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David O. Russell directs surreal short film ‘Past Forward’ for Prada

Thursday 17 November 2016
Words Spindle

Acclaimed film director David O. Russell has created Prada’s latest short film ‘Past Forward.’ Clips from the film have previously been shown during the fashion house’s Spring 2017 show in Milan this September, but the full film was premiered in Los Angeles on Tuesday night. Today sees the film’s release on Prada’s website, as well as screenings across the world. Prada have worked with notable directors before, including Ridley Scott, who directed ‘Thunder Perfect Mind,’ and Wes Anderson, who created three episodes for Prada’s Candy fragrance, as well as short film ‘Castello Cavalcanti.’

The black and white silent film stars Allison Williams, Freida Pinto, and Kuoth Wiel, who each play a glamorous woman in parallel stories, or perhaps even the same character, acting out the same scenes and actions. The multi-racial casting is fantastic to see, exploring three different cultural identities. The film also features John Krasinski, Jack Huston, and Sinqua Walls as the romantic interests of each woman. Connie Britton, Paula Patton, and Sacha Baron Cohen also feature.


The dream-like world of the film seems futuristic, yet at the same time borrows from old Hollywood and has a clear Hitchcock influence, with a sense of menace and suspense. The film also features a dramatic, sweeping score that includes selections from Bernard Herrmann’s soundtracks for ‘North by Northwest’ and ‘Vertigo,’ further cementing the Hitchcock reference.

The non-linear narrative is highly surreal, not quite making sense, but the ‘Joy’ and ‘American Hustle’ director ensures it is still as captivating and gripping a film as ever. The tension of earlier scenes disappears in a charming, romantic dance sequence choreographed by Mandy Moore, who worked with Russell on ‘Silver Linings Playbook.’ Utterly stylish and highly cinematic, ‘Past Forward’ combines gorgeous visuals with compelling visual storytelling.

Watch ‘Past Forward’ below: