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The L: What would the smaller, cheaper, weird stuff be like?
AB: I have some fantasies that it's hard for me to articulate, but I'd love to play around. I've had an autonomy that few filmmakers have, let alone three times, and I'm massively grateful for that. But it is fairly conventional narrative filmmaking. So I fantasize about things that aren't necessarily attainable, about having even more freedom, and freedom from the process in a way. I think that's a common and unattainable filmmaker fantasy.
The L: There are conventions to your narrative filmmaking, but you also take away some of the expectations or sinewaves or rhythms of many dramas — even just how when you're shooting conversations, you hold on one person.
AB: If anything I probably did that even more in the earlier films. Part of it is that I like watching people listen. That's a big part of it. And it's also utilitarian, when I'm cutting the scenes together, sometimes one take has a great rhythm and great feel to it and you want to stay there. And in the end, every cut should look and feel intentional, but it begins with seeing where the good material is and building the scene around that.
The L: What projects are you working on now? A recent profile mentioned a romantic comedy idea, and the adaptation of the novel Indecision [by Benjamin Kunkel].
AB: Both of those things are at the moment writing jobs that I've been paid for, and that's been great. That's how I've earned my living for the last couple years. But Indecision was something that I am attached to direct, but I have no idea whether it'll ever get made. That whole world is kind of a black box to me, and I don't live in L.A. or New York and don't really know what's going on behind those closed doors. I'd be thrilled if it got made, but I don't know if it's possible for me to say how likely that is at this point. The romantic comedy is something that a buddy and I have been co-writing, and again I have no idea what the future is.
The L: What's it about?
AB: Eh, it's about the same thing as what they're all about.
The L: You got married recently. Is that going to come up in a future film? I mean, not your marriage specifically.
AB: Somebody told me that was one of the only sure bets left now: people are still willing to bankroll movies that have the word "wedding" in them. Oh, I have no idea.