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WATCH: Director Alexander Payne's Bizarre 1985 Silent Short 'Carmen'

Photo of Ryan Lattanzio By Ryan Lattanzio | TOH! April 21, 2014 at 12:55PM

From "Citizen Ruth" and "Election" to "About Schmidt," "The Descendents" and "Nebraska," two-time Oscar winner and auteur Alexander Payne has gone from indie to mainstream and back again. Get a sense of his indie roots by watching his 1985 student short "Carmen," a silent film he made at the UCLA Film School.
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Alexander Payne directing Bruce Dern on the set of 'Nebraska'
Alexander Payne directing Bruce Dern on the set of 'Nebraska'

From "Citizen Ruth" and "Election" to "About Schmidt," "The Descendents" and "Nebraska," two-time Oscar winner and auteur Alexander Payne has gone from indie to mainstream and back again. Get a sense of his indie roots by watching his 1985 student short "Carmen," a silent film he made at the UCLA Film School. (Hat tip: Screencraft.)

Deeply rooted in Americana, Payne's films toe the line between comedy and tragedy and while "Carmen" veers mostly on the side of comedy, there is some tragedy in the odd protagonist, much like the sad sacks in "Schmidt," "Sideways" and "Nebraska." Man, has he come a long way.

This article is related to: Alexander Payne, Alexander Payne, Video, Nebraska


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