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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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The Greatest Sci-Films. A Top Ten

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Wednesday
Mar262014

The Temple of Link

Vulture Pharrell on his Oscar loss and Frozen's "Let it Go"
Cinema Blend super depressing think piece about Chris Evans planned retirement after Captain America and why our franchise culture kills an actor's passion
Empire Madonna is not done directing. Next up: Ade: A Love Story based on the novel by Alice Walker's daughter

Guardian wonders when we'll start seeing gay parents in family films from Disney
Variety True Detective will compete in drama rather than in miniseries at the Emmys. Interesting move, right? I still think the Emmys need to start making rulings on this sort of thing just so there's consistency, rather than letting the shows decide. 
The Wire FWIW this is the article that seems to make the most sense as to why HBO is doing that
Film School Rejects Plans for Prometheus 2 move forward. Rumors of multiple Michael Fassbender sound perfect to me. Fill the screen with him.
Salon on Wes Anderson and the art of Twee "It's not easy being twee"
What Culture on 18 screenplays every aspiring writer should read. Some interesting choices / points but it's VERY man's man oriented. Obviously written by a guy who doesn't get into female protagonist cinema because I don't know how you make a screenplay list and don't include All About Eve
St Paul Lutheran Church Get this. Oft employed character actor James Rebhorn (Homeland, The Talented Mr Ripley, Far From Heaven) wrote his own obituary before he died. It's beautiful

From CinemaCon in Vegas
i09 sees and loves footage from Luc Besson's "insane" Lucy starring Scarlett Johansson as a drug mule turned superpowered killer. They liken it to Kick Ass which is unfortunately for me a superpowered deterrent.
In Contention on Angelina Jolie's Unbroken preview - I haven't drawn up my "april foolish" predictions yet but I think I'm probably less bullish on this one than most. I keep thinking Seabiscuit. Not that that film wasn't an Oscar hit but that type of inspirational power of human (or animal) spirit isn't as easy of an Oscar sell as it once was, I'd wager. 

P.S. And in case you haven't heard Jonathan Groff (Looking, Frozen) and Lucy Liu will announce the Tony Award nom this year on April 29th.

P.P.S. I'm not going to link to any of the many articles about the possible reboot of the Indiana Jones franchise (a.k.a. Indiana Jones 5 or 6)  because the only way to end reboot culture and get some actual NEW material up in here is for the media and the public to start ignoring these creatively bankrupt cash-ins that desperately want to keep giving us things we've already had.

What happened to youthful rebellion, I ask? Why do kids today want to see watered down versions of their parents favorite heroes instead of getting their own? Katniss aside, it's ALL their parents heroes over and over again.

Wednesday
Mar262014

Streep Finally Listens, Gets Real Director.

We've been harping on Meryl Streep's extraordinary lack of interest in working with A list directors who might actually, you know, direct her for a decade. She's finally working with one. She's now attached to Ricky and the Flash and, juvenile sounding title aside, it sounds like a potential winner.

She'll play a rock star trying to reconnect with her estranged children when her career peters out. The script is by clever Diablo Cody and in the director's chair, none other than Oscar winner Jonathan Demme. He's quite gifted with actresses having previously directed arguably career best work from actresses as diverse as Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married), Melanie Griffith (Something Wild), and Jodie Foster (Silence of the Lambs). He also guided Michelle Pfeiffer, once his favorite actress, in her best romantic comedy outing (Married to the Mob). More...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Mar262014

Conscious Uncoupling

You've heard by now from Goop, that Gwyneth Paltrow & Chris Martin are in the process of a "Conscious Uncoupling". Yes, that's a fancy therapeutic way to describe a breakup but why is the internet treating it like a virus that must be eradicated? I've been mostly amused but, I'll admit, a little disappointed by the way the internet (generally speaking) is treating this as something to mock. The word "pretentious" is bandied about a lot.

It's a reminder that the internet as a collective is stuck in perpetual adolescence or at least most people are, on and off the internet. I don't mean to be a killjoy or a scold but honest question: what's so bad about a long term couple with kids trying to break up amicably? More power to them if they can stay friendly. 

Misery loves company. Maybe its our own shame at our own messy breakups that make us uncomfortable with the couples who break up amicably when we couldn't? Most people don't remember it now but people were weirded out by Demi Moore and Bruce Willis staying friendly, too. But, hey, some people do. Don't most of us know at least one former couple who are still friendly and isn't that more healthy and appealing (even if, yes, unfair and annoying) or at least easier to stomach in the long run than that friend with lifelong bile for their ex that you have to taste every time the name comes up? 

Don't get me wrong. I love the kind of volatile coupling/uncoupling/recoupling of the Liz & Dick's of this world as much as any guilty bystander living vicariously through celebrities but would that really be a good look for Paltrow and Martin? It would be so off brand. "Conscious uncoupling" is PERFECT for Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martins personae. Maybe it's because I am not opposed to the sometimes quacky but occasionally eye-opening allure of self-help books or to Coldplay records or to Gwyneth in general (Can this conscious uncoupling include conscious filmmaking?) but I wish them the best. Who needs all that drama of the alternative?

The internet needs a big embarrassing open-hearted kumbaya session with a sing-along choral finale. Internet, heal thyself! 

Tears stream down your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down your face
And I...

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you


Tuesday
Mar252014

Visual Index ~ L.A. Confidential's Best Shot(s)

It's Tuesday night, time for another Hit Me With Your Best Shot. This week we're looking at Curtis Hanson's 1997 Best Picture nominee L.A. Confidential, which was nominated for 9 Oscars including Best Picture and Best Cinematography (Dante Spinotti) both of which it lost to the 52,000 ton Titanic. But it's a lot of people's idea of a modern masterpiece so I was fascinated to read what others had to say about the movie.

See it through multiple sets of eyeballs, in this case 17 of them by clicking on any of the thirteen shots selected ... and please do comment if you like something you read. The series only works properly when people participate. 

BEST SHOT(s)
Arranged in rough chronological order

Making news just like they make movies...
-Coco Hits NY 

Opened up and unnervingly close at one and the same time...
-Timothy Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

At its heart, Curtis Hanson's stylish exercise in film noir tropes is a reflection on manhood and masculinity...
-RJ, Home Film Schooled 

A clever tip of the hand, although not an overly obvious one...
-Allison Tooey 


A turning point for the character...
- Andy Hall, Three Pounds Lost 


The birth of Shotgun Ed reveals a confident directorial eye...
-CineMunch 

Just as I became disillusioned, my shot would reflect the disillusionment of Ed Exley...
-abstew, The Film's The Thing 

Is it possible to pinpoint the exact moment when a performance wins an Oscar?...
-Michael Cusumano, Serious Film 


Despite the cool dusky warmth, Bud still walks in haunted noir shadows... 
-Nathaniel R, The Film Experience


One of my favorite moments in Kevin Spacey’s career...
 - Robert Hamer, Awards Circuit 


The rain pours as Bud’s hard-boiled mask crumbles... 
-Derreck Johnson 

That's how you die when you're in close-up...
-Cal Roth 


I'm just the guy they bring in..."
-Intifada 


A live wire, always ready to brawl when necessary...
-Shane Slater, Film Actually 


At any given point, any of them could be on either side...
-Jason Henson, The Entertainment Junkie

After all his moralizing, Exley has rolled in the dirt...
-Margaret, We Recycle Movies 


One of the reasons I love this shot is that it really fleshes out the character of Bud White...
-A Fistful of Films 

 

 

NEXT THREE FILMS - THE SCHEDULE

Tuesday
Mar252014

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: "L.A. Confidential"

When L.A. Confidential premiered in 1997 I was one of the few cinephiles that wasn't overcome with passion for it. I thought it too warm, actually. The happy(ish) ending threw me since most of the noir I was familiar with (not a wide sample I'm afraid) was much more nihilistic, rarely leaving the compromised heroes alive or free. It was the clear critical favorite in its year, though, so I've long wanted to reassess it and spend more time with it. I'm happy to report that I underestimated it the first time around. The screenplay with its hardboiled broad strokes dialogue and characterizations made more sense now that I'm more familiar with its tropes. But above all else it's a "wow" in execution from every department (but yes we're here to talk cinematography).

My clearest memories of the film were three: the smarmy gossip opening "on the QT and very hush hush", that I was enamored of both Russell Crowe and Kevin Spacey's performances, and the (literal) head-turning introduction of Lynn Bracken (Kim Basinger in her Oscar winning role) though it should surprise virtually no one who reads the Film Experience that the subplot of the Fleur de Lis girls "whores cut to look like movie stars" was the storyline I was initially most drawn to.  

Whatever you desire.

More after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar252014

"And Emily..."

 

(Great Moments in Screen Bitchery, #91, Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada)