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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 | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 

 

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Silence of the Lambs Retrospective

"Don't help the man with the broken arm! Don't get in his van! Too late... She does it every time. Which is why this is such a good movie: it really makes us care, and even when we know what's going to happen, we hope it won't."- Edward

"Such a great BP winner. I remember seeing it when I was a teenager and even then I noticed the eyelines being so close to the camera, and the way Clarice was framed in a male-dominated world as though she was being watched and judged." - MSD

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Tuesday
Jan272015

Sundance: "It Follows" is Brilliant High Octane Nightmare Fuel

Michael C here in Sundance to report on a horror film that already feels like a cult classic even though it doesn't even come out until March.

Put into words, the plot of David Robert Mithchell's It Follows sounds almost comical in its simplicity. There is a creature that will follow you until it kills you. If you are unlucky enough to get this creature on your trail there is nothing you can do. You can try to run or to hide, to destroy it or to deflect it towards another victim. These strategies may have some effect, for an hour or a day, but they are all temporary. Sooner or later the creature will get you. It's in no hurry.

One might suspect that such a simple concept would get old fast, or at best amount to an entertaining genre exercise, but that is far from the case. By stripping the horror genre down to its barest essentials Mitchell makes It Follows into the purest possible distillation of a drug. A kick of undiluted fear straight to the subconscious. With its pulsing, foregrounded music the whole thing takes on an unexpected grandness. I am reminded of the subtitle to Murnau's Nosferatu -
"a symphony of horror".

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Tuesday
Jan272015

Red Carpet Lineup: The 21st Annual SAG Awards

Greetings, fashion followers and actress admirers! Anne Marie and Margaret here with the Screen Actors Guild Awards edition of Red Carpet Lineup. We're carrying on without Nathaniel this time, since he's over at Sundance walking some red carpets of his own.

Anne Marie:  Last night held few surprises awards-wise, but the red carpet looks were as wide-ranging as Tatiana Maslany's clones in Orphan Black. Without further ado, let's talk fashion!

Margaret: Color-wise, it was a subdued red carpet, so let's start with some of the ladies in black and white: our queen Viola (VIOLAAAAAA), it-girl Emma Stone, the Supreme Sarah Paulson, and proud "complicated woman" Maggie Gyllenhaal. Which neutral getup is your favorite?

Anne Marie:  VIOLAAAAAA! Damn, she looked good. She sounded good, too. That speech was wonderful, and almost made me forgive How To Get Away With Murder for its grievous faults. Sarah Paulson, queen of my heart and the master of photobombs, is also rocking that black and white dress. I don't, as a general rule, like two-piece separate dresses like this, but she is... dare I say... bewitching. (Groan all you like but it's true.)

Margaret: I have to say, all four of these ladies' makeup artists deserve a serious bonus. Their faces look magnificent.

Anne Marie: True. Although, what the heck is going on with Emma Stone's dress? She looks like she's wearing an oversized suit jacket with a gauze skirt stapled on.

Margaret: Perhaps it's an avant-garde nod to her Birdman role, an abstracted fashion cape?

Anne Marie:  Sort of a Lois-Lane-by-way-of-Morticia-Addams kind of thing?

Margaret: Sure looks like it. If I'm honest, I hope her people pull her something twice as kooky for the Oscars. Liven things up a smidge.

Anne Marie: Any final thoughts on our first 4 ladies in white-and-black?

Margaret: Just that Maggie Gyllenhaal's cleavage keyhole amuses me, and that I'm almost sorry that Frances McDormand beat her last night because after the glorious stoneface Ms. McDormand produced after losing at the Golden Globes, I can't help but mourn for the gifs that might have been.

Now, on to our second lineup, the theme of which is WINNERS. 

Maternity couture, OITNB, and casting ideas for a gritty Little Mermaid reboot after the jump...

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Tuesday
Jan272015

Sundance: "The Diary of a Teenage Girl" Doesn't Flinch at Teenage Sexuality

Michael C. here with a fresh dispatch from Park City.

With coming-of-age films one often gets the sense they are holding back. That they are only hinting at their raunchier elements or skipping any bits where the hero might lose the audience's sympathy. Marielle Heller's The Diary of a Teenage Girl has no such hesitance. It dives headlong into the sex and drugs fueled haze that is the life 15-year-old Minnie Goetze in early 70's San Francisco. Especially the sex. Diary turns the table on most films about teenage sex where it's the guys dying to get off and the girls are reduced to distant objects of desire. The screenplay, based on a graphic novel series by Phoebe Gloeckner, is refreshingly frank in addressing the problems of a teenage girl with a roaring sex drive.

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Tuesday
Jan272015

Curio: Rubber Stamp World

Alexa here with your weekly arts and crafts. I have to admit that I have an oddball addiction to rubber stamps. Not your run-of-the-mill, country-crafty variety, but those of the pop-culture-obsessy variety. I spend a bit too much of my monthly budget on them, stamping gift cards, tags, or any piece of paper that isn't tied down in the house.  Etsy and ebay have enabled this addiction: etsy has some wonderful hand-carved stamps for fans of everything from Sherlock to Star Wars.  And ebay has some great used ones: I recently purchased these What Ever Happened to Baby Jane and All About Eve stamps from the estate of Charles Pierce (who famously dressed as Baby Jane for a series of greeting cards).

Alas, my budget this month can't handle me buying all the ones on my wish list, so I'll share my favorite film fan stamps currently for sale, after the jump...

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Monday
Jan262015

Oscar Acting Races: 5 Box Office Musings

Manuel here to offer some random box office facts about the acting races. The big Oscar box office story continues to be American Sniper’s unprecedented success, so much so that Bradley Cooper garnered a shoutout last night at the SAG Awards despite not being nominated. I’m starting to feel the Best Picture category might not be the only three-way race as we wade deeper into Phase 2. Numbers and statistics junkie that I imagine myself to be, I was curious to see whether the past fifteen years’ worth of box office numbers in the acting categories could help us gleam anything about potential outcomes. Spoiler alert: not much, but enjoy the following random tidbits below. 

As it stands, Bradley, Rosamund Pike, Robert Duvall (improbably, really) and Meryl Streep hold the title as the highest grossing nominees from their respective races. How might this help Bradley; well, let's take a look back at the box office history in the acting races.

  • Did you know that the last three times Best Leading Actor went to the highest grossing film of the bunch it went to men winning their second (Tom Hanks) and third (Jack Nicholson, Daniel Day Lewis) Oscars?
  • In stark contrast, headlining the biggest hit in the category usually helps you win* in the Best Leading Actress category (see: Jennifer Lawrence, Natalie Portman, Sandra Bullock, Reese Witherspoon, Hilary Swank, and Julia Roberts) and the Best Supporting Actress category (see: Octavia Spencer, Jennifer Hudson, Cate Blanchett, Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jennifer Connelly). I’d come up with a random theory about this statistical anomaly where it not, like everything else below, most likely random happenstance.
    *Or rather, the Oscar has statistically gone to the actress in the highest grossing film of the group.

All info collected from BoxOfficeMojo 

  • 2014 will be the first year since 2011 where Best Supporting Actor, a category that most often than not boasts the highest per film average of all four acting categories (usually bolstered by films like The Dark Knight in 2008, Lincoln & Django Unchained in 2012, and Chicago & Catch Me If You Can in 2002) will be the lowest grossing category among the acting races. And just as in 2011, when Christopher Plummer picked up a statuette for Beginners ($5,790,894) the lowest-grossing nominee will most likely walk away with the win.
  • Unsurprisingly, averaging in the past fifteen years a little less than $50 million per film, Best Leading Actress is usually the lowest-grossing category among the acting nominees. Notice those two most recent upticks in the category in 2009 and 2013? You can thank one Ms Sandra Bullock for those.
  • 2007 may account for the lowest averages for all acting categories, but 2005 is the last year where only one film nominated for an acting award crossed the $100 million threshold: Walk the Line. This year, out of 13 films nominated in these four categories, three films have accomplished this feat: Gone Girl, Into the Woods and American Sniper, with The Imitation Game looking likely to join them.
Let's talk money. Do you think Bradley actually has a chance at gold? Stats would seem to think so; Renee & Russell prevailed at least once during their recent threepeat and actors really seem to be warming up to him in the film, no?
Monday
Jan262015

Looking Top to Bottom: How to Get Fucked

Manuel, here learning more about how rugby is the filthiest, sexiest sport ever with the Looking boys.

Between getting tested last week (learning we don't test for HIV but for its effects on our bodies) and braving his self-consciousness to buy an enema in order to freshen up for his sleepover with Kevin, Jonathan Groff is slowly becoming a poster boy for healthy gay sex: "See how sex-positive I can be?" Patrick asks the pharmacist, only to be hilariously read to filth ("Oh, honey, do you know where you live?"). That shot of him ass up struck me as instantly iconic, one of those shots that will forever follow Groff in his hopefully lengthy career. I'm already looking forward to a photoshoot 10 or 20 years from now where he revisits it.

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