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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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TWO OPINIONS ON MAPS TO THE STARS
Nathaniel's Julianne Spazzing & Glenn's Cronenberg Finger Wagging 

"There is a great movie in Maps of the Stars and that is the one Moore stars in, not the one the screenplay insists in bringing to the front." - Mr Goodbar

"If I had to guess why Cronenberg went with a largely "invisible" or even non-style style, I'd say it has to do with his approach to the narrative, which is kind of a bait and switch, setting us up for a hollywood satire and then giving us a final act that plays more like a myth or a fairy tale." -Roark

Beauty vs. Beast

Who is your GODDESS? Cristal or Nomi?

If you don't vote for Nomi, she'll cut you!


VOTE! 

 

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Monday
Sep292014

NYFF: Seeing Isn't Believing in 'Maps to the Stars'

The New York Film Festival has begun. Here's Glenn taking an alternative look at David Cronenberg's divisive Cannes winner 'Maps to the Stars', now a confirmed 2014 contender.

Digital filmmaking has a lot to answer for – much of it good, but a lot of it bad. Its biggest crime, however, may be eradicating David Cronenberg of style. It’s as if the transition of celluloid to digital, which coincided with his swing away from merely a cult name-brand director to one whose films, at least briefly, appeared to be targeting a somewhat more acceptingly mainstream audience (A History of Violence and Eastern Promises certainly), weakened his eye for visual storytelling. Not only is Maps to the Stars a surprisingly ugly film in terms of its garish lighting, messy blocking, and lethargic, bulky transitions, but it’s a distressingly amateur in one in terms of simple camera placement and editing.

Much was made of Matt Zoller Seitz’s plea for film writers to discuss form in more detail. “Form is not just an academic side dish to the main course of content”, he said last year, and while I am not sure what Seitz’s opinion is on Maps to the Stars I can’t imagine he would be too thrilled.

more... 

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep292014

Beauty vs Beast: Camp Goddess

JA from MNPP here, one-thumbing it Vegas-or-bust for a brand new edition of "Beauty vs Beast." Last week if you can believe it marked 19 years since we first slid into the passenger seat beside one Miss Nomi Malone (Elizabeth Berkley), just an eager-eyed Pollyanna coming from "different places" on her way to a name written in lights - Paul Verhoven's Showgirls, the most epic ode to g-strings and cheeseburgers and the women who love them that's ever graced the silver screen, electrified... well, not a lot of people at the time actually, grossing only 20 million dollars in theaters. But I was there at my little local movie theater on opening night - I've told this story more times than there are beads maliciously strewn across the Goddess stage but as the lights went down on that first Midnight showing of Showgirls the scattered crowd of older men (they were all older men) sitting around my best friend and I broke into an impromptu chant of the word "Tits!" and I knew I was in for something special. It didn't disappoint.

It has of course gone on to become a camp sensation, inspiring books and musicals and countless more Midnight screenings, where I have no doubt the word "Tits!" will be chanted for time eternal. But the question is... how do you like having 'em?

 

You have one week to vote, and I don't want to see any write-ins for Janet Jackson or Paula Abdul. (But if you wanna toss a vote to a Penny, née Hope, that'll be okay.) Now bring me some brown rice and vegetables.

PREVIOUSLY Have you all finished your milshakes? Have you drunk them up? Did you ever - Mr. Daniel Plainview rode an oil spurt high above the competition with last week's poll, clobbering poor Eli Sunday's brains in once again. Said Carmen Sandiego:

"I voted for Daniel Plainview. They are both horrible wretched people, so I might as well vote for milkshakes! W00t! #teammilkshake"

Monday
Sep292014

but is it a link post?

Awards Daily takes on the unfortunate phrase "but is it an Oscar movie?" in relation (partially at least) to Gone Girl.
Empire Leonardo DiCaprio continues to have a bajillion movies in development. He's now bought the rights toAmerican Wolf which Robert Zemeckis wanted, too
i09 Be careful what you wish for. We've always wanted Christopher Walken in another movie musical. But this picture of him as Captain Hook is TERRIFYING
The Stake good piece on the casting of Vince Vaughn in True Detective 2 and what has happened to the actors original gifts
/bent 10 great queer films by straight directors. This was not prompted by Pride -- which you should totally see in theaters now -- but that also applies 

My New Plaid Pants Frankenstein is so hot right now
Telegraph Profile of Luke Evans who headlines Dracula Untold. This time he actually acknowledges that "Noted Homosexual" business albeit in a very Jodie Foster way
Salon suggests that Woody Allen's Magic in the Moonlight (which I weirdly have not yet seen) could have been way more fascinating based on the real life magician that inspired it
Guardian so many film festivals happening at the same time. This is a recap of Fantastic Fest in Austin
BadAss Digest investigates why some trilogies will never split up their last film into two parts as is currently the trend. For this we must profusely thank The Four Musketeers?
AV Club really smart scathing review of the new series Stalker and the general problem of victim exploitation on television
/Film The film adaptation of Y: The Last Man is still in Development Hell. Here's what's going on...
In Contention the only SNL actors to win Oscar nominations - can you name all 9 without looking? 
The Guardian on Emma Watson. She continues to have the press hopeless enamored. And I heard random old ladies on the street talking about her UN speech the other day.
AV Club celebrates incest! Perhaps that was a poor choice of words. They're selecting famously incestuous pairs from recent movies & tv from Game of Thrones to August: Osage County

Viola photographed by Graeme Mitchellicymi
Last week the New York Times had fine ass profiles of two of our favorite creatives, director P.T. Anderson and  actress Viola Davis who is our unofficial 'star of the week' since she keeps inadvertedly being brought up in every post lately. Love her quotes in this piece, like...

“I always got the phone call that said: ‘I have a great project for you. You’re going to be with, hypothetically, Vanessa Redgrave, Julianne Moore, Annette Bening. Then I get the script, and I have a role that lasts for a page or two.”

I wish I'd written this
I was trying to voice my frustration about a new terrifying age of lost old movies post-streaming technology on twitter then other day but this KQED Arts article is way more articulate than I was being "For Cinephiles, Netflix is less and less an option." If anyone has a solution or a silver lining to any of this, please speak up! 

Monday
Sep292014

NYFF Surprise! While We're Young: Or, The Kids Are All Wrong

Our NYFF coverage continues with Matthew Eng on this year's surprise screening -- which was less of a secret than usual this year, continually hinted at by the NYFF themselves, even spoiled ahead of time by IndieWire...

Ben Stiller & Naomi Watts star in "While We're Young"

Noah Baumbach is showing his age.

Not that this is the first time, mind you. Anyone who stuck through his exquisitely harsh and thus totally divisive Greenberg will surely remember Ben Stiller’s crusty, titular protagonist sourly announcing to a party full of fuzzed-out twentysomethings, “I hope I die before I end up meeting one of you in a job interview.”

There’s something instantly more pronounced about Baumbach’s evident unease towards the current generational divide in his latest adult dramedy, While We’re Young, in which Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts star as Josh and Cornelia, a deceptively comfortable urban couple who are surprised to find themselves befriended and seduced by Jamie and Darby, a married pair of kind-eyed, porkpie-wearing, Bushwick-dwelling hipsters, played by Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried. What starts as a casual, multi-generational friendship soon transitions into something more consuming, as Josh, a struggling documentary filmmaker whose sophomore follow-up has taken ten years to finish, finds himself both aping and inspiring Jamie, who just so happens to be an aspiring documentarian himself. [more...]

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep292014

Watson & Lerman: Our wallflowers are making news

Manuel here to bring you some news on your favorite wallflowers.

Sam, otherwise known as Emma Watson, she of amazing feminist speeches at the UN, has been cast alongside Daniel Brühl in the Chilean set Colonia. I was worried there'd been some white-washing here but as it turns out Emma and Daniel are playing a German couple that gets embroiled in the violence and political unrest of the 1973 military coup. The film is directed by Florian Gallenberger (an Academy Award winner for Best Live Action Short) and has begun shooting in Luxembourg.

Charlie, aka Logan Lerman is about to be everywhere as Fury, that Brad Pitt-fronted World War II tank movie revs up its promotional machine. The film released a couple of character posters although the term is a misnomer since everyone but Brad gets to share their poster. That said, all of the posters look gorgeous, as if they were all advertisements for some military-inspired fashion spread.

(Oh, and I couldn't mention both these wallflowers without pointing you to Ezra Miller's new band's music video).

I love checking up on old co-stars as in my head each film is a bit like a graduating class. As Perks alumni go, this trio seems to be doing quite well for themselves, no? Are you excited for Emma’s movie, a clear step in the right direction as she grows into more adult roles? Are you not exhausted enough by war dramas to follow Pitt and Lerman into the testosterone-heavy Fury?

Monday
Sep292014

Fun Fact: Celebrities Spend Way More Time Promoting Movies Then Making Them

Case Study #215,031. Cate Blanchett still on the Blue Jasmine tour 15 months after the US premiere with a screening at the Zurich Film Festival this week. 

(Remember how satisfying it was when she won the Oscar in March? Easily the most deserving Best Actress win in at least a decade.)

Sunday
Sep282014

Denzel Still Rules The (Box Office) World. But Why No Artistic Risks?

Is there any movie star more consistent than Denzel? Pro: No matter what he makes, it opens big. Con: Maybe that's because he's just not a risk taker. He may be our least adventurous megastar.

TOP O' THE BOX OFFICE
1 EQUALIZER $35 million NEW
2 MAZE RUNNER $17.5 (cum. $58) Review
3 BOXTROLLS $17.2 million NEW best animation studio right now

On the stage he only appears in time-tested prestige pieces (Raisin in the Sun and August Wilson or Shakespeare plays). Onscreen he only makes two kinds of movies: disposable action thriller flicks & would-be prestige dramas. The Equalizer, adapted from a television series, is obviously one of the former. People won't remember he made it in a couple of years as a newer model surfaces to replace it. 

Washington hasn't altered this pattern in twenty years -- take a look for yourself if you don't believe me -- unless you count his curiousity about directing (both of his efforts were pitched towards awards gold but neither The Great Debaters nor Antwone Fisher won Oscar nominations). In the first decade or so of his stardom things were a teensy-bit rangier since the prestige pieces were sometimes full-fledged costume dramas (he doesn't do those anymore really) and the mainstream flicks were sometimes romantic (nix on that, too, nowadays). There were even one or two comedies (gasp)!

It'd be nice if he got the balance better. Many major stars try the '1 for them, 1 for me' approach to maintain both audience favor and critical ardor. But it's easy intead to imagine that Denzel Washington's preferred pattern of '5 for them, 1 for Oscar' might actually be a result of 'all for me'; maybe he just has extremely limited taste in movies? It wouldn't be the first time a bonafide superstar had no interest in cinema as art

Viola and Denzel in their 2010 Tony winning roles. The following year Viola won box office gold with The Help. But still no film version of FENCES.

Still as he tops the charts yet again with another violent man-fantasy, one wishes he would use his clout for good. Why isn't he using that financial and creative muscle to push important work to the screen? Couldn't he at least do the right thing in a completely self-serving way? Why not try for a third Oscar for Fences? Supposedly he's going to direct and star in it but things never seem to get moving towards actual filming and there've been rumors that he's doing it for roughly, oh, ever. Denzel and Viola Davis, his original co-star, who has more than earned another big screen big opportunity lead role after the box office / awards success of The Help, both won Tonys on stage. What's more it's positively insane that nobody ever adapts August Wilson's plays for the big screen. Viola has starred in three of them on Broadway, winning two Tonys in the process. Why isn't this a primary mission for the actor to get at least a few of them on the big screen - preferrably with Viola starring - since he has more money than God, they're important works in African American history, and he also produces now?! 

Denzel could get Fences done quickly if that's what he really cared about getting done. There is no way that the money wouldn't be there immediately if he said "sure I'll do that action movie. But Fences is what I'm doing next. And until I do it no more waving guns around for you!" There is nobody who isn't an idiot in Hollywood who would say no to helping him get it done with gazillions for more gunplay on the line the following fiscal year.

But back to the now ~ What did you see this weekend?