How Josh and Benny Safdie crafted the cosmos-to-colon journey of 'Uncut Gems'

Image for this story

“I gotta tell ya,” says Howard. “I’m in a bit of a rush.”

When we meet the 48-year-old jeweller (Adam Sandler) working in Manhattan’s Diamond District in the cacophonous cosmos-to-colon opening to Josh and Benny Safdie’s Uncut Gems he is under a lot of stress. Unfortunately, with these words, he has misjudged his audience and the conversation quickly goes south, setting off a wild chain of events.

“I almost had a panic attack in the office but I really loved it,” said Hassan Rahim, designer of the film’s credits typography, when he saw the opening scene. With nods to The ExorcistSnatch, and the films of John CarpenterRobert Altman, and Charles and Ray Eames, the opening is a whirlwind of influences and energy, overlapping dialogue and vibrant characters.

And the effect of all of this? Well, it’s a bit of a rush.

Read the interview with director Josh Safdie on Art of the Title.