You may remember my previous "Random Thought," posted here:
Well, I've had another. Stop the presses!
Flashback to almost four years ago. Sideways is released and it seems as though Alexander Payne is officially anointed as The New Big Thing. I believed he was on quite a streak.
Since then, he made a segment in the eighteen-segment, eighteen-filmmaker piece Paris je tiaime, which was fine, and also had a hand in co-writing the execrable Adam Sandler comedy Chuck and Larry.
This isn't meant as a kvetching, "Why don't you make more films?" posting, or a proclamation that Payne is "over," or anything so bold. I'm just curious. Payne isn't a regular fixture of online speculation that some major filmmakers are, though in my keeping abreast of things, it does seem like certain projects have fallen through (I swear I remember talk of him working on a project entitled Nebraska). Now at the untrustworthy IMDB, they have him marked down for an "announced" movie he's set to direct entitled Fork in the Road.
It just seems a little strange that Payne has largely fallen off the map for this long. I have no knowledge of the intricacies of his personal life, nor do I wish to, but he's one filmmaker I became interested in watching develop, and I still am. Even if he says Bergman's The Seventh Seal is unwatchable--at least he credited Wild Strawberries for influencing About Schmidt (as though he needed to!).
Does anyone share my desire to see him get up at bat again fairly soon? If he wants to become Kubrick or Malick and take all the time in the world to fire himself back up, I'll grudgingly accept it, but I am Payned to not see more biting satire married to rich emotional resonance at the cinema. Payne's absence leaves a considerable vacuum to be filled. Jason Reitman, who shows some promise, isn't quite cutting it.