Is it any surprise that director Noah Baumbach—whose new movie, Marriage Story, is a bruising tour de force and opens today—loves our favorite LES theater, the bespoke Metrograph? “Although the Metrograph is only three years old, it feels already like a New York institution,” writes the director in program notes detailing his upcoming six-week residency at the movie house beginning this Friday. During that span, all of Baumbach’s narrative features will be screened (but not his insightful 2015 documentary profile, De Palma—what gives, Metrograph? It can still be added…). Some of these presentations will either be introduced by the filmmaker or followed by Q&As, turning his residency into a de facto master class.
Intriguingly, Baumbach has also picked several “companion” films (in his words, “movies that I love, that have somehow informed my work as well as my life”) to play as double features: Éric Rohmer’s Pauline at the Beach after Margot at the Wedding; the generationally-themed Working Girl after While We’re Young; other choices that are too good to ruin. He's even found room for E.T. The takeaway is a nuanced appreciation of a particular artist’s sensibility, one steeped in encyclopedic Gen-X scholarship but with room for detours into beloved mid-budget Hollywood movies and NYC-set indies. For many who have cherished Baumbach’s work for years, the residency will feel like a coronation. And for those who have yet to experience one of his films, it’s going to be a scene—exactly the way to begin a great adventure.