NEW YORK — If you go to see "White Noise," make sure you don't walk out during the end credits.
After the final scene of Noah Baumbach's existential Netflix dramedy (in theaters Nov. 25; streaming Dec. 30), stars Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig throw a massive dance party in a grocery store to the tune of LCD Soundsystem's "New Body Rhumba," which was written specifically for the film.
Throughout the seven-minute sequence, customers writhe and climb over piles of produce, boogying with bottles of dish soap and sailing down the aisles on shopping carts. Store clerks wave plastic bags over their heads at the end of the checkout line, while Gerwig bops in place and reads a newspaper.
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It's a jubilant moment that offers much-needed respite from the darker edges of "White Noise," which is based on Don DeLillo's 1985 novel. Set in the early '80s, the movie follows Jack Gladney (Driver), a middle-aged professor of "Hitler studies," and his wife Babette (Gerwig), a spacey housewife with a mysterious pill habit. When a train crashes near their small town and releases deadly chemicals into the air, the Gladneys and their kids are forced to evacuate and quarantine at a nearby campground. But even when it's safe to return home, Jack and Babette have been permanently rattled by the very real fear of looming death.
By ending with an unfettered dance sequence, Baumbach wanted to create "something that was visceral and pleasurable and exciting, and a way to celebrate both life and death at the same time," he told journalists during a post-screening Q&A at the New York Film Festival Friday. The film jumps between genres such as black comedy, disaster movie and '80s noir, "so I thought, 'Well, maybe it could also be a musical.' "
Baumbach called on his friend, LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy, who composed the score for the director's 2010 comedy "Greenberg."
"I was basically like, 'Why don't you write the song that you would've written (in the '80s) if you were trying to make a hit?'" Baumbach recalls. "I had this idea, like, 'Why don't you write a joyous song about death?'"
"I need a new love and I need a new body to push away the end," Murphy sings over a punchy bass line. The song becomes more frantic and heady as it goes along, as he echoes, "Go into the light, go into the light..."
"I did kind of have a nervous breakdown (writing it)," Murphy said, explaining how the track went in a different direction and became more uptempo. "It took a long time, but I'm happy with where it landed."
"White Noise" marks Baumbach's return to the film festival after Netflix's 2019 drama “Marriage Story,” which also starred Driver and earned six Oscar nominations, winning best supporting actress (Laura Dern). It’s his latest collaboration with Gerwig after they co-wrote 2013's “Frances Ha” and 2015’s “Mistress America,” in which she also starred. In early 2019, the real-life couple welcomed their first child together.
"White Noise" kicks off a star-studded slate for this year's festival, which runs through Oct. 16 at New York's Lincoln Center. Timothée Chalamet reunites with director Luca Guadagnino for cannibal love story “Bones & All,” while Cate Blanchett could nab her third Oscar for conductor drama “TÁR.” Rooney Mara (“Women Talking”), Anne Hathaway (“Armageddon Time”) and Gabrielle Union (“The Inspection”) are also scheduled to touch down at the fest in support of their respective awards hopefuls.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: ‘White Noise’: Greta Gerwig Netflix movie opens New York Film Festival