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Entries in David O. Russell (28)

Monday
May092016

The Furniture: Joy's Emerald City of Home Shopping

"The Furniture" is our weekly series on Production Design. Here's Daniel Walber on Joy, now available on DVD and Bluray

It seems impossible that production designer Judy Becker has only received a single Oscar nomination, if not supremely unfair as well. At the very least, she should have snagged a second nomination for Carol. Her resume includes such diverse triumphs as We Need to Talk About Kevin, Brokeback Mountain, Shame and I’m Not There, as well as a neat early credit as a set dresser on Spike Lee’s Malcolm X. And so it seems totally appropriate that Becker is the first production designer to merit a repeat appearance in 'The Furniture'.

Becker’s most fruitful collaboration has been with David O. Russell. She's worked on every one of his features since The Fighter and she earned her lone Oscar nomination for American Hustle. Her sets for Joy, particularly the charismatic QVC studio at the film’s core, are among the best design work of last year. They also make quite a one-two punch with Carol, Becker showing a remarkable affinity for the stylistic underpinnings of American shopping. [More...]

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Thursday
Mar032016

Link Becomes Her

Anya Taylor-Joy photographed by Gregory HarrisThe Washington Post interesting visual analysis of Tom McCarthy's Oscar winner Spotlight
Interview M Night Shyamalan interview Anya Taylor-Joy from The Witch
Pajiba Agent Carter in limbo after second season finale. (Is limbo the new code word for cancelled? I've never seen a network burn off that many episodes that quickly if they weren't going to cancel something)
My New Plaid Pants "I would like to talk about... Madeline Ashton." YES. Death Becomes Her is getting a special edition BluRay next month
Kotaku Ghost in the Shell finally adds a famous Asian actor to its cast list, Beat Takeshi. 
Playbill This is cool 15 ambassadors from the UN saw a special performance of Fun Home The Musical. Can we please get a film version? That show is sublime
Film School Rejects looks back at Oliver Stone's The Doors (1991) for its 25th anniversary
NY Times profiles Sarah Paulson who talks about her Marcia Clark role, her romance with Holland Taylor, and why she's drawn to older people in her life. 
The Playlist Matthias Schoenarts will star in Kursk, a Russian submarine survival drama 
MNPP on Kenneth Lonergan's new play Hold on to me, Darling starring Timothy Olyphant 
MTV briely, with wit, on Leo's Oscar win 
Tracking Board Joseph Gordon-Levitt developing a movie called K Troop, about a US Army division assigned to take the Ku Klux Klan down during their rise. 

Finally...
By know you've probably read that Amy Adams has confirmed what those  leaked Sony emails suggested that she was quite unhappy on the set of American Hustle. It was her second film with David. O. Russell but I suspect there won't be a third given what she told British GQ.

Photo by Norma Jean Roy

I was really just devastated on set. I mean, not every day, but most. Jennifer [Lawrence] doesn’t take any of it on. She’s Teflon. And I am not Teflon. But I also don’t like to see other people treated badly.. It’s not ok with me. Life to me is more important than movies. It really taught me how to separate work and home. Because I was like, I cannot bring this experience home with me to my daughter.

 

 

Wednesday
Dec302015

Contrarian Corner: Age is Just a Number As J.Law Dazzles in 'Joy'

Jose continues our new series Contrarian Corner in which team members who feel very off-consensus about a particular topic can work through it... 


One of the most surreal moments in my life occurred when I was able to speak to Winona Ryder about Jennifer Lawrence. Like J.Law, Ryder became the “it girl” early during her career, and during the early 90s earned back-to-back Oscar nominations and critical/commercial adoration. Unlike J.Law, Ryder wasn’t able to make the most out of what fame and screen maturity had granted her, as she was denied serious parts because of her age. She looked “too young” to play “older parts”, and reached a point (i.e. her 30s) where she was “too old” to play younger parts. Perhaps because she has the good fortune of staying away from social media, Ms. Ryder was unaware of the constant criticism J.Law faces whenever she teams up with David O. Russell.

I don’t even know how old she is. I always thought she was the age of her characters”

Kudos to Ms. Ryder for reminding us that films are all about suspending our disbelief.  [More...]

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Tuesday
Dec292015

Interview: Carol's Production Design Judy Becker 

Judy Becker. Photo © Tom Uhlman at New York TimesThis won't have escaped you but we're a little bit obsessed with Todd Haynes's Carol. We tried to devote a week to it but the love can't be contained by calendars. The romantic drama about a glamorous society wife and a young shopgirl is rolling out slowly -- agonizingly slowly -- to more cities each week. It leads the Golden Globe nominations and though the Academy's decisions about the year's "best" are yet to come, there's reason to be hopeful that they'll embrace the filmmaker's triumphant return to the silver screen.

The Oscar-nominated production designer Judy Becker (American Hustle), is responsible for most everything you see onscreen in Carol from Therese's humble apartment to Frankenberg's Department Store, the Aird estate, and much more. "The props, there are close-ups on them, so I don’t know how you can say, that’s not important," she says passionately, underlining the fact that everything we see is part of 'the look'. She describes herself as a very hands-on designer and is sure this drives new members of her staff crazy but she has high praise for her frequent set decorator Heather Loeffler. "She never gets upset if I veto something but, at the same time, she brings a lot to the table and surprises me all the time with great stuff."

Though Becker is best known for her frequent collaborations with  David O. Russell this is not her first Todd Haynes film, having also designed his abstract Bob Dylan biopic I'm Not There (2007). We began our chat marvelling at his genius. Though I'm Not There was a larger scale task, essentially designing multiple worlds, Carol wasn't much easier for different reasons. "Every film has its challenges," she explains. And films as gorgeously realized as Carol don't happen without a lot of planning, work, and inspiration. 

Our interview is after the jump...

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Sunday
Dec272015

Podcast: Joy & Star Wars: The Force Awakens

In this week's podcast Nathaniel and Nick return happily to that galaxy far far away and go off consensus to enjoy the Jennifer Lawrence hit Joy. (Plus miscellania but you'll have to listen to see how Carol and Batman v Superman show up since you know how we do...)

43 minutes 
00:01 Written on the Wind (1956)
03:00 David O. Russell's Joy feat. Isabelle Rossellini, Virginia Madsen, Robert De Niro and Elisabeth Röhm
12:00 Loving Star Wars: The Force Awakens and sexy Oscar Isaac.
27:00 Childhood fascinations with the original trilogy and minor quibbles with the new/old plot and the First Order. 
36:15 Nasty Baby & Mississippi Grind (2015)
40:10 The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989)

Further Reading for Context:
Nick's Oscar Isaac Theory & Ordinary People Tweet
David Ehrlich's A24 Article

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes

 

 

 

Star Wars and Joy

Sunday
Nov012015

Magic Carpet Link

NY Times talks to David O. Russell about Joy... which still is not screening. The mystery of it all
Playbill Aladdin flew through the streets of NYC on his magic carpet recently. How's that for marketing?
Gold Standard Character actors get their own award "The Carneys"... we wouldn't need this if the Academy remembered why they invited the Supporting Acting categories. The first recipients:  Bob BalabanMichael EalyBruce McGillDavid Paymer and CCH Pounder
THR wishes Toni Collette a happy birthday with fun facts


/Film Jennifer Aniston hasn't made a good film in 10 years. Can What Alice Forgot change her course?
Guardian suggests that appointment franchise cinema will end with Hunger Games: Mockinjay Part 2. "IF ONLY!" says all of us who year for movies to be movies rather than expensive television series
Variety talks to Karl Glusman about his first day on the set of Gaspar Noé's Love -- they started with the ejaculation scene. Yikes
Variety interesting. The very talented Pablo Larraín (No) is making a movie about Jackie Kennedy and Natalie Portman stars with Peter Sarsgaard, and Greta Gerwig in support
Graham Norton talks to Maggie Smith who isn't sad to say goodbye to Downton Abbey 
Variety selects under the rader performances that "deserve" Oscar buzz. While it's nice to see more props for Kristen Stewart's great work in Clouds of Sils Maria, it's tough to take this seriously: Helen Mirren in Woman in Gold? Good god did she ever phone that one in! Ruffalo "reinventing" himself for Spotlight? Try repeating himself! 

Halloween Hangover
Crave Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) chooses the most stylish horror films from Repulsion to The Haunting
HitFix they polled several writers/directors/critics to list their fav horror films. Not enough actresses on the list but I LOL'ed that Elvira gave herself the #1 position
Gothamist photos from the Village Halloween parade
TFE Facebook / TFE Twitter  in case you missed it I was goofing with counting down my 15 favorite horror films last night from Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? to Silence of the Lambs -- "it puts the fuckin' movie on the list. It does this whenever it's told."

Also if you aren't liking / following / sharing The Film Experience on social media... why you wanna hurt us like dat?

Finally... 
Did you hear there's a fully poseable Michaelangelo's David action-figure? Want! Also why is there not a movie about the creation of this work of art?  

 

Would you watch a movie about the making of Michelangelo's David?
Yes. I'm all about the Italian Renaissance
Entirely depend on the casting of David.
No. I'll just look at the nude gifs on the internet.
Poll Maker

 

Wednesday
Oct212015

Yes No Maybe So: Nobody Owes "Joy" Anything... 

It's been amusing for months now to see Oscar pundits fall all over themselves declaring Joy and Jennifer Lawrence frontrunners sight unseen. Unbroken anyone? It's never smart to declare frontrunners sight unseen. But now that we're finally getting more of a peak at the actual movie --  though it's still anyone's guess as to the final quality and perceptions thereof -- It does have the making of an entertaining 2 hours at the movies. So bring Christmas on. Deck the halls. Etcetera.

The new trailer beautifully sequelizes the conceit of the teaser, in which Joy's grandmother (I think) lectured to her. Now Joy (Jennifer Lawrence) is the one imparting wisdom... to her daughter. Of the every-man-for-himself cynical variety but still. Yes No Maybe so breakdown after the jump... 

Click to read more ...