CULTURE

Three films, big impressions

With just three feature films under his belt, Alexander Payne is considered to rank among the top names of independent American filmmakers who, while working with Hollywood studios, make few concessions to their demands. His first film, «Citizen Ruth» (1996) starred Laura Dern and won him the screenplay award at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival along with other awards at Montreal and Munich. His 1999 movie «Election,» with Matthew Broderick and Reese Witherspoon, was not screened in Greece, although it did earn an Oscar nomination for its screenplay, two Independent Spirit awards, as well as a Writers Guild of America Award. «About Schmidt» is his most ambitious film so far, and it has been nominated for many important awards and secured a Golden Globe.