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Watch: “Alexander Payne: The Science of Failure”

At the beginning of this examination of Alexander Payne’s work, Daley Nixon cites an old writer’s proverb that a screenplay consists of creating a character and throwing rocks at them; in Payne’s case, Nixon says, he lobs hand grenades. Yes, Payne’s worldview can be grim, but this video argues that failure is a catalyst for ultimately positive self-examination in his films. Includes digressions on the perils of voice-over, complete with a cameo from Frank Darabont.

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