“I’ve been trying to make ‘70s movies my whole career,” Payne said on a visit to New York in October. “Good, human, character-based stories.” Thinking back on the celebrated films of that period, from “Five Easy Pieces” to “Breaking Away,” he said, “I grew up being taught they were commercial American movies.” They were “literate, human, interesting, ambiguous, disturbing — if they have sentimental effects, said effects are earned, not forced.”