AFI's Master Class: The Art of Collaboration - David O. Russell & Mark Wahlberg - 5/8
Wahlberg and Russell's work together includes the Iraq-set drama Three Kings (1999), which co-starred Wahlberg, George Clooney and Ice Cube; the offbeat comedy I Heart Huckabees (2004), with Wahlberg, Jason Schwartzman, Dustin Hoffman and Naomi Watts; and the Oscar-nominated The Fighter (2010), with Wahlberg, Christian Bale and Melissa Leo.
In the new AFI special, the two artists talk extensively about their collaborative process, beginning with their first meeting, when they really didn't know what to expect from one another. They also reveal some of the movies that have inspired them. Wahlberg reveals that one of his favorite activities as a child was watching movies like The Roaring Twenties (1939) with his father, a teamster who would come home each afternoon between routes. Russell talks about his taste for movies that show both the light and dark sides of family life, as in It's A Wonderful Life (1946). The pair also discuss the themes and visual poetry of Francois Truffaut's The Four Hundred Blows (1959). AFI's Master Class is packed with clips from these films, as well as memorable scenes from the artists' own movies.
TCM will precede this latest edition of AFI's Master Class with a presentation of The Roaring Twenties (1939), starring James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart and Priscilla Lane, at 8 p.m. (ET). Wahlberg cites this film as a perfect example of Cagney's tough-guy image, which Wahlberg sometimes invokes in his own work. Following the AFI special, TCM will present Man of a Thousand Faces (1957) at 11 p.m. (ET), an inspiring film for Russell because it shows Cagney's remarkable versatility. TCM will close out the night with an encore presentation of AFI's Master Class special on Steven Spielberg/John Williams and one of the movies that inspired them, Spartacus (1960).
Master classes are a core part of the curriculum at the AFI Conservatory, which offers a Master of Fine Arts degree in six filmmaking disciplines and was named the #1 film school in the world by The Hollywood Reporter. With an audience comprised solely of AFI Fellows, two artists discuss films that inspired them and present clips from classic films. They also present and discuss their own collaborative work to illustrate different aspects of filmmaking. Each program concludes with a Q&A session with AFI Fellows.