While We're Young, a two couples collide comedy with Naomi Watts, Ben Stiller, Amanda Seyfried and Adam Driver opens today. It's the 7th official feature film from 45 year old writer/director Noah Baumbach.
His first feature, Kicking and Screaming (1995), starring a who's who of hot indie actors from the mid 90s (shout out to chris eigeman and parker posey!) came out a full 20 years ago so he got started young. He got started just in time too. His brand of talkie neurotic intimate comedy burst forth during the 90s, the golden age for the American indie. Perhaps no one knew it was the golden age for indies while living through it but in hindsight it definitely was. So many directors we still enjoy burst forth in those particularly fertile circumstances of the marketplace.
So with that one in theaters, let's look back at his first six films as director (he wrote or co-wrote all of them, too). The marketing departments got really hung up on all white posters for him for awhile... but it suits his films somehow and the Greenberg poster is straight up ingenious "he's got a lot on his mind" with its empty space. So... Kicking & Screaming (1995), Mr Jealousy (1997), The Squid and the Whale (2005, a hit, making about twice as much as his films usually do), Margot at the Wedding (2007), Greenberg (2010), and Frances Ha (2012... released in 2013).
We haven't a clue what happened to him between 1997 and 2005 (quarter-life crisis?) though there was one additional film in 1997 that he apparently took his name off of called "Highball" which could explain the coming fallow period and in that long stretch he also co-wrote Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic and made a short film.
How many have you seen and which is your favorite?