David O. Russell makes bipolar disorder, dance competitions and the NFL the stuff of romantic comedy in Silver Linings Playbook, a seriously funny feature with star turns by Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. Miguel Arteta interviews writer/director Russell and executive producer/star Cooper.
Editing is older than motion pictures. The ordering and pacing of dialogues, scenes, entrances and exits to build conflict and resolution have long defined Western theater, from Aeschylus’s Oresteia to Wagner’s The Ring of the Nibelung [Der Ring Des Nibelungen]. It was the insertion of first-person thoughts into dialogue and plot that modernized 18th- and 19th-century novels and clever sequencing of mechanically animated magic lantern glass slides that thrilled Victorian audiences to popular epics like Ben-Hur.
Ava DuVernay won the Best Director prize at Sundance for her second dramatic feature, Middle of Nowhere, a heartfelt and complex tale of a woman discovering her own identity while fighting for the parole of her convict husband. A writer, director and also distributor, DuVernay is releasing the film through a partnership between her own African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement and Participant Media. Producer Nekisa Cooper learns more.
Dree Hemingway is a sweet porn star and Besedka Johnson — Best Actress winner at the 2012 SXSW Film Festival — is the mysteriously bitter older woman she befriends in Sean Baker’s sun-streaked relationship drama, Starlet. Interview by Scott Macaulay.