Josh and Benny Safdie

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Trading Blue Chips for Uncut Gems: The NBA Cinematic Universe

Josh and Benny Safdie’s Uncut Gems could lazily be classified as a “basketball movie,” which raises the stakes in the third act via a tense and deciding Game 7 in the NBA Playoffs—numerous critics cite the nail-biting play-by-play action as the film’s tensest sequence). Yet Uncut Gems isn’t just driven by the attributes afforded a fast-paced sport: the narrative’s “house of cards” doesn’t come down to a single three-pointer or clutch free-throw that rolls around the rim before dropping in as the game clock strikes zero, Teen Wolf be damned. The Safdies pull off something trickier, interlocking their film with both on-the-record, […]

“I Had Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars Worth Of Jewelry In My Bag. Someone Could Just Steal Me.”: On-Set Prop Deneice O’Connor juggles Uncut Gems

Uncut Gems traffics in the upscale loot sold and loaned in the Diamond District. A bejeweled furby necklace and a pendant of Michael Jackson pinned to a cross are fan favorites in a claustrophobic rain of riches. But a rare black opal trumps the pile. Howard (Adam Sandler), a jeweler with debt gnawing at his heels, lifts one off the black market from the Ethiopian Jews who discovered them, and sees it delivered to his show floor inside a vacuum-sealed cooler of fish. As the gambit in some of his biggest bets yet, the opal might just clear his life’s […]