Alexander Payne “I will watch any good movie”

Filmmaker Alexander Payne was busy making his new dark comedy, Leftovers, in Boston throughout the winter of 2022, which kept him from watching movies. “I’m not aware of the latest films,” he admits. ” I was really busy. However, I saw a few films at the Telluride Film Festival. the power of the dog was wonderful, for example, A hero was bright and powerful, and red rocket was so wild and interesting.

When he has time to sit down and watch a movie, what does Alexander Payne choose? “I like everything good,” he shares. “I am rather Catholic, small c, in my tastes. So I will watch anything, or more precisely, any good movie. But I mostly watch old movies and I have a particular fondness for westerns.

Payne points out that “every year, most American movies aren’t great, but there are a limited number of great movies slated for theatrical release and award. Those 10-20 movies become the talk. That doesn’t hasn’t changed. But overall, between the theatrical releases and the plethora of streaming, I’m just glad the filmmakers are getting the job done.

Alexander Payne talks about his favorite movies

“I’ve seen a lot of films from all decades and all countries, but I always find myself going back to Hollywood films from the silent era to the 70s or so,” says the two-time Oscar-winning filmmaker. “I also like classic Japanese and Italian films from the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s. For me, these are the greatest cinemas: American, Italian and Japanese. French too, of course, but my taste tends towards Japanese and Italian films.

Although he admits the list changes frequently, here are Alexander Payne’s five favorite films:

– Modern times: Charlie Chaplin wrote and directed this 1936 American silent comedy. Modern times is notable for being the last film to feature Chaplin’s Little Tramp character, and the first time his voice has been heard on film. In 1989, the Library of Congress added him to the United States National Film Registry for his “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant” contributions to the history of motion pictures.

— Seven Samurai: Akira Kurosawa co-wrote, edited and directed this epic 1954 samurai drama. Set in 1586, Seven Samurai is about a farming village that hires seven masterless samurai to deal with bandits who have stolen their crops. A 2018 BBC International Critics poll voted it the best foreign language film of all time.

— The Wild Band: It’s one of Payne’s picks for best westerns. The 1969 film stars William Holden and Ernest Borgnine and was considered controversial at the time for its graphic violence. The Wild Band tells the story of an aging gang of outlaws along the Mexican border, struggling to adapt to the developments of the modern world in 1913. Perhaps Payne enjoys the groundbreaking edit which presented a complex montage, multi-angle and fast through normal and slow motion pictures.

– To be or not to be: Since Alexander Payne is a master of black comedies, it’s no surprise that this 1942 American black comedy is one of his favorites. Screen legends Carole Lombard and Jack Benny star in this film about a troupe of actors who use their talents to deceive the troops in Nazi-occupied Warsaw, Poland. Yes To be or not to be sounds familiar, it refers to a soliloquy by William Shakespeare Hamlet. “What I satirized in this image was the Nazis and their ridiculous ideology,” explained the film’s director, Ernest Lubitsch. “I also satirized the attitude of actors who always remain actors, no matter how dangerous the situation, which I think is a truthful observation.”

— The last detail: This is another comedy-drama choice from Payne. Hal Ashby directed the 1973 film, and Robert Towne wrote the screenplay. Jack Nicholson, Otis Young and Randy Quaid won critical acclaim for their performances in the film about two sailors sent to escort a young recruit from their Virginia base to Portsmouth Naval Prison in Maine. “I saw most of Ashby’s films in the 70s, but not The last detail because he was known to be so dirty,” says Alexander Payne. “I think it says f–k 61 times, which was a record at the time, so my parents wouldn’t take me to see it. They took me to see most of the R rated movies, but for some reason we didn’t see this one because it was known to be really vulgar. [Now] it’s one of those films that I have to watch once a year and try to attract others.

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