When not exuding urbane, Salinger-weaned New Yorker chic, or, relatedly, co-writing the occasional Wes Anderson film, Noah Baumbach makes movies of his own, typically involving witty portrayals of flawed individuals enduring tragicomic family dysfunction or estrangement from their own lives. These include The Squid and the Whale and Greenberg, the latter of which introduced Baumbach to leading lady Greta Gerwig, now his romantic and creative partner. In Baumbach's new film Frances Ha, a black-and-white frolic co-written with Gerwig, she plays an artistically inclined young woman in New York whose diminishing prospects don't get her down. Here's what Baumbach recently had to say about the picture, which opens today in San Francisco.
Frances Ha has been playing in film festivals since last fall, gathering steam for its official release. What are people saying about it?
Everyone has their own take, or their personal reaction to it. It sort of depends. I think maybe it depends on their expectations, or their feelings about other things I've done. About this movie in particular, the black-and-white has been a point of conversation.