Film at Lincoln Center announces Noah Baumbach’s White Noise as Opening Night of the 60th New York Film Festival, making its North American premiere at Alice Tully Hall on September 30.
In one of the year’s most gratifyingly ambitious American films, Noah Baumbach (Marriage Story) has adapted Don DeLillo’s epochal postmodern 1985 novel White Noise, long perceived as unfilmable, into a richly layered, entirely unexpected work of contemporary satire. Adam Driver heartily embodies Jack Gladney, an ostentatious “Hitler Studies” professor and father-of-four whose comfortable suburban college town life and marriage to the secretive Babette (Greta Gerwig, perfectly donning a blonde mop of “important hair”) are upended after a horrifying nearby accident creates an airborne toxic event of frightening and unknowable proportions.
In a tightrope walk of comedy and horror, Baumbach captures the essence of DeLillo’s cacophonous pop-philosophical nightmare on unbounded consumerism, ecological catastrophe, and the American obsession with death. Impeccably matching DeLillo’s and Baumbach’s similarly percussive form of stylized dialogue, White Noise is wonderfully abrasive and awe-inspiring, a precisely mounted period piece entirely befitting our modern, through-the-looking-glass pandemic reality. A Netflix release.
“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,” said Baumbach. “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.”
“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, Executive Director of the New York Film Festival. “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! Stay tuned!”
“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, New York Film Festival. “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 previous NYFF Main Slate selections include Kicking and Screaming (NYFF33), The Squid and the Whale (NYFF43), Margot at the Wedding (NYFF45), Frances Ha (NYFF50), The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (NYFF55), and Marriage Story (NYFF57 Centerpiece). While We’re Young was a secret screening at NYFF52. De Palma, co-directed with Jake Paltrow, was a special event at NYFF53.
Campari is the exclusive spirits partner for the 60th New York Film Festival and the presenting partner of Opening Night, extending its longstanding commitment to the world of film and art. The NYFF Main Slate selection committee, chaired by Dennis Lim, also includes Eugene Hernandez, Florence Almozini, K. Austin Collins, and Rachel Rosen.