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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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Thursday
Sep182014

First look at the potential new Popeye feature

Tim here. A couple of months ago, you may recall, I shared my crabby old man thoughts on the current wave of making new CG animated films based on old-school cartoons, among them being Sony Animations still-not-actually-official new Popeye movie to be directed by Genndy Tartakovsky.

Now, without having actually committed themselves to making it, Sony has basically confirmed that they're making it, releasing an animation test preceded by a short interview of Tartakovsky explaining his interest in the material. The animation itself starts at about 2:01, if you're an impatient sort.

What do you think? For myself, I find Tartakovsky's commitment to the physical illogic of vintage rubber hose animation comforting, though the character designs are still kind of horrifying, Olive Oyl's especially. The way that fully rendered images tend to insist on their tactility is completely at odds with the extreme caricature of the movements and shapes of the characters. But I am willing to be persuaded that I'm wrong, because everything else about the colors, the softness, and the slapstick feel pretty right.

Thursday
Sep182014

It's New Year's Eve for "A Most Violent Year"

It's the dread December 31st just-barely-Oscar-qualifying release for JC Chandor's curiosity A Most Violent Year. We had seen virtually nothing until today but now the poster, the teaser, a new website newyorkcity1981.com and the release date. We hear the acting is topnotch but then with that cast (Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, Albert Brooks, David Oyelowo,  Catalina Sandino Moreno, Alessandro Nivola, Christopher Abbott, Elizabeth Marvel, etcetera), why wouldn't it be?

Here's the teaser. Let us hope releasing a movie called that on New Year's Eve isn't a horrific omen for the good health of 2015.

Thursday
Sep182014

"If she thought anybody would take after her..."

..she'd walk down the street naked."

[continues sewing...]

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Sep172014

157 days 'til Oscar

We're still five months and a few days away from Oscar night so is it possible that things are starting to lock up? Ehhhh yes but mostly no. Every year all over the web casual movie fans and awards nuts like to start shouting LOCK as early as May for various things (usually centered around something becoming a massive hit or winning something at Cannes). But that's not really how it works. So here we are in September. A lot can happen in the last three and a half months of the calendar year leading up to the nominations. We've still got a long way to go and, conceivably, brilliant or lazy campaigns and smart or clumsy moves and release date shifts can still change everything... even if things are looking terribly good or just dismal for whomever or whatever. While I don't technically like to call anything or anyone a lock before it's actually opened (and thus eligible) the closest thing we have within the four acting categories are two, both in lead races: Reese Witherspoon (Wild) and Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything). They have all the ingredients you could want in a lead push -- the right release dates, the right kinds of roles with the right kinds of hooks, the right level of quality in the actual acting, the right early critical response, the right time in their careers, and a release strategy already carefully mapped out by the right studio. 

There are other "likely!" contenders at the moment of course (Still Julianne, holla / Imitation of Benedict: The People's Choice) but I'd argue that Reese & Eddie are the closest to securing nominations.

And I'd argue that the Supporting Actress category is the most volatile where no one is particularly close It's easy to imagine my current predicted lineup being exactly right but it's almost as easy to imagine not one of the five of them making it if the films that still haven't screened or those that could yet gather more power or lose it, happen to shake up this category. Nobody is remotely safe yet. People like to claim that Patricia Arquette is a done deal for Boyhood and though I hope so I don't think so. We're still four months from nominations and pictures praised for being directorial visions are often where you end up with weird blindspots when it comes to the acting branch. 

MAJOR UPDATES, MOVEMENT, NEW PLAYERS ON ALL FOUR ACTING CHARTS

ALSO UPDATED

Who or what do you think locks up next?

Wednesday
Sep172014

A Year with Kate: The Trojan Women (1971)

Episode 38 of 52:  In which even Katharine Hepburn and Vanessa Redgrave cannot save a 3,000 year old stinker.

As a budding theater and film student, my freshman year of college I landed in Intro to Set Design. The professor, a thespian in the grand academic style garbed oversized scarves and an air of intellectual enlightenment, explained to us that our final project would be a rules-free design for The Trojan Women by Euripides. “After all,” she said with a weary sigh, “you can’t make it any worse.”

Low praise for high art, but her reasoning was sound. Though The Trojan Women is subversive and surprisingly modern in theme, the play seriously lacks structure. (The year Euripides offered The Trojan Women at the Dionysia theater festival, he placed second out of two.) Beginning immediately after the downfall of Troy, The Trojan Women laments the enslavement, rape, and murder of the women of the captured city. Unfortunately, Euripides fails to tie his diatribe to a plot until late in the play, resulting in a funereal dirge. Like Euripides’s tragedy, Michael Cacoyannis’s 1971 film adaptation is full to brimming with good ideas that ultimately fail to coalesce into something great.

One of these actresses steals the movie after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Sep172014

TIFF Jury of One: Nathaniel

Channing & Chastain hit TIFFAnd now, a superfluous but fun-to-write "awards" wrap of the 25 films I saw at TIFF to close out the coverage. I did a little wrap post for Towleroad as well, focused on the LGBT content and the celebs, but if you're a TFE regular I know what you like: awards and lists!

I had intended to see 40 films but with only 8 days of actual screening time (travelling the other 2 days) that proved ridiculous to even try for, impossible really. Especially since I was planning to AND DID write up everything I saw before the festival actually ended. I've never written this quickly so excuse the typos (yeesh).

If you were reading along the whole time this might feel redundant but who doesn't love to box their experiences up in list format? In a festival with hundreds of films everyone has a different experience so this was mine... with nominations only. Don't even ask me to pick winners because I like things to marinate. It's good to get a little distance before bold decrees of "THE BEST!"

BEST PICTURE
links go to the reviews 

Xavier Dolan and Anne Dorval on the set of "Mommy"

  • Force Majeure (Sweden) -Magnolia Pictures. Opens October 24th
  • Mommy (Canada) - Roadside Attractions will release. When though? Unfortunately they aren't exactly a swift distributor. (A headscratcher addendum: Xavier Dolan's Tom at the Farm, which debuted last year at TIFF is still without a US distributor. US audiences just can't jump on the Dolan train without hitting festivals. Maybe that will change with all three of his first features currently winning new fans on Netflix Instant now)
  • A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (Sweden) - Currently without US distributor
  • Wild (USA) - Fox Searchlight. Opens December 5th
  • Wild Tales (Argentina) - Sony Pictures Classics will release. When though?

My favorites at the fest turned out to be this eclectic mix of two Swedish comedies, one hyperstylized the other realistic and intellectually provocative, one Canadian melodrama about a bad seed and his wild mommy, one Oscar bound US solo hiking trip, and an exciting Argentian anthology mixing revenge, thrills and comedy.

Favorite Scenes and Performances After the Jump

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Sep172014

Top Ten: Movie Stars Coming to TV

Margaret here, with a Tuesday Wednesday Top Ten. Ready to rank the incoming class of movie stars trying their hand at the small screen. Every TV season, a new group of movie actors crops up on the fall schedule, either because scarcity of good film roles or the lure of a hefty paycheck.

Here are the top ten series soon to debut, in order of how much we're looking forward a weekly date with their stars. Set your DVRs accordingly!

#10 True Detective - HBO - 2015

This spot is a placeholder for True Detective Season 2, the impossibly buzzy crime drama anthology series at HBO. While the show has yet to cast its leads, if any of the numerous rumours prove true it will certainly feature at least one famous and undervalued actor looking for a McConnaissance of his or her very own. Although it's not due until early 2015, it's safe to assume we'll be hearing at least as much about it all fall as we will any other show.

#9 Madam Secretary - CBS - 8 pm Sunday, 9/21

Téa Leoni stars in this drama series as a female Secretary of State. (Sure, she's got a globally-essential job, but what I want to know is can she have it all????) It's CBS, so unless it turns out to be a Good Wife-type anomaly, chances that it will be a formula-busting creative showcase are low. The supporting cast includes Tony winners Patina Miller (Pippin) and Bebe Neuwirth (Chicago, Sweet Charity), so we can always hold out hope for a musical number.

8 more starry series after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Sep172014

The Link Graze

okay, more like The Link Gorge because there's so much of it. But how long has it been since we did a link roundup? whoopsie daisy. Chew away on these blog cuds today

good reads
New York Times amazing thinkpiece on the death of adulthood in American culture with notes on Mad Men, YA fiction, seminal premium cable series like Sopranos and Sex & The City and more... 
In Contention five things we learned from Anna Kendrick about The Last Five Years and Into the Woods
NPR has a story on the making of Gone With the Wind. Expect a lot more of that film in the next few months all over the web given its 75th anniversary 
Gawker "The Skeleton Twins and the Crafting of Modern Gay Character"
Mike's Movie Projector remembers the Oscar-winning Separate Tables (1958) and other versions of that play. I have such issues with that movie. I think it's Deborah Kerr's worst performance for one. 

TIFF roundups
You may be exhausted by our TIFF coverage (i have final notes tomorrow and then maybe a podcast so get interested again!) but here are some pieces elsewhere to give you a little more variety...
Girish Shambu names his best and worst 
The Wire Joe Reid picks 15 best performances from Al Pacino (?!?) through Julianne Moore
The Film Stage really fine review of Wild. I liked it more than Sky here, but this is a very smart review 
The Dissolve critics pick their best and worst with Duke of Burgundy up top and Thomas McCarthy's The Cobbler with Adam Sandler down below. I'm sad that the gifted Thomas McCarthy has his first critically reviled movie but maybe that's what you get by working with Adam Sandler.
Mind of a Suspicious Kind Jordan Ruimy's recap. I gave him a hard time for his comment on Eddie Redmayne...

 

 

...but it was super nice to meet him at the fest finally after chatting online
HitFix loved Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler (I skipped that one but only because it was opening in October) and Julianne Moore 
Little White Lies does a TIFF top ten from to Force Majeure to A Pigeon Sat on a Branch
The LA Times proves that not everyone loved TIFF as much as I did complaining about the final week 
RogerEbert.com interviews Liv Ullman finally back behind the camera with Miss Julie
The Matinee wraps up quickly with superfast notes on Top Five, The Duke of Burgundy, and Jena Malone 

amusements
Cigarettes and Vines apparently Paul Thomas Anderson and Bennett Miller both hate digital filmmaking and text each other about it 
Cracked 8 actors who look the same on every movie poster. Did you know that Denzel Washington always avoids eye contact, Tom Cruise always goes profile, and Eddie Murphy can't help cocking an eyebrow? 
CHUD celebrates the really ballsy cameramen on Mad Max: Fury Road. Dangerous filming there 

Oh ohhhh! 

This obviously happened during TIFF so I was unaware but not blissfully! Channing Tatum and Jillian Bell (his hilarious 22 Jump Street co-star) doing The Dick Graze and the Booby Meeting. Juvenile? Sure. Hilarious? Yes. 

news in brief -icym these stories
Electronic Urban Report have you heard about the 'black Magic Mike'? They're recasting the lead in Chocolate City but some filming has already begun
Gothamist Batman and Spider-Man were arrested for fighting in Times Square
Us Magazine Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling have now officially spawned. No word on the baby girl's name yet. Will Ryan Gosling make good on his promise to quit making movies when he starts making babies? I hope not. That terrible life decision has already destroyed too many actresses!  
In Contention George Clooney getting the Cecil B DeMille prize at the Golden Globes this year
EW big gallery of American Horror Story: Freak Show images. So Jessica Lange does have arms afterall. I maintain that her character has no arms on that painted poster. I have stared and stared at it. They aren't there! But this is a good thing because at least 50% of Jessica Lange performances are hand gestures so she needs them!
AV Club Nurse Jackie's seventh season will be its last. I always think shows should end at five seasons. The fifth season finale of Nurse Jackie was just incredible and a perfect note to end on. I can't imagine what they'll do now though I still watch the show
Gawker such a horrible story. Django Unchained actresses harassed by police for prostitution after kissing her white husband 

P.S. via W Magazine...

Gugu photographed by Caitlin-Cronenberg

Gugu Mbatha-Raw* is really pretty. The end.

*I keep almost typing her name wrong via Star Wars Batmanny influences "Gugu Bantha-Ra"! or simple dyslexia Gugu Mbaw-Ratha is my other preferred misspelling. But one of these days I will get it right without having to double check.