Noah Baumbach is kind of everywhere these days because the filmmaker has two films coming out this year. “Mistress America,” which debuted at Sundance, will be his second film to be released when it opens later this year. But first, in theaters now, is the sharp comedy, “While We’re Young,” starring Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver, and Amanda Seyfried, about marriage, youth, aging, the changing notions of authenticity within art, and the push and pull relationship between a Gen X couple and a dynamic Millennial pair (read our review).
“It’s also about identity,” Baumbach told us in a recent Playlist interview. “I think it’s sort of hard to be who you are, particularly when you’re younger. I think also in your ’20s, [when you get] this sort of feeling like everything is happening too slow and too fast. You feel like you’re running out of time already, which is crazy. As Josh says to Jamie in the movie, when [Jamie] says, ‘I don’t think I’m ever going to die,’ [Josh] says, ‘That’s crazy.’ But I think that’s true, that you have that feeling of invincibility, but also that you’re getting rapidly older.”
Baumbach’s been doing the press rounds and recently stopped by Film Society of Lincoln Center for a talk with Kent Jones about his entire career. Before that, last fall at the New York Film Festival, the Film Society hosted an unlikely conversation between Baumbach and filmmaker Brian De Palma, where they discussed their approaches to filmmaking, their singular styles, and the need for comic relief in all genres. The Film Society’s Close-Up podcast has preserved both talks in a must-listen, two-for-one conversation that’s an hour-and-45-minutes long. Both are great and engaging, and you can listen to them below.