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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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Sunday
May192013

Red Carpet Convo: The Great Cannesby

Because we aren't in Cannes, we're gazing at the gowns and only dreaming of the films -- I personally don't like to read too many reviews months before seeing the pictures -- for this edition, which was actually recorded a couple nights ago, I have Jose with me. He's been tracking Nicole Kidman's every move but he's stepping away from the Australian Icon (okay, being dragged away. He really dug his heels in) and joining me to talk other beauties...

NATHANIEL: Hey, Jose. Welcome back to Red Carpet Convos and thanks for taking up the Kidman-Watch. She was absentia today in Cannes (at least to the paparazzi) so it's going to take 11 women to replace her.

JOSE: No one replaces Nic *sobs*

NATHANIEL: Eleven beauties, Jose. Let's start with the ladies who came out for The Great Gatsby but weren't in it.

Bai Ling, Juli, Rooney, Fan Bingbing, and Moneypenny

I'm cheating a little bit to include her as, as far as I can tell, she wasn't at the actual premiere but at some sort of afterparty. [lots more after the jump]

Click to read more ...

Sunday
May192013

Do you plan to read any of the books this season's movies are based on?

I'll answer the question first. I might, though I probably shouldn't say that I might. For each year I make an internal plan to read all of the books on which upcoming films are based. Guess how many I usually get through? But given that I'd never trade F Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" for any film version that might ever exist, I should probably try and read source material quicker once I know it's going to be a movie. I weep proactively, for example, for anyone who sees August: Osage County first as a movie (if it's not good) without having previously known the brilliance of the play. With this year's "Adapted" crowd, I have actually had read/experienced at least five of them... plus all the superhero stuff, 'natch.

intimate knowledge *before* seeing the movies, 2013 edition

This topic is on the mind since I've posted my predictions in the Original and Adapted Screenplay Oscar categories.

What's the difference between ADAPTED and ORIGINAL these days? Well, like the Acting Categories, sometimes screenplays play fast and loose with definitions. The landmark year for "Original" vs "Adapted" shenanigans was 2002 in which both Gangs of New York and My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which had presented themselves as adaptations of a novel and play respectively for months on end as they made their way into the public consciousness, suddenly decided they were originals when that category proved conveniently easier to nab nominations in. Oh sure, they had their excuses ("only inspired by" "I wrote a version of this for the screen before I wrote it as a play") but it still smelled like Category Fraud.  

I bring this up because it's possible that some of the films will be classified differently than I've classified them. The most confusing case is probably Foxcatcher since books have been written about the bizarre true story but the film doesn't seem to be based on those books but on an unpublished autobiography (?) by one of its secondary characters (played by Channing Tatum). I'm guessing Adapted for now but that could easily change.

But back to books. Have any of you read any of these pictured? Do you want to?
Which of these ten should I read and write about before the film version?

 

 

WHICHEVER BOOK WINS THIS POLL I PROMISE TO READ / BLOG.

I'll try for two but I will do one. I will,  I will. 

 

Sunday
May192013

Ask Soggy Nathaniel...

I am so wet and bedraggled right now - I need Audrey Hepburn to come rescue me from New York's mean streets. Just got done walking 6 miles in the rain for AIDSWALK here in NYC to raise money for medical and prevention services. I don't do it every year -- I'm not that charitable! --  but of course I picked this year to return to it and I am drenched. I need a long cat nap -- from which I will undoubtedly awake with cement legs. 

While I attempt to regain feeling in my feet, ask me a question. I haven't done a Q&A column in forever.  Just make sure the questions aren't so elaborate that I'd need to write a novel or do a whole blogpost or some such. If you're waiting on Oscar charts, please note that the post that went up earlier this morning was an error as that was meant to go up tonight after I completed them (but for the four acting categories which we have to do one by one for the sheer "Drama!" of it all). So I'll be back tonight for more Oscar crystal balling.

Saturday
May182013

Early Bird Oscar Predix: The Costume Designers

Whether or not you think Catherine Martin has already won this year's Costume Design Oscar - paging pink-suited Jay Gatsby! -- the upcoming battle for Oscar nominations is hardly an easy read even if there are only four spots to sashay towards in your suit & gown finery. Costume Design is my favorite Oscar race outside of all the Actressing, not frequently for what the Academy chooses but for the breadth and depth of the competitive field each year. Here's a few questions I'm already asking myself and by extension, you. So join me in the sartorial contemplation...

Steven Noble's work on "Two Faces of January" looks just divine in stills. How's the film?

This far ahead of the nominations (only 242 days to go!) it's anyone's guess and anyone's game. 

Which frequently forgotten designer will finally get the red carpet welcoming committee? 
The possible answers are plentiful so let's talk four of them. Your guess is as good as mine why The Lone Ranger's Penny Rose, who has delivered truly iconic costumes in major Costume Parade Jobs over the years (Evita and Pirates of the Caribbean Curse of the Black Pearl being the standouts) has yet to be nominated. I actually find it quite insane. Another frequent miss is Louise Frogley, the favored costuming goddess of the Oceans gang (both Soderbergh and Clooney call on her services). She could snag an easy nomination this year for Monuments Men but then again WW II films are hardly done deals in this category since there are a) numerous options to choose from each year b) she's been ignored for this period before (The Good German) and c) this category doesnt always choose Best Picture nominees for their nominations even if they're WWII films - remember when Inglourious Basterds missed?

plunging necklines will spice up "American Hustle" this year

For now I'll make a wild guess and say that this year's frequent snubbee finally are two: Saving Mr Banks' Daniel Orlandi and/or American Hustle's Michael Wilkinson. Orlandi been passed over for blatant Oscar-bids like Cinderella Man and Frost/Nixon and though a nomination was never going to happen for his cheeky 60s homage Down With Love that doesn't mean it shouldn't have! Will this Walt Disney/Mary Poppins era behind-the-screen story feel like grotesque corporate hagiography coming from Walt Disney Pictures or will it be good and fun and visual enough to earn respect from AMPAS members? Meanwhile,  American Hustle's Michael Wilkinson is temporarily leaving the undoubtedly lucrative but respect-challenge realm of fanboy pictures (Watchmen, TRON Legacy, and 300 among others) for David O. Russell's first true period film. Will the plunging necklines on Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence catch Oscar's eye? Oscar totally stands at attention for those two beauties.

Ben Barnes and Jeff Bridges in "Seventh Son" with costumes by 2 time nominee Jacqueline West

Will any of the many genre flicks make inroads here this year? 
There are just so many to choose from. Thor, Wolverine, Supes and Iron Man will undoubtedly cancel each other out even for people who love superheroes. If voters don't feel like returning to Middle Earth for another Peter Jackson fantasy, other genre films that could catch the costuming branch's eye include Seventh Son (with Julianne Moore as an evil feather caped sorceress), the apocalyptic or cyborg-riffic (Snowpiercer and Elysium), or even Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The first Hunger Games missed a nomination despite being quite Costumey at points but the new designer is Trish Summerville and people really went for her punk edge on David Fincher's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.   

Which rising stars will make it?
With Oscar's Holy Trinity (Sandy Powell, Milena Canonero, and Colleen Atwood each have three Oscars) not strongly in the discussion yet --at least at this writing -- which rising design stars might finally gain a foothold? I'm currently betting on Steven Noble whose work on Two Faces of January is drool-worthy from a distance. But will people like the film? (Patricia Highsmith adaptations are tricky things to pull off.) 

Kurt & Bart -- I'm not sure which is which... and no they are not boyfriends

And how about that Kurt & Bart team who might be the hipster favorites of the Costume world now given their club scene origins and indie entry into cinema (see John Cameron Mitchell's Shortbus). They have three films this year. Their work on Stoker already wowed (though that film will win nominations only if hell freezes over or Identity Thief competes for Best Picture) and they also did the clothes for Out of the Furnace (Scott Cooper's Crazy Heart follow up) and the showy-Leto-drag and skinny-McConaughey for Dallas Buyer's Club

and now... THE COSTUME DESIGN CHART

thoughts?

Saturday
May182013

I Left My Film Festival in San Francisco

Glenn here with a report from the recently concluded 56th San Francisco Film Festival. I travelled to the Golden Gate city and sat on the FIPRESCI jury, judging a roster of eleven films from first and second-time directors. Given the attention given to FIPRESCI – The International Federation of Film Critics, or Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique if you want to be European about it – I wasn’t allowed to discuss the films as the festival progressed (can’t let the pundits in on what we’re going to reward now, can we?), but now we can take short looks at each of the competition titles.

Youth
Directed by Justine Malle (yes, Louis Malles daughter), and starring Esther Garrel (daughter of Philippe; sister of ubiquitous French star Louis Garrel) and with a title as definitive as Youth (there should be an "!" there just for effect), Malle’s debut has the weight of baggage. Appropriate then given it’s about a young woman dealing with first love, sex, parties, exams, an ill womanising filmmaking father, and wine. So much wine. From the very opening scene Malle does a fine job of establishing this young girl torn between the city life with her mother and the country life of her father. Her train trips back and forth are very literal back-and-forths with her personality as she tries to decide what she wants. And that includes one of her classmates, Benjamin (Émile Bertherat that my notes proclaim has “DREAMBOAT HAIR!”) The film has some pertinent things to say about young women and society’s view of them – a stranger sees her crying over her dying father and asks “is it about a boy?” I enjoyed it a lot, even if it did feel somewhat like a film I’ve seen before.

10 more films (some maddening, some great), one strange cat, one possible Oscar submission after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
May172013

Kidman in Cannes. Part 2.

Jose here. After abandoning us for what felt like years OK it was just one day Cannes jury member extraordinaire Nicole Kidman is back to show us how it's done!

 

Who She Wore: Calvin Klein (it was a CK party after all...)
Which Director She's Trying to Lure: why Lars of course. It's no coincidence that she came out as a dominatrix the day after that gorgeous publicity shot of Nymphomaniac was unleashed on the world. If I'm not mistaken, wasn't she supposed to play the part that went to Uma? Make up your mind Nicky!
What "Alice Harford" would think of this: "So, because I'm a beautiful woman, the only reason any man wants to talk to me is because he wants to fuck me? Is that what you're saying?"

Is it me or is she bringing her game back in a way she'd only been doing at the Grammys? Not only are these wider skirts a welcome refresher from her usual column gowns with feathers or studs, but she also looks SO happy to be there! 

 

...oh we're happy to see you too, Nic!

Friday
May172013

Ruth Wilcox’s May Flowers

They’re arriving so late in the day because Mrs. Wilcox is a nymph who travels at night.

As far as evocative film openings go this lush green opening for Howards End ranks among the top for me. Really, though, many films would be vastly improved if they open with a strolling Vanessa Redgrave. more...

Click to read more ...