Noah Baumbach’s ‘White Noise’ Set as New York Film Festival Opener

The movie starring Adam Driver will make its North American premiere at the 60th annual edition of the festival beginning Sept. 30

White Noise Noah Baumbach Adam Driver Greta Gerwig
Netflix/Courtesy of New York Film Festival

Noah Baumbach’s “White Noise” will be the opening night film for the 60th New York Film Festival, which kicks off Sept. 30.

“White Noise” stars Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig and will have its North American premiere at NYFF following its world premiere at Venice and before debuting on Netflix.

Baumbach’s “White Noise” is an adaptation of Don DeLillo’s 1985 postmodern novel, a work of satire that has long been considered “unfilmable.” Driver plays a “Hitler Studies” professor and father of four whose comfortable suburban college town life and marriage to the secretive Babette (Greta Gerwig) are upended after a horrifying nearby accident creates an airborne toxic event of frightening and unknowable proportions.

“In 1985 my father and I drove from Brooklyn to see Kurosawa’s ‘Ran’ open the 23rd NYFF, the same year that he brought home the hardback of Don DeLillo’s ‘White Noise,’” Baumbach said in a statement. “Opening the 60th NYFF with ‘White Noise’ is truly special for me. This festival was part of my film education and has been a home for me and many of my movies over the years. I couldn’t be more excited and honored to return.”

Many of Baumbach’s other movies, including most recently “Marriage Story,” have also played at previous New York Film Festivals. Last year’s opening night movie was “The Tragedy of Macbeth” from Joel Coen.

“Opening the 60th edition of the New York Film Festival with Noah Baumbach’s ambitious, funny, and resonant ‘White Noise’ underscores this Festival’s history of introducing new filmmakers to New York audiences. A regular attendee of the Festival as a kid, Noah Baumbach saw his indie filmmaking career take off after debuting ‘Kicking and Screaming’ at NYFF in 1995,” said Eugene Hernandez, executive director of the New York Film Festival. “’White Noise’ will usher in a 60th NYFF selection of films by established directors and vibrant new voices; we’re looking forward to sharing the communal experience of cinema with audiences at Lincoln Center and in other parts of the city this fall! Stay tuned!”

“Noah Baumbach’s adaptation of ‘White Noise’ is an unequivocal triumph: a wildly entertaining and morbidly funny meditation on the way we live now that is also the director’s most ambitious and expansive film,” said Dennis Lim, artistic director, New York Film Festival. “Aided by a brilliant cast led by Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig, Baumbach has not only captured the essence of Don DeLillo’s beloved, era-defining book—he has turned it into a movie that speaks profoundly to our moment.”

The NYFF Main Slate selection committee is chaired by Dennis Lim, and also includes Eugene Hernandez, Florence Almozini, K. Austin Collins and Rachel Rosen.