TOdam Driver he is very serious, he only laughs when he talks about his belly: «I must have looked a certain way, so they gave me a prosthesis for my stomach, then I got fat and it was no longer needed. But I’m satisfied with my look ». The role is that of a university professor and father of a family, Jack Gladney, and the film is that of the opening of the Venice Film Festival, White Noisedirected by Noah Baumbach and also performed by Greta Gerwig.
White Noise is the adaptation of the postmodernist novel by Don DeLillo 1985, set in the eighties, and follows the adventures of a professor specializing in Hitler studies, Jack Gladney, father of four, whose quiet suburban life and his marriage to Babette (Gerwig) are turned upside down by the arrival of a frightening toxic cloud caused by an accident. The event puts Jack, Babette and the other surrounding characters in front of the greatest and most common fear: that of dying.
At some point, some masks and the whole apocalyptic atmosphere can only recall our present of Covid and restrictions. “I couldn’t believe how current the story was, but I also thought it would be important to tell it at any time,” says Noah Baumbach, who said he reread the novel by accident at the start of the pandemic.
Struggling for the first time with an adaptation from a novel, Baumbach has chosen a difficult theme, that of deathwhich constantly hovers in the dialogues and actions, evoked from the title, that white noise that is always with us but we do not hear it or do not want to hear it: “White Noise it talks about the rituals we put in place to keep danger and death at a distance. Except that sometimes death comes in ways we didn’t even expect, ”says the director.
There is a key phrase of the film that comes from the book, it is the line that the character of Driver says: “The family is the cradle of disinformation“. “I thought it was a splendid representation not only of my country – America – but of the world in general, of the way we receive information today. And as you see with the kids in the film, who are constantly saying: “Is this true?”. Well, maybe that’s true, maybe not – they never know. ‘
Another protagonist of the film are the the eighties, which impregnate every detail: Greta Gerwig’s perm, the clothes, the music. For Baumbach these are the years of formation: «I have seen White Noise also as a story about cinema. Thanks to the gender elements and the changes in tone, I was able to use this language, ”she said. “I’m very good friends with Bian DePalma and I used to say, ‘You used those Hitchcock shots.’ And he replied: “No, Hitchcock created a language that is now available to us. So I thought of using the cinematographic languages that were available to me, starting from that of the Eighties. The noir of the Eighties. Catastrophic movies. Romantic comedies. Family vacation movies. There’s a coherence to all of this, because DeLillo exposed everything to me. People said, “Oh, I’ve never seen you do any of that.” But the previous material didn’t require it, while this film really did. So I did it. “
White Noise ends with a sequence of dance in a supermarket to the tune of a new song by LCD Soundsystem: “I told James (Murphy, the founder of the banded): write the song you would have written if you had written music in 1985, and write a really catchy and funny song about death ».
The film, on Netflix from December 30, reunites the director with two old (and dear) acquaintances: he had already shot with Adam Driver Story of a wedding (the co-star was Scarlett Johansson) and with Greta Gerwig, partner in life, with whom he had worked on four projects.