Noah Baumbach's Quotes

1 [re Woody Allen] I think my parents had "Getting Even", which was one of his collections, and when I read it I couldn't believe it. I thought they were the funniest things that I had ever read, but also felt--this is the thing they say about great poetry or something--it's like your own thoughts brought back to you with added majesty. It was like my own funny ideas brought back, and he just seemed so smart and funny, and I just felt so connected to it from that point forward.
2 [re first time he saw Jules and Jim (1962)] For me, it was the beginning of getting over a cultural barrier. I watched it for a college French class with headphones on in the language library, and had to return the next day to finish it, which was not the best first viewing experience, but I remember having the same visceral reaction as I'd had when I watched movies like 'Road Warrior' [Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)_] or Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) when I was a kid."
3 Truffaut loved [Alfred] Hitchcock. You feel there's something up even if you don't know what....There's discovery in this movie [ Jules and Jim (1962)]. You're discovering this woman but there's discovery in the filmmaking, too. You get involved in the story even though Truffaut uses narration and techniques that might seem distancing. He knows exactly what he wants to show you, and he only uses the voiceover when it's either going to get us further inside the characters or dispense with exposition. It gives the movie a classical structure and puts it all in the past tense. This is a time that is now over. It's both a celebration and an elegy.
4 [more re François Truffaut and his Jules and Jim (1962)] Day for night in black and white is so cool. It was practical because it's such a long shot and would have been difficult to light. Whatever the reason, there's something so beautiful about this walk and talk; how they [Catherine and Jules] come toward us from that distance, and we dolly with them. Truffaut doesn't need to cut in. He just sets it up so they'll come closer. I love shots like that. If I could, I'd shoot everything that way. And the day for night makes it beautiful in a way you can't define. It's familiar and unfamiliar at the same time.
5 [re techniques he borrowed from Jules and Jim (1962)] I love the camera there. We did that in Frances Ha (2012) when she is reading to her best friend Sophie: the camera moves over and she's knitting. There's something about the logic of the camera move; the voiceover says something, then you move and reveal the other side. It's almost funny and it has such a point of view-you know that the director knows exactly what he's doing. That lightness of spirit was something I thought about for "Frances"... The music helps here. It's sad, sweet and romantic, while they're just hanging out in the country-but it's also the way Truffaut sets up the camera. We were trying to do this with "Frances", make big moments out of little ones. It feels so important. [Francois} Truffaut evokes a similar exhilarating feeling earlier, but now there's something deeper-these three are now the core relationship. It's both joyful and so complicated, and we sense that this friendship is not going to remain the same. He's bringing them together and apart at the same time.
6 [re friend Wes Anderson ] I saw that he really was doing what was interesting to him, and he was trusting that that would be interesting to other people. I saw Rushmore (1998) and I thought, He's comfortable making his own genre.
7 At the Frances [ Frances Ha (2012) ] age, I was kind of agonized. [At 27, achieving success] I was ridiculously young. I felt so old. My persona was, 'Everything's O.K., I'm right on track. I was so afraid to admit that I was disappointed or upset.
8 Movie time is like college time. If you had a test on Thursday, Friday felt so far away.
9 [re seeking attention from strangers ] I know that. When I was a kid, I would fantasize about my own funeral.
10 Really, as long as they're supportive of the movie and the way I want to make it, the difference between it being a studio or not isn't that great. It's more secure with a studio, but you can also get caught up in more red tape. Suddenly they have to clear everything in the shot; people get anxious.
11 I try not to analyze the characters when I'm writing, but I'm very analytical in my life.
12 At some point it's going to add up to some sort of strange police blotter sketch if all these things in my films are true. My hope is that I will make enough movies that they can't all conceivably be autobiographical.
13 I don't outline. And when I've done jobs either in television or for a studio, and outlines have been part of the deal, it seems completely artificial to me and, I think, made it harder for me to write the script afterward.
14 Somebody could easily go through and link everything to different points in not just my family, but people I know - but I don't even really care. For me, the movie is a protection - a completely reinvented film. [on 'The Squid and The Whale.']
15 "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".
16 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. My film is emotional rather than meta, and that's my rebellion.
17 I always viewed life as material for a movie.
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