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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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CINDERELLA -Yes No or Maybe So ???

Cinderella's evil step family

YES "Sandy Powell is doing costumes and the team of Ferretti & Lo Schiavo are production designers so I am a-seein' it.-Johnny 

NO "Disney is so deeply devoted to itself. " -Deborah

MAYBE SO "That moment where Cate holds up the shoe and says, "Looking for this?" has me intrigued how they will spin the story...-Shawshank

 

Beauty vs. Beast

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Thursday
Jul182013

Young Natalie: Thoughts on one of the great child performances of all time

Hi all, it’s Tim. With Natalie Wood Week upon us, there will be much talk of the actress’s run of films as a beautifully virginal ingénue, or her transition into roles as troubled adults and young women. But I want to pause on the threshold of all those Splendor in the Grasses and West Side Stories to pay tribute to the an earlier era in the Life of Natalie, when she became one of the best-loved child actors of the 1940s (and a good time it was for child actors, too).

The film that put her on the map was Miracle on 34th Street, of course, released when the actress was a mere eight years old in 1947. It wasn’t her first credited role (that would be the Claudette Colbert/Orson Welles vehicle Tomorrow Is Forever, from 1946), nor even the first movie to showcase her to good effect; earlier that same year, she’d been a solid presence in the supernatural melodrama The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, though that film ultimately didn’t ask very much of her besides being cherubic and innocent (this would remain true of a frustrating number of her vehicles throughout her later career). Simple, even if the simple ability to be a dazzlingly cute kid without it spilling over into tackiness was already enough to mark Wood out as more than just one more saccharine little girl ready to fill the void left by Shirley Temple’s ascendance into her late teens.

Miracle on 34th Street was something entirely different.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jul182013

Highest Paid Actors Don't Challenge Themselves

From Forbes list of money-hoarding actors, they've worked it out like so for the past 12 months of income... (in millions of course)

01 Robert Downey Jr $75
◅ 02 Channing Tatum $60
03 Hugh Jackman $55
04 Mark Wahlberg $52
05 Dwayne Johnson 'The Rock' $46
06 Leonardo DiCaprio $39
07 Adam Sandler $37
08 Tom Cruise $35
09 Denzel Washington $33
10 Liam Neeson $32 

I like their write-up of DiCaprio...

DiCaprio's films might not be very cheery (the actor often dies in the end) but they are super profitable. The 2013 adaptation of The Great Gatsby, from director Baz Luhrmann, seemed like a tough sell. But with DiCaprio at the helm, the film easily topped $250 million at the box office making it Luhrmann's most successful movie ever. DiCaprio's biggest hit is still the 1997 film Titanic which is the second-highest grossing film of all time. And yes, he dies in the end.

Two things immediately pop out at me about the list. First, that Channing Tatum has had a very good couple of years and it turns out it pays to make your pet project on the cheap and share in the profits (Hi, Magic Mike). Too many dream projects become costly albatrosses for filmmakers and stars. Second, only a few of these men are using their powers for good. Most of them rarely challenge themselves or support quality filmmakers and seem to live solely to service the box office dollar. This second and more debatable point makes me reconsider my annoyance with Leonardo DiCaprio. While it's true that I think his talent has been calcifying by too many similar choices in roles and performance, he very clearly is interested in doing quality work and hanging with A list auteurs. He's thinking about legacy rather thank his bank account so good for him. There's reason to hope and I happily admit that in the trailer he seems to be attacking that Wolf of Wall Street role with more vigor than usual. Perhaps I grossly underestimated in my first Best Actor predictions a couple of months ago?

Denzel and Viola in "Fences" which won them both Tony AwardsThe things some of these men could accomplish if they had a little of Clooney, Damon & Pitt's taste for quality and experimentation and for something bigger than just their own paycheck. Hugh Jackman, a terrific star and personal favorite of mine for example, doesn't step outside of the mutant mutton chops nearly as often as his talent and range suggests he should.

And, I mean, Denzel Washington alone could make Viola Davis's career into what it's supposed to be simply by pressuring Hollywood into making Fences right now. With great power comes great responsibility, Denzel! Didn't you watch Spider-Man? As we get further and further away from the massive success of The Help, the less and less likely it is to happen without Hollywood saying "Oh, can we get Halle Berry instead?" And that'd be a crying shame because money isn't everything. Especially in the realm of drama where quality and skill of execution can help with profitability since automatic money isn't made as it is in genre films which have built in audiences regardless of quality.

Thursday
Jul182013

Visual Index ~ Mary Poppin's Best Shots

For this week's 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot' we wanted to highlight a film that will be the subject of robust conversation this year. I saved this visual index until this afternoon to make sure all the articles were in. See, this Christmas Disney will be releasing Saving Mr Banks which is about "Mary Poppins" author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) and her resistance to Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) making the movie back in the day. We discussed that new film's trailer recently so let's hit the source material, Disney's classic Mary Poppins

The film opened in August 1964 quickly becoming the most popular film of its year -- adjusted for inflation it was as big in its day as The Avengers was last year. Imagine that! The musical went on to score 13 Oscar nominations and 5 statues: Actress, Visual Effects, Film Editing, Original Song and Original Score.

OSCAR TRIVIA NOTE: This is the only film in the history of the Oscars to win both Best Actress and Best Visual Effects. Mary Poppins best shots after the jump

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Thursday
Jul182013

Emmy Nominations Repeat Series But Fresh Notes in Acting Categories

Emmy is a beautiful lithe but deadly woman. Look at the lines in her figure! Each year she holds the world of television in her tiny gold hands but unless you're the one holding her you get jabbed by the dagger like wings.  Herewith the lucky official nominees of Emmy 2013 and the less fortunate players who should wear protective gear when approaching her.

DRAMA

OUTSTANDING DRAMA
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
Homeland
House of Cards
Mad Men

Series & Acting noms / commentary after the jump

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Thursday
Jul182013

Special Note to New England Readers

Maureen Stapleton in Interiors (1978)If you're anywhere near Troy or Sarasota Springs, NY this weekend there's two special events you might want to attend should you fancy a summer drive or a little movie-educational fun.

3:00 PM in Troy, NY
TFE reader Billy (who we've interviewed before in "reader spotlight") is hosting the final gallery tour of an exhibit in honor of Maureen Stapleton at the Rensselaer County Historical Museum. Billy's been a lifelong fan of the legendary stage and film actress who cherished her hometown of Troy. He even got to meet her and hold her Oscar. He's sharing his private collection, her Oscar winning moment, and speaking about her career in this guided tour. Champagne toast to end the afternoon! [$5 admission]

12:00-4:00 PM in Sarasota Springs, NY
Nearby in Sarasota Springs they're celebrating Solomon Northup day at Skidmore College. Northup, a Sarasota Springs native, is the subject of the new film 12 Years a Slave. In addition to guest speakers educating you on the man to be played by Chiwetel Ejiofor in the movie, Fox Searchlight says they'll be showing a bit of footage from the movie.  [Free to the public]

I just made your Saturday afternoon plan for you! You're welcome. If you plan on attending either, let me know

Wednesday
Jul172013

Teen Wolf in... a Hospital ☑ a Bank ☑ a Motel ☑ 

Lydia freaks out well and oftenWould you forgive me for continually not writing up Teen Wolf episodes if I gazed off into the distance like I was seeing something invisible and horrific, as psychic Lydia does, and let out a bloodcurdling scream? Because that is actually what I do each morning on my second cup of coffee when I realize I have about 45 minutes of free time for the next 12 hours of deadlines and demands and I've already wasted 15 of it on the first cup.

Let this post serve as my train-of-thought apology to those of you watching Teen Wolf which I hope you will accept and do, respectively. It won't be the last time I go "damn, I wish I had time to write up Teen Wolf!" but ...yeah. Moving on so we can catch up. 

Deucalion barks a lotThis season began, memorably, with an episode called "Tattoo" (written to accomodate star Tyler Posey's new tattoo... thus rationalizing the hilariously dumb 'how do werewolves get tattoos when they heal so fast?' C-plot). Since then it's settled into three repetitive mysteries. The first is about when a team of hateful alphas who want Derek (Tyler Hoechlin) to kill his pack will attack?Answer: Every episode. mystery solved! [more]

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jul172013

Best Shot: Mary Poppins Makes Your Heart Feel Light

Let me make one thing perfectly clear: Mary Poppins never explains anything! That's true of both the character and the film, actually. There's no back story (Hallelujah!) and no fussiness about the how and why of her "magic". (Sadly, this movie would never be made today when the mystery is drained from everything). More surprising for a family film there's very little overstating of its message (though Dick Van Dyke does a little bit of singing it directly to Mr. Banks just to make sure he's clear). If you don't believe me, really watch it again. Despite the imposing length (2 hours and 20 minutes) it's structurally smart and so light on its feet that it simply blows in on the East wind and then floats away when the super nanny's mission is accomplished. Like its heroine, the movie is practically perfect in every way.

"Cheeky" - my favorite shot of Julie Andrews in the film

I'll do my best to emulate her and keep my "best shot" explanation brief -- if only I could sing it! though it's a bittersweet task since, if I was choosing a different shot, I'd get to talk at length about how brilliant Julie Andrews is in the movie. Her Oscar win is one of the most unusual choices the Academy ever made for a Lead Acting trophy (no histrionics, no "clips", nothing one might define as Oscar-Bait) and one of their smartest, too. But I'll have to wax rhapsodic about Julie another time and jump right to my choice for Best Shot.

When I was a kid my favorite song in the movie was "Jolly Holiday". I'm not sure if it was because I wanted to dive into the chalk paintings or if I just found it catchy or if I just loved that incredibly funny moment when all the barnyard animals get solo lines and they each sound EXACTLY like a singing version of that animal should. As an adult I still love the song mostly because its such an accurate description of how one feels in Mary Poppins presence: light and grand... your heart starts beating like a big brass band.

Best Shot -- I wish I could see this on the big screen!

But, as anyone familiar with Mary Poppins know, there's a beautiful melancholy undercurrent to the plot and the feeling which is why I'm choosing this moment, right after the chalk painting adventure when Mary and the children have left Bert in the park. It's gray and stormy now but Bert's mood is unaltered. He keeps dancing in the rain, still enjoying the imagined holiday as the colors lose their shape but glow like memories.

This visual motif with a man in near silhouette with a telling splash of color is repeated again (only more empathically) in both the showstopping "Steppin' Time" number (blue) and when Mr Banks is fired from his job (red) but here is where it most beautifully summarizes the film's smart disposition (both firm and truthful but  loose and magical) and the color Mary brings to people's lives.

When the day is gray and ordinary
Mary makes the sun shine bright!

Mary Poppins warns us over and over again -- though not in hamfisted redundant ways -- that all things are temporary. One day childhood will end. Very soon the chalk paintings will wash away. As soon as the wind changes Mary herself will vanish. Mary Poppins would never say anything as mundane as "seize the day" but in her cheeky way she's making sure that we get that each day counts. She recommends feeding birds, flying kites, and a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down.

Best Shot Steppin' Time
Antagony & Ecstasy - on Julie Andrews' brilliant star turn
Allison Tooey - the feeling it gives
Encore Entertainment - Mary Poppins needs you to get your act together
Entertainment Junkie - on magical realism
Film Actually - defying logic, physics, and gravity
The Film's The Thing - a familiar silhouette
Manuel Betancourt - Julie Andrews Steppin' Time
Stale Popcorn - actually hates the movie!
Serious Film - praises David Tomlinson's Mr Banks
Victim of the Time - the measure of a woman
We Recycle Movies -on childhood nostalgia