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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 

 

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Yes No Maybe So: CREED, SECRET IN THEIR EYES, STEVE JOBS

CREED "I'm so here for Michael B. Jordan becoming a bona fide movie star. It'll just take the right project to put him in the public consciousness. Creed looks like it could be it." - Kate

STEVE JOBS "Isnt it too soon for a Jobs biopic?" - Amanda

SECRET IN THEIR EYES "I loved the original -- without the background of the Argentinian dictatorship a huge element of the plot tension gets lost. I wonder how they'll deal with that." - Felix


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Wednesday
Feb122014

A Year With Kate: Break of Hearts (1935)


Episode 7 of 52 wherein Anne Marie screens all of Katharine Hepburn's films in chronological order. 

In which we ignore the movie for a beauty break

Question: Does anybody know what “Break of Hearts” means? I’m guessing it was 30’s slang for “recycled romance plotline.” Break of Hearts is another tired story which follows the predictable cycle of heartbreak and forgiveness between the Ambitious Girl (Kate) and the Troubled Artist (Charles Boyer). But who cares?

The real joy in this film is the costume design by Bernard Newman, the RKO designer responsible for every bizarrely wonderful dress Ginger Rogers wore in Top Hat and Swingtime. This is the only time Newman costumed Kate, so let us take a moment to appreciate Hepburn’s most enjoyable gowns since that moth number in Christopher Strong. [More...]

 

 

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb122014

Beauty vs. Beast: An Introduction

JA from MNPP here with a fun new weekly game for us to play!

One of the reasons I love horror films is because more than most genres they give us the chance to see how movies can manipulate their audience into morally tricky identification territory. I find it fascinating, from a psychological standpoint, seeing how a master like say Alfred Hitchcock can use cinema to turn the simple act of mopping up a bathroom into widespread criminal complicity. Some times the bad guys are just so much more interesting than the good guys, ya know? So that's what this here series is about - I'm going to give you a film's protagonist and its antagonist, list a couple of their pros and their cons, and then you're gonna tell me whose team you're on. This week I give you...

Mrs. Danvers vs. The Second Mrs. de Winter in Rebecca (1940)

This Monday was the 117th anniversary of Judith Anderson's birth, not to mention that we just lost Joan Fontaine in December, so this seems like the perfect place to begin. (In case you're wondering, Rebecca is usually a good place to begin, no matter the circumstances.)

 

 

You have until Monday to vote, at which time we'll crown a winner and give you a spiffy new pair to choose between. And feel free to make your cases pro and con whomever in the comments!

Wednesday
Feb122014

GKIDS acquires Song of the Sea

Tim here with some great news for everyone who loved the 2009 Best Animated Feature Oscar nominne The Secret of Kells (which should, really, be everyone). GKIDS, the indie that Kells first put on the map, has announced that they'll be distributing diretor Tomm Moore's second feature, Song of the Sea, though they've rather cagily failed to announce a date just yet (the film is still in production). Based on the distributor's past history, I'd expect an Oscar-qualifying run in the fall, followed by a full release sometime in the spring of 2015, which isn't terribly comforting to those of us who want to see it, like, now. Just based on the images available on Moore's blog for the movie, it looks like the animators at Cartoon Saloon have taken the illuminated manuscript aesthetic gone to even richer, more tactile places.

 

Like The Secret of Kells, the new movie tells a story inspired by Irish folklore: in this case, selkies, a race of seal-humans whose previous cinematic appearances include the John Sayles family movie The Secret of Roan Inish and the Neil Jordan romantic drama Ondine. Kells veteran Brenan Gleeson is back to do voice work, and the music will once again by courtesy of Bruno Coulais and the band Kila, whose work was almost as key to the effectiveness of the earlier movie as the imagery was.

Having found Moore's last film to be one of the most fresh and enjoyable animated films in years, I'm ecstatic to have this clear indication that his new project will be treated with care for a North American audience. GKIDS has pushed films to four Oscar nominations in five years, including current nominee Ernest & Celestine; I'd (foolishly?) lay good money on Song of the Sea being part of the same conversation a year from now.

 

Wednesday
Feb122014

Best Actress: Nathaniel's Ballot & Oscars

It's time to get back to our Film Bitch Awards. I've 18 days to finish everything. Give me strength! 

I was rooting for Brie Larson all season, but Oscar had bigger stars in mind

When it comes to Oscar's Best Actress field this year I'd rank the performances in this order without hesitation: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine) > Adams (Hustle) ≥ Streep (August) > Dench (Philomena) > Bullock (Gravity). But as usual my own lineup differs quite a lot. I looked beyond the twelve titles that voters were considering nominating for Best Picture and then conveniently dropping onto their ballots in each and every other category. I also had to consider shoeless Emma (Mr Banks) who obviously just-missed Oscar's cut-off since they were all about their ol' standbys this year (this year's amalgam of all five contenders has been nominated 7.6 times which is probably a statistical "most" record in any acting category). So in addition to Oscar's conversation topics I took long hard looks at the Before... franchise's Julie Delpy again (she was nominated right here in 2004), Jane Adams and Paulina Garcia in the little seen arthouse gems All the Light in the Sky and Gloria respectively, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Enough Said), too. And then there were the fresh faces (well, fresh before the spaghetti sauce and sobbing) like Adele Exarchopoulus and familiar young stars like Brie Larson (Short Term 12) and Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha) who are just now coming into what feels like their true power as screen stars. I even considered Melissa McCarthy in The Heat, she of the perfect line readings, who was quite unjustly robbed of a Golden Globe comedy nomination this year. 

It was a tough call. I tore my imaginary hair out. In the end, as always, you want six or seven nominees but you conly get five. And here they are with my capsule comments... The Best Actresses of 2013.

P.S. If Oscar voters choose anyone other than Cate Blanchett, it's going to be so catastrophic for my mental health that you'll see me on a park bench somewhere in 2014 chattering away to no one in particular as I replay the events of 2013 endlessly on a loop, torturing myself as to how it all went so terribly wrong.

P.P.S. The Best Actress Oscar Page now has "how they were nominated?" theorizing and a reader poll

P.P.P.S. Like TFE on Facebook and follow Nathaniel on twitter. Why haven't you already? Lot of exciting plans for 2014 including more interactivity with you.

Wednesday
Feb122014

18 Days Til Oscar. 18 Nominations For Meryl Streep

Here's a piece of trivia that even people who are clueless about the Oscars can recite: Meryl Streep is the most nominated actor of all time. Sometimes those same people will say she's won the most Oscars but you can't know everything if you don't pay attention. But, any way you come at it, her record is astounding (18 noms / 3 wins) 

Today I'm having fun repurposing her bitchy dialogue from August: Osage County and pretending its mockery of her fellow nominees and their (comparatively) puny Oscar histories.

You ever been married nominated before?
...More than once

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb112014

Weirdest News of '14 (Thus Far): Greta Gerwig To Headline 'How I Met Your Mother' Spinoff

It's almost like the universe is punishing me. For what I am unsure.

Greta Gerwig with a giant poster of her face this time last year

When I spoke with Greta Gerwig a few months ago she was singing the praises of Jacques Demy films and Leos Carax's Holy Motors and the movie musical; her indie cred was most definitely intact, she's actually a cinephile (unlike many actors) and her taste is impeccable. She was starring in stupendous music videos, keeping prestigious company in awards season, and coming off the high of a great run with the brilliant Frances Ha.

And now she'll follow all that with a spin-off of a formulaic old school sitcom "How I Met Your Mother" that's already many years past the season (5) where even the best shows start to falter from fatigue and stagnation?I understand that money is a powerfully motivating factor in most careers. I don't begrudge Gerwig a cash-in but I thought that that was what that dumb Arthur remake was for? I mean a sitcom on the most traditional of networks that's not even an original? Greta Gerwig with a laugh track? I'm so depressed.

Word is that she'll be producing, writing and starring which is smart given her talents but why not use them on something original? Why waste the Gerwigian gift on that format and for that franchise? The problem with sitcoms is that there is no return if they're picked up. When was the last time you saw, oh I dunno, Zooey Deschanel or Kat Dennings headlining a movie or even thought of as "actresses" rather than just celebrities? I'm aware that it is possible to do both TV and film simultaneously and successfully (Melissa McCarthy & Jason Segel) but it is most definitely not the norm.

Greta Gerwig had so much more to offer the movies. One hopes that her Untitled Public School Project with Noah Baumbach is finished and that its a beautiful cinematic swansong.