Directors Interesting

Alexander Payne 2005 Interview

Back in 2005 director Alexander Payne sat down for a long form interview about his career.

His latest film The Descendants was one of the highlights of the London Film Festival for me and is likely to be a major awards contender.

This talk was held at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis after the success of Sideways, which had been one of the the most acclaimed films of the previous year.

Hosted by LA Times & NPR film critic Kenneth Turan, the conversation goes pretty deep into his career as they cover various aspects of his life and work, including:

  • His Nebraska background
  • Film school
  • His early love of Kurosawa films, silent cinema and the New Hollywood era of the 1970s
  • Getting in to the film idustry
  • Using non-professional actors
  • Why he likes adapting novels
  • The original ending of Election
  • Adapting About Schmidt and working with Jack Nicholson
  • Why he loves voiceover
  • Shooting physical comedy
  • Sideways and the idea of personal cinema
  • The importance of casting
  • Pros and cons of modern filmmaking technology
  • Women audiences and Sideways
  • The influence of silent Italian comedy and Hal Ashby on Sideways
  • Using success to get the next film made

Fans of his work will find much to chew on here and for aspiring filmmakers it provides interesting insights into one of the best American directors currently working.

> Alexander Payne at IMDb, Wikipedia and MUBi
> Walker Art Center and YouTube Channel