Noah Baumbach Poster


Jump to: Overview (2)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (3)  | Trade Mark (5)  | Trivia (23)  | Personal Quotes (21)

Overview (2)

Born in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA
Height 5' 9" (1.75 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Born in Brooklyn in 1969 Noah Baumbach is the son of two film critics, Georgia Brown and Jonathan Baumbach (also a writer). His studies at Vassar College were the subject of his first film (made as he was 26 years old), Kicking and Screaming (1995). His second major picture, made ten years later, The Squid and the Whale (2005) was no less autobiographical but went back further in his personal history, back to the time when his parents separated. Recounting this past trauma and its aftermath earned Noah a selection at the Sundance Film Festival, three Golden Globe nominations and a best screenplay Oscar nomination. From then on his career was launched and his output became more regular with Margot at the Wedding (2007) starring Nicole Kidman and his wife Jennifer Jason Leigh, Greenberg (2010), filmed in Los Angeles, with Ben Stiller and Greta Gerwig. Back in New york, where he lives, he was the director (and co-author with his main actress, Greta Gerwig) of the bittersweet art house success Frances Ha (2012). Besides directing films, he also co-writes some with Wes Anderson, a good friend of his, and is the author of humor columns in the New Yorker.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Guy Bellinger

Family (3)

Spouse Jennifer Jason Leigh (3 September 2005 - 17 September 2013)  (divorced)  (1 child)
Greta Gerwig (? - present)  (1 child)
Parents Brown, Georgia
Jonathan Baumbach
Relatives Nico Baumbach (sibling)
Baumbach, Harold (grandparent)
Baumbach, Ida (grandparent)

Trade Mark (5)

Most of his films are at 90 minutes margin
Often works with Greta Gerwig
Recurring theme of dysfunctional families
His films often focus on immature people who are unwilling to act mature
Often works with Ben Stiller and Adam Driver

Trivia (23)

Had his script for The Squid and the Whale (2005) hand-delivered to Laura Linney by his friend Eric Stoltz during the filming of The House of Mirth (2000) in 2000. Linney agreed to do the film immediately, but it took four years to raise the financing.
His mother is Village Voice critic Georgia Brown. His father Jonathan Baumbach is a novelist and film critic.
Had lived with ex-wife Jennifer Jason Leigh for four years prior to their marriage.
Born and raised in New York.
Named one of Fade In magazine's 2005 list of 100 People in Hollywood You Need to Know.
Ex-son-in-law of Barbara Turner and the late Vic Morrow.
Graduate of Vassar College
Invited to join AMPAS in 2006.
Ex-brother-in-law of Carrie Ann Morrow. Stepbrother-in-law of Mina Badie.
Has a son, Rohmer Emmanuel Baumbach (born March 17, 2010), with his ex-wife Jennifer Jason Leigh.
Lives in an apartment on lower Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
When directing on set, prefers saying 'Begin' or 'When you're ready', instead of 'Action!'.
Is known for his meticulous precision, doing 55 takes with Greta Gerwig and Lola Kirke searching through a closet during filming of 'Untitled Public School Project'.
Briefly worked as a messenger at Manhattan's revered The New Yorker magazine.
Is a close friend and collaborator of Wes Anderson.
Has been in a long-term relationship with Greta Gerwig since 2011.
According to himself, he tends to return again and again to making movies about people who have an image of themselves they can't live up to.
Writes a series of short stories for the New Yorker magazine.
Older brother of Nico Baumbach.
Grandson of painter Harold Baumbach & Ida Baumbach.
Has been in a relationship with Greta Gerwig since 2011. On March 19, 2019, it was announced they had welcomed a son.
Although Baumbach directed three (3) actors in Oscar-nominated performances in one film Marriage Story (2019)--Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson, and Laura Dern--he himself was not nominated for a Best Director Oscar. Dern won for her performance in Marriage Story (2019).
Baumbach and his long-time partner Greta Gerwig made motion-picture history in 2020 after each directed an Oscar-nominated Best Picture--apparently the first time a romantically-linked couple ever hit such a high mark in the same year. And though each of their films, Marriage Story (2019) and Little Women (2019) garnered six (6) )Oscar nominations--a total of 12--neither of them received a nomination as Best Director from Academy voters.

Personal Quotes (21)

I always viewed life as material for a movie.
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.
"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".
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.']
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.
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.
I try not to analyze the characters when I'm writing, but I'm very analytical in my life.
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.
[re seeking attention from strangers ] I know that. When I was a kid, I would fantasize about my own funeral.
Movie time is like college time. If you had a test on Thursday, Friday felt so far away.
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.
[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.
[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.
[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.
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.
[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 Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) when I was a kid."
[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.
[on While We're Young] I saw this film in a very traditional way, about adults coming apart to come together.
So many movies are created by concept, even on the independent level. People are looking for something they can ratify, a novelty or an exciting concept. I taught a class on the French New Wave and I came upon this quote by Godard-something to the effect that, 'When I became a filmmaker, I realized I couldn't make the movies I wanted to make before I was a filmmaker.' That whole thing about him saying he thought he was making Scarface when he was making Breathless, but he ended up making Alice in Wonderland-that was Godard realizing who he was as a filmmaker. That's something that didn't come to me until this movie (The Squid and the Whale). I made my first movie when I was 24. I was the kid who loved Star Wars and Indiana Jones. I was still connected to that. I had to shake it out of my head. I had to outgrow it.
[on first meeting Brian De Palma at Paul Schrader's birthday party] Well I was just excited that he was there and I think I eventually drank enough to go over and introduce myself. I could have just as easily let it go by thinking, 'Oh, he doesn't want to be bothered.' But he was actually so inviting and friendly and we exchanged numbers at the end of the night. I figured that was probably it but then the next day there was a message on my machine: "Do you want to go have coffee?" And I had a script at the time that I was about to make and I gave him the script and then I went over to his apartment and we talked about it and he had some ideas. I think he was about to go make Snake Eyes (1998) and we became friends. [2016]
[on shooting his features on film and digital] I shot The Squid and the Whale (2005) on Super 16mm, and in a kind of different way, though, we hand-held the movie. It was a more, for lack of a better way to define it, more documentary-like, less structured in terms of the blocking. (...) It [shooting digital] started with Frances Ha (2012) I shot on digital, but I shot it on the Canon 5D [Canon EOS 5D Mark II], we shot it B&W, and we really did a whole thing with that. I was very happy with how that came out. And then I tried the Alexa [ARRI Alexa] on a couple of movies. I realized, and I felt it as soon as I went back into film, so much of my making movies is connected to my childhood. Not just the subject matter of the movies, it's also the going to movies, the seeing movies, and going back through that, all the time. It's both conscious and unconscious. Watching something on film has a totally different emotional effect to me, and seeing it projected on film. I kind of realized, having shot digitally, that I need to do these things on film. I had sort of tried to make an argument for digital, just to try it out, and it's fine, but it doesn't have the same meaning for me. [Sept. 2017]

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