
I'm always looking for overlooked post-Dylan singer-songwriter records from the '70s.
I'm curious how people build up the codes that they live their life by, and how they come to think that that's the best way for them to function. Life
I'm good with a grill. I like to make cheeseburgers - I once read in a David Goodis crime novel that you're only supposed to flip a burger once.
I'm interested in music as an extension of character. Music, Chants & Rapps
I'm interested in the way major events don't necessarily announce themselves as major events. They're often little things - the drip, drip of life that changes people or affects people. Life
I'm sure I've said some pretty bad pick-up lines.
It's always really special to be at the New York Film Festival, and always a real privilege.
It's funny, I'm very analytical in my real life, but in terms of my films, I try to not analyze them at all and let things just go into them and let them be what they are. I mean, people ask me to this day what 'The Squid and the Whale' stood for, and I have no idea except that it's an exhibit in the Natural History Museum. Life ;History ;Humor
It's going to start really interfering with your quality of life, your health, if you don't adjust to life as it's happening to you. Life ;Health, Healthcare & Medicine
It's kind of major, learning to drive. I feel like it kicked up other stuff in my life. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Life
It's near impossible to make a movie in black and white in the system.
It's nice being friends over a period of time with people whose music you like so much, or other filmmakers, seeing people change, go through trials. Time ;Music, Chants & Rapps
I've always felt some kind of connection to people who are kind of over-smart. People who over-think things to the point of some sort of paralysis, and I think that certainly can be me on any given day.
I've always liked working with friends or, you know, people I have outside relationships with.
I've definitely been in situations where I could tell someone was interested in me, but I could tell they were insulting me in some passive/aggressive way, so I felt bad about myself at the same time. Time
I've had great experiences or joyful experiences making a movie that people found very disturbing.
I've had times in my life when I really haven't been able to figure myself out. Life
I've run into more people walking in L.A. than if I drove. Because you stand out so much if you walk. People from my past have stopped their cars and said, 'Hey!' But if I was in a car, they never would've seen me.
Manhattan is so tailored. It's driven by appealing to the very wealthy and tourists.
Many of the crew members I work with and continue to work with were friends or have become close friends, and so we keep working together. And I like casting friends of mine or people I know in parts I know would be perfect for them. I like to bring things and people that mean something to me in to my work. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
My dad was a great movie companion. He wouldn't diminish 'The Jerk.' If I liked it, he liked it. He could see it through my eyes. Families, Children & Parenting
Other people have worked with big studios and maintained control over their movies. I see no reason why it wouldn't work for me. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Peter Bogdanovich is a good friend.
That's the nice thing about collaborating with someone: Your work becomes a conversation. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
The real achievement of Woody Allen was that he was making movies that felt very personal, and for a whole group of people, it spoke to them. Then he became an archetype, like Groucho Marx or Chaplin. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
'The Squid and the Whale' I shot in 23 days. I would have loved more time for it at the time, but in some ways that kind of kamikaze way of shooting was right for that movie. Time
There are the people who overthink making mix CDs and playlists, and how that works generationally is all really interesting to me.
There is an isolated experience to being a director. It's very communal because there's a crew, but it's only you. You're the one on the hook.
There was a telemarketing job one summer in high school that I was rejected for. I still walk by the building that I actually had the interview in. It's still in New York, and I always think about that job and why I didn't get it.
There's always some generational-guys-hanging-out movie that is made every few years, I think, and some of them are great.
There's something really vulnerable about playing something that you like for someone. You don't know what their reaction will be.
To this day, I have people I might meet who will make assumptions about my life based on fictional elements of 'The Squid And The Whale.' But I think that's par for the course if you make something that feels kind of real. Life
Truffaut loved Hitchcock.
We all have these notions of cool that come about at different points in our lives, and it's interesting in how it evolves or doesn't evolve in different people.
We expect forty-year-olds to have grown up at some point, and to be engaged and adult and take responsibility, and doing nothing would seem to go against that.
Wes Anderson grew up in Houston, and he and I talk about Manhattan in similar ways, as a kind of fantasy world.
Wes Anderson's films, 6-year-olds are crazy about them.
When I make a movie, I have both a specific and vague, amorphous dream idea of what the movie is going to be. Of course, I don't actually know what it's going to be, but I'm still striving to get to some place with it.
When I start a movie, there will be certain films that I watch again just because the vibe seems right.
When I was a kid, I would fantasize about my own funeral.
When you find yourself on the Internet when you're supposed to be writing, you've already lost. It's even beyond procrastination when you end up on the Internet.
When you're around your family, and you have that history and that shared language, you say things you'd be embarrassed to hear quoted back to you later. History ;Families, Children & Parenting
Will Ferrell's made a lot of brilliant movies. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
With 'Greenberg,' I wanted to make a movie about Los Angeles... my great love for it and also the way that I felt not at home and alienated there. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Woody Allen's movies are so much a part of me. I grew up watching them over and over and would read all his comic pieces for the New Yorker. In some ways, his influence is so much there that I can't even locate it any more. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
You can be aware that something is idiosyncratic, and give it to a character, but keep doing it.

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