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David O. Russell's Sight and Sound Poll Reveals Director's Key Influences (CLIPS)

Photo of Ryan Lattanzio By Ryan Lattanzio | TOH! February 17, 2014 at 1:13PM

Check out Oscar nominee David O. Russell's ("American Hustle") top ten list for the British Film Institute's Sight and Sound poll.
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David O. Russell on the set of "American Hustle"
David O. Russell on the set of "American Hustle"

Director David O. Russell has enjoyed a great two years back-to-back on the awards circuit, from last year's much-loved "Silver Linings Playbook" to 2014 Oscar heavyweight "American Hustle." As an actor's director who loves cinema, the following top ten list from Russell's Sight and Sound poll for the British Film Institute has few shockers. Take a look at the idiosyncratic list, and clips, below.

The filmmaker has repeatedly tipped his hat to Polanski's "Chinatown" -- which he memorized 20 minutes of -- and Scorsese's "Goodfellas." You can feel the pulse of these films thrumming in all Russell's films, including "I Heart Huckabees," "The Fighter" and "Three Kings." He loves his '70s New Hollywood ("Chinatown," "Godfather," "Young Frankenstein") and feel-good classics ("It's a Wonderful Life") with a dash of arthouse for good measure ("Bourgeoisie").

"Blue Velvet" (1986) Dir. David Lynch

"Chinatown" (1974) Dir. Roman Polanski

"The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie" (1972) Dir. Luis Bunuel

"The Godfather" (1972) Dir. Francis Ford Coppola

"Goodfellas" (1990) Dir. Martin Scorsese

"Groundhog Day" (1993) Dir. Harold Ramis

"It's a Wonderful Life" (1947) Dir. Frank Capra

"Pulp Fiction" (1994) Dir. Quentin Tarantino

"Raging Bull" (1980) Dir. Martin Scorsese

"Vertigo" (1958) Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

"Young Frankenstein" (1974) Dir. Mel Brooks

This article is related to: David O. Russell, David O. Russell, American Hustle, Awards, Awards Season Roundup, BFI, Sight and Sound, Sight & Sound, British Film Institute


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.