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Oscar History
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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

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Jungle Book, Lion, Zootopia, Sing, 

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Final Pre-Oscar Podcast

"Yay my walk to school just got a whole lot better" - Adam

"Bergman, Nicholson, and Streep (2 Lead, 1 Supporting). I think Denzel Washington has more than earned his seat at the table." - /3rtful

"Interesting that Nick thinks that Gosling could win. I wouldn't vote for La La Land in many categories, but I would vote for him. For me, the film's appeal rests with its stars. " - Suzanne

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INTERVIEWS

Oscar Interviews
Asghar Farhadi (The Salesman)
Saroo & Sue Brierley (Lion)
Martin Butler & Bentley Dean (Tanna)
Nicole Kidman (Lion)
Denis Villeneuve (Arrival

 

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Tuesday
Feb212017

Podcast Pre-Oscar Show. What Are We Rooting For?

Katey (with her little Charlie in tow) rejoins Nathaniel and Nick to discuss our hopes for Oscar night and various mini conversations on Moana, Moonlight, Arrival, La La Land, Suicide Squad, and many more...

Index (43 minutes)
00:01 Animated, Screenplays
08:30 Cinematography, Costumes
16:11 Production Design, Editing
21:00 VFX, Makeup, Score, Song, Sound
30:00 Actor, Supporting Acting
38:00 Documentaries, Actress
41:08 Musical sign-off silliness!

With of course much name dropping and detours including Hacksaw Ridge, JK Rowling, Annette Bening, Viola Davis, Weiner, Janelle Monae, and Michael Shannon. 

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Continue the conversations in the comments, won't you? 

Pre-Oscar Show Pt 2: What we're rooting for

Tuesday
Feb212017

Interview: The Global Resonance of "Zootopia" and its Animal Kingdoms

Zootopia gets a lot of its pizazz from the clash of its odd couple leads but behind the scenes things are much more sympatico. When I sat down to interview the director Rich Moore (Wreck-it Ralph) and producer Clark Spencer (Wreck-it Ralph, Bolt, Lilo & Stitch) they weren't so much finishing each other's sentences as they were most definitely reciting from the same page. Rich calls Clark the 'best producer he's ever worked with' and credits him for creating a structure so that the creatives didn't have to worry about the minutae but were kept aware of it to keep them on track.

Unfortunately the third key member of their team Byron Howard, who the project originated with had bronchitis on the day we met. He'll be long since recovered by Oscar night which will likely be a happy one for the team.

Zootopia is the second project Moore and Clark have done together but when we sat down to speak over coffee the spectre of Wreck-It Ralph 2 hung like a comic cloud overhead because, as they joked, they've got deadlines! The film doesn't open until March of 2018 but that's a very short time in the production lifespan of an animated feature.

Byron Howard, Clark Spencer, and Rich Moore won the Golden Globe for Zootopia. Will they win the Oscar, too?

But for now, the wrap up of the long journey of Zootopia on Oscar night. This Disney fable about diversity and harmonious living has been successful all over the world grossing over a billion dollars globally, the fourth most successful picture of 2016 behind three films that had a built-in sequel advantage (Captain America, Finding Dory, Rogue One).

In other words, it's been quite a spectacular runaway success. Selections from our chat follow...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb212017

Doc Corner: The Istanbul Cats of 'Kedi'

In many ways, it’s only natural that a film like Kedi should come along. The internet loves cats, of course. Even if the internet doesn’t necessarily deserve cats. And a documentary about cats is a no-brainer of a concept (we’ll pretend Lil Bub & Friendz doesn’t exist because it is terrible). The real surprise then isn’t that Kedi exists, but that it quietly subverts any lazy reading that people would no doubt all too easily assign to it. Yes, it is the movie about street cats of Istanbul, but that’s just a hook for audiences whose attentions are being torn this way and that. The truth is that Ceyda Torun’s elegant and enchanting Kedi is so much more.

Even if it was just about the cats – what cats they are! In what can only be described as a particularly unique set of casting, Torun’s film shuffles across the city with vignettes about a collection of individual moggies, following them around as they roam the streets, finding food, fighting, hunting, battling for attention from humans who aren’t so much owners as casual caretakers, and thieving fish from markets and ports.

But, as I said, Kedi is much less interested in just being a film about cats. Rather it is a film that uses cats as a platform to dive into the history of a city, its people, its culture, and questioning what our relationship with cats says about us.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb212017

5 Days Until Oscar. 5 Timer Men

Jimmy Stewart holding the wrong number of fingers up for our exercise!We're so close to the big show. Voting ends TODAY. And then it's all over but the big night (and recapping and contemplating celebratory madness). For today's trivia item with the number 5, a random sampling of men... stepping away from the ladies for a minute. (gasp)

Five time male winners
John Barry (composer, Dances with Wolves, Out of Africa, Born Free, etc)
Johnny Green (composer on lots of musicals)
Fred Hynes (sound on lots of musicals)
Dennis Murren (visual fx: Terminator 2, Innerspace, The Abyss, etc)
Edward Selzer (animated short films: Speedy Gonzalez, Sylvester & Tweety shorts, etc)
Lyle Wheeler (art direction: The King and I, The Robe, The Diary of Anne Frank, etc)
John Williams (composer: Star Wars, Schindler's List, etc)
Francis Ford Coppola (writer/director/producer: The Godfather, etc)

Actoriffic-ness after the jump.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb212017

Oprah Brings the HBO Actressing for "Henrietta Lacks"

Chris here. If you thought this week's debut of HBO's Big Little Lies was our sole oasis for actresses acting on the channel, they'll be following its seven episodes with another treat: the adaptation of nonfiction bestseller The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. In fact, it has its own big little trifecta: a major role for the acting-shy Oprah, a dramatic role for TFE favorite Rose Byrne, and Renée Elise Goldsberry's follow-up to her Tony-winning Hamilton run.

Directed by theatre genius George C. Wolfe, Lacks's story is one of family, race, and class, providing a human backdrop for for how her cancer provided important discoveries on how the disease is treated. Come Emmy time, HBO is seeking full actress prize domination with this year's slate - but do we think this could get Oprah the acting honors that often eluded her? From the looks of the first trailer, she could be some major competition:

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks airs on April 22.

Monday
Feb202017

Interview: Greig Fraser talks "Lion," his shifting style, and Jane Campion

Here's one mystery solved: Greig Fraser isn't pronounced any sort of fancy way. It's merely "Greg" with a silent extra "i". If you want to say it perfectly, though, you'll have to say it with an Aussie accent, mate.

We've been singing the praises of the cinematographer Greig Fraser for 8 years now, even if we often pronounced his name wrong while doing so. After the visually jaw-dropping calling card of Bright Star (2009) one of the new century's most undervalued and most transcendentally beautiful movies, his name appeared more and more regularly in major prestige films. Curiously though, despite his ever broadening range (he's aced virtually every genre he's hopped to and front) and quite a few critically lauded and Oscar nominated movies under his belt, he is just now enjoying his very first Oscar nomination for his evocative and resourceful lensing of the Australian hit and Best Picture nomine Lion.

Fraser (top left), Sunny Pawar, and director Garth Davis on the set of Lion

I was eager to talk to him about his ability to tackle any genre, his time with Jane Campion and the challenge of Lion. Here's our interview...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb202017

Interview: Kristóf Deák from "Munich" to "Sing" 

Kristóf DeákIf you've had a chance to catch the touring films in the Oscar nominated shorts program in select movie theaters now, we're willing to be that one of your favorites was the Hungarian short Sing written and directed by Kristóf Deák. This sweet well acted story is about a new girl in a children's choir whose teacher makes her feel less than welcome. 

Sing, not to be confused with the current blockbuster cartoon about pop star wannabe talking animals, could well be a threat to win its category though competition is ever tough and unpredictable in the shorts categories. Kristóf has seen and enjoyed the "strong batch" competition, saying "I won't shed any tears if we don't take the statue home"

I had the opportunity to talk to the young director, currently in Los Angeles for the final push before Oscar, and though he doesn't know what's in store for his career, he's taiken the smart stance of "be ready with projects and pitches" should key opportunities arise. The London based Hungarian director got his first post film school movie gig in the large editing department of Steven Spielberg's Munich (2005) and now he's an Oscar nominee for his fourth short which has been picking up several prizes at festivals.  

Our chat follows..

Click to read more ...