The Mind and Magic of Alexander Payne.

Alexander PayneWith acclaimed works such as “Sideways” and “The Descendants”, Alexander Payne is no doubt a respected and noteworthy force in the world of the modern film industry. He’s known for his less than usual approach to filmmaking, which includes co-writing, risky subject matter, and collaborating just to name a few. While these approaches are considered rather peculiar for the American film industry, in Europe they’re a normal aspect of filmmaking. His films are often categorized as “dark comedy”, known for their satirical nature and testy subject matter. He’s worked with Paul Giamatti multiple times in the past, casting him in his film adaptation of “Sideways” and “The Holdovers”. Casting the same actors for multiple roles in multiple films is another thing that sticks out about Alexander Payne’s philosophy of filmmaking. His first full-length feature film “Citizen Ruth” was released in 1996, it was met with overall positive reviews and won quite a few awards. His first real film was a student film he did called “The Passion of Martin” based on the novel “El Túnel” by Argentinian novelist Ernesto Sabato. Despite being done for film school it was met with critical acclaim, getting his foot and name into the industry he would come to be known in. Alexander Payne’s style is famous for being unique, especially by American standards. He credits his writing success to his co-writer and long-time best friend, “Jim Taylor”. He’s said that the only time they write together is when they’re actually in a room together. However, Jim Taylor lives in New York and Alexander Payne lives in Los Angeles and Omaha, so they can only work on a script whenever they make planned trips to visit each other. While this definitely may seem peculiar, there’s an obvious method to their madness, as the scripts and dialogue flow so seamlessly through all of their works. He’s been known to say that the 1970s were an essential period to American cinema. The amount of experimentation and against the grain films that were being put out at the time were and still are a huge influence on cinema in the 21st century.

Alexander Payne