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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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Monday
Aug052013

Burning Questions: Movie Killing Scores?

Michael C. here to take a cue from the Summer movie season and release the first Burning Questions sequel. 

The story goes that at the eleventh hour the original score to Chinatown was deemed a film-ruining disaster and composer Jerry Goldsmith was brought in and given just ten days to write a replacement.  Miraculously, the score Goldsmith delivered turned out to be the quintessential film noir soundtrack. When the AFI listed the 100 greatest film scores Goldsmith’s trumpet-laced masterwork ranked #9. So a happy ending, which is one of the rare times when that phrase can be used in conjunction with Chinatown.

This is a terrific example of the filmmakers having the resources – and more importantly the will – to strive for perfection even if it meant taking a risk late in production. We’ve all heard enough terrible soundtracks to know tales such as this are bound to be the exception rather than the rule. Perhaps commissioning a new score would be too much of a hassle or too big an expense. Maybe the filmmakers in question are blind to the damage the music is doing to their movies. Then there are those unfortunate cases which are merely the victims of their times. Today’s trendy soundtrack is tomorrow’s time capsule punchline.

These musical misfires are the subject of today’s column. A few months back I posted a colum asking for the names of great soundtracks wasted on lousy movies. This time it’s the opposite question: Which scores are movie killers? I’m talking soundtracks that seriously distract and detract from otherwise quality movies. 

I’ll get the ball rolling with these three unfortunate cases that never fail to aggravate me:

Ladyhawke (Score by Andrew Powell)
I chose Ladyhawke as a particularly odious offender, but really, on the subject of disastrous scores, one could simply type “The 80’s” and move on. So many of that decade’s artificial, synth-heavy scores that have aged like rotten fruit, stinking up countless otherwise strong movies. (Manhunter, I’m looking in your direction) Ladyhawke’s music is so bad I wonder if the film would actually work better as a silent film. Or hit the subtitles and play a classical music channel on Pandora. Any random shuffle has got to be an improvement 

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (Score by Ira Newborn)
This is also an eighties title, but I think it’s such a uniquely awful case of a score bringing an otherwise terrific comedy to a screeching halt that it deserved to be singled out. Exhibit A on why experimental scores and comedy rarely go together and why you should never, ever mix snippets of the film’s dialogue into the score.

Eyes Wide Shut (Score by Jocelyn Pook)
I have struggled with this title since it came out, but if there is one thing that will always stand between me and fully appreciating this fascinating waking nightmare of a movie it is that godforsaken plink-plink-plink piano score. I can imagine a psycho killer from Hannibal using this music to torture a victim tied up in their basement. Before you say it, yes, I freely admit that this may have been exactly what Kubrick was going for, but even if I believed this to be true (I don’t) it would make no difference. The music is viscerally alienating in a way that bypasses the intellect entirely, like jackhammers or squeaky balloons. Just thinking abou it sets me on edge.

Previous Burning Questions
You can follow Michael C. on Twitter at @SeriousFilm. Or read his blog Serious Film

Monday
Aug052013

Cinema Swimwear: Some Like It Hot

This summer The Film Experience is launching its own swimwear line!

◀ Back to Results | You are in: Swimwear

Click to magnify"The His Her and Her Jazz Age Romper"
★★★★ - 23 Reviews 

Product Details
Whether you're hiding out from Chicago mobsters after accidentally witnessing a murder (and, really, who hasn't been there - am I right, ladies?!?) or you're just looking to snag that perfect bespectacled millionaire husband on his Florida vacation (Cary Grant impression, optional) these award-winning creations from designer Orry-Kelly are anything but the fuzzy end of the lollipop. No need to remind yourself, "I'm a girl. I'm a girl..." as you're bound to turn heads in this suit as you frolic in the water with your all-girl jazz band ensemble. 

Color
Available only in Black with White piping detailing along the neck, sleeve, and bottom. All the looks from this collection were originally supposed to be in color (as stipulated in Miss Monroe's contract) but, trust us when we say that Black and White is much more flattering on all types...

Sizes
The cut is becoming from famously curvaceous to mannishly big in the shoulders and arms. The peplum also hides any areas you wish to disguise from pregnancy to that little something extra between your legs.

Price
Now available for rental from our Florida hotels. Yes, nothing says 'good personal hygene' like a communal bathing suit.

Details & Care
Do beware of your charms as you may find yourself the recipient of a marriage proposal from wealthy older gentlemen. Oh, sure, that may sound perfect - especially when it comes with a diamond bracelet - but you'll have to reveal some very personal details before the honeymoon. 

Regardless of your choice of swimwear, the most important thing to remember is that every girl is beautiful in her own unique way. Regardless if you are a Marilyn:

Or a...eh...Daphne:

Well, nobody's perfect...

Also Available From This Manufacturer 
The Heston Tattered Trunk
Mr Ripley Racing Brief
The Honey Ryder

Sunday
Aug042013

Review: Blue Jasmine

This review was originally published in my column at Towleroad

Cate Blanchett can't shut up in Blue Jasmine, Woody Allen's latest dramedy which added more cities this weekend for its platform rollout. We join Jasmine (real name "Jeanette") in medias res on a flight to San Francisco as she's chattering away with, no, at an older companion. She goes on and on (and on some more!) about her love affair with her husband Hal (Alec Baldwin) all the way through to baggage claim.

But Jasmine is a liar or at least a half truth-teller. We will immediately discover that her great love affair ended in ruin. Hal was a criminal, a financial con artist who pampered Jasmine with other people's fortunes and ruined everyone including Jasmine. She's moving in with her estranged adopted sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins), also ruined by Hal's crimes, now that she's destitute. Jasmine hasn't adjusted to her new facts, though, treating her cabbie from the airport like a personal chauffeur, and leaving him a big tip considering she's supposed to be penniless.Jasmine isn't always "in the now" as it were. She never is actually, talking or bragging or obsessing over the past. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Aug042013

Mr & Mr Ben Whishaw!

Congratulations to Ben Whishaw who confirms he's gay and happily married to Mark Bradshaw, the composer.

Whishaw & Bradshaw

Here's a cute trivia note that too few sites will mention: Bradshaw scored Whishaw's rare romantic leading man gig in Bright Star (2009) where the actor played the poet John Keats. Good god that movie is underappreciated... except for here at TFE where it won multiple nominations in its year. If it brought them together it's even more lovely in retrospect. 

Bradshaw recently scored the Emmy-nominated miniseries Top of the Lake (it's mesmerizing - watch it!) and Whishaw will next be seen in Terry Gilliam's Zero Theorem, the next James Bond film reprising his "Q" role, and possibly a Ron Howard picture called In the Heart of the Sea

Sunday
Aug042013

Performance Art, Baby?

Jay-Z, not content to let James Franco get all the "i'm not a ___, I'm actually an artist!" action, recently performed his new single "Picasso Baby" at MoMA for six hours (with breaks) as invited guests like art world giants, cool dancers, and several actors (Alan Cumming, Jemima Kirke, Adam Driver, Rosie Perez, etcetera) sat down across from him or stood on the sidelines to watch. The "art piece" (i.e. single / music video) really ought to have a "Jay-Z. Featuring Marina Abramovic" style byline since the rapper owes the basics of the concept to the performance artist who enters barefoot and touches heads with him. At least he gives her lots of footage in the video by way of homage.

Jay-Z with Marina Abramovic. Many artists are present.

Those of you who saw her in New York or caught last year's documentary Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present already know the gist of her most famous piece. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Aug032013

Sex & The Linky

Sound on Sight has a massive post about famous ongoing director/muse collaborations: Liv & Ingmar, Lynch & Dern, Fassbinder & Schygulla, etcetera...
Empire Chris Evans is becoming a director with 1:30 Train, a romantic caper about a woman trying to catch the 1:30 train (with the help of Chris Evans, who will co-star)
Pajiba celebrates the release of 2 Guns. "Boom, you've been Denzel'd"

In Contention 15 awards players still looking for distribution including one I hadn't heard of Tracks with Mia Wasikowska crossing the desert with John Curran (The Painted Veil) directing. I've been thinking that the Best Actress chart is leaning a little 'woman of a certain age' for Oscar's taste (if not for mine) so maybe Mia and are peers are just in hiding right now? 
David Poland says that the bullshit myth is that originals don't make big money at the box office and it's only sequels that did. He backs it up with titles.
Variety Whoa. are the Weinsteins going to get Miramax back. A merger may be in the works
Cinema Blend on the list of possible Bale/Batman replacements for that Superman/Batman team up movie. Surprisingly they're not all super famous with Richard Armitage (The Hobbit) and Max Martini (Pacific Rim) both on the list. Weirdly there appears to be little thought of Joseph Gordon-Levitt despite that The Dark Knight Rises Robin set up.

You guys, I can't decide if this "What if Woody Allen directed The Wolverine" is funny or not. Help me decide.

I think I'm in the place of LOL without the OL part. So, maybe not? I like it in concept!

/Film Warner Bros is still trying to get that Akira Without Japanese People abomination made.
MNPP The Golden Girls dollhouse? Amazing!
Signs and Sirens hates on Blue Jasmine. My review will be up tomorrow.
Coming Soon Josh Trank says the rumors about Miles Teller being Reed Richards in the Fantastic Four are not true. Good -- I like Miles Teller a lot but he's about 90% wrong for that role -- but it's going to be terrible anyway. Why must Fantastic Four movies be so terrible? 

Finally, I feel I've been remiss in not linking up to Emily Nussbaum's great great rescue piece on "Sex and The City" in The New Yorker. People have been discussing it online for a few days but I hadn't mentioned it. I'm so glad that a writer as scalpel-sharp as Nussbaum is a fan and performs this reputation resuscitation operation. It's too bad that the show's rep suffered after the two theatrical features drifted towards becoming what people always accused the show of being. Which it never truly was. I especially love her (correct) assertion that Carrie Bradshaw was the first female anti-hero on television. Carrie was of course reviled for it whereas her male counterparts in terrible behavior are regularly championed by fans and critics. I know people probably think I harp on gender politics too much here at the blog but what's happened to Sex & The City is a classic example of sexism at work. Canons are one of the best places to see the power of the heteronormative patriarchy thrown into obvious relief. "The greatest this!" and "The greatest that!" lists and the people who make them like critics organizations and awards shows and such often dismiss "feminine" identified films, tv, genre or entertainments as lesser than merely be excluding them from the conversation. But if you can't include "Sex and the City" as one of the shows that was instrumental in ushering in television's golden age -- just as crucial as "The Sopranos" -- you just weren't watching closely enough.