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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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Beauty vs. Beast


ALMA or HUD ? For you cynical hotties
 Beauty vs Beast 

Comment Fun

Sundance Sensation: THE WITCH

 "These stills look gorgeous! That dinner scene looks like it came straight out of a Caravaggio painting." - Ryan

"There's been this minor resurgence of intimate family horror in recent years and it makes me excited. Really excited for this one to get distribution." - Robert G

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Robert Redford is "The Candidate"

Team Experience is looking at key Robert Redford films as we approach the release of his lauded Oscar-buzzing comeback "All is Lost". Here's Tim Brayton on one of his milestone films.

 In addition to being one of the great timeless sex symbols in Western culture, Robert Redford is noted for the passion of his activism: for art, as in the creation of the Sundance Film Festival and the exposure it gave to American independent filmmaking; and for politics, as seen in the joylessly obvious message movie Lions for Lambs. But let us try as hard as we possibly can not to hold that against him, and instead rewind all the way back to 1972. For it was in that election year that Redford acted in the first of many explicitly political movies of his career, The Candidate.

The title says it all: there’s a Senate campaign to wage, and a candidate to flog, and that candidate, Democrat Bill McKay, is embodied by the most photogenic, blondest, whitest actor of the early ‘70s. Which is as much to say that the casting alone goes a long way towards explaining why the movie works, will all apologies to Redford’s skill. [more...]

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The Terrifying Beauty of The Pfeiffer

My friend Joe Reid didn't write this Michelle Pfeiffer list for me. Tribeca Film pays him, yknow and The Family is now in theaters so the time is right. But all things Pfeiffer pfeel like they're pfor me anyway so I'll take it. If you have any love for La Pfeiff you'll want to read it. Joe memorably ranks 18 of the great's roles in order of how well the film uses her terrifying beauty. (I quibble with a few rankings here and there -- and where the hell are Ladyhawke and Wolf and Sweet Liberty which all trade memorably on her bewitching glares??? -- but I loved every second of it.)

On The Fabulous Baker Boys, her pantheon-sealing triumph, which ranks 8th:

It's all relative, of course. There's no real "danger" when Susie Diamond is singing "Making Whoopee" atop that piano. But the way she's wielding her considerable sensuality, it sure feels like someone's in trouble.

That someone was Jeff Bridges in the right then. And all of the Pfans... pforever.


Nicole Kidman is Indestructible

Two items appeared on Page Six's feed back-to-back today.

Photo 1. A paparazzi on a bike reportedly "plowed" into Nicole Kidman here in NYC. Curse him. Memorize the face. Worst person ever. 

But no matter. Brush it off.

Photo 2. Moments later the actress is seen consuming/giving Fashion Week beauty with Rooney Mara & Naomie Harris, three peas in a goddess pod.


These events actually occurred in the reverse order (and look at the grace with which she rises and brushes herself off in those photos!!!). An ambulance was called, she had some shoe trouble and was shaken up a bit.

But just go with my preferred order for a better story: the diva eternally unfazed by cruel media sabotage. We're running with a fantasies about Nicole Kidman theme. Indulge us. And get well soon, Nicole. Walk it off!


TIFF: Twelve Ye... Oh, Let's Just Oscar Update

Twelve Years a Slave is... God, I'm going to need some time to collect myself. Good grief but that movie is harrowing / amazing. That's all I got for now. Can we discuss later when I've stopp... I think I have something in my eye.

But since we're talking powerful and overwhelming emotion, our minds should naturally drift to actresses. Patsey the slave (Lupita Nyong'o) confides memorably to Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) that she has no comfort in this world. But Supporting Actress is deeply comforting to us and we need comfort right now after this movie.

Reducing great movies to Oscar talk is awful. I know I know. I hate myself for typing this but LET'S TALK OSCAR'S BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS RACE (UPDATED CHART). I went in to 12 Years a Slave anxious to see what McQueen & Fassbender could do (I'm happy to report that they're three for three under the umbrella of utterly amazing director/muse collaborations) and wasn't thinking about the actresses much at all. A rarity. But still, once I remembered to think of them I was curious about Qu'venzhane Wallis (barely in it... in fact most people won't notice that she is) and Alfre Woodard. Alfre at least has a juicy and blessedly atypical scene to chew on. It's kind of a relief really from the scenes surrounding it and every harrowing story needs catch your breath moments. Especially if you've forgotten to breathe. Which kept happening to me.

As it turns out Lupita Nyong'o as the slave girl "Patsey" and Sarah Paulson as her cruel mistress "Mary Epps" are where it's at for supporting actressing in this movie. Their every scene together is knife's edge brilliant.

Also @ TIFF
Labor Day in a freeze-frame nutshell
Paranoia Mano-a-mano Thrillers Enemy & Pioneer
Jessica Chastain at the Eleanor Rigby Premiere
August Osage County reactions Plus Best Picture Nonsense
Rush Ron Howard's crowd pleaser
TIFF Vow: Dreaming of 2014
The Past from Oscar winner Asghar Farhadi & Cannes Best Actress Berenice Bejo
Queer Double FeatureTom at the Farm and Stranger by the Lake
Boogie Nights Live Read with Jason Reitman and Friends
First 3 Screenings: Child's Pose, Unbeatable and Isabelle Huppert in Abuse of Weakness 
TIFF Arrival: Touchdown in Toronto. Two unsightly Oscars


Links. The Top Three Best Whatevah! 

Serious Film does an all time 5 best cinematography ballot. The best ever?  Hmmmm. Well they're all stunning at the very least
TFE Facebook my 3 favorite film scores off the top of my head. I was surprised as you to scribble John Williams there but what can you do. You give props when due. Yours?
The Film Stage Hayao Miyazaki's retirement is truly final this time (failing eyesight *sniffle*) and The Wind Rises gets an Oscar qualifying release
The Playlist Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac is now two films that will run five hours in total. UGH. I am exhausted by movies wanting to be TV series. Be your best self. Be a  MOVIE. 90-110 minutes is ideal! (Same goes for TV with unrelated stand-alone episodes. That's dumb. You're not a movie, be a TV series.)

Bloody Disgusting James Cameron loves Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity. Of course he does!
The Studio Executive is starting a snarky series on 'How to Be A Film Critic'. I don't qualify for the first three how to succeed suggestions (wealthy parents, influential friends, unethical bastard behavior) which only leaves me with the fourth (cock-sucking... also known as sleeping your way to the top), which I have no objection to. But no one famous/influential/wealthy willing to make my career has ever rung me up to ask. #shameless
Yahoo Movies new trailer to August: Osage County 
The Dissolve The Harry Potter world will continue on screen with a (presumably endless) spinoff series Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. For my reaction to this news, I can only share the brilliant tweet of another...




Must Read (If You Haven't Yet) 
What Was, Is, and Will Be Popular in the New York Times Magazine. A fascinating long read discussing the impossible to define notion of popularity in our fractured pop culture be it television, movies, music, opera, museums, or anything really. Candy bars, even! For example I seriously haven't even heard of the actress that they claim personifies modern TV fame (Pauley Perrette? Who dat?) and I don't know if you've heard but I like actresses a little. The essay has also got awesome sidebar goodies... did you know that "Bella" is the most popular name for both cats and bitches now? (Damn you Twilight). There's even a cute little point about 1000 "likes" on facebook putting some kind of artistic wind in your sails for struggling indie "popularity" in our fractured world, so The Film Experience is almost there. Like us.

Today's Awesomest Review
Cinematic Spectacle Lee Daniels' The Butler  review/reaction in gifs. I lol'ed and it's just so true. Also: perfect punchline.


Thoughts I Had... While Staring at this Image from "Maps to the Stars"

David Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars (2014) just released this image featuring Sarah Gadon and Julianne Moore. 

my thoughts presented to you in order they appeared...

  • I welcome a good scalp massage but I'm not sure I'd want one in the context of a David Cronenberg movie. Too many orifices!
  • My visine drops repulse me this morning. Drip this movie on my eyeballs RIGHT NOW
  • Is Sarah Gadon the new _________ ?
  • This is Sarah Gadon's fourth movie directed by someone named Cronenberg.
  • Do Father & Son Cronenberg have some sort of sick threeway relationship going on with her straight out of a Cronenberg movie? Do they tie her up with rubber hoses and talk dirty about her mutant vagina?
  • Sarah Gadon does the most amazing blank face acting. She's beautiful, sure, but the beauty is blonde generic. And yet... her face is unsettling in its robotic disinterest (Cosmopolis), society frivolity (Belle), pregnant concern (Enemy) or weird ball-and-chainery (A Dangerous Method)
  • I have guilt for skipping Brandon Cronenberg's Antiviral
  • Will Julianne Moore remember what it means to be an auteur vessel after all these disappointing or at least non-challenging movies of late? It's been a long time since the Haynes days
  • I have touched Julianne Moore twice (handshake 2002 / hug 2010) but she was not naked on a table
  • If you touch Julianne Moore's ginger locks, all your wounds are healed. True fact. Sarah Gadon will live to be 100.
  • Sarah Gadon plays a character named "Clarice". Julianne Moore surely winced every time she spoke the name.
  • I keep forgetting what this movie is about but I like to be surprised so don't tell me!