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When assessing what present and future filmmakers can learn from David O. Russell’s ideas and practices, it really depends on which David O. Russell we’re talking about. Is it David O. Russell the mad genius auteur, who was as notorious for insisting on his vision as he was for getting in much-publicized spats with actors on set? Or is it David O. Russell the comeback king who, with this weekend’s American Hustle, seems all but guaranteed a third critically lauded and commercially successful film in a row? In several notable ways, the themes of David O. Russell’s films haven’t changed all that much – he’s still as preoccupied as ever with depicting various types of dysfunctional, untraditional, and ultimately affirming oddball “families” – but his filmmaking has changed greatly, a switch that he chalks up to lessons learned from the troubled shoot and reception of (the still-underrated) I Heart Huckabees as well as »
- Landon Palmer
After tantalizing glimpses of David O. Russell's “American Hustle” through its trailer and six-minute preview at AFI Fest, the end result has screened for critics and indeed it seems another mostly solid hit for the “Silver Linings Playbook” director. Alongside its major Nyfcc awards win, our review deemed the film “decidedly more admirable than affecting,” but with a limited release starting this week, Sony is pushing for spreading the word even more, showcasing a brand new clip and the reveal of the soundtrack along with the prospect of future projects from Russell. The “I Heart Huckabees” director has always prized re-introducing actors to the public through unconventional roles, and “American Hustle” is no different. Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, and Amy Adams all turn in wildly different performances in the loose retelling of the Abscam scandal, but in a recent NY Times profile on Adams, Russell hinted at a new »
- Charlie Schmidlin
The Sundance Film Festival has a ton of great-looking films premiering next year, and one of them is a new zombie film called Life After Beth. The movie has a great cast that includes Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, Cheryl Hines, and Paul Reiser.
Zach is devastated by the unexpected death of his girlfriend, Beth. When she mysteriously returns, he gets a second chance at love. Soon his whole world turns upside down…
- Joey Paur
Directed by the co-writer of I Heart Huckabees, Aubrey Plaza (Parks And Recreation) features as living-girl-turned-zombie Beth, girlfriend of Zach (Dane DeHaan – The Place Beyond The Pines), who resurrects after dying. What’s the first thing Zach does after discovering his dearly beloved has now departed? Ties her to his oven of course! Co-starring John C. Reilly (Wreck-it Ralph), Paul Reiser (Mad About You), Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development), Molly Shannon (Saturday Night Live) and Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect), this is one comedy we don’t want to miss. These stills give us a glimpse into Beth’s new blood-splattered persona, as well as a hint at the romance between Plaza and DeHaan’s characters.
Life After Beth will premiere at Sundance Film Festival 2014 in January.
Source: Sundance Film Festival
The post Zombie Aubrey Plaza Stars In »
- Jazmine Sky Bradley
The director of Silver Linings Playbook returns with a simmering and intriguingly confected black comedy
• Oscar predictions 2014: American Hustle
• News: American Hustle wins over NY critics
David O Russell's brazen, nerve-jangling, irresistibly watchable black comedy American Hustle is loosely based on a true story from the 1970s of how the FBI forced a notorious New Jersey conman to help entrap corrupt politicians with the offer of bribes from a "fake sheikh", a scam later beloved in British tabloid circles.
It blends the wiseguy voiceover nostalgia of Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas with the cheeky imposture of George Roy Hill's The Sting, and the headbutting and faintly surreal non-sequiturs in the dialogue have a little of David Mamet. But there is also something unmistakably Russell-esque in the neurotic, shrill and often very funny drama: a kind of neo-noir farce. Russell distils his own toxic kind of nitrous oxide and pipes it into the cinema. »
- Peter Bradshaw
David O. Russell is a very funny man. That's been easy to forget lately. The last time it feels like he made a full-on comedy was "I Heart Huckabees," and I still remember walking out of the first screening of the film, big smile on my face, only to run smack dab into a cluster of journalists all angrily venting about the film. They didn't just dislike it, they were furious at having seen it. One in particular was red-faced about it, and when I tried to walk by, they tried to rope me into agreeing with them about how terrible »
- Drew McWeeny
In the first TV spot for American Hustle, we saw Jennifer Lawrence getting a little sassy, and this new TV spot shows her being a little bit mouthy too. But this time, we also get a sense of how Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, Jeremy Renner and Amy Adams are involved in the story that fictionally dramatizes the 70s FBI sting operation Abscam. This looks like it's going to be dramatic, but with a decent amount of humor as well. There will likely be plenty of acting nominations in the future for this film. Thankfully, it's just over two weeks away, arriving with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, making for a great weekend. Here's the new TV spot for David O. Russell's American Hustle from Sony Pictures: American Hustle is directed by David O. Russell (Flirting with Disaster, Three Kings, I Heart Huckabees, The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook), working »
- Ethan Anderton
Blue Is the Warmest Colour, the award-winning French film, is already notorious for its fisticuffs between stars and director. It's the latest in an unhappy tradition of histrionics and control-freakery. Here are some vintage feuds
Directors and actors being what they are, they like a good argument. On one side are obsessive perfectionists, on the other self-involved exhibitionists – or so the theory goes. It's often proved a combustible mix in the past, with what is euphemistically termed "creative tension" often adding to the dynamic of the final film.
The media, obviously, is the silent third partner in all this; though you, the reader, ought to be equally ashamed, gleefully drinking in all the foul-mouthed resentment and high-decibel score-settling. You don't have to look far: actors Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopolous turned on Blue Is the Warmest Colour director Abdellatif Kechiche, accusing him of traumatising them during the extended periods shooting sex and fight scenes. »
- Andrew Pulver
Feature James Clayton 22 Nov 2013 - 06:25
If you go to the cinema today you may find that you're able to see Dom Hemingway, which stars Jude Law. You'll also find that you're able to see The Hunger Games: Catching Fire which stars Jennifer Lawrence.
They are very different films - one an indie Brit black-comedy crime flick and the other an American dystopian adventure franchise sequel - but they have one crucial similarity: they are both fronted by a J-Law.
Law and Lawrence share a nickname bestowed on them by fans and lazy journalistic types who have no respect for formal standards. This is problematic because the rules of nicknaming are similar to the credo of Highlander. "There can be only one", so we need to work out who that one is. »
A huge ensemble cast of indie vets (Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, Matthew Gray Gubler, Dane DeHaan, Alia Shawkat, John C. Reilly, Cheryl Hines, Paul Reiser, Molly Shannon). Check. A promising directorial debut from someone who previously made a name for himself with a cult screenplay (I Heart Huckabees). Check. Zombies. Check. You can always count on a horror-comedy to crack the Park City at Midnight line-up and Life After Bet certainly fills in that gap. Filming on Jeff Baena’s debut occurred in July, and recent Afm art proves that they’re deep into the post production phase, so chances are relatively good for a possible January showing. If so, this will be a hot sales item ticket for several indie distribution companies.
Gist: DeHaan plays Zach, who is devastated by the unexpected death of his girlfriend, Beth. But when she miraculously comes back to life, Zach takes full advantage »
- Eric Lavallee
David O. Russell has busted out of a filmmaking funk that lasted six years. After making I Heart Huckabees, a movie notorious for Russell's on-set arguments with Lily Tomlin, the director was unsure if he would be able to direct another film. During this time, Russell wrote numerous screenplays until he helmed The Fighter in 2010. The acclaim that film garnered allowed him to next make Silver Linings Playbook. Next, he has American Hustle which is looking to be a third consecutive »
- Alex Maidy
As David O. Russell himself admits in yesterday's THR 50-minute directors roundtable (watch it here), his post-"I Heart Huckabees" period (which included the still-unreleased "Nailed," which recently got an MPAA rating) was a fallow period as a director (he's called 'Huckabees' his least favorite film). But unlike some other filmmakers that take on works for hire or direct commercials to meet ends, Russell is also a writer. While he wasn't directing, the period was an extremely fertile time for him as screenwriter and he penned the comedies like "Grackle," "Aaron & Sara" (which is getting made by another group of filmmakers), "The H-Man Cometh" and "Silver Linings Playbook" (the latter of which got made obviously, and was a massive success). Even as 2010's "The Fighter" was getting made, he had penned several more screenplays, both personal works and works for hire like "Pride & Prejudice & Zombies" and "Uncharted: Drake's Fortune" (which he. »
- Edward Davis
The teaser trailer and full theatrical trailer for David O. Russell's newest film American Hustle have made it one of the most anticipated films of the Oscar season (and it was one of 21 films we were excited about in the second half of 2013). Honestly, if there weren't any trailers at all, the cast of Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Christian Bale is enough to be excited. Now the first TV spot has arrived with more footage from the film, including more Lawrence getting a little sassy with Bale's fat and bald con-man and sticking her nose where it doesn't belong. I want to see it now. Watch! Here's the first TV spot for David O. Russell for American Hustle from Sony Pictures: American Hustle is directed by David O. Russell (Flirting with Disaster, Three Kings, I Heart Huckabees, The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook), working from »
- Ethan Anderton
The AFI Fest tribute to David O. Russell climaxed with a screening of the opening six minutes of “American Hustle.” Awards possibilities? Let’s just say the audience had waited in line for a long time, then the tribute was delayed an hour due to tech “fine-tuning,” and the sequence was stopped midway due to sound problems, then started over again — and, despite all that, it played like gangbusters.
You can’t judge a film from just a glimpse, but the segment offered reasons for high hopes, displaying the Russell trademarks: zero exposition, sharp below-the-line work, interesting use of music and casting against type. The sequence showed a paunchy, hairpiece-wearing Bale, agitated Bradley Cooper and Amy Adams as an English-accented sexpot working to entrap a city mayor, played by a hilariously pompadoured Jeremy Renner.
Before the tribute, which was scheduled to start at 9 p.m., Russell was feted at a reception at the Roosevelt Hotel, »
- Tim Gray
Given that David O. Russell's "American Hustle" (December 13) is one of the final films to arrive into the already-crowded awards fray, the last film festival of the fall season, AFI Fest 2013 (November 7-14), gets to promote the presumed Oscar contender via Special Tribute on Friday, November 8. (The advance buzz on the movie, which Russell is tinkering with, per usual, is strong.) The tribute will look over Russell's body of work, from 1994's breakthrough Sundance entry "Spanking the Monkey" and comedies "Flirting with Disaster" and "I Heart Huckabees" to Kuwait war drama "Three Kings" and "The Fighter" and "Silver Linings Playbook," starring Oscar-winners Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence, respectively. They also star in "American Hustle," which will be screened in part but not in its entirety during the evening. »
- Anne Thompson
The 2013 AFI Fest announced a Special Tribute to three-time Oscar nominated writer/director David O. Russell, whose latest film "American Hustle" opens Dec. 13. The tribute will take place Nov. 8 at 9pm in the Egyptian Theater. Below find more info courtesy of the fest: Special Tribute: An Evening with David O. Russell A conversation with the critically acclaimed filmmaker, celebrating his renowned work and new film "American Hustle." The tribute presentation will feature scenes from Russell's body of work, including "American Hustle" Together, Russell's latest two films, garnered a total of 15 academy-award nominations. Russell's prior filmography includes "I Heart Huckabees" (2004), "Three Kings" (1999), "Flirting With Disaster" (1996), and "Spanking the Monkey" (1994). The festival runs Nov. 7-14. »
- Ohad Amram
AFI Fest has added another event to its already star-packed week. American Hustle director David O. Russell will be honored with a special tribute on Friday, Nov. 8. The tribute will feature a conversation with the director, along with clips from his films, including 2012's Silver Linings Playbook and 2010's The Fighter, which together garnered a total of 15 Academy Award nominations. Russell's earlier films include I Heart Huckabees, Three Kings and Flirting With Disaster. Photos: 'American Hustle' Character Posters Plunge Us Into the Late 1970s American Hustle, which stars Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence,
- Rebecca Ford
AFI Fest will host a tribute to Special Tribute to David O. Russell on November 8. The evening will celebrate his body of work, including the upcoming "American Hustle," one of the very last sight-unseen titles tipped for this year's Oscar consideration. That film stars Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale and Amy Adams. In addition to "American Hustle," the evening will include clips from "The Silver Linings Playbook," "The Fighter," "Three Kings," "I Heart Huckabees," "Flirting With Disaster" and "Spanking the Monkey." AFI Fest runs November 7-14 in Los Angeles. »
Feature James Clayton 25 Oct 2013 - 07:09
This Halloween's Toy Story Of Terror leaves James contemplating the horror undertones lurking in the Pixar franchise...
Toy Story Of Terror! is a new 22-minute short film produced by Pixar in time for Halloween. This is a timely and tantalising prospect, because we like Toy Story and we like watching scary movies (even if they are only mini-movies) at this time of year. The TV special has already aired in America, and British screens (well, those with Sky Movies) get the seasonal gift this weekend.
Pixar's fresh short feature offers audiences the following - an original Toy Story tale about characters we know and love, coloured with extra terror. The title tells us this much, and they've punctuated it with an exclamation mark so you know it's going to be super-fun and super-terrifying.
Typed out as Toy Story Of Terror it sounds pretty feeble. »
Hello again, dear readers. I hope at least some of you got out to see Machete Kills over the weekend – we need to get those box office numbers up! But moving on from films paying tribute to the 1970s to films actually set in the 1970s, this week’s new installment of Trailer Trashin’ takes a look at David O. Russell’s upcoming period drama American Hustle.
Premise: Brilliant con man Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale), along with his equally cunning and seductive British partner Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams), is recruited and forced to work for wild FBI agent Richie Dimaso (Bradley Cooper). Dimaso pushes the two into the world of Jersey power-brokers and mafia that is as dangerous as it is enchanting. The operating eventually involves Carmine Poltio (Jeremy Renner), the Mayor of Camden, New Jersey, who is caught between the cons-artists and the Feds. But Irving’s unpredictable wife »
- Timothy Monforton
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