There was a lingering sense of mystery and anticipation Sunday night at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, the site of the world premiere of David O.’s “Amsterdam.” Russell.
Russell hasn’t released a new movie in nearly seven years – his last was 2015’s “Joy” with Jennifer Lawrence. Given his various controversies and the 2011 sexual assault allegations, it wasn’t clear if Hollywood would re-embrace the director with open arms. Then Drake came out on stage.
“This is just a real moment,” Drake said. “So I’m here to present the very talented, the very legendary, and one of the most handsome men in Hollywood. He goes by the name David O. Russell.”
Drake, who serves as executive producer on “Amsterdam,” was one of several influencers who readily paid tribute to the director during the film’s New York premiere. Russell has been accused of displaying hostile behavior towards his representatives on several occasions, and his niece alleged that he sexually assaulted her in a police report filed in 2011, an allegation he has not denied. The case was eventually closed without charges.
Russell’s latest movie is a star-studded crime thriller set in the 1930s that follows three friends – two soldiers played by Christian Bale and John David Washington and a nurse portrayed by Margot Robbie – who find themselves at the center of one of the most harrowing secret plots in American history.
Washington said diverse What sets “Amsterdam” apart is the cast, and the fact that Emmanuel Lubezki (aka Chivo) was on board as a cinematographer. “I think it was just a great mix of comedy and action, and there’s the great historical content. It’s just an immersive game of fun and adventure and companionship and friendship set in the historical background of this country.”
Mike Myers, who plays a supporting role, said that “Amsterdam” has shades from the George Roy Hill films.
“David is such a student of cinema. It’s part of a long tradition of really warm films,” Myers said. diverse. “I said I felt it had shades of ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’ and ‘The Sting.’ I felt like the movie had the same excitement you had for those ’70s movies, but it’s something of its own.”
The screening of “Amsterdam” was followed by a Q&A featuring Russell, Robbie, Myers, Michael Shannon, Rami Malek, Andrea Riseborough and Timothy Olyphant. Moderated by dialogue between Stiller, star of Russell’s second film “Flirting With Disaster”.
“First of all, congratulations on the movie — and congratulations for being one of the great American directors. I love you, David,” Stiller said. “As a filmmaker, a lot of your character comes out on screen. Your energy, your feelings – and you do something as a director to create something very unique.”
The session discussed the film’s central thematic messages about friendship and optimism, how the plot was inspired by real-life events (Russell claimed his story to be 50-60% accurate) and the idea of history repeating itself. Recalling his time filming “Flirting With Disaster,” Stiller explained that he felt Russell’s process was intentionally chaotic.
“I remember when we worked a long time ago this feeling of a deliberate kind of mess,” Stiller said. “I think that’s intentional because you’re trying to change what might be the normal thing you’re supposed to do when making a movie.”
Robbie echoed Stiller’s admiration and described working with Russell as a one-of-a-kind experience.
“It’s a totally unique experience,” said Robbie. “I think we can all attest to that. It’s not like working with anyone else. Every day you go on set, you don’t know what’s going to happen. You literally don’t know what you’re going to shoot that day, and it’s terrifying and exhilarating as well. “.
Earlier in the night, Robert De Niro said diverse That Russell is “a great director, very special. So when he does something, you know he’s going to be noticed, if you will.”