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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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"Best known as pudgy British aristocrat Matthew Crawley on Downton Abbey' Pudgy? How very Dowager Countess of you.- par

""from Jimmy Stewart to Terminator" - HA! LOVE this! And boy I loved this movie, I hope all the Downton fans flock to the theaters to see it." - jose



Beauty vs. Beast


Lester thinks you should vote for him in AMERICAN BEAUTY poll

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83 Days Until Tina Fey & Amy Poehler
(Start Planning Your Golden Globes Parties!) 


136 Days Until Oscar Night!

163 days until a slip of a girlie boy returns to the New York Stage!
(I saw the original Off Broadway production shortly after first moving to NYC.
It remains one of the theatrical highlights of my life. Do not miss this!)

448 days until it's Tina & Amy time again
(Aren't you thrilled that they signed for two more years of the Golden Globes?) 


FYC: Best Actress - Marion Cotillard 

Jose here. It's that time of year when I start begging everyone to give Marion Cotillard awards, this time around I think she's Best Actress material in The Immigrant which recently played at the New York Film Festival.

In the film, Cotillard plays Ewa Cybulski, a young woman who arrives in 1921 New York City, escaping the violence in her native Poland. Her American dream is instantly shattered when her sister (Angela Sarafyan) is left at the Ellis Island infirmary and Ewa begins a destructive relationship with entertainer/pimp Bruno (Joaquin Phoenix) who forces her into prostitution in order to rescue her sister and avoid deportation.

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Who Has What To Prove in "American Hustle"?

Guest Discussion. The Reader Spotlight is coming back soon but here's the last of our Reader Guest Posts for the moment. This one is from Matthew Eng, who has been sending in quite awesome Smackdown ballots (share yours for 1968 soon). Here he is to talk American Hustle anxiety/anticipation. - Nathaniel

what will this film do for each of them?

 I’m only slightly ashamed to say that I’d almost gladly forego seeing everything else that’s slated for release this season if it meant getting my eyes on American Hustle right. this. second. I still have only the vaguest notion of the movie’s actual plot (corrupt politicos? mob-tied wheeler-dealers? ABSCAM? Jersey?), and yet my eagerness sky-rocketed the very second those opening chords of “Good Times, Bad Times” kicked in. 

Alright, fine, it was upon seeing that glorious perm in action.

Matthew EngTwo knockout trailers later, it hasn’t dissipated a bit, not even during that only somewhat-discouraging “bigger balls”-off that ends the first teaser. There’s a supremely high level of expectation behind this project to be the complete Oscar package, what with its high-profile director, dynamic cast, juicy Black-Listed script, period costuming, retro textures, and Christmas release, etc. etc. But there’s also, interestingly, a lot of pressure for both its alluring cadre of stars, each with varying levels of something to prove, and its increasingly in-demand helmer.

The following is a ranked analysis of which of American Hustle’s main players has the most on the line (from lowest to highest) and what each serve to gain and/or lose this Oscar season, with a slight emphasis on one player in particular:

06 Jennifer Lawrence
Lawrence faces one of two exciting possibilities with Hustle...

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Team Top 10: Horror Films Before "The Exorcist"

It's Amir here, brining you this month's poll. It's October so we're obligated to take you to the dark depths of cinematic greatness with a list of horror goodies. We're looking at the best horror films of all time, with a twist. We chose The Exorcist (1973) as our milestone since it's the first horror film nominated for the best picture Oscar and about to celebrate its 40th anniversary. So we've split the Best list in half, with The Exorcist as cleaver. Part two comes next Tuesday, but for now

The Top Ten Best
Pre-Exorcist Horror Films

There really isn't much I can add by way of introduction, aside from pointing out that the boundaries of what is or isn't within the limits of this particular genre are blurry. Can Freaks still be considered a horror film today, removed from the initial shock of seeing circus performers with deformities on the screen in 1932? Cruel and unreasonable as it is, the appearance of the protagonists is the chief reason why such a passionately human piece of film history is considered scary at all - though as you will see below, one of our contributors has other ideas. No such questions would apply to Night of the Living Dead but what about Night of the Hunter? Hour of the Wolf? So on and so forth. The point is, take the genre categorizations with a grain of salt, but the suggestions to watch them very seriously. If you haven't seen any of these eleven films -- why is there always a tie? -- here's hoping this list persuades you to do so this October.

10. = Vampyr (1932, Carl Theodor Dryer)
There’s never been a horror movie with stronger art film credentials than this one, made according to the then in-vogue Surrealist style by a director who’d already created The Passion of Joan of Arc and had Ordet yet to come. But just because Carl Theodor Dreyer was a proper “artist” doesn’t mean that Vampyr’s pleasures are exclusively aesthetic. In fact, the same dictatorial control over image and space that makes Ordet a spiritual masterpiece makes this familiar story of one man’s journey through a creepy rural town living in fear of a bloodsucking old woman one of the most thoroughly unsettling things you will ever experience. It's more of a walking tour through a nightmare than a clear-cut narrative, with eerie shadows and shapes every which way and a profoundly moody score by Wolfgang Zeller that jangles one’s very last nerves.
-Tim Brayton

ten more spooky films after the jump

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Shutdown Movie-Thon (Week One!)

Reader Takeover Day! The Reader Spotlight is coming back soon but as a special triple treat a few posts over the next 24 hours written by you, the reader. (Well, not you literally). Here is Lynn Lee -- previously reader spotlighted so you'll want to check that out -- who is currently on a tv/movie binge while on furlough.- Nathaniel

 Lynn here, taking Nathaniel up on his kind invitation to recount the...

"Filmgoing Adventures of a Furloughed Federal Employee"

There's no question the ongoing federal government shutdown is a disaster for this country, and it's affected federal workers more directly than most. A good chunk of us, including yours truly, have been indefinitely furloughed. Those who think this just means extra vacation time clearly don't understand that (1) most of us *want* to be at work, but it's against the law for us to work and (2) we currently aren't getting paid! There's not much we can do, though, other than find ways to pass the time.

For those of us more fortunate furloughed feds who aren't dealing with more pressing concerns, the main question each morning has been "What do I do today?"

In my case, the default answer is a no-brainer: go to the movies!  These past couple of weeks I’ve trekked to movie theaters of all sizes and stripes all over the D.C. area, and seen some of the best films I’ve seen all year—at least two of which I’d have missed otherwise.  So for me there’s definitely been a bright side to my forced idleness.

DAY 1: The only day of the shutdown I was “excepted,” i.e., required to work, so no movies for me today.  Unless you count the imaginary reenactment of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, with me in the Jimmy Stewart role, playing in my mind.  Not that an epic filibuster would do anyone any good in the current situation.

DAY 2: My first furlough day!  What better way to spend it than to watch Thor race cars against Frederik Zoller?  I head out to my favorite movie theater in northern Virginia to see Rush, Ron Howard’s flick about the 1970s rivalry between two Formula One drivers, British daredevil James Hunt and hyper-focused Austrian Niki Lauda.  Solid entertainment, and Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl are good foils, even if the script overplays the contrast between Hunt’s impulsive, hedonistic recklessness and Lauda’s relentlessly austere, Germanic precision.  Best line of the movie, from Lauda:

Happiness is the enemy.” 

Oh those Austrians. 

DAYS 3-4: No movies, but a discussion with my boyfriend about whether to see Gravity in 2D or 3D.  Although I normally hate 3D, this seems to be one of the few movies that really should be seen that way.  But boyfriend hates putting on those clunky 3D glasses over his glasses, so I do not insist – especially since I’m skeptical that any movie “needs” to be seen in 3D.  This decision will come back to haunt me in the days to come…

DAY 5: …though not on the day we actually see Gravity, which is still beautiful and harrowing and impressive in 2D.  Not quite transcendent; I find the score a bit overbearing, and can’t help wondering if George Clooney would be so cool and humorous under pressure in real life.  Probably not under that kind of pressure, I decide; Sandra Bullock, on the other hand, reacted more like I’d expect Sandra Bullock would.  Also decide that I would never under any circumstances want to be an astronaut.  But I already knew that since childhood, when everyone but me wanted to go to Space Camp.    

DAYS 6-7: No movies in theaters, though I discover that everyone in the world has apparently seen Gravity, too – and seen it in 3D.  And people are raving about how “immersive” it was!  I begin to worry that I’ve made a terrible mistake.