Sunday, October 16, 2022

Uncut Gems (USA: Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie, 2019)

 Uncut Gems (USA: Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie, 2019: 135 mins)

This jolt of pure cinematic adrenaline affirmed directors Josh and Benny Safdie as heirs to the gritty, heightened realism of Martin Scorsese and John Cassavetes. Adam Sandler delivers an almost maniacally embodied performance as Howard Ratner, a fast-talking New York jeweler and gambler in relentless pursuit of the next big score. When he comes into possession of a rare opal, it seems Howard’s ship has finally come in—as long as he can stay one step ahead of a wife (Idina Menzel) who hates him, a mistress (Julia Fox) who can’t quit him, and a frenzy of loan sharks and hit men closing in on him. Wrapping a vivid look at the old-school Jewish world of Manhattan’s Diamond District within a kinetic thriller, Uncut Gems gives us one of the great characters in modern cinema: a tragic hero of competing compulsions on a shoot-the-moon quest to transcend his destiny. - Criterion Collection
Brody, Richard. "The Mesmerizing Chaos of Uncut Gems." The New Yorker (December 13, 2019) 

Bronstein, Ronald, et al. "Josh & Benny Safdie and Uncut Gems Team on the Making of Their Electrifying Crime Thriller." Film at Lincoln Center Podcast #256 (October 7, 2019) ["On Day 11 of our New York Film Festival daily podcast, we explore the making of the festival’s surprise screening, Uncut Gems. In the introduction, Eugene Hernandez, FLC’s Deputy Director and Co-Publisher of Film Comment, is joined by Eric Kohn, IndieWire’s Executive Editor & Chief Critic, to discuss NYFF, the importance of film festivals, and the evolution of the Safdies. Then we go to yesterday’s NYFF Live talk on the making of Uncut Gems, moderated by Kohn. Directors Josh and Benny Safdie (Heaven Knows What, Good Time) were on hand to detail the process of making this electrifying New York City-set thriller, joined by co-writer and editor Ronald Bronstein, producer Sebastian Bear McClard, composer Daniel Lopatin, and casting director Jen Venditti."]

Dargis, Manohla. "Uncut Gems: Adam Sandler's Punch-Drunk Hustle." The New York Times (December 12, 2019)

Eggert, Brian. "Uncut Gems." Deep Focus Review (Ongoing Archive)

Hoberman, J. "Uncut Gems: Taking it to the Rack." The Current (November 23, 2021)

Sanneh, Kalefa. "The Safdie Brothers Full Immersion Filmmaking." The New Yorker (December 9, 2019)

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