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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

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Tuesday
Sep082015

Secret in Their Link

DListed - Ralph Fiennes breaks out the dance moves at the Venice premiere of A Bigger Splash
NYT Aretha Franklin suing to block festival showings of Amazing Grace, a recently finished documentary about the making of her album filmed in 1972.
Variety looks at the swift progress of new distributor Broad Green Pictures which surprised everyone with its acquisition of and good numbers for A Walk in the Woods. They also have Learning to Drive in theaters
The Globe and Mail an evening with Udo Kier (!)

 

AV Club in his continuing bid to not ever be remotely as cool / likeable as he once was Johnny Depp is joking about eating his dogs
WSJ Magazine "A day in the life of Danny Strong" a profile of the diminutive Emmy-winning ever busy actor/screenwriter of Buffy and Girls fame behind the scenes of Empire's second season
Yahoo Judy Carne (Laugh-In) dies at 76
MNPP Who Wore it Best: Luke Evans speedo edition 
Playbill Magic Mike ....the Musical may start its stage run in Las Vegas rather than on Broadway
Boy Culture Jean Darling of Our Gang silent serials has died at 93 
Comic Alliance on the "very serious" "no-jokes" "grimace" of Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Good conclusion
Variety Will Smith has replaced Hugh Jackman in Collateral Beauty and Rooney Mara has exited the project, too
The Broadway Blog looks back at The Pajama Gang which got a movie version in 1957
MNPP Jake Gyllenhaal gifs from Demolition. Sweet medicine. I'm seeing this Thursday night. woooo 

Oscar Season Cometh
Awards Daily on emergent Telluride Oscar contenders from Black Mass and a lot of praise for Spotlight
The Hollywood Reporter from Telluride: a lukewarm reaction to Carol (?), Black Mass's hilarious and haunting moments, great performances in Room, and not loving Suffragette

Image of the Day
How perfect is this photograph of Chiwetel Ejiofor from Interview by Sølve Sundsbø? Director Cary Fukunaga interviews him so it's double-handsomness).

FUKUNAGA: You have how many movies coming out this year?

EJIOFOR: Well, there's Secret and The Martian, and, next year, Triple 9. And then I'll be shooting the Doctor Strange movie.

FUKUNAGA: It's exciting. And I've done one thing that whole time. [Ejiofor laughs]

Tuesday
Sep082015

Labor Day Weekend Celebrity Instagram Fun!

How was your Labor Day Weekend, readers? Do tell. What was the best part of the long weekend?

And which of these celebrities do you most wish you could have spent the holiday with: Palm Springs with Lea Delaria? The beach with Jesse Bradford? swimming with new puppies and The Rock?  the Prague opera with Jessica Chastain?  BBQ with Reese? Or backyard fun with Judy Greer?

 

Goodbye vacation. Me in @female_trouble 's caftan #fuckyeahpalmsprings

A photo posted by Lea DeLaria (@realleadelaria) on Sep 8, 2015 at 8:35am PDT

 

still got it (just checked)

A photo posted by @jessebradford on Sep 4, 2015 at 6:15am PDT

 

Here's a fun Labor Day weekend story... We just decided to add two new members to our Johnson family. Baby French Bulldogs. In my right hand is BRUTUS and in my left hand is HOBBS. Bring them home and immediately take them outside so they can start learning how to "handle their business and potty like big boys". I set them both down and they both take off in a full sprint and fall right into the deep end of our pool. HOBBS immediately starts doggy paddling while BRUTUS (like a brick) sink heads first to the bottom of the pool. I take off into a full sprint, fully clothed, dive in the pool, swim to the bottom, rescue my brick, I mean BRUTUS and bring him back to the edge of the pool. He was a little delirious.. took a moment, threw up all the water he swallowed and looked up at me as if to say, "Thank God you didn't have to give me mouth to mouth!" and then ran off to play with his brother. A few lessons I've learned today.. A) Not all puppies have the instinct to doggie paddle. B) Some puppies (like BRUTUS) will be so in shock by experiencing water they will sink extremely fast so react quick. C) While spiriting to save your puppies life, before you dive in, try and throw your cel phone to safety. Don't keep it in your pocket... like I did. #BRUTUSLives #HOBBSCanSwim #MyCelPhonesDead #AndNoMouthToMouthNeeded #HappyLaborDay

A photo posted by therock (@therock) on Sep 7, 2015 at 3:35pm PDT

 

A little night music #Aida #prague #opera #verdi

A photo posted by Jessica Chastain (@chastainiac) on Sep 6, 2015 at 11:46am PDT

 

 

Ohio. Time to kill. Sunset. Beers with my parents. Where's the dog?

A video posted by Judy Greer (@missjudygreer) on Sep 7, 2015 at 7:17am PDT

 

 

Tuesday
Sep082015

Beauty vs Beast: Girl, You'll Be A Woman, Now

Jason from MNPP here, bringing us this week's "Beauty vs Beast" a day late thanks to holiday circumstances -- sorry for the delay! Hope those of you who celebrated Labor Day had a nice one. Okay on to the main event: this week marks the 30th anniversary of the film Smooth Talk, which stars Laura Dern (in a very early role - this was a year before Blue Velvet!) and Treat Williams as the teenage girl Connie and the suspicious sexy stranger Arnold Friend (A. Friend -- get it???) who's come to make a woman out of her whether she likes it or not. The film was based on Joyce Carol Oates' short-story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" which means my first introduction to this film was in High School English class. Anybody else? I was really into it at the time, but now I mostly look back at it as my introduction to the Wonder-of-Dern and a time-capsule of Treat-Hotness. Still, I must ask - would you stay in that house with Connie or zoom off for a ride with Arnold?


PREVIOUSLY We looked at this Summer's most boisterous bad girls tragi-comedy Mistress America, and asked you which colorful city gal you prefered - while newcomer Lola Kirke put on a good show it was always gonna be Greta Gerwigbopping in the winner's circle, and sure enough. Said Brian:

"Team Brooke ; She's a dreamer, even if her ideas are beyond her grasp."

Tuesday
Sep082015

EFA's Long List and Cannes/Oscar Crossover History

We already shared the EFA's People Choice nominees but it's important to remember that that's a special award, quite apart from their actual nominations. In their slightly tortured roll-out we get part two, the long list. These are the titles that form the "selection list"... they have to do it this way before nominations from a sheer numbers perspective. Add up the annual releases from dozens and dozens of countries and you have hundreds of films, you know? Here are the 52 films their nominators will be considering. We've divvied it up by country for you and if they're already a part of the Oscar race or on TIFF's schedule, we'll say so. The titles will be a mix of familiar to you and "what is that?" to anyone reading because who can keep up with every country's cinema?

Because there are so many films, though, it's all after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Sep082015

Sam & Spectre

Grammy winner Sam Smith has finished recording his James Bond theme song. It's called "Writing's on the Wall" and hopefully that's not in reference to Daniel Craig hanging up the suit.

The choice of musical artist and song for the 24th "official" Bond film (there are actually 26 of them) is historic in two different ways.

1. Smith is the first male solo artist doing a Bond song since 1965, aka when Tom Jones sang "Thunderball" (you'll remember that Paul McCartney and Wings doesn't count as a solo artist for 1973's "Live and Let Die") 

2. It's the first time an out LGBT artist has done the song duties

Less notable though we'll still note it is that this is only the fifth time that the theme song does not share the film's title. 007 movies didn't always have the traditional opening titles theme song. That tradition, as we know it, really began with the third film Goldfinger (1964). 

Do you think Sam Smith will benefit from the Adele love-in of 2012 and snag the series only its 5th nomination for Best Original Song? It'll be interesting to see if Spectre finds any favor at all with the Academy. Did Skyfall change things with it's 5 nominations or will AMPAS go back to ignoring the franchise as they always had before - it's worth remembering that the entire franchise averaged less than  ½ a nomination per film before that  50th anniversary blockbuster.

Here's the new poster...

Monday
Sep072015

Visual Index ~ Mad Max: Fury Road "Best Shots"

For this week's edition of Hit Me With Your Best Shot, our last until October, we're looking at George Miller's thrilling return to his signature franchise Mad Max: Fury Road. It's the kind of movie that, as we just discussed on the "best of summer podcast," really goes the extra mile. And we're not talking about Imperator Furiosa's detour to "the green place" though that's well out of her way as drives go. George Miller completely outdid himself with this saturated, explosive, delirious, feminist action film.

One shot won't do of course which is why "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" is a communal experience. We each choose one and hopefully it adds up to a survey of a movie's crucial inspired images. My piece will be up late tomorrow before your host heads out for the Toronto International Film Festival and because this movie totally deserves an extra day. If you meant to participate and forgot, you have 24 more hours to get your choice in. I'll add more entries if they come in...

MAD MAX FURY ROAD
Directed by George Miller (Mad Max, Lorenzo's Oil). Cinematography by John Seale (The English Patient, Witness). Starring Charlize Theron & Tom Hardy
Click on the 10 images to read the 12 corresponding articles

Miller has made his subtext text in this image...
-The Entertainment Junkie 

 Despite being an intensely colorful film, there are actually just two main colors in the film’s palette...
-Magnificent Obsession 

 I was not prepared to be blown away by the awesomeness...
-Jija 

Given the sprawling vistas and circus craziness that are the film's bread and butter, my pick for best shot is almost idiotically off-book:
-Antagony & Ecstacy 

For all the images incongruous potency and humor, it's also a rich story point, introducing us to "the stuff" that got stolen and humanizing it.
-The Film Experience 

It just hit me so hard in the cinema I legit gasped...
-Cinematic Corner 

Movie Motorbreath - VIDEO ENTRY

Throughout Fury Road, character is defined by action; how we react to it and what we do after.
-Zitzelfilm 

Anguish never looked so beautiful...
-I Want to Believe

 

The grand spectacle that Miller created in that vast, unforgiving, and beautiful desert wasteland...
-Sorta That Guy

a palpable sense of the scale of the action...
-Film Actually

The movie is full of scenes that reveal themselves with a remarkable efficiency
-Awards Circuit 

AGAIN. You have 24 more hours to get your "best shot" in before we close out this episode late Tuesday night before TIFF travels begin!

Monday
Sep072015

Lady in the Van: Maggie in 4 Gifs

Manuel here to welcome another Best Actress hopeful to the fold. Yes, it was unclear whether two-time Academy Award winner Maggie Smith’s vehicle, The Lady in the Van, would indeed get a US release this fall in time to qualify for awards consideration but with a Toronto Film Festival special presentation, a December release plan, a new poster and a new trailer, we have to welcome Smith to the race. More...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep072015

Best Actress Updates, Or: Get Right With God. Stop Category Fraud!

REVISED ARTICLE
News, or shall we say "scuttlebutt," recently broke in regards to Todd Haynes long-awaited Carol that Cate Blanchett would campaign for Supporting Actress and Rooney Mara for Lead. Speaking at length to someone who has seen the picture they say, and I quote, "...either demotion absolutely insane. Even moreso than Notes on a Scandal." referring of course to the last time that Cate Blanchett pulled out the category fraud stops to get nominated for a lesbian drama. Only this time she's the title character, making it even more ridiculous.

Then Cate's agent denied it.

Which is all along way of saying... that discussions and are still forming. But why should they be when it comes to Supporting/Lead campaigns? why should they be?

If it were to go that way the reasoning is clear: to have Cate avoid competing with herself for Truth, the Rather-Gate movie in which she plays Mary Mapes to Robert Redford's Dan Rather, and defer to Rooney Mara since Rooney took Best Actress at Cannes. If you remove all concerns about ethics, this is just fine and makes sense... but really now. Shouldn't power players within Hollywood have some ethics and set good examples? Cate has two Oscars already. It's time for actors, particularly those of Cate's magnitude, to stop with the greed and start standing up for what's right: let actual character/supporting actors have a shot at Oscar nominations in the category designed to honor them rather than pretend you're not huge star in a leading role just so that you can be feted again. (See also: Julia Roberts in August Osage County recently who also had no excuse for the greed, and whose very stardom ruined the property's ending by insisting on a cutaway closeup that dampened the meaning)

And yes stars do approve their campaigns. They are not blameless though the strategies come from elsewhere.

On the other hand this particular Carol proposition would not likely be the type of Category Fraud that voters would go along peacefully with. Especially not with Cate having top billing, being the title character, and getting 3/5th of the movie poster for her face. Every once in a while they do balk at fraudulent campaigns as when they "promoted" Keisha Castle-Hughes to her true category (Lead for Whale Rider despite a supporting campaign) or when Kate Winslet greedily attempted a double nod by pretending she was supporting in The Reader to clear the way for her lead campaign in Revolutionary Road. Instead AMPAS voters just ignored the latter and "promoted" her for the Holocaust drama to the category she belonged in anyway. For now I'm demoting both Rooney & Cate on both charts until we see further evidence that anyone beyond SAG (who are required to vote by how the studio submits) is going to buy this 'Carol is the supporting player in Carol' business.

Finally, there is no reason to believe that both Rooney and Cate couldn't be nominated in Best Actress if they ran a truthful campaign as it's happened before, and not just once either. One could argue that the only reason it doesn't happen anymore is that its only very rarely attempted it. In supporting where it's frequently attempted it happens frequently. 

Spotlight's ensemble features Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo in the largest roles. But technically they could go any which way with campaigning, even trying "all supporting" like The Departed did

In other strange categorization news I forgot to add Jason Segel (in another two-hander same-gender film) to the Supporting Actor chart last time round for End of the Tour so there he goes. All Acting Category Charts are now updated:

LEAD ACTRESS - lots of strong contenders
LEAD ACTOR - lots of strong contenders
SUPPORTING ACTRESS, - very vague at this point. much will still happen 
SUPPORTING ACTOR - starting to take shape