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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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JASON CLARKE INTERVIEW

"I loved Clarke's scenes with Edgerton in The Great Gatsby. I thought, oh now I'm watching men not boys, and now I'm watching actors not movie stars.-Adri

"He has become someone I look for in films because he always comes across with such honesty." -Henry

 

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Tuesday
Feb192013

Curio: Oscar Art 2013

Alexa here. Fan art is really going mainstream this year, with the Oscar website featuring some amazing screenprints commissioned by Gallery1988 for the nominated films. Check out the entire Gallery1988 gallery here; I'm especially fond of this Django Unchained landscape by Mark Englert. My Oscar anticipation lead me to seek out even more creations celebrating films that are part of the Oscar conversation this year; here are some favorites from etsy and tumblr and flickr and the like. Happy Oscar week!

Watercolors for Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, and Argo, by Julian Birchman.


Many more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb182013

Interview: Rich Moore on His Long Journey With "Wreck-It Ralph"

The Animated Feature Oscar race has been unusually competitive this year. In the final week of voting (ballots are due tomorrow) FYC ads and toys were still showing up in the mail. Which to play with first: Brave bow and arrows, Frankenweenie stuffed animal, or Wreck-It Ralph hands? That is the question. When I spoke with Rich Moore, a long time animation force who made his theatrical directing debut with Wreck-It Ralph, a few weeks back he was very contemplative. Awards season has been a "surreal" experience especially nomination morning.

You hope that they will but when they really do... it was fantastic!"
-Rich Moore on the surreal joy of Nomination Morning 

Moore never quite equated his own story with that of Wreck-It Ralph's but I couldn't help projecting and connecting the dots when he told his story. There was a sturdy sweetness to it, not unlike Ralph's own, as he repeatedly expressed loyalty and gratitude for each of his past projects and opportunities. After graduating from CalArts in the late 80s he went to work for 70s animation legend Ralph Bakshi on The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse -- which might not seem like a prime gig to us in retrospect but back then it was. "Those days there were not a lot of jobs for young animators," he explained.

"We were very very lucky to be hired onto that show by Ralph. Several of the people, my friends went on to form Pixar. [Bakshi] opened our eyes. If you could dream it it could happen because we would see Ralph do that on a daily basis. He is so passionate. And so crazy!" 

After his time with Bakshi he found himself at work on The Simpsons. And the experience still sounds shockingly fresh to hear him recall it. "I was 25 years old and somehow had the wherewithal to recognize that it was the chance of a lifetime - 'If I do not give this everything I've got I will not be able to live with myself.' It was gold."

He went on to marvel at how "antiquated" the idea was at the time -- it hadn't been done since The Jetsons. And I kept thinking of Wreck-It Ralph... an 8 bit game in a whole new world. Throughout his experiences with The Simpsons and then Futurama his CalArts friends who founded Pixar kept trying to woo him over. Finally the 'annual call' worked and he did some soul searching and stopped resisting, said a tough goodbye to one animation family for his original one. 

But, I wondered. How long had the Wreck-It Ralph idea been with him and how possessive did he feel about it animation being a hugely collaborative process and not exactly an auteurist medium. 

He calls it a "fine line to walk." Your precious idea, you have to let go and allow others to raise the child as strong as it can be. Here's how it worked. Moore pitched an idea for a story about a world of videogames where an old school character (then unnamed) had lost his passion for his work, and wonders about his station in life. "It began pretty much that simply," he explains. From there it shifted into a two person project for a year with he and screenwriter Phil Johnston. "From there it just begins to grow exponentially. You add more and more people to the mix. Last September there were up to 450 people - artistis, technicians, managers -- working on something that started as a pitch between John Lasseter and I four years ago."

Moore is suddenly contemplative and sounds a little sad. "To be the guy who walks through the whole thing from beginning to end is an interesting seat to have. When people talk about 'oh, it's journey'. It really is. it's a strange kind of trip you take. I find myself now at the end very reflective about the whole thing and appreciative to have been able to bring to Disney my contribution to this long line of films they've been making since the '30s. It's a very kind of profound feeling." 

As to that long line of films, Moore names Dumbo and Pinnocchio as his favorites from animation's early years and Toy Story 2 and The Iron Giant as his modern favorites. But as for his contribution -- he isn't quite ready to put Wreck-It Ralph behind him. He has dreams of a sequel and there's still Oscar night to get through. 

"I hated Christmas or Halloween to be over. oh no it's going to be done," Moore says recalling himself as a child. "I hate to let it go. That's where my head is right now. The 11th hour on Christmas day. You hate to see it come to a close but it's been a beautiful experience. It was so satisfying."

more on animated films
more interview 

Monday
Feb182013

My Loyal Subjects...

Editor's Note: [trumpets! ♫♩] Please welcome back to The Film Experience our favorite very special guest.

Tis I, The Bening!

I thought I'd share a picture of my recent audience with loyal subjects like you in New York. Were you there? Someone made a terrible mistake and I was not on a raised dias. But the kids, they were all right.

Except this one who forgot to bow.

It's been two years since I last addressed you but I know that you have not forgotten about me. Especially not during Oscar Season where thoughts are surely never far from me. Who do you think we voted for? 

Your guesses will amuse us even more than Ms Swank's current film career!

Her Majesty, Annette.

Monday
Feb182013

The Film Experience. Where To Now?

Running a niche blog is tough business. It doesn't pay the bills. Traffic peaked in 2011 (I was unemployed and had more time to write) and though we held steady in 2012, more or less, no growth *sniffle*. Is the plateau a sign that I should close up shop? More corporate blogs emerge with big paid teams devoted to Oscar coverage each year.

The existental and practical question: how to compete?

But after a decade of writing for the internet, it's actually my life so I have no desire to quit. I fear becoming the boy who cried wolf since I've freaked out publicly before a few times about quitting but always kept writing.  "People" tell me that traffic is noteworthy but ads are still had to come by so I have to beg for donations / subscriptions (see righthand sidebar - if everyone who read gave a nickel a day I could do this full time!). I'll be brainstorming about how to make this work in 2013 and by June, I'll make decisions. So don't go anywhere post Oscar - Give me hope for the future. I'll sing for my supper. What would keep you coming back post-Oscar? 

I may even try a weekly Podcast though that would surely have to involve a rotating panel of guests instead of the regulars. ANYWAY. There's more to come before a possible summer hiatus (we'll see how the next two months go)...  

Reader Appreciation Month
Quentin Tarantino Week (March 25-30)
April Showers
Spring-Long Pedro Almódovar Retrospective

Meanwhile if you can contribute in any way (maybe you're a personal publicist? an interactive web designer? a brilliant emerging writer who doesn't want to run his/her own blog? a movie star or connected character actor who reads silently? a massage therapist? a personal trainer? a life coach?) towards boosting the site's profile let me know with a private email or with a comment. 

Monday
Feb182013

Link City: Blogs To Click For

Coming Soon first look at Josh Brolin in Sin City: A Dame To Kill For
Low Resolution Joe Reid returns to his very neglected blog to make a movie trailer for his own awards
The Hollywood Reporter spends time with Emmanuelle Riva who might become the oldest acting Oscar winner in history
Slate discusses the morbid finale of Downton Abbey Season 3. Is it the cruelest show on television?

Pajiba five things you may not have known about Christoph Waltz. Fun - love the Haneke bit.
In Contention Christoph Waltz in Djesus Uncrossed on SNL
Empire Sam Mendes may return for Bond 24. That's crazy if you ask me. How the hell will he top Skyfall? Better to walk away with afterglow.
Cinema Blend Lincoln finally ends slavery.... in Mississippi. WTH?
MNPP Gael García Bernal two (sexy) times
Encore's World the whole collection of "Motifs" articles. This one is on Parents & Children in '12 cinema featuring Brave, Amour, Looper and Moonrise Kingdom
The Film Doctor's one sentence review of A Good Day To Die Hard. One very long (true) sentence. 

Greg P Russell working on SkyfallFinally... some last minute awardage. The Writers Guild (WGA) continued Argo's dominance at the guilds... which probably means no Oscar for Tony Kushner's Lincoln. I thank 2012 emphatically for being so hard to predict for so much longer than usual even though now it's snorezzzville again going into Oscar night. At least until earlier this month. Now it's snorezzzville with only Argo deemed worthy of hardware. Which is why I've fallen off the reporting wagon... well that and the lack of FYC ads this year ;) Argo and Silver Linings Playbook took the ACE awards for editing. I say near-sweep because Argo hasn't won everything. It lost the Art Directors Guild prize to Anna Karenina and Sound prizes have also eluded it. Life of Pi was a double winner for the Sound Editors (MPSE) with Wreck-It Ralph and Les Misérables picking up their other trophies... but the Cinema Audio Society felt somewhat differently handing Brave and Les Miz its trophies. All of which is very bad news for perennial sound mixing nominee Greg P. Russell who is up for Skyfall this year... will he really lose again on his 16th nomination! Sixteenth! Tomorrow one more guild announces: the Costume Designers Guild.

 

Monday
Feb182013

Interview: Alexandre Desplat on Composing for "Argo" & "Zero Dark Thirty"

Matt here! Knowing my music background, Nathaniel asked me to speak with Alexandre Desplat for his fifth Oscar nomination. Desplat has composed scores for over 100 films including Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The King’s Speech, and The Tree of Life. This year alone, he wrote for Moonrise Kingdom, Rust and Bone, Rise of the Guardians, Zero Dark Thirty, and earned his latest Academy Award nomination for his work on Argo.

Desplat conducting his Rise of the Guardians score

Not only is Desplat impossibly prolific but he produces music of unprecedented diversity. Who could have guessed that the same man behind the jaunty storybook sounds of Fantastic Mr. Fox also wrote the cloudy chords at the end of Zero Dark Thirty? [more...]

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Feb172013

20 Musicals From Warner Bros

It would be incorrect to say that musicals were made to lift one's spirits since plenty of great musicals are as grim as any ruthless drama. But the genre lifts mine even through tears. So I was instantly in love with the new box set that Warner Bros sent. It's called Best of Warner Bros: 20 Film Collection Musicals (on sale now) and it will serve me well in March once I have time to settle in with some older movies again. I wish I had a copy to give away but I'm keeping this one all to myself - mine! mine! mine!

The collection consists of the following films, packaged in chronological order: The Jazz Singer (1927), The Broadway Melody (1929), 42nd Street (1933), The Great Ziegfeld (1936), The Wizard of Oz (1939), Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), An American in Paris (1951), Show Boat (1951), Singin' in the Rain (1952), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), A Star is Born (1954), The Music Man (1962), Viva Las Vegas (1964), Camelot (1967), Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971), Cabaret (1972), That's Entertainment! (1974), Victor/Victoria (1982), Little Shop of Horrors (1986), and Hairspray (1988).

Wanna know which musical I watched the first time last night? Continue reading...

Click to read more ...