The New York Film Festival has announced that Noah Baumbach’s “White Noise” will open the 60th edition of the festival on September 30. The film, which stars Adam Driver, Greta Gerwig, and Don Cheadle, will make its North American premiere at the festival. Ahead of NYFF, the long-in-the-works Don DeLillo adaptation is also set to open the Venice International Film Festival on August 31.
Adapting the 1985 postmodern classic, the film follows a renowned professor of Hitler studies at a U.S. liberal arts college (Adam Driver) who, along with his fourth wife (Greta Gerwig) and children, faces an “airborne toxic event” hanging over his town that threatens everyone’s lives. Raffey Cassidy, André Benjamin, Alessandro Nivola, Jodie Turner-Smith, and Don Cheadle also star.
“In 1985 my father and I drove from Brooklyn to see Kurosawa’s ‘Ran’ open the 23rd NYFF, the same year that he brought home the hardback of Don DeLillo’s ‘White Noise,’” Baumbach said in a statement. “Opening the 60th NYFF with ‘White Noise’ is truly special for me. This festival was part of my film education and has been a home for me and many of my movies over the years. I couldn’t be more excited and honored to return.”
Baumbach has been a regular at NYFF throughout his career, previously screening “Kicking and Screaming,” “The Squid and the Whale,” “Margot at the Wedding,” “Frances Ha,” “The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected),” “While We’re Young,” “De Palma,” and “Marriage Story” at the festival, though this marks his first opening night selection. The festival’s leadership team praised Baumbach’s work on the film, and spoke to his longtime relationship with the festival.
“Opening the 60th edition of the New York Film Festival with Noah Baumbach’s ambitious, funny, and resonant ‘White Noise’ underscores this Festival’s history of introducing new filmmakers to New York audiences. A regular attendee of the Festival as a kid, Noah Baumbach saw his indie filmmaking career take off after debuting ‘Kicking and Screaming’ at NYFF in 1995,” said Eugene Hernandez, the fest’s executive director. “’White Noise’ will usher in a 60th NYFF selection of films by established directors and vibrant new voices; we’re looking forward to sharing the communal experience of cinema with audiences at Lincoln Center and in other parts of the city this fall!”
“Noah Baumbach’s adaptation of ‘White Noise’ is an unequivocal triumph: a wildly entertaining and morbidly funny meditation on the way we live now that is also the director’s most ambitious and expansive film,” said Dennis Lim, artistic director of the fest. “Aided by a brilliant cast led by Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig, Baumbach has not only captured the essence of Don DeLillo’s beloved, era-defining book—he has turned it into a movie that speaks profoundly to our moment.”
Baumbach’s Netflix adaptation of the classic Dom DeLillo novel will have a heavy presence on the festival circuit this fall as it prepares for a likely Oscar campaign. Netflix has yet to announce a release date.
Last year’s NYFF opened with the world premiere of “The Tragedy of Macbeth.” This year’s festival runs from September 30 through October 16.