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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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Friday
Jan042013

PSA: Great Films on the Big (or Slightly Bigger) Screen

If there's an awesome repertory movie house near you make sure to support it this weekend or next during the peak craziness over this year's Oscar nominees. See something really special you haven't seen before to remind you that the here and now ain't everything.

NYC -The gob-smackingly brilliant Black Narcissus (pictured left, which we wrote about during Season 1 of 'Hit Me...') is playing at Film Forum and will make nearly every one of next week's Oscar nominees look like timid wallflowers when it comes to psychosexualspiritual provocations, expressive production design and the use of color and light. Take that, uh...  Life of Pi (?) 

LA & CHICAGO, anyone?

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Friday
Jan042013

Congratulations to the WGA Nominees

Before approaching the Writers Guild Nominations with Oscary enthusiasmbe forewarned: only guild members are eligible for these prizes which discounts a good chunk of the movies one might otherwise expect to see honored each year. Hollywood isn't nearly as averse to working with non-guild writers as they are about non-unionized actors (Beasts of the Southern Wild was the only significant "ineligible" situation when the SAG nominees were announced a month ago). One of the reasons for this is surely the prevalence of writer/directors who are often members of the DGA without being members of the WGA.

The benefit of this is that by their script eligibility rules they are forced to award films that have been largely ignored in the grand scheme of year end hoopla. The curse is that when you are nominated from a smaller field of potentials it might not feel as notable.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY  
  • Flight, Written by John Gatins; Paramount Pictures
  • Looper, Written by Rian Johnson; TriStar Pictures
  • The Master, Written by Paul Thomas Anderson; The Weinstein Company
  • Moonrise Kingdom, Written by Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola; Focus Features
  • Zero Dark Thirty, Written by Mark Boal; Columbia Pictures (ARTICLE

not eligible and therefore unsnubbed so you could still see them on Oscar's list
Django Unchained, Seven Psychopaths, Amour, Your Sister's Sister, Take This Waltz, The Intouchables, Middle of Nowhere, Rust & Bone and The Impossible 

Typically we only here of what's been declared ineligible so it's tough to know what other films were competing although I'd feel worse for actor/screenwriter Reid Carolin's absence for Magic Mike above if he'd also played one of the Cock-Rocking Kings of Tampa. That'd be putting it all on the line for your movie!

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY 
  • Argo, Screenplay by Chris Terrio; Based on a selection from The Master of Disguise by Antonio J. Mendez and the WiredMagazine article “The Great Escape” by Joshuah Bearman; Warner Bros. Pictures
  • Life of Pi, Screenplay by David Magee; Based on the novel by Yann Martel; 20th Century Fox
  • Lincoln, Screenplay by Tony Kushner; Based in part on the book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincolnby Doris Kearns Goodwin; DreamWorks Pictures
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Screenplay by Stephen Chbosky; Based on his book; Summit Entertainment (LOGAN LERMAN INTERVIEW)
  • Silver Linings Playbook, Screenplay by David O. Russell; Based on the novel by Matthew Quick; The Weinstein Company

not eligible and therefore unsnubbed:
Les Miz, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Anna Karenina, The Deep Blue Sea, and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The nominee list for the WGA is highly plausible as the final Oscar list in this category too, don't you think?

DOCUMENTARY SCREENPLAY 

  • The Central Park Five, Written by Sarah Burns and David McMahon and Ken Burns; Sundance Selects
  • The Invisible War, Written by Kirby Dick; Cinedigm Entertainment Group
  • Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, Written by Alex Gibney; HBO Documentary Films
  • Searching for Sugar Man, Written by Malik Bendejelloul; Sony Pictures Classics
  • We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists, Written by Brian Knappenberger; Cinetic Media
  • West of Memphis, Written by Amy Berg & Billy McMillin; Sony Pictures Classics 

Sugar Man, Mea Maxima and The Invisible War continue to show real strength in the oncoming Oscar Best Documentary race.

 

Friday
Jan042013

Michael's Best of 2012

Before Nathaniel's Top Ten drops over the next few days he has invited TFE correspondents to share their own best of 2012 lists. I confess up front that I have not yet managed to catch Tabu, Oslo August 31 or Middle of Nowhere, but then all lists are a work in progress, aren't they?

Honorable Mentions...
Richard Linklater's Bernie featured the enduringly weird paring of Shirley MacLaine and Jack Black in addition to a unceasingly funny peanuts gallery of small town Texans arguing that murder really isn't all that bad. Lauren Greenfield's Queen of Versailles is the perfect film for the moment with subjects that make the cast of Marie Antoinette seem admirably self-aware and thrifty. Walter Salles's On the Road is a bracing jolt of life that is being seriously undersold by critics. Looper does the sci-fi genre proud with its thoroughly imagined script that piles on the surprises well beyond the big hook. And finally, Amour should rightly be near the top of this list based strictly on filmmaking skill, but there was something about its unremmiting bleakness that felt incomplete to me. I can't help asking "Is that all there is?" even as the film itself calmly repeated that "Yes. It is." over and over. 

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 ... after the jump

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Friday
Jan042013

Mine is the Way of the Link ♫

Buzzfeed Young Christopher Walken looks just like Scarlett Johansson
Where the Day Takes You 140 still-living actresses who were born before 1930! 
Coming Soon the Carrie remake pushed back several months to October release... same weekend as Malavita so I get JMoore and MPfeiffer on the same weekend. ayyiiieeeeee
Backstage a plea to the Academy to dump Nicole Kidman and choose Ann Dowd. Ugh, people... you can have both. Just don't nominate Amy Adamzzz or Maggie Smith (she's better on Downton Abbey anyway!). But FWIW Kidman is genius so this article is suspect ;) 

Pajiba lists 10 FYC Ads least likely to be "considered" by Oscar. Sad really because I guarantee youse that the one for On the Road praises two performances that will inevitably be better than something that will be nominated instead of them. 
MNPP watch JA squirm his way through Les Miz. He just can't deal with the all the singing. The constant singing!!!

Speaking of Lez Misérables, Buzzfeed has a funny character guide that is so so so true. I love the recurring Cosette gag. Here's Javert...


TV
Playbill YAY. Sutton Foster will be back on your TV on Monday with the return of "Bunheads". Watch it with me!
Slate Even bigger YAY. Downton Abbey is back on Sunday. With Shirley Maclaine joining the cast
Gawker shares the best thing on TV this week (apparently)... Jessica Lange doing "the Name Game" for American Horror Story. A twitter follower asked me if I'd watched it but I had to admit I hadn't. I can't deal with Ryan Murphy television: so erratic in plot/characterization/quality... even within single scenes! 

Finally...
Have you seen the Jennifer Lawrence issue of Vanity Fair? I kind of love Jennifer Lawrence as a celebrity even if I don't love her performance in Silver Linings Playbook (though that's almost the definition of "celebrity" in terms of performance, it's so look at me sparkly and charismatic) but I'm starting to remember how very young she is with some of her quotes. Like this one:

 Not to sound rude, but [acting] is stupid,” Lawrence says. “Everybody’s like, ‘How can you remain with a level head?’ And I’m like, ‘Why would I ever get cocky? I’m not saving anybody’s life. There are doctors who save lives and firemen who run into burning buildings. I’m making movies. It’s stupid.’

Ugh, I hate it when actors are "above" acting. Blargh. Acting is an art. And art is important. Be proud of your craft. Actors are magicians of embodiment, sculpters of emotion, and channellers of human truth. Or they can be when they're doing it right.

Friday
Jan042013

Amir's Most Anticipated Films of 2013

Ewan McGregor and I (from TIFF). What movies do you think he's looking forward to?Amir here. For most of us moviegoers the first day of January doesn’t coincide with the start of a new film year. We wait for the release of films like Zero Dark Thirty or Amour in our corners of the world. But to wish you all a slightly belated happy new year, I thought there’s no better way to semi-start 2013 than with a top ten dozen list of possible cinematic treasures that await us.

It was a tough task to narrow down but that’s the fun in list-making. I know I’ll be first in line when Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac hits the screens, or when Under the Skin, Jonathan Glazer’s long-awaited follow-up to the masterful Birth, is unveiled. And how could I not be excited about Side Effects from the always intriguing Steven Soderbergh, or Les Salaudes, the newest film from Claire Denis, one of our greatest living directors? James Gray’s Nightingale almost made my list, as did Park Chan Wook’s Stoker and Edgar Wright’s The World’s End. Joachim Trier, whose last film Oslo, August 31st was my favorite of 2011 (2012 for many US critics) is working on an English-language debut called Louder than Bombs,  too. I’ll be there for all of them, but if I had to pick only a dozen films to watch this year? Here they are....


12. I’m So Excited

An apt title for a film on a list of this kind, but that’s definitely not the only reason I’ve included it here. Pedro Almodovar, everyone’s favorite Spanish auteur, is going back to the realm of comedy with this story of intersecting romances and dancing gay flight attendants on an airplane.

I’m So Excited stars a whole lot of Spanish stars like Javier Camara, Cecilia Roth, Lola Duenas, Paz Vega and my biggest crush of the moment, Blanca Suárez. Almodovar’s regulars Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas are apparently in for small roles. 

more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan032013

ADG Nominees: Period, Fantasy, and (Our Favorite) Contemporary

The Guilds Have Spoken! Or rather, they're beginning to speak. We've just heard from the producers and now the art directors. This time AMPAS will cut the guilds off mid-sentence since Oscar nominations are but a week away. But here are the nominations from the Art Directors Guild which includes production designers, art directors and set decorators. Production Designers are the bosses of this field and when it comes to Oscar only the production designers and set decorators and not the art directors share the Oscar nominations which is why it's a bit odd that it's always called "Art Direction" but AMPAS has finally changed the name of the category so it'll now be 'Production Design'

Anna Karenina may be dressed for grief but her bedroom sure is lusty.

Expect that the five nominated films for Oscar will be (mostly) culled from these three groups. And obviously, given that Oscar is Oscar and "Best" =  "Most" the bulk of the eventual Oscar shortlist will come from Period & Fantasy. TFE's favorite thing about the guild awards is that you can see what the craftsmen and women like best in contemporary work... which sadly rarely goes on to Oscar glory despite being difficult and creatively challenging in its own right.

Some notes on their nominees... and their nominee's past filmography glories after the jump

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Thursday
Jan032013

Tolkien at 121

JA from MNPP here to wish the author JRR Tolkien a terribly post-mortem happy 121st birthday. Here he was born (in 1892) and there he died (in September of 1973) - twas hardly a moment for you, you took no notice. (Sorry I have that Vertigo quote permanantly on tap, even if inappropriate.)

Anyway! Even if Nathaniel's boycotting The Hobbit, there's a lot of us (a whole heckuva lot, judging from its receipts) who weren't so strong and submitted ourselves willingly to another three hours in Hobbiton and beyond - my reaction to the film was actually one of surprised like, if not really love; I'd convinced myself in a post-Lovely-Bones world (shudder) that Peter Jackson had lost that ineffable something that made him so special, and I was wrong. I thought the film was like slipping back into a warm bath - cozy and quite fine. If I weren't so enamored with PJ's take on Tolkien's world I might find the probably obscene money-grab (point Nat) of stretching this lil' book out to nine hours less palatable, but I do, I do like PJ's take on Tolkien's world an awful lot, so I ended up more okay with it than I anticipated myself being in the end. Ask me again after he's piled the latter six hours on and we'll see how I feel but for now, he's reconvinced me at giving it a go. What's did y'all think?

I saw a joke going around on Twitter about how we'll be getting an epic series of films for The Silmarillion next; nevermind that all the good stuff's apparently somehow making its way into the three Hobbit movies already - where there be gold, there be dragons. Where would movie-making even be without JRR today? How many helicopter shots of groups of people striding across pretty landscapes would we have missed out on? I shudder to think.