Film Streams Screening Alexander Payne’s “Downsizing”
December 22nd, 2017
Omaha, NE—Now showing at Film Streams’ recently opened Dundee Theater—Downsizing—the new feature film from Omaha born and raised writer and director Alexander Payne. Featuring Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz and Kristen Wiig, Downsizing is a sci-fi comedy-drama that imagines a time in which someone might make it big by thinking small.
As a solution to overpopulation, new technology is used to shrink people to about five inches tall. An added incentive to downsizing is that living life at such a small scale means that even a modest income could be worth millions.
Payne and longtime writing partner Jim Taylor began writing Downsizing after their 2004 hit, Sideways. It was intended to be their next completed film, but there were obstacles, said Patrick Kinney, Film Streams’ Communications Director.
“This is a film that Alexander wanted to make for a long time and had trouble getting the budget for, because it’s a very ambitious film that required quite a bit of production, quite a bit of special effects for the first time in any of his films,” Kinney said. “It took a while to get that lined up, so in between, he made a couple of really good films. He made The Descendants, he made Nebraska, but all the while he was hoping that this project would come together.”
Downsizing isn’t all about Omaha, but locals will recognize at least a few landmarks, some Nebraskan culture and nods to past Alexander Payne Films.
“Well, you could definitely say that the first 20 minutes are Omaha heavy. The first 20 minutes occur almost entirely in Omaha, and there are a lot of great settings. You can see La Casa Pizzeria is a location, which is really fun, and there are a lot of extras who are regular Omaha people who are in the film. Omaha Steaks is another setting, and then one thing that Alexander put in the film for fans is that in the background of one of the shots, you can see the Woodman building, which is a callback to About Schmidt, when the main character of the film worked in the Woodman tower. So that’s pretty fun, but yeah, it has an Omaha feel. The main character definitely feels like a Nebraskan in some of his mannerisms.”
For Film Streams, Downsizing is milestone, marking the new run of the Dundee Theater, which had been out of commission between 2013 and its opening earlier this month.
“We’re really excited that we get to show this at the Dundee Theater. Our goal had always been to have that project completed in time to show this film. The Dundee is an important theater to Alexander. It’s where he grew up going to see movies, so he’s really excited that this is one of the first films we are showing at the reopened Dundee.”
Downsizing is showing now, mornings afternoons and evenings at Film Streams’ Dundee Theater. For more information or tickets, visit FilmStreams.org.
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