GERWIG: "WHY DID WE GET THE 'BODY DOUBLE' HOUSE TO MAKE A FARCE IN?"
Noah Baumbach's Mistress America had its world premiere at Sundance Saturday. The film, co-written by and starring Greta Gerwig, was well-received by a "lively, laughing audience," according to The Wall Street Journal's Barbara Chai. At a Q&A after the screening, according to Chai, Baumbach explained that Mistress America was inspired by films he saw in the 1980s, when he was a teenager. "There was a subgenre of movies of people who get taken out of their comfortable lives to a strange environment," he told the audience, leading Gerwig to inject, "Something Wild, After Hours... Like being pulled into this crazy thing, and there’s a motorcycle!”
Here's the last part of Chai's article, in which Gerwig mentions another '80s film, Brian De Palma's Body Double:
In Mistress America, Gerwig plays Brooke, a capricious, free-spirited woman who lives in Times Square and takes her future stepsister, Tracy (newcomer Lola Kirke), under her wing.
The film begins with scenes set on the campus of Barnard College, where Tracy’s a freshman, and Times Square, where Brooke hangs out. But as Brooke runs into financial trouble, she seeks help from an ex-fiance and former best friend who live in a lavish house in Connecticut – an entirely different environment from Manhattan.
In an extended sequence midway through the film, an ensemble of actors move in and out of rooms in the glass house and spout rapid-fire repartee at each other.
“When we got to the house, we loved doing something old-fashioned,” Baumbach said. “Something where you can see everybody in their environment, where the doors didn’t slam.”
Gerwig noted the irony of trying to film a screwball comedy “in a house with sliding doors. Why did we get the Body Double house to make a farce in?” she said, referring to the Brian De Palma thriller.
Baumbach, the director of films such as The Squid and the Whale, Greenberg and Frances Ha, said he often shied away from shifting the tone and environment of the story in his movies. But with Mistress America, “we had the guts to try it,” he said.