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Posted by Peter Bowen | February 22, 2010
The current issue of Los Angeles Magazine has a first-person account by Noah Baumbah (as told to Amy Wallace) about the making of Greenberg. The piece, entitled "Los Angles I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down"––which you may recognize as a title of a LCD Soundsystem song, whose songwriter James Murphy not coincidentally wrote Greenberg's score––recounts Baumbach process in making a film about Los Angeles. As Baumabch says in the first line, "I don’t know which came first—wanting to set a movie in L.A. or wanting to do a movie about a fortysomething guy who can’t get out of his own way." In the article, he talks, among other things, about the complexity of picking LA locations that would have emotional resonance but not seem cliche.
Sometimes a location is true to you, but it’s been overshot. I went back and forth on Musso & Frank because I thought, Is it too classic? But because it’s Greenberg’s birthday in that scene, I liked the majesty of Musso’s working in contrast to his anxious mood. And then of course it all ends with him storming out after the waiters sing him “Happy Birthday.” We used all the real waiters there. And real regulars. We tried to do that everywhere. At Musso’s, Lucy’s, the Sake House, we used real people.