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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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DAY FOR NIGHT -another great movie about movies

I'm not sure if I like it more than 8 1/2 or Singing in the Rain, but when the majestic trumpet music plays, it reminds me of why I love cinema in the first place. The actors are terrific in this film as well. However, nothing will top Topsy-Turvy for me about the mystery,repetition, and heartbreak of the artistic process.❞ -Lars

 

Beauty vs. Beast

Turner & Hooch - 25th anniversary!

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Wednesday
Aug212013

Robert Redford is "The Natural"

To celebrate Robert Redford's imminent return to cinema in "All is Lost" Team Experience will be surveying some of his classics and key films. Here's Anne Marie on The Natural.

Robert Redford is as American as apple pie and baseball. Actually, it might be equally accurate to say that apple pie and baseball are as American as Robert Redford. Like Jimmy Stewart before him, Redford personifies the American Man ideal. But unlike Stewart's earnest Everyman, Redford, with his golden boy good looks and sweet-but-sardonic smile, is the Mythic American Man model. Redford is not the star you relate to; he's the star you admire from afar. Robert Redford has spent most of his career playing variations on this character, but nowhere is his inherent legendaryness used to greater effect than in the 1984 film The Natural. The Natural is a movie about the American Myth through the lens of the American Pastime.

It would be easy to mistake The Natural for "just another sports movie." The plot certainly reads as another sentiment-drenched schlock-fest.  Roy Hobbs, a nobody who's past his prime, changes baseball and wins a championship with his talent, his courage, and a baseball bat struck by lightning. (I rolled my eyes even as I typed that.) However, to take this movie too literally is to miss its point. 

The Natural plays on a grander scale. Roy Hobbs is the Arthurian Hero wielding a legendary weapon. It's no coincidence that he leads a baseball team called the Knights. Barbara Hershey, in a small but striking role as the woman who ends his career before it begins, is Temptation. Glenn Close makes a rare appearance as the Good Woman, representing the wholesome life Hobbs missed before but could win back. Kim Basinger makes a not-so-rare appearance as the Sinful Woman, a blonde version of Temptation that Hobbs will have to overcome again. These are Characters with a capital "C," more important for what they symbolize than for who they are. If you don't believe me, watch how often characters are backlit. Strong backlighting is cinematography shorthand for Significant And Symbolic Character.

Glenn Close as "Good Woman" a few years before evil was her forte

I have to confess: I usually hate sports movies. I, like Margo Channing, detest cheap sentiment, which is the currency most sports films trade in. The underdog story is overdone. There are only so many sacrifices a man can make for a game before I question his priorities; and really, Rudy made one sack in one play, so why are we cheering mediocrity?

By that measure, I should hate The Natural too. But I can't. Maybe it's Robert Redford's rugged handsomeness (there is no such thing as "middle-aged" Redford; like wine, cheese, and good art, he just gets better with time). Maybe I just really love watching Barbara Hershey vamp. Maybe it's because I'm a sucker for movies about the American Dream, where one person can change the world thorugh earnest hard work. Whatever the reason, The Natural remains a personal favorite, as well as a classic.

Wednesday
Aug212013

Get Linky

Housekeeping Note: I'm running very late today so if you're planning to join us for tonight's "Hit Me" on The Bad and the Beautiful, you have extra time. My post probably won't go up until tomorrrow at noon.

EW First look at Kit Harington in Pompeii. Someone's been working out in their off duty moments on that dull wintry wall. 
The Dissolve remembers the great writer Elmore Leonard (RIP) with an indepth conversation about his rich cinematic legacy
CHUD first look at Steve Carell in Foxcatcher - i can't wait to see this movie. He's such a strong dramatic actor despite his comedic fame
IndieWire lists the 4 million films showing at TIFF this year 
Vulture on the exciting young world of TV criticism 

Cinema Blend rumors suggest that it's Elizabeth Olsen who'll get the Scarlet Witch role in The Avengers: Age of Ultron. I'm proprietary about Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch and this idea doesn't upset me so... good news!
MNPP puckers up for Tom Sturridge -On the Road is now on DVD and Olivier Assayas Sils Maria is next
Empire Beautiful cast lining up for the adaptation of the best-seller Dark Places, a drama about a woman who survived a Satanic massacre, with Charlize Theron headlining and Nicholas Hoult, Corey Stoll and Christina Hendricks supporting
i09 has a Fall Movie Guide for 20 upcoming genre films. Summer is forever. 
Huffington Post Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner may marry after 42 years together  
/Film on the tight focus of Edgar Wright's Ant Man. In other words: yet another origin story. Does no one believe in 'In Media Res' anymore? Did the world learn nothing from 1977's Star Wars? Skip to chapter 4 people! Let the audience catch up. The last thing the world needs is another origin story. In this way the superhero genre is just as dull as the biopic, with their obsession with This Caused This! How Things Came To Be

Exit Video ...here's a cute video of iconic and funny t-shirts from the movies! Which bring back the most memories?

Tuesday
Aug202013

Naked Alexander Skarsgård Reading Books By People I Know

I couldn't make out the book Eric Northman was reading on the season finale of True Blood so I just decided it was a book by someone I know. I couldn't resist the GIFing...

Congratulations to all my published author friends and frienquaintances! Not all of them are just-published but lately it seems like there's been a wave of such happenings and I am so happy and proud for them. Writing a book is no easy task. It's like scaling a Swedish mountain in the snow. Naked. 

Speaking of --  back to Alexander Skarsgård. It's nice for him to finally bring his penis to work with him but that final "cliffhanger" was DUMB in all caps. Everyone knows they're not going to kill off Eric. The showrunners have already said they didn't because they're terrified of change and constantly fandering. I'd say that that's the whole problem with True Blood except that implying it only has one is even dumber. 

Tuesday
Aug202013

Germany @ The Oscars

Germany has a long and trivia-crazy history with the Oscars that didn’t just begin with Sandra Bullock speaking German in her Blind Side acceptance speech or Christoph Waltz, an Austrian-German talent winning two Tarantino-Flavored Oscars for multi-lingual performances. We’ll get to more trivia in a minute but first the German shortlist.  We await their choice for Oscar’s Foreign Language Film submission with curiousity because they’re always a threat for the eventual shortlist. Germany has received 18 nominations and 3 wins over the years. They’re weighing the quality of nine different pictures before deciding. Which will they send our way?

The finalists are…

  • MY BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY Michaela Kezele
    This one skews international - a romance between a young Serbian widow and an Albanian soldier 
  • THE GERMAN FRIEND Jeanine Meerapfel
    A coproduction with Argentina 
  • FREE FALL Stephan Lacant
    A gay romantic drama about two cops
  • THE GIRL WITH NINE WIGS Marc Rothemund
    I don't know what this one is about but I love the title 
  • OH BOY Jan Ole Gerster
    a popular comedy about a drop out university student 
  • RITTER ROST multiple directors
    an animated film 
  • SCHULD SIND IMMER DIE ANDEREN  Lars-Gunnar Lotz
    This one sounds interesting - a juvenile offender in an "open prison" discovers that his house-mother was one of his victims 
  • NOTHING BAD CAN HAPPEN von Katrin Gebbe (Junafilm)
    Also known as Tore Tanzt. Will this Cannes entry be too controversial for submission?  
  • TWO LIVES von Georg Maas & Judith Kaufman (DE/NO, Zinnober Film,  B&T Film)
    Also known as Zwei Leben. This film stars Liv Ullman of all people!!! It's about a woman (Juliane Köhler who starred in the German Oscar winner Nowhere in Africa), born to a Norwegian woman and a German soldier who becomes involved in war crime trials. 

It's worth noting that the acclaimed Hungarian German coproduction The Notebook which was suggested to be in the running by some outlets is being submitted by Hungary so it can't be the German submission.

Patrick, a German reader thinks that it would be a surprise if they passed on OH BOY which has been a major hit in Germany at the end of 2012. But since it’s a black and white contemporary film and youth sensation it’s no automatic draw when it comes to appealing to Oscar’s foreign language voters who are, it's important to remember, a volunteer group culled from all the branches. Anecdotally speaking, they skew even older than the typical Oscar demographic because they have to have a lot of free time to attend a least a couple dozen screenings from the long long submissions list (which is broken up into 3 sections so that each member doesn't have to watch all 60+ entries). For Germany, Oh Boy, is also facing the potential problem that The Hunt has for Denmark. It's not "new" anymore... so if the decision-makers have a fresh love...

I wouldn't be surprised if they went with Two Lives (trailer above) given Liv Ullman and Juliane Köhler's Oscar histories but the only director in the nine finalists that's previously been submitted is Marc Rothemund (The Girl With Nine Wigs). His film Sophie Scholl was an Oscar nominee in the 2005 race.

They'll announce their submission on August 27th. What do you think it will be? 

P.S. I promised some trivia so here we go...

a few German winners: Emil Jannings, Luise Rainer and Hans Zimmer

  • Germany's most frequently submitted director is (drum roll please) Wim Wenders who has been submitted only three times (The American Friend, Wings of Desire, and Pina). None of those famous films were nominated in this category. Wenders has better luck with the documentary branch where he's won two nominations (Pina, Buena Vista Social Club).  Several other directors are tied with two submissions each.
  • Germany holds two important "firsts" for the acting Oscars. The first actor ever handed an Oscar was Emil Jannings for The Way of All Flesh. Less than a decade later Luise Rainer became the first actor of either gender to win two Oscars. Since she did that in the late 30s Hollywood lied about Rainer's provenance and claimed she was from Austria.
  • The category that loves Germans most is Art Direction (31 nominations and 7 wins) but weirdly no German has been nominated there since 1972 when Cabaret took home the gold in that category. 
  • Hollywood's favorite German currently, if you subtract Christoph Waltz, is Hans Zimmer a frequent nominee for Best Original Score. [cue: loud Inception bwaaaaaaa  ♫ here]
  • The last German film to win the Oscar was The Lives of Others (2006), one of the most popular winners in this category in recent years.
Tuesday
Aug202013

Curio: John Stezaker's Forgotten Faces

Alexa here with some art for your Tuesday. John Stezaker has been a conceptual artist in Britain for more than 40 years. His most recent series mines studio images from cinema's golden age, and resulted in his winning the prestigious Deutsche Börse Photography Prize. Stezaker collects old studio portraits of long-forgotten actors and actresses, juxtaposing two images to create new identities.  Or, as he puts it...

 

 

when they got broken up and recombined, real people seemed to emerge."

Click to read more ...