Renowned independent filmmaker Noah Baumbach has often been compared to his peer Wes Anderson, and even co-wrote two of his adventures; The Life Aquatic and Fantastic Mr. Fox. But where Anderson presents a twee trajectory that edges on fantastical, Baumbach has always kept his dramatic comedies rooted deeply in harsh, but hilarious, realities.
His new film, While We’re Young, opens in theaters next Friday — but a special retrospective series of some of his career highlights, Growing Up Baumbach, begins tonight at the Sie FilmCenter. See just one program in this series and you can get a sneak-peek ticket to While You We're Young at 7:15 p.m. Thursday, March 26.
Baumbach’s new film gives us Josh and Cornelia Srebnick (Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts), a middle-aged New York couple who find their lives changed when they fall in with a hipster couple, played by Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried, twenty years their junior. This new relationship finds the Srebnicks not only ignoring friends their own age but the natural trajectory of happiness — a happiness they'd thought they were missing out on.
Here are the other titles in the Noah Baumbach series that guarantee you a ticket to see his new film:
3) Kicking & Screaming
7:15 p.m. Monday, March 23
Baumbach burst onto the scene as an indie darling with this comedy about four male friends who discover that graduating college and moving into the real world isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be…except for their girlfriends. The film starred a clutch of fresh new acting talents, including Josh Hamilton, Parker Posey, Eric Stoltz and Chris Eigeman, many of whom would join his cast of regulars in films to come.
2) The Squid & The Whale
7:15 p.m. Tuesday, March 24
In his autobiographical, accessible and Oscar=nominated third feature, Baumbach goes back to his childhood in upperclass Brooklyn; he uses young actors Jesse Eisenberg and Owen Kline as avatars for a youth spent ping-ponging between loyalties as his writer parents, played by Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney, begin divorcing. The film displays an awkward honesty as the brothers' natural path of adolescence hits new road bumps as their parents find their own artistic failures poisoning the well of their family even further.
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1) Frances Ha
7:15 p.m. Wednesday, March 25
Electric actress Greta Gerwig stars as Frances, a young dancer without much dancing experience, or even a real place to live, who will make her dreams come true no matter the cost. When her best friend Sophie stops talking to her, it drives Frances to figure out how life works — even if it doesn’t seem to really be working for her.
The Growing Up Baumbach retrospective is at the Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax. Tickets are $10 for each of the first three films; buy one and you get a free ticket to see While We’re Young on March 26. For tickets and more information, go to denverfilm.org.