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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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Tarantino's Preemie Top Ten

October 5th seems like an exceptionally weird time to deliver a top ten list. It's too late in the year for a "so far" list and too early for anything like completist summation and way way too early for anything like retrospective nostalgia. But Quentin Tarantino has never been known to shut up when he felt like talking so he's revealed his top ten of 2013 (so far) which are, in alphabetical order

  • Afternoon Delight (Jill Soloway)
  • Before Midnight (Richard Linklater)
  • Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen)
  • The Conjuring (James Wan)
  • Drinking Buddies (Joe Swanberg)
  • Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach)
  • Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón)
  • Kick Ass 2 (Jeff Wadlow)
  • The Lone Ranger (Gore Verbinski)
  • This Is The End (Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg)

It's very Tarantino and that's all I have to say about that. I only wish he had revealed a top ten of 2012 instead since he never did one for that year. Yes, conflict of interest with Django Unchained or what not, but literally no one would blink if he had put his own film on it. It would've been very Tarantino and that's all anyone could have said about that. 

P.S. the world would be a better place if all directors did this, don'cha think? I mean not in October but at all.


Accidental Rewatches: Hocus Pocus

Hocus Pocus has been on the telly a lot lately. I guess that means it's October? I started to watch but Bette Midler forced me away with her insane voicework. I swear every other word in every line of her dialogue she treats like it's the climax of the sentence AND the movie. It's just impossible to listen to. Good grief that movie is noisy.

And so much mugging! I'm surprised I still had a wallet by the time the credits rolled.

Remember when Sarah Jessica Parker was a silver screen sex symbol? That girl has had so many acts in her career. The comic but non-ironic sex symbol years were inbetween the memorable TV personas from the early Square Pegs geekery and the Sex and the City Mega-Icon status. Let's call it the "SanDeE*" years. What a strong stretch that was for her. So many enjoyable performances in mostly good films: L.A. Story, Ed Wood, Honeymoon in Vegas, Til There Was You, Miami Rhapsody, Mars Attacks!, The First Wives Club

Do you think her career has a fourth act in it?

But back to Hocus Pocus... when was the last time you watched it? And do you think the remake/sequel idea that was floated last year is ever going to happen?


I, Linkenstein

Big Screen
Artsbeat Alfonso Cuaron talks us through a dizzy-making scene in Gravity
Flick Filosopher "Hollywood, you are 300 movies away from making me want to marry you" The manic pixie dream guy bit is fab. It's so hard to imagine... which is the point. 
Guardian Olivier Hirschbiegel reacts to the terrible reviews to his Diana biopic 

David Poland 22 weeks to Oscar. He correctly sees that there are very few locks but bizarrely thinks Forrest Whitaker is a lock for Best Actor for The Butler
BuzzFeed live action footage (and actors) that helped created The Little Mermaid 
i09 thinks I, Frankenstein might be the most insane movie of 2014
Movie City News asks a great question about Amy Adams in American Hustle 

Small Screen
Salon interviews Adam Scott on his television breakthroughs and his new film A.C.O.D.
i09 Honestly I did not see this coming. Halle Berry, whose big screen career is still going well (consider how much her ermegency call center movie made), will headline the tv series Extant about an astronaut whose baby might be half alien

Look! A new Halloween opening for The Simpsons courtesy of Guillermo del Toro so naturally there's a fair amount of Pan's Labyrinth up in there. Lots of movie referencing but the funniest bit I think is that misanthrope naughtiness of the Alfred Hitchcock cameo via The Birds

Finally, can I just say "amen" to this Vulture piece requesting a moratorium on anti-heroes as the leads of television series?  I mean you're not going to top Don Draper, Tony Soprano, Walter White, Carrie Bradshaw (yeah, she was one. deal with it) and Nurse Jackie... so let it die a natural death now instead of death from ubiquity. Mark Harris has also wisely noticed that this trend has now poisoned the broadcast networks without the antidote of the artistry that made this type of protagonist so popular on cable television in the first place.


Super Dude

JA from MNPP here, popping in for a quick sec to take the opportunity to hurrah the news that Aaron Taylor-Johnson has been officially announced to play the character of Quicksilver in the second Avengers movie from Mr. Whedon & Co. (Also I've posted all the good exploitative pictures of him at my own site before, and so posting this news over here at TFE gives me the chance to look for the fiftieth time at a current favorite picture. Va va va voom.)

Aaron's the second actor who'll be playing the role in the next year - because of rights complications Quicksilver can also show up in the X-Men movies, and so American Horror Story's Evan Peters is playing him in Bryan Singer's X-Men: Days of Future Past. That shouldn't prove too confusing for the world! Maybe eventually instead of one new Spider-Man every five years we'll have four different Spider-Men all at once? (Curse me for giving the suits in Hollywood any new horrible ideas.)

This news regarding Aaron comes a day after Samuel L. Jackson let it slip that Elizabeth Olsen's playing  Scarlet Witch, aka Quicksilver's sister, in Avengers: Age of Ultron - that hasn't been offically confirmed, but I think they make for a killer pair and I hope that's how it susses out, anyway.


NYFF: An Evening with Cate Blanchett

And now Glenn's report from the New York Film Festival's tribute to Cate Blanchett.

When the powers that be at the Film Society of Lincoln Center (my limited knowledge suggests they’re the organisation that runs the New York Film Festival) announced one of the recipients of this year’s special tributes would be Cate Blanchett it was probably hard to find anybody who’d argue against it. Granted, she had no films screening at the fest, but you just try and find anybody who doesn’t think her work in this summer’s Blue Jasmine was a career-topping and undeniably Oscar-bound achievement. A genuine “moment” for the acting craft that Blanchett herself would later acknowledge was like a magical culmination of her years in the profession and her favorite role yet.

After a pair of introductions the assembled audience watched a collection of long film clips to whet the appetite. All five of her Oscar-nominated performances were featured – that’d be Elizabeth, Notes on a Scandal, I’m Not There, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, and The Aviator for which she won the golden Oscar – as were The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Talented Mr Ripley and her dynamic duel role in Coffee & Cigarettes. Another truncated clip package follows featuring a wider variety of films from Blanchett’s career which has spanned multiple continents, mediums and propelled her to roles as diverse as Katharine Hepburn and an Elf goddess.

Then out struts Cate Blanchett, her cheek bones so prominent they could distribute radio signals. My friends and I had guessed what colour dress she would be wearing and the winner was a very pale shade of pink. It doesn’t take long to figure out she’s in much better mood than when she recently and famously took to the stage of David Letterman’s chat show and couldn’t hide her disdain for his vacuous, uninformed line of questioning. Within moments she was self-depreciatingly joking about the empty seats, apologising for the “excruciating” clips (we’re looking at you Elizabeth: The Golden Age) and regaling tales of her first acting gig as an American cheerleader in an Egyptian boxing drama where she was promised five pounds and free falafel that never came.

Speaking for an hour alongside NYFF director of programming, Kent Jones, she spoke about many of her most famous roles. I most enjoyed her lengthy discussion on Todd Haynes that spawned out of I’m Not There upon which she noted, “Crossing the gender line in an industry that is usually very literal [was] very liberating.” She spoke at length about how much she loves Superstar (as do I) and musing, “If he can do that with barbie dolls then imagine what he can do with people.” She didn’t talk about Carol, but who isn’t anticipating that? She was also greeted with a personal video message from the one and only Woody Allen. A surprise even to her, he thanked her for her performance in Blue Jasmine and that’s about as big and as public of an endorsement from Woody Allen as you’ll ever get this side of a marriage proposal.

She then went into the advice given to her by Martin Scorsese on making her Aviator performance her own alongside her own acceptance that she was likely going to “upset Katharine Hepburn fans”. Then there was her son’s discomfort at the Lord of the Rings action figures not wearing underwear (coming soon, she joked, “The Blue Jasmine doll. She has a lot of accessories!”), the filmmaking process of Steven Soderbergh and Terrence Malick (on Knight of Cups: “I don’t know what my ultimate role will be”), her listing of her many stage works (“Hedda Gabler, Richard III, Blanche DuBois, The Maids with Isabelle Huppert"), and in another moment of surprise and applause the director of that aforementioned Egyptian film from 1992 stood up in the audience and tried to apologise for his poor treatment. No word on if he brought along any falafel. I wish there'd been some discussion of her Australian work, which was all but ignored, like Oscar and Lucinda, Little Fish and The Turning (what? no mention of Police Rescue: The Movie?)

Chin up, Cate. You're probably gonna win another Oscar!

The conversation was followed by a screening of Blue Jasmine which was apt since a running gag throughout the night was Blanchett’s obvious awareness that the evening was more or less an Academy Award publicity stunt, constantly blurting out “Blue Jasmine, directed by Woody Allen, distributed by Sony Pictures Classics.” Watching it again alleviated my fear that I’d over-sold it upon release. Turns out it’s a remarkably rewatchable film and, yes, Cate Blanchett’s performance is one for the ages. If she keeps doing publicity like this then the Oscar should be as good as hers.