DON'T MISS THIS!
Oscar History
Welcome

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, or by a member of our amazing team as noted.

Like The Film Experience on Facebook

Powered by Squarespace
What'cha Looking For?
Comment Fun

Comment(s) Du Jour
Yes No Maybe So - Beauty & The Beast

"Nice teaser but it going to be hard for Disney to top one of their true masterpieces of animation" - Jaragon

 "I don't have high hopes for the principals either, but the real draw is the supporting cast. I'm a NO on McGregor's accent and a YES on McKellen, so put me down as a MAYBE SO." -BD

 "CGI chandeliers? Damn, DIsney, let them build a set." -Jacob

Keep TFE Strong

 

LOVE THE SITE? DONATE 

Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience

THANKS IN ADVANCE

For those who can't commit to a dime a day, consider a one time donation for an article or a series you are glad you didn't have to live without.

Subscribe
Friday
Dec052014

Interview: Liv Ullmann on 'Miss Julie', Jessica Chastain ...and Carrie Bradshaw?

Jose here. The first thing I tell Liv Ullmann is that I remember being ten years old and having my father introduce me to the work of Ingmar Bergman. 

That Swedish legend directed her in more than ten films including Persona, Cries and Whispers, and Face to Face for which she was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar. She offers me a warm smile, touches my shoulder and says “oh, thank you”. During our conversation I realize how much she “talks” with her hands, which she uses to draw figures on a table, to mimic camera moves and also to touch her face in an expression of awe, as she talks about the work of the actors she directed in her adaptation of August Strindberg’s Miss Julie (opening today in NYC).

She hadn’t directed a film in almost fifteen years (since 2000’s Faithless), but was compelled to return behind the cameras when she was given carte blanche by producers who asked her to make a film about a femme fatale. She chose Strindberg’s classic because she felt there was much that still hadn’t been said about the title character. As played by Jessica Chastain Miss Julie is a rebellious soul who pretends to be in control, but has little self awareness. She finds her true self through the way she treats her servants John and Kathleen, played by Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton respectively.

Ullmann moved the story to 1890 Ireland where she felt the socio-economic inequality between the characters made more sense than in Sweden. She unleashes the three characters in a castle straight out of the most existential version of Hamlet and infuses the text with color, both literal and figurative, to make the most compelling version of Miss Julie to be put on screen, a tribute to Bergman, Strindberg and a reminder that Ullmann’s work both behind and in front of the camera is always a pleasure to watch. She talked about her cast with passion, explained her thoughts on conveying physical space on film. And she even talked some Carrie Bradshaw! [after the jump]

Click to read more ...

Friday
Dec052014

Team FYC: The Babadook for Original Screenplay

Editor's Note: We're featuring individually chosen FYC's for various longshots in the Oscar race. We'll never repeat a film or a category so we hope you enjoy the variety of picks. And if you're lucky enough to be an AMPAS, HFPA, or Critics Group voter, take note! Here's Michael on The Babadook

Years of horror films have trained audiences how to guard against all the tricks of the genre, but Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook gets around those defenses and needles us in ways for which we aren't prepared. Kent understands that all great horror touches on some form of primal terror. Something deeper than the surface shocks. The Shining had our fear of isolation. Jaws had our helplessness in the face of nature's power. The Babadook taps into our dread of our own offspring. The fear that they might destroy our life and the fear that we may hate them. Kent’s film burrows so far under the skin you can practically hear it scrape against bone.

The Babadook's screenplay does so many things so effortlessly it’s easy to miss the scope of her achievement. Part of the reason the scares are so effective is that the film has been so convincingly grounded in reality before the horror elements creep in. If the haunting had never materialized the story could continue quite well as an affecting portrait of a struggling single mom. Kent also lands a killer ending, one that manages to leave the audience both satisfied and thoroughly unsettled. Count on your fingers how many other modern horror films pull off that trick and you will have enough digits left over to cover your eyes when The Babadook gets too terrifying.

The Babadook has been widely heralded as one of the best horror films of the new century, if not the best, yet it is all but certain to be ignored by the Academy. It deserves to join the slim ranks of Best Picture nominated horror titles alongside The Exorcist, Jaws and Silence of the Lambs, but since that is not going to happen, the least they can do is recognize Kent’s achievement in conceiving of Mr. Babadook in the first place. And after all, wouldn’t it be fitting if the story of a monster who lurks on the printed page found its recognition in the writing category?

Related
We talked to Jennifer Kent about her brilliant debut

Other FYCs 
Original Score, The Immigrant
Supporting Actress, Carrie Coon in Gone Girl
Visual FX, Under the Skin
Cinematography, The Homesman
Outstanding Ensembles

Thursday
Dec042014

50th Anniversary: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Tim here. December means two things: one of these is frantically trying to keep up with year-end awardage and last-minute qualifying releases, and we have that well-covered this month at the Film Experience. But it also means forcible nostalgia and hankering back to the traditions of childhood, and in this mode, we come to a very important anniversary this weekend. It was 50 years ago, on December 6, 1964, that NBC first aired the hourlong Rank/Bass special Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer, and thus created one of the most durable pop culture artifacts of the Christmas season.

Rudolph wasn't the first TV Christmas special, nor even the first one that was animated: Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol had beaten to the latter punch by two years. Its enormous success meant that follow-ups were inevitable, so Rudolph was merely at the forefront of quite a large number of animated tales of finding the true meaning of the holiday and this and the other thing. And yet out of that wave of productions, virtually nothing, including Quincy Magoo’s turn in Ebenezer Scrooge’s shoes, has had the lasting cultural currency of Rudolph, which has been aired somewhere on American television for every single one of the 50 years of its existence. The fledgling Rankin/Bass (then working under the name Videocraft) made a cottage industry out of Christmas specials in the years following, but none of its follow-ups have become institutions in the same way as their first attempt.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec042014

PETER PAN LIVE! Live Blog with Margaret & Anne Marie

ANNE MARIE: Good evening, Lost Boys & Girls. Anne Marie here with the ever-youthful Margaret to live-blog NBC's Peter Pan Live! Or it would be live, but Los Angeles does everything on a delay, so instead it's a late-blog three hours after the original event began.

MARGARET: Thank goodness they don't do this with the Oscars.

ANNE MARIE: A word on my credentials: Like millions of children, I was basically raised on the Mary Martin/Cyril Ritchard broadcast. Until I was six, I thought I was going to grow up to be Peter Pan. I've also been in it, designed for it, and seen the Cathy Rigby version (twice).  Oh, and for actual credentials, I have a minor in theater and have stage managed in LA for six years. I also liveblogged The Sound of Music Live! last year. This isn't my first trip to Neverland, is what I'm saying. 

MARGARET: While I haven't Anne Marie's technical background, I also grew up a huge fan of the Mary Martin production. My copy was taped from a TV broadcast on an ancient VHS (look it up, kids) and I watched it so much I memorized the commercials. Since I am also a great fan of (1) celebrities looking uncomfortable and (2) anything with a strong potential for disaster, tonight's entertainment is right up my alley. I hope I'm not alone in that.

ANNE MARIE: If you're on the East Coast, check in with us and think back on fond memories made just three hours ago. If you're on the West Coast, follow along as we experience childhood anew. If you're in one of the middle states, then you're kinda like the Lost Boys: nobody pays attention to you and we spend a lot of time flying over your head. 

Are you ready? OFF TO NEVERLAND!

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec042014

AHS: Freakshow "Blood Bath" 

There be spoilers ahead. On the latest episode of American Horror Story: The Dandy Show television's most beautiful, most Emmy-worthy, and most bratty psycho-killer goes to see a disembodied psychiatrist (why are they hiding his face: stunt casting?), kills his mother and makes like Countess Bathory with her remains.

Some other stuff probably happened in this episode, too, but the titular bath was uh... distracting

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec042014

Team FYC: "The Immigrant" for Original Score

Editor's Note: We're featuring individually chosen FYC's for various longshots in the Oscar race. We'll never repeat a film or a category so we hope you enjoy the variety of picks. And if you're lucky enough to be an AMPAS, HFPA, or Critics Group voter, take note! Here's Jose on The Immmigrant

Director James Gray has stated on many occasions that he owes his inspiration for The Immigrant to music, to be more specific: opera. How it was when he was watching Puccini’s Il Trittico at the LA Opera, with tears streaming down his face, that he realized he needed to tell this story. Inspired by Puccini’s sinful sister Angelica, he created the character of Ewa (Marion Cotillard) a Polish immigrant forced into prostitution by the conniving pimp Bruno (Joaquin Phoenix) who in a way is perversely in love with her. Gray wanted to tell a grand story about a woman in the vein of the Barbara Stanwyck films he loved, all of which were snootily referred to as “melodramas”.

And it’s precisely in this marriage of music and drama where The Immigrant proves to be absolutely sublime, Gray understood that to make an “operatic” film he needed not to exaggerate but to seek a depth of emotion heightened by the work of composer Christopher Spelman. The two have worked together in the past (going all the way back to Gray’s first film Little Odessa) and specifically they have used Puccini before, with Spelman arranging the orchestrations for the pieces used in Two Lovers.

In The Immigrant Spelman not only arranged the pre-existing opera pieces we hear throughout the film, he also composed a series of haunting melodies which both pay homage and carve their own way from where the Puccini ends. Spelman’s melancholy pieces are infused with a sense of longing that will have you humming them inexplicably days, months even, after you watch the film, making for an experience that’s quite operatic indeed.

Other FYCs 
Original Screenplay, The Babadook
Original Score, The Immigrant
Supporting Actress, Carrie Coon in Gone Girl
Visual FX, Under the Skin
Cinematography, The Homesman
Outstanding Ensembles

Thursday
Dec042014

Thoughts I Had... While Looking at Cate Blanchett's 'Cinderella' Poster

Take it away Margaret...

 

  • If you've got (1) Blanchett looking imperious, or better yet (2) Blanchett looking imperious in a fabulous hat, I'm already sold. I sort of hope the whole movie is just Cate posing with glacial elegance in an increasingly imposing series of chapeaux.
  • Now that she's bagged Oscar #2, the time might just be right for her to try some camped-up villainy. 
         * pretending Indiana Jones 4 doesn't exist, pretending Indiana Jones 4 doesn't exist *
  • I love Cate as a redhead. Reahhhlly I do.
  • And oh look, It's DAISEH from Downton Abbey! Hi, Daiseh! I stopped watching your show in season 2 but I think it's safe to say whatever Julian Fellowes is doing with you, you deserve better.
  • Merciful heavens, the florals are strong with this one. Is that supposed to be what makes them wicked? A heavy hand with competing patterns?
  • Something about the stepsisters being decked out in those bright shades of pink and yellow makes me think of the Power Rangers. I will now be taking volunteers to write the treatment for a Cinderella/Power Rangers crossover.
  • The Oscar campaign for Most Costume Design 2015 starts now. Our gal Sandy Powell should start drafting gloriously blunt acceptance sound bytes now.
  • Not sure what to make of the March release date. Certainly when a big studio picture with no major competition opens in March it has potential to take off into an enormous hit (à la Eyesore in Wonderland or Oz the Great and Powerful) but by that same token it's often where weaker films get sent when they can't hold up against the blockbusters..

What does this new poster bring to your mind?