David O. Russell and the Pursuit of Happiness
The characters in David O. Russell’s films find happiness, but it’s usually hard-won. There’s always a fight involved. Some of these fights are between individuals. In American Hustle, as the struggle for business success involves deceiving others, and the struggle for romantic contentment involves the painful process by which two people rub the rough spots off of each other–or don’t. Some of these struggles take place within one’s self: in Silver Linings Playbook, a man has to master his unruly mind to achieve contentment–and then finds that that’s only half the battle. Some of these battles take place on every conceivable arena: in The Fighter, skirmishes take place on class lines, on physical lines, and on lines of lineage. This video homage by Frank Perez takes us through these battles fluidly and economically, preserving their intensity while reminding us that, in a sense, they are all part of the same eternal, nameless battle.