The curtain has finally been lifted on David O. Russell and Prada’s short film “Past Forward.” The full 12-minute, black-and-white silent film was screened at a private event in Los Angeles this week and was released worldwide on Thursday morning.
Previously described as “a surreal dreamscape with an eclectic cast replaying scenes in shifting combinations,” the movie boasts an impressive ensemble including Allison Williams, Freida Pinto and Kuoth Wiel portraying the same role – a woman trapped in a suspenseful dream. John Krasinski, Connie Britton, Paula Patton, Sacha Baron Cohen, among others also co-star.
For Russell, it was a very special opportunity to work with fashion designer Miuccia Prada. The “Joy” helmer told Vogue that the project was based on emotions, memories and movies that he remembered. When asked if he received any directive from Mrs. Prada he stated that he had free range.
“It was completely what I wanted to do. It was so open that I didn’t think it was going to happen. Because nobody got paid or anything—it wasn’t like that. It was to do it just to do it,” he expressed. “I almost think the whole thing is almost a premonition of how the country feels right now to me. Because the movies that I love, the dreams that I love, have a feeling of uncertainty in them. You can still find love or locate yourself in them, but they’re tinged with a feeling of uncertainty.”
On using three different actors for the same roles, Russell explained how he felt like “a painter experimenting with paint.”
“I was surprised in the edit room to say, ‘Look how different this feels when Freida is doing it. Look how this feels when Kuoth is doing it. How does it feel when Allison is doing it?’” he said. “It’s a process of discovery. I feel something different every time I watch it when it changes from one person to the next. I feel something inside me that says something about identity or culture or race, and in time they change.”
A clip of “Past Forward” debuted this past September at the Prada fashion during Milan Fashion Week. Check out the full short film below.