Noah Baumbach and company provide a wild re-imagining of Don DeLillo’s ‘White Noise’
Noah Bambauch the mumblecore king presides over new postmodern territory.
Don DeLillo’s “unfilmable” gold standard pomo masterpiece “White Noise” has emerged from development hell to the hands of Noah Bambauch.
At first glance, he seems an unlikely steward to bring the classic book to life after its nearly 40 year gestation. He’s known for his slice of life narratives with realistic characters speaking naturalistically. In other words, the polar opposite of the DeLillo novel. DeLillo speaks the language of the absurd and parodic. Bambauch speaks the language of New York apartment hunting and divorce lawyer contracts — real life things as they happen in real life.
But the sensibilities of DeLillo and Bambauch share some threads, woven together for a faithful adaptation. To wit, “White Noise” is fundamentally a story about a family. And Bambauch knows a thing or two about depicting a family on the big screen, having directed “Marriage Story,” “The Squid and the Whale” and “The Meyerowitz Stories.”
Bambauch spoke to the Knockturnal at the film’s North American premiere kicking off the 60th New York Film Festival.
“It is about a family,” said Bambauch. “The gap between what we say and what we mean. What we say and what we feel. What we think about ourselves and who we really are. Those are things I’ve explored in a lot of my movies.”
“Family mythologies are in a lot of my movies too,” he continued. “Parents tell their children and children have to unlearn them later. In this case you have all of that. But then you also have family as a microcosm of the culture. You have that line: ‘Family is the cradle of the world’s misinformation.’ You have Essentially the kids shouting facts and saying things we don’t know if they’re real or not. After a while you lose track wishing yourselves and you create your own facts. That’s something that is both true of a family and something we see is also true of the American culture at large.”
White Noise hits theaters Nov 25 and will be available for streaming on Netflix Dec 30. The film stars Adam Driver, Greta Gerwig and Don Cheadle who were all in attendance for the premiere.
Suzan-Lori Parks was honored at the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Awards this past Monday, December 3rd at the Lincoln Center Theater. The award is presented biennially to one playwright who has contributed significantly to the American theatre. Parks received a cash prize of $200,000, an incentive to consistently and continually create new work for the development of theatre.