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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. "Like it" on facebook!

 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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Friday
Apr182014

How I Feel / How I Wish I Felt

As illustrated by Bradley Cooper. Literally this time since I'm so hungover.

Talk amongst yourselves as I convalesce. What's on your cinematic mind?

Friday
Apr182014

TCM: Anna Kendrick ♥s "The Women" (So do we.)

It's Diana's last report from the TCM Film Festival which closed this weekend. One more from Anne Marie is coming up and it's a wrap. Take it away, Diana...

Ben & Anna Kendrick at The Women screening

In one of the few overlaps in our TCMFF schedule, Anne Marie and I sat down for the all-star classic The Women (1939). We've both watched the film a countless number of times - it's such a treat. The El Capitan organist played a variety of film standards (including the Star Wars theme) as we chuckled and waited for the introduction. The cherry on top? Anna Kendrick, cool girl exemplar, was the special guest, there to introduce the comedy classic alongside TCM stalwart (and object of many TCM fangirls’ affections) Ben Mankiewicz.

 Walking out on stage, Kendrick sported a chic yet casual look with a black tee, black skinny jeans and black heeled boots paired with hipster glasses and gently messed hair. Within moments of sitting down, she nonchalantly revealed she was also still wearing her retainer. Kendrick opened up about how she stumbled on the film and fell head over heels for it, feeling the biggest connection to Rosalind Russell...

'While working on Broadway ' (Kendrick put laughing emphasis on the "way" and sidebarred that “it was a douchey thing to say, no matter how I say it”), the then 12 year-old Kendrick was introduced to the film by two older fellow actresses who considered the a rite of passage for the then-tween. Like many of us, Kendrick couldn’t keep the unbridled passion to herself and forced friends to watch it. Also, like many of us, she realized that not all tweens are that keen on a black-and-white 1939 comedy. Nonetheless, she persevered with her own interest in classic films, thanks in large part to a father who would rent things like The African Queen for them to watch at home to counteract her frequent video store choice of Spiceworld.

Stating that The Women is part of her D.N.A., Kendrick vowed that she would incorporate the Sylvia (Russell) leg-chair-hook “into a movie, if it’s the death of me.” (You know the one, early in the picture, when she’s gossiping in the Haines’ powder room and hooks the chair with her leg and without missing a beat sits down to dish even more.) Later on in the screening, that moment elicited a raucous amount of applause, thanks pretty much entirely to Kendrick’s introduction.

the cast of The Women (1939). Accept no substitutes

On a current note, Kendrick revealed a great, passive aggressive way actors give shade to each other on-set. Whereas Joan Crawford would knit while feeding lines to Norma Shearer during reaction shots on “The Women,” apparently the thing to do on a modern-day film set is to break strategically, meaning to laugh a bit too heartily and flub the scene all the while crediting your fellow actor with being too good and too funny. Not that Kendrick has done anything like this, just that she 'heard about it' from other actors.

Anna Kendrick on stage as a tweenWhen introducing the young actress, Ben Mankiewicz said that she was one of the few actors working today who could have easily been a star in any other Hollywood era. From her martini glass-shattering performance in Camp to her Academy Award-nominated performance in Up in the Air to her full-hearted introduction at this screening, Kendrick continues to win the hearts of new fans. As Mankiewicz predicted (and I agree), she’s on her way to legendary, award-winning stardom herself.         

 

Thursday
Apr172014

100th Anniversary: Cabiria

Tim here, asking the most burning question of them all: who’s ready to talk about Italian silent film?!?!

(Blogging pro-tip: italics and interrobangs make people excited to discuss things that they are not, in fact, excited to talk about).

But actually, we do need to talk about Italian silent film a little bit. Because this weekend marks the centennial anniversary of one of the greatest milestones in film history: Cabiria, a massive historical epic produced and directed by Giovanni Pastrone, and written by literary celebrity Gabriele D’Annunzio. It’s a film in which the title character, played by Lidia Quaranta as a young woman and Carolina Catena as a child, escapes the eruption of Mt. Etna, is captured by Carthaginian pirates, is rescued by a great Roman warrior Fulvio Axilla (Umberto Mozzato) and his muscular slave Maciste (Bartolomeo Pagano), who are themselves then caught up in the Second Punic War as Hannibal (Emilio Vardannes) attempts to conquer Rome. And this involves naval and land battles, and of course the elephants for which Hannibal is famous.

After the jump: Cabiria's unique and hugely influential place in fim history

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Thursday
Apr172014

Cannes '14 line-up announced

Tim here. It's Christmas morning, everybody: the Cannes Film Festival announced its line-up today for this year's edition, running from May 14-25.

Opening Night
Grace of Monaco (dir. Olivier Dahan; starring Nicole Kidman)

Official Selection
Sils Maria (Olivier Assayas)
Saint Laurent (Bertrand Bonelo)
Winter's Sleep (Nuri Bilge Ceylan)
Maps to the Stars (David Cronenberg) Yes No Maybe So
Two Days, One Night (Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne)
Mommy (Xavier Dolan)
The Captive (Atom Egoyan)
Goodbye to Language (Jean-Luc Godard)
The Search (Michel Hazanavicius)
The Homesman (Tommy Lee Jones) Yes No Maybe So
Still the Water (Naomi Kawase)
Mr. Turner (Mike Leigh)
Jimmy's Hall (Ken Loach)
Foxcatcher (Bennett Miller) We Can't Wait
Le Meraviglie (Alice Rohrwacher)
Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako)
Wild Tales (Damian Szifron)
Leviathan (Andrey Zvyagintsev)

Un Certain Regard below the jump!

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Thursday
Apr172014

Seasons of Bette: Dark Victory (1939)

Seasons of Bette had a headache last week but is feeling much better now, thank you. Herewith, your catch-up episode on Dark Victory (1939)

it was the ghastliest feeling, everything went fuzzy. 

Fallen out of order, have I. That's awfully dreadful of me given that the great revelation of both Anne Marie's brilliant A Year With Kate and my own intermittent Seasons of Bette series is that you can actually watch a movie star grow in power and nuance and embrace of their own specificity if you watch their films chronologically.

This is true, at least, of the studio system where stars were invested in for the long haul rather than dabbled with for a few months at a time if agents, lawyers, producer, directors and stars could agree on a one-time contract. The old system had its drawbacks of course, giving thespians less agency in their own filmography and less ability to test their range in different genres and with left turn character types. Despite that, and even because of it, it was uniquely ideal soil for the true movie stars to grow like majestic redwoods. You know the kind of superstar I'm talking about: they are emphatically always themselves no matter how well they play any particular character. [more...]

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