Last time we saw Noah Baumbach in the East Village, he was doing a q&a for his film While We’re Young. Today he returns to the hood to film a project that’s being called Yen Din Ka Kissa. According to a flyer posted near the corner of East 5th and Cooper Square, the feature, written and directed by Baumbach, “tells the story of an estranged New York family coming together in preparation of artist and patriarch Harold’s career retrospective.” Sounds like Baumbach is returning, to some degree, to the territory he explored in The Squid and the Whale, a domestic drama inspired by his troubled childhood as the son of Brooklyn novelist Jonathan Baumbach.
Filming will take place today from approximately 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., in the area between First Avenue and Bowery, and between East 4th and East 6th Streets.
While that happens, Baumbach’s beau, Greta Gerwig, is getting ready to film Lady Bird this summer. Last week at Joe’s Pub, she spoke about her directorial debut during a taping of Catie Lazarus’s podcast, Employee of the Month. Gergwig, who last starred in Baumbach’s Mistress America, wants to make the film in her hometown of Sacramento, but has found that California isn’t as generous about tax breaks as New York is. (That said, Mike Mills managed to make 20th Century Women, in which Gerwig also stars, in California. It’s uncertain when that will come out, but it’s far along enough that a clip was played at Joe’s Pub.)
Lady Bird, which stars Oscar-nominated Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn) as a high school senior, is produced by Scott Rudin, to Gerwig’s delight: “The four little words I had always wanted to hear was: ‘Scott Rudin is calling,’” she told Lazarus. She said Rudin had changed her career as a writer and actor, especially since “the set of people who finance films is a legitimately creepy set of people.”
Gerwig also talked about the audition tapes she made with Lena Dunham when Gerwig was 23 and Dunham, who was then working on her web show Delusional Downtown Devas, was 21. The two did script reads together and “couldn’t even get through them because they were so ridiculous,” Gerwig recalled. After recalling one particularly absurd stage direction— “the pterodactyl retreats” –Gerwig did a pretty hilarious impression of a damsel in distress who has just seen a pterodactyl retreat.
The tapes, she said, are still sitting on her hard drive. “I need to make an art project of [them] at some time,” she said.
Here’s hoping they end up on the DVD extras of Lady Bird. In the meantime, the Gerwig episode of Employee of the Month should be hitting the iTunes store soon. The episode featuring UN ambassador Samantha Power, which was taped on the same night, is already out. The next taping will feature David Simon, so grip tickets soon.