Written Interview: Alexander Payne (“The Descendants”)

November 12th, 2011 by

A terrific IndieWire interview with Alexander Payne, director of the new movie The Descendants and co-writer of the screenplay along with Nat Faxon and Jim Rash. Some key excerpts:

What is Oedipus? What is Michael Corleone? What is Alex in “A Clockwork Orange”? What is a protagonist? What is the guy in “Sunset Boulevard”? He pimps himself out! Isn’t good narrative about people bumping up against their limitations, flaws, hubris, delusions, discrepancies? They’re wanting the wrong thing, or they’re wanting the right thing and going about it the wrong way. That’s what makes drama.


Nothing just happens? Everything just happens. That’s just a kind of existentialist thought to fling in there… I guess I feel like that in real life. We’re not bad people; we’re just doing it all for the first time.


I would say that’s pretty much the theme of all human experience, is it not? Fuck paradise? (laughs) Isn’t that the theme of Adam and Eve? They’re given paradise and they fuck it up.

I desperately love movies.

For more of the interview, go here.

The Descendants opens November 16th… and I can’t wait to see it.

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One thought on “Written Interview: Alexander Payne (“The Descendants”)

  1. Sojourner says:

    I liked this quote from the interview:

    “…I remember Antonioni saying, “Don’t you know that anything I tell you about the film may limit rather than enhance your experience?” You want the viewer to have his or her own interpretation.”

    And I stopped reading.

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