The writer-director Noah Baumbach, 35, based the film on his own experience of his parents’ divorce. He said that he had struggled for years to find his voice as a filmmaker after making Kicking and Screaming in 1995 but had an epiphany at a screening of the Louis Malle classic Murmur of the Heart, organized by his friend Wes Anderson (a Squid producer).
“I thought I should deal with this moment in my life,” he said after an early morning screening on Wednesday. “But it’s why it took me a long time to get it done. There was a censor in me, not in a literal way, more in general, wondering what people might think and who would care – it’s only my story. Letting go of that censor was really important; personally, it was a breakthrough.”
Mr. Baumbach’s mother, Georgia Brown, was a film critic for The Village Voice, and his father, Jonathan, is a film critic and novelist who teaches at Brooklyn College. Neither parent, as portrayed in the film, is particularly sympathetic. Mr. Baumbach said it was all right with his real-life parents “because they’re writers.”
The director had [Jeff] Daniels borrow some of Jonathan Baumbach’s clothes for his wardrobe. “I liked to use things that connected me to that time, in a Proustian way,” he said. [nice. -g.o]
Discussion of an actual film, buried in Tony Scott’s nerdy “Sundance is all about scamming free stuff” article.