The LAT notes that the I Heart Huckabees internet sensation—featuring an exasperated Lily Tomlin enduring the c-word, among other spittle-flecked indignities, from her tantrum-throwing director David O. Russell—has now officially "reached the parody phase." (In our experience, that often signals the beginning of the end, but they feel it indicates the leaks are still "gathering steam.") Realizing, as former sparring partner George Clooney recently put it, that such matters can "screw with people's careers", they generously offer an opportunity for the explosively temperamental director's supporters to defend the outburst in their pages, resulting in mostly "Waddaya want—he's a passionate guy!" and "Mind your own fucking business. It's a movie thing"-style responses:
"He has his own unique bearing; you've got to know that going in," said "Smokin' Aces" director Joe Carnahan. "And he's not an apologist." [...]
"It's just hard to understand unless you're part of the club in a certain respect," said "I (Heart) Huckabees" cinematographer Peter Deming. "When people see this clip, particularly if you're not in the film business, they'd think, 'This guy's insane!' But he's not. Things happen when you're in this machine that's been rolling along for several months."[...]
Producer Greg Goodman, a longtime friend and producer on "Huckabees" and Russell's earlier film "Three Kings," said the clip was taken out of context.
"He's a very responsible filmmaker who wants to make sure we're coming in on budget," said Goodman. (And indeed, "Huckabees" came in on time and on budget.) "He is an individual. You embrace that."
It's ironic that at the precise moment Russell was demonstrating the maximum extent of his individuality, the flying desk implements and imminent choking threat made an actor/auteur embrace largely unfeasible. Still, if Tomlin was long ago able to make peace with her on-set adversary, shouldn't we all, and merely ratchet up the leaked footage to something akin to a front row surgical theater seat, offering us a rare and startling glimpse inside an open showbiz cavity, and the messy secrets of the filmmaking process within?