Say what you will about David O. Russell, but his passion for filmmaking is virtually unparalleled. And, unlike filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino, little of his enthusiasm seems to come from pretensions or put-ons. He just wants to make solid cinema by telling some fun stories. His Silver Linings Playbook puts a jazz/pop spin on the classic romcom just as The Fighter turns the sports movie into a wild, almost cartoonish, romp of sibling rivalry with no shortage of emotion.
This video, from SundanceNOW, shows Russell expounding his excitement for a little gem of a documentary called Harvard Beats Yale 29-29. Starring then guard for Harvard, Tommy Lee Jones, alongside other former players, the film tells the story of a stranger than fiction football game, known now as the greatest game in Ivy League history. The film is available on Netflix and Hulu as well as SundanceNOW’s Doc Club (a $20 yearly investment well worth the money).
Perhaps the most important thing Russell says here (in reference to why talking head-style documentaries are as good as any) is that he tells young filmmakers “not to worry about the rules and just make a movie like telling a story in an engaging way.” For me, this one line makes this video extremely inspirational. It’s a lesson I’d imagine many of us could learn from. Russell is one of the founders of the Ghetto Film School in the Bronx and the only Film High School in America.
Click below to watch Harvard Beats Yale 29-29: