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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R


 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

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Beauty vs. Beast

 

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also don't forget that tomorrow night on April Fools Day we'll celebrate Mommie Dearest with a "Best Shot" party

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Monday
Mar302015

TCMFF Wraps with Hollywood History & more Shirley MacLaine

Anne Marie here in Hollywood, reporting on the end of the TCM Classic Film Festival.

The 6th Annual TCM Classic Film Festival came to a close last night after four days. Though the theme of the festival was History According to Hollywood, the diverse programming of the festival showed that not only was TCM celebrating historical events and the films that portrayed them, it was also highlighting the this histories of the films being made, and - most importantly - the shared histories of the audiences that watched them.

It's impossible to cover everything the TCMFF screens (though The Black Maria did try), so instead I attempted to focus on the diversity of the programming. I watched Greta Garbo kiss a woman and renounce her throne for a man in Queen Christina. I watched two Pre-Code Hollywood musicals, Lubitsch's The Smiling Lieutenant and 42nd Street. I saw Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in a Tennessee Williams-penned movie called Boom! that was so bad that it made Lindsay Lohan in Liz and Dick look like Meryl Streep. I saw Christopher Plummer honored twice, but as a result missed Sophia Loren. I had three festival highlights: the French Revolution film noir Reign of Terror, a program of single reel films run using a hand-cranked projector from 1905 (have you seen a short called The Dancing Pig?), and the newly restored 1919 Houdini film The Grim Game, constructed from the only surviving complete print.

But by far, the most valuable asset to TCMFF is its star power. Reader's choice film discussed after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Mar302015

Beauty vs Beast: Mommie Knows Best

Jason from MNPP here with this week's "Beauty vs Beast," which could be considered a preview of coming attractions (random aside: I can only hear that phrase in Grace Kelly's voice) -- this week's episode of TFE's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" series on Wednesday is devoted to the camp masterpiece Mommie Dearest, and so are we. I can't help myself. It's perfect for this series too, and somehow we've never asked the question. In one corner you've got Christina Crawford (played by Mara Hobel as a little girl and Diana Scarwid as a not-so-little girl), adopted daughter and axe-bringer. In the other corner you've got legendary movie star and crazy person Joan Crawford, played by legendary movie star (and perhaps also a crazy person - I have heard stories!) Faye Dunaway, giving a great, dedicated performance - I won't hear a word about her being "bad" in this movie. Not a word of it! On the one hand I'll grant you that it's awfully hard not to side with an abused child... but on the other hand, come on! Who are you watching this movie for???

Whose team are you on?
Team Christina0%
Team Joan0%

PREVIOUSLY Last week we climbed inside the brains of Charlie Kaufman & Spike Jonze and oh yeah Catherine Keener for her birthday with a Being John Malkovich round, pitting Keener's caustic Maxine against Cameron Diaz's desperate Lotte - ultimately it was Cathy's brilliantly sleek sarcasm that won the day with just over 60% of the vote. Said Mr. Goodbar:

"Team Maxine. She is cut of the same cloth as Linda Fiorentino's from The Last Seduction: a misanthrope with irresistible charm and wit, except she finds love and changes whereas Fiorentino just stays on course to become a psychopath."

Monday
Mar302015

Interstellar Takes Top Empire Honors

Manuel here bringing you more awards from this past weekend; Nathaniel wasn't the only one still handing out awards for the 2014 film year. The Jameson Empire Awards were handed out this past weekend (as were Nickelodeon's Kid's Choice Awards which were gaga for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1). Unsurprisingly, it was Christopher Nolan's divisive Interstellar which nabbed its two top prizes. 

Nolan was also on hand to receive the Empire Inspiration Award, which I guess was as good an excuse as any to see Jessica Chastain looking fabulous (she presented the award to her Interstellar director).

Check out the full winners list below.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Mar292015

Film Bitch Awards ~The Medals Ceremony

Can we take a moment to appreciate that I finished the awards this year?!? A momentous recovery given that this most popular feature has slid in follow-thru without true wrap-ups the past two years. Self sabotage is a wicked trait. It shouldn't come as a surprise that Birdman and Under the Skin led the nominations with 15 and 11 respectively since they were my two favorites of the year. The biggest surprises are surely Gone Girl's 11 nominations and the piddly nomination counts for two of top ten films (Love is Strange and Mommy - how did I do so wrong by them?) but these things don't always work out as expected when you concentrate on individual elements within collective achievements. Some movies are just greater than the sum of any one part and other movies have a hundred excellent parts but not quite a genius whole.

On to the ceremony. Please to imagine the title themes from the corresponding films blaring as their medalists take their places. The tunes you'll hear most often are:

 

Overall - films with the biggest trophy hauls
Under the Skin (5 gold medals, 2 silver, 2 bronze)
Birdman (4 gold medals, 5 silvers, 1 bronze)
The Grand Budapest Hotel  (4 gold medals, 2 silver)

...which is a funny coincidence because they happen to be the exact three medalists from the Original Score category, if not in quite that order!

 Gone Girl just misses the final podium with 3 gold medals, 2 silver, and 2 bronze... quite a showing for a film that only made it to #17 in my favorites of the year. I've been wondering ever since I published the top ten list if I should've had that Fincher/Flynn collaboration on it. I put on the DVD in the other day to check on one detail and ended up watching the whole thing. Again. So now it's also the movie I've seen the most times from 2014. Meanwhile  Boyhood, my bronze medalist in Best Picture, didn't have a huge trophy haul in the end, just 4 medals: 1 gold, 1 silver, and 2 bronze. Two films that did well in medals despite low nomination counts were Begin Again and The Boxtrolls. See all the medals (indicated by gold, silver, and bronze star icons) on the Film Bitch Awards charts

-Oscar Correlatives
Picture, Director, Screenplays, Animation
All Four Acting Categories
Visuals
Sound and Music (and Oscar Correspondent Stats)

- Extra Fun Categories

Special Acting-Related Categories
Character Awards (Heroes, Divas, etcetera)
Best Individual Scenes (and Overall Stats) 

And with that we close out the 2014 Film Year! Finally. Whew. What an exhilarating ride it was. This is when we shout "AGAIN!" like a giddy child and line up to do it all over again albeit with a different set of films.

Sunday
Mar292015

Box Office: Get Hard at Home While We're Young

Another weekend, more millions in Hollywood coffers for by-most-accounts weak films. The three biggest hits this weekend were all poorly reviewed.

WIDE RELEASE
01 Home $54 NEW
02 Get Hard $34.6 NEW  
03 Divergent: Insurgent $22 (cum. $86.3) 
04 Cinderella $17.5 (cum. $150)  Review
05 It Follows $4 (cum. $4.7)  Review

Yup, the big stories were Home wildly overperforming (we all thought it might flop given Dreamworks history, just documented in Tim's fascinating two-part retrospective) and Get Hard doing well and reinforcing that mainstream audiences love Kevin Hart... and rape jokes. Always the rape jokes.

PLATFORM RELEASE
01 Wild Tales (Argentina) 116 Theaters  $.2 (cum. $1.5) Review
02 What We Do In the Shadows (New Zealand) 146 Theaters $.2 (cum. $2.1) Review
03 While We're Young (US) 4 Theaters $.2 NEW Review
04 Danny Collins (US) 29 Theaters $.2 (cum. $.3)
05 '71 (UK) 121 Theaters $.1 (cum. $.9) Review

Wild Tales held its theaters but the big story was Noah Baumbach's seventh feature While We're Young, charting a surely-soon-to-be-broken 'best indie debut this year' with a $60,000 per screen average. Meanwhile the long and frankly mystifying journey of Serena, starring two or our most bankable actors Bradley Cooper & Jennifer Lawrence and based on a bestselling novel no less, ended with a whimper. The movie finally ended up in theaters, albeit only 60 of them and grossed just over $100,000 in its first week. Meanwhile Hungary's wildly acclaimed and Oscar submitted allegorical thriller about rampaging dogs named White God (read Jose's interview with the director) stuck its toe into two US theaters for $16,000. 

What did you see this weekend? Did any of you see Serena? Was it from morbid curiousity. If you haven't will you please take our advice and seek out Wild Tales or '71?

Sunday
Mar292015

Yes No Maybe So: Southpaw

If this post were a sportsmovie, it would be like the first hint of a redemption arc to come after a downward spiral. Yes, I'm (gasp) over 48 hours late saying "yes" to Jake Gyllenhaal.

It's always "yes" so what's the rush?

The occasion is the first trailer to Southpaw, Jakey's new boxing movie from director of dark violent machismo programmers Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Olympus has Fallen, The Equalizer). In other words, we'd have no interest at all if it didn't star actors we obsess over. But we're already jumping into the Yes No Maybe So breakdown so let's just get the eternal "yes" that is Jake Gyllenhaal and our Gyllenhaalism out of the way first.

The only thing that could make slo mo and fetishisizing body shots of Jake Gyllenhaal's physique better is if his tattoos were more relatable, like...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Mar292015

Shirley MacLaine talks "The Apartment" at TCMFF

Anne Marie here in Hollywood, reporting the way it crumbles. TCMFF-wise, that is.

Shirley MacLaine knows how to command a room. TCM Classic Film Festival honored the Oscar winner's 6 decade career with a screening of The Apartment last night, but when MacLaine  made her entrance to a standing ovation at the TCL Chinese stage, it was clear that the honor was all ours. Dressed in red & black sequins (reminiscent of Doris Mann), MacLaine sparkled with charm. But it's not just her incredible charisma. When a sound glitch caused feedback, she turned with a mischievous gleam in her eye and called out,

"Whoever's in charge of that: Fix it!"


Much of that no-nonsense professionalism Shirley MacLaine attributed to her friend, legendary director of The Apartment, Billy Wilder...

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