in theaters

new on DVD/BluRay

review index






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


Powered by Squarespace
Comment Fun

Yes No Maybe So - Big Eyes

"The trailer won me over with two phrases:
1) "Lady art doesn't sell".
2) "I've been lying to my daughter".
- Adri

"A Tim Burton movie with the title Big Eyes that features neither Ricci, Ryder, Keaton nor Bonham Carter just doesn't seem right..." -Paul



Keep TFE Strong

Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience


For those who can't commit to a dime a day, consider a one time donation for an article or a series you are glad you didn't have to live without.

What'cha Looking For?

The Lord of the Links: The Return of the Link

whoa. no link roundups in forever. time to catch up on movie news and/or must see web droppings

Yahoo Movies Fine Thelma Adams piece on Prometheus' "foreign object" sequence. [shudder]
24 Frames Noomi Rapace and Sigourney Weavers' Alien franchise screen tests
IndieWire six life saving tips for cinematographers from the great Darius Khondji (Se7en, Evita, Midnight in Paris, and more...)
Empire Penelope Cruz will star in her fifth Pedro Almodóvar movie Fleeting Lovers (title may change) which starts shooting this summer. Yay! Double Yay! All About My Mother star Cecilia Roth is also in the cast.
YouTube if there's anything I hate about YouTube it's the ability to name your videos "official". But this "Official" Les Miserable trailer starring (gulp) Katie Holmes is kind of a good prank... I mean Nightmare!
In Contention production designer J Michael Riva (Django Unchained, The Color Purple) has passed away at 63.

Awards Daily Singin' in the Rain is getting a 60th anniversary rerelease on July 12th. Just in time for the Gene Kelly Centennial. And yes, if I can manage it here at the Film Experience July and August will house a big Gene Kelly retrospective right here at the Film Experience. He's up there with Montgomery Clift in my favorite (male) movie star charts after all.
Life of Pi the tiger growls memorably for the first time on the official website. Also he looks amazing.
Movie|Line Better three years late than never. Xavier Dolan's award winning debut film (and Canadian Oscar submission in its year) I Killed My Mother is FINALLY getting a US theatrical release. 
Guardian hears that The Avengers might get a three hour version for theatrical rerelease this fall. Considering Joss Whedon's comments on the deleted material (indulgent, killing the rhythm) and his own feelings about different versions of the same story (no) perhaps this is a very bad idea.
Queerty the red band ass abundant Magic Mike trailer.

filmmaking tips
IndieWire six life saving tips for cinematographers from the great Darius Khondji (Se7en, Evita, Midnight in Paris, and more...) 
Movie|Line twenty-two pieces of storytelling advice from a Pixar artist
LA Times offers up awards show tips for the Oscars (hey, that's sorta filmmaking tips) via the Tony Awards though I will continue to hate everyone and especially every writer who suggests very publicly that we don't need to see Costume Designers winning their prizes. A pox on all your craft-hating houses!

casting news we don't have much to say about but we should probably share anyway...

Greer takes over for Buckley in the Carrie remake

  • Jean Dujardin is in talks to join Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Amy Ryan and Dane DeHaan may join an upcoming non-documentary take on West Memphis Three currently starring Colin Firth and Allesandro Nivola (my god how many movies will this story inspire by 2020?)
  • John Madden's "Exotic Marigold" follow up is a comedy called Murder Mystery and may star Charlize Theron
  • Judy Greer (recently interviewed right here) wins the gym teacher role in Carrie, previously played by the great Betty Buckley. I only wish I weren't so dreading the movie.

off cinema
Gawker an alligator eating a croc? 
Sound Cloud she may have lost the Tony but Jayne Houdyshell keeps giving it from Follies. She rerecorded "Broadway Baby" as a solo for a compilation. It's wonderful! 
Cinema Blend an amusing piece about that George Bush head on spike story from Game of Thrones 

Zachary Quinto, Claire Danes, Chris Rock, The Fanning Sisters... and that's just a tiny sample.Finally...

 Have you seen the Paramount Pictures celebration? They gathered 116 stars together -- NOT photoshopped, actually there -- for a Centennial Photo.

The photo is so big you have to scroll to get the whole thing on your computer. You can mouse over it to enlarge see who's in the shot but without doing so I spotted George Clooney, Jamie Lee Curtis, George Takei, Julianne Moore, Meryl, Mark & Marty, Jane Fonda and Eddie Murphy straightaway. Watching the video gives you a closer look at the star networking. Watching stars mingle is the best part of starry events... though they never share enough.

It makes you wonder who knows each other and who doesn't. And who really does or doesn't want to be talking to whom. Did the stars who haven't had a good role in decades bee-line to the directors present (Lynch, Fincher, Scorsese, etcetera) or have they given up but for anniversary shindigs to honor their past glories? All I know for sure is that photo events like this make me happy.


Twins: The Poetry of "The Twins"

Are you enjoying the twins series? I can't tell but if not, what do you have against Geminis?


A few days ago my mind flashed violently back to Minority Report (2002). I blame the recent screening of Prometheus (2012) since both films belong to the school of Gah!mazingly Art Directed Sci-Fi Movies that are nonetheless problematic given their collisions of greatness and "really?" moments. The other thing tying them together is one Not Entirely Human performance (Samantha Morton as "Agatha" / Michael Fassbender as "David") that is so damn enjoyable and smart that you can forgive a lot just for the pleasure of watching the actor do his or her best genre thing.

Fact: Samantha Morton and Michael Fassbender are inhumanly great actors.

Twins have always fascinated non-twins and not just from the visual double takes. Their assumed psychic connections suggest all sorts of telepathic supernatural and psycosomatic implications once you let your mind wander.  [The poetry of twins after the jump...]

Click to read more ...


Reunions from the Edge

Meryl Streep has been out and about celebrating co-stars this week including Postcards from the Edge mom Shirley Maclaine who was honored at an AFI celebration.

Meryl, who turns 63 next Friday, is older now than Shirley was back when she played her mom in that great showbiz comedy. Stop spinning so fast, world! Excuse me... stop twirling so fast.

And just this past Tuesday, Meryl was all smiles on the red carpet posing with friend/co-star/rival* Viola Davis at the Women in Film Awards who she handed an award to.

From EW

Davis returned the love as she accepted the award. “I have a confession,” she said, sharing how touched she was when Streep sent her a card after [Doubt] wrapped.... “Okay Meryl, I framed the card,” Davis said. “So you can never come over to the house.” 

So cute.

*honest to god when I first saw the press room photo I thought Viola's award said "WTF" but that was just my image-altering fear of the Great Streep vs. Davis Oscar Debates Resurging To Destroy My Sanity again.



Mad Men @ The Movies Knocks Out the Cobwebs

Only the most surface reading of Mad Men would suggest that it's The Don Draper Show. His (forged) identity is, like most identities at some point or another, a prison. But it's also a prism and if there's a single best thing about the show it's the way in which he is reflected in his protege Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) and, to varying lesser extent, in the vibrant supporting cast. So it felt like a total gift when Mad Men's writing team chose to set their final scene (season?) together in a movie theater. Just for us, surely!

Don has had a rough week and heads there for solace only to find Peggy, who has recently flown his Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce coop already there. Don suggests it's far too early in her new job to be ducking out from work. To which she responds.

Just knocking out the cobwebs. Someone told me this works."

Movies to recharge, comfort, and shake out the writer's block? No wonder we can't get enough of this show.

Click to read more ...


Open (Sick Bed) Thread

I had so much blogging planned today but some sort of achey feverish flu struck me and I am out of commission. Has some devil hexed me? Someone who doesn't like twins, Witches of Eastwick, Mad Men wrap ups, Prometheus discussions, Reader Q & As and other sundry forms of blogtainment.

Discuss amongst yourselves. Please tell me you're feeling much better than this! Back to bed with juice and extra blankets for me.


Twins: Michelle's Blonde Brood

We're celebrating twins daily at 2:22 pm while we're in Gemini

Gratuitous Anecdote! I've always loved to draw and in my high school years it's what people knew me for. I won the High School's Departmental Award in Art (Do they still have departmental awards? Hell, do they still have art classes?) in that heady stretch of graduation celebrations where they keep honoring star pupils. One day early in my senior year or maybe it was at the end of my junior year, the art teacher asked one of the students to pose for the class. A guy I didn't know volunteered and I felt totally inspired. Instant crushing helps. He loved my drawing and we became fast friends after the class. The first day I went to his house after school I was stunned to see a whole house full of doppelgangers. He had one of those families where virtually every kid looked like a clone of the previous one and since he was the oldest they were all mini hims. And, yes, there was an actual set of twins to drive the point home. Have you ever met an identical family like that? It's kind of freaky.

Michelle Pfeiffer's first scene in THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK. She's buried in offspring

I flashed back to that memory while screening The Witches of Eastwick for its 25th anniversary week and smiling at Michelle Pfeiffer's introduction where a whole stream of authentically blonde children follow after like a trail of baby ducklings. There are two sets of siblings amongst these child actors who never worked again (perhaps they were locales?). The three towhead girls were played by sisters, surname "Ditmar" -- I couldn't find any information about them as they never acted again but if they're not triplets, there's a twin set in there!

Michelle Pfeiffer is so fertile ...onscreen. In real life the movie legend has only two children but onscreen her progeny number two dozen plus. For such a legendary beauty, Pfeiffer was never scared of screen parenting despite the widespread belief that you risk aging yourself out of leading lady roles when you start playing moms onscreen. La Pfeiffer didn't just dip her toe in to test the water but dove in headfirst becoming a mom onscreen for the first time in The Witches of Eastwick (she was only 28 years old while filming) not once not twice not thrice but six times over. And at the end of the movie Sukie Ridgemont had even had a seventh child, her first boy.

Daryl: Sukie, at last we meet.
Sukie: Hi. Hello. How are you?
Daryl: Let me look at those eyes of yours. My! You are a fertile little creature, aren't you?
Sukie: [uncomfortable laughter] Thank you... I think."
              -The Devil meets Sukie in The Witches of Eastwick


Pfeiffer's 27 Screen Children in the order I tend to remember them
Fertile indeed. 

  • Alison Lohman - White Oleander (2002)
  • Jonathan Jackson & Cory Buck - The Deep End of the Ocean (1999)
  • Saoirse Ronan - I Could Never Be Your Woman (2007)
  • Six Blonde Girls (Michele Sincavage, Nicol Sincavage, Heather Coleman, Carolyn Ditmars, Cynthia Ditmars and Christine Ditmars)- The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
  • Claire Danes - To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday (1996)
  • Brittany Snow - Hairspray (2007)
  • Anthony J Nici - Married to the Mob (1988)
  • Katharine Towne - What Lies Beneath (2000)
  • Ryan Merriman & Michael McElroy - The Deep End of the Ocean (1999)
  • Chlöe Grace Moretz - Dark Shadows (2012)
  • Alex D Linz - One Fine Day (1996)
  • Casey Boersma & Dylan Boersma (twins!), Daniel Henson & Jake Sandqiv (1999)
  • Colleen Rennison & Tara Blanchard - The Story of Us (1999)
  • Chase McKenzie Bebak - I Am Sam (2001)
  • infant - The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
  • Elisabeth Moss and Michelle Williams - A Thousand Acres (1997)
  • infant - Amazon Women on the Moon (1987, her scene is a hospital delivery sequence if I recall correctly?) 

the only one I haven't seen

  • Spencer Hudson - Personal Effects (2009) 




True Blood 5.1 "Turn! Turn! Turn!"

I had such a good time covering True Blood last year that I decided early on that I'd chime in again this year. Unfortunately those slutty Bon Temps whackjobs and their blaspheming god (Alan Ball) did not reward me with a fine debut. Cliffhangers are rarely the best way to end a TV season -- especially one with a really devout fanbase that's coming back anyway. They invariably make the return feel like less of a drunken celebration and more like the clean up after A Lost Weekend. No one remembers how things got so messy but excuse us while we mop up.

Turn Turn Turn... TARA? The angriest bartender in Bon Temps won't be happy about this.

There's so much clean up. Sookie's house had not one but two dead girls to dispose of (Tara and Debby) and icky leftovers (the tooth!) but to avoid Tara's death being a true one, Sookie bargains with Vampire Pam to turn her. This is a terrible terrible decision but Sookie makes notoriously terrible decisions and almost always for selfish reasons so this is par for the course. More after the jump including the usual NSFW shenanigans of those Bon Temps hookers...

Click to read more ...


Burning Questions: Broadway's Cinematic Potential?

Michael C. here in the aftermath of the Tony's to return the focus to where it belongs: Movies.

The film version of Porgy & Bess (1959) is rarely seen. Audra McDonald & Norm Lewis in the Broadway show, with movie star looks and thrilling voices, suggest its cinematic potential

As I've written before in this column, as a rule I don't go in for the sort of rose-colored nostalgia that assumes pop culture is on some kind of inexorable decline into the sewer and if only we could return the Golden Age of the 30's or the 70's or whenever then we would experience some kind of artistic renaissance. It is now as it ever was - a little quality, lots of junk.

But one trend I do resist, one that I mark as the undeniable decay of the natural order of things, is the movement toward reverse-engineering successful movies into Broadway shows and away from the reverse. I will fight this trend to my dying breath, or at least I will stand outside the stage production of Ghost and shake my old man cane at it like Carl from Up

Yet there is hope. With Les Miserables finally landing in theaters this December, and August: Osage County getting the Streep treatment as we speak, maybe there is still a chance to return to the glory days of stage to screen transfers the way that Thespis intended. But with only so many big Broadway titles left unfilmed that brings me to this week's Burning Question: Are there any current Broadway shows that deserve the big screen treatment? 

Click to read more ...