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2 items from 2014

Watch: Alexander Payne's 15-Minute 1985 UCLA Film School Short 'Carmen'

22 April 2014 8:00 AM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

It’s always fun to see the evolution of a filmmaker’s voice and thanks to the power of the internet we can peer even further back through a director’s body of work. For example, an odd short film from Alexander Payne has been unearthed, an effort that was completed over a decade before the “Nebraska” director would get a shot at his feature-length film. Lasting over fifteen minutes and made during Payne’s studies at the UCLA Film School, the short film “Carmen” lacks any dialogue and relies primarily on music and some choice sound effects. The short’s definitely a little broader and structurally it's stranger than something like “Sideways,” but it provides some context for the Preston Sturgess-leaning “Citizen Ruth” with its screwball energy. Watch the short below.  [Thompson On Hollywood via Cinephilia & Beyond]  »

- Cain Rodriguez

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Watch: Director Alexander Payne's Bizarre 1985 Silent Short 'Carmen'

21 April 2014 9:55 AM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

From "Citizen Ruth" and "Election" to "About Schmidt," "The Descendents" and "Nebraska," two-time Oscar winner and auteur Alexander Payne has gone from indie to mainstream and back again. Get a sense of his indie roots by watching his 1985 student short "Carmen," a silent film he made at the UCLA Film School. (Hat tip: Screencraft.) Deeply rooted in Americana, Payne's films toe the line between comedy and tragedy and while "Carmen" veers mostly on the side of comedy, there is some tragedy in the odd protagonist, much like the sad sacks in "Schmidt," "Sideways" and "Nebraska." Man, has he come a long way. »

- Ryan Lattanzio

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