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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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Tuesday
Nov182014

ICYMI November's First Half

Paul, Nathaniel & Anne MarieAs you know I just spent a week in Los Angeles for the 2014 AFI festival which kicked off with A Most Violent Year soiree and included a tribute to legendary Sophia Loren. I can't tell you how fun Anne Marie and our newest team member Margaret are in person - Margaret introduced Anne Marie to The Film Experience in college for which we must thank her or we wouldn't have "A Year With Kate" (nearing the home stretch now). Because they are young and live in Hollywood I assigned them the "Young Hollywood Panel" as well. We wrapped things up with Gala Premieres and a Podcast.

It was great to meet a handful of TFE readers at screenings! Hi Jordan. Hi Keir. Hi other people who didn't tell me your names! Paul Outlaw, pictured left who you know well from the comments, is the only person I've ever met that starred in an Oscar winning short film and he joined Anne Marie and I for the Selma premiere and festivities

5 More Highlights
Podcast Return - Gone Girl and Nightcrawler
The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Maureen O'Hara's breakthrough film
Top 2014 Pop Artifacts - from priceless "Boy With Apple" to "Amazing Amy" books
Red Carpet Warm Up - Oscar hopefuls hit the Governors Awards to kick off the glamorous trek we know as awards season
A History of Animated Marvels - Tim's funny look back at Marvel's first TV efforts

Tuesday
Nov182014

Quick Impressions: "Nervous Intern" in Gone Girl

New Series! In "Quick Impressions" we will be looking at the working actor in key movie scenes. Consider it a celebration of SAG card-holders everywhere and free advice for casting directors. Have you ever noticed how many people it takes to populate each film's world? So many showbiz dreams wander around on every film set and are embedded in each frame of your favorite movies, sometimes front and center but off to the side and in the background, too.

Today, we're talking to actor/dancer Brett Leigh who has appeared in two David Fincher movies, The Social Network (2010) and Gone Girl (2014) the latter of which is still in the top five box office six weeks into its release and now the year's biggest hit outside of all those CG franchises.

NATHANIEL: Tell us about your scene in Gone Girl!

BRETT LEIGH: It's towards the beginning when Nick Dunne asks Amy to marry him. I play one of the reporters at the table.  They cut the scene down but kept my line in there along with the girl sitting next to me. 

NATHANIEL:  I love that scene because it feel so performative, as if Nick & Amy are essentially acting out a traditional love story moment for the press. How was the experience and why are you billed as "Nervous Intern"?

BRETT: In scripts, as a general rule, you don’t ‘name’ characters if they aren’t plot changing or show up for several pages or scenes.  So when you have one liners, or help move the scene along as a character for a page or two, writers will just call them what they are:  i.e. ‘Courtier’, ‘Mail carrier’, ‘Nervous Intern’.  I have no idea why I was called ‘Nervous Intern’.  I don’t seem to be nervous OR an intern. [Laughs] The other people were called like, 'Fashionista', 'Above-it-all-Journalist'. I think it was Gillian Flynn's way of staying away from just  ‘Journalist 1, 2, 3, 4’.

I do remember the scene work and was quite pleasantly surprised at how serious Ben Affleck is on set - very good actor, very focused.  And Rosamund Pike was top notch every single take.  We weren’t given the full script, but in taping you could definitely tell Rosamund and Ben knew where they were in the story and where their characters were going.  Of course with David Fincher at the helm it’s quite impossible NOT to know where your character is and where they are going.  

You're also in The Social Network!

I play the frat guy hazing Andrew Garfield in the snow. It’s about 2 minutes and I have the majority of the lines.  

Did you fantasize about further terrorizing him as a supervillain when he got the Spider-Man part?

[Laughs] No, but I would really like to be in a comic-come-to-life movie.

Getting that Social Network part must have been amazing

I was coming back from overseas playing Riff/Action in the International Tour of West Side Story.  

Brett Leigh, center with bandana in the international tour of West Side StoryMy favorite musical !

I got a call for an audition and I was like “They’re making a movie about Facebook?”.  It sounded kind of ‘TV movie’ to me.  It all happened kind of fast.  I was called in about four times for this scene. After getting the role I found out more about who was directing and writing.  Thats when my mind was blown. David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin?!  I couldn’t believe I got the role over other Hollywood hopefuls and the timing worked out so well just getting back from a major theatre tour.

I come from a theatre and ballet background so to transition into film with such an amazing director has been awesome.  I feel like I have been in the corps de ballet for two Fincher films. 

I hope you get a third and that we see you in a film musical some day!

Thanks for your attention dear readers. You can follow Brett Leigh on Twitter @BrettLeigh. He is also a Director/Writer and recently completed this short film "American Day". It's funny and sad simultaneously. Check it out...

COMING SOON: You tell us. Do you like this series idea?
Do you ever think about actors way down the cast list that might be one lucky break away from larger roles? 

Tuesday
Nov182014

Podcast: A Most Violent Citizen Four Theory in Selma, Alabama

Hooray!

It's a new festive and festivalish episode of the podcast. Since Oscar fever has begun to spread we refer to it even more than usual as we discuss the AFI premieres, Ava DuVernay's Selma with this podcast's boyfriend cinematographer Bradford Young, John Goodman's scene stealing in The Gambler, Jessica Chastain clawing her way into Supporting Actress, Citizen Four's competition for Documentary gold, and split reactions to The Theory of Everything

The podcast features Nick Davis, Joe Reid, Katey Rich, special guest Anne Marie Kelly, and your host Nathaniel R

38 minutes
00:01 Premieres: A Most Violent YearSelma, The Gambler
13:20 Jessica Chastain's fingernails
15:24 Sophia Loren's hips
18:10 Citizen Four 
28:17 The Theory of Everything


You can listen at the bottom of the post or download on iTunes. Continue the conversation in the comments! 

AFI Memories, Citizen Four, Theory of Everything

Tuesday
Nov182014

Interview: John Carney "Begin Again"

Jose here. When I learned I would be talking to Begin Again director John Carney, I had to promise myself that my interview wouldn't just consist of me begging him to reshoot that scene where Greta (Keira Knightley) and Dan (Mark Ruffalo) put on their headphones and walk through NYC, using me and Keira... 

...because as magical movie moments go, that one takes the crown this year. You'll be relieved to hear that I did talk to him about other things when we spoke about Begin Again, which is now out on DVD. We even get the last word on which songs will be campaigned for Oscar nominations. 

JOSE: Begin Again is actually the only film that I paid to see more than once in movie theaters this year...

JOHN CARNEY: Sorry, can you say that once more, I didn’t hear you.

JOSE: Yeah sure, I was just saying your movie is the only one I bought tickets to more…

JOHN CARNEY: [Laughs] That’s fantastic and I was joking, I heard you the first time, but wanted to hear you say it again.

I really meant it. The last time I went, I had literally just been dumped by someone, so in trying to make myself feel better, going to see Begin Again seemed like the only option.

I’m sorry, but I’m glad you went again, that’s very sweet!

Keira Knightley and John Carney

This mostly made me wonder if you intended to make the film as the equivalent of “listening to your favorite record” when you’re feeling blue for example?

Oh that’s interesting and it’s funny you say that. Mostly I think that musical films are more like albums in the way that they make sense anywhere, you don’t necessarily have to follow the plot each time to just tune into that bit you love, like an album.  [More...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov182014

P.T. Pinups

 


I'm not a fan of Inherent Vice much but it will inspire lots of fun fan art and/or official stuff... like this banner poster starring Katherine Waterston as "Shasta Fay". (Her hair is filled with secrets characters.)

I wish P.T. still wrote memorable female characters (sigh) even the kind of vacant bimbos like Rollergirl used to be awesome. With There Will Be Blood he basically left them behind altogether. Inherent Vice has a dozen or so female roles and only two of them are halfway interesting (Yay, Jena Malone and Jeannie Berlin cameos).

Uh-oh... I feel a list attack coming on. It can't be stopped 

Female Characters in P.T. Anderson films from Most Fascinating to Least
(not comprehensive but the major ones) 

 

  1. Amber Waves (Boogie Nights)
  2. Linda Partridge (Magnolia)
  3. Rollergirl (Boogie Nights)
  4. Gwenovier (Magnolia)
  5. Lena Leonard (Punch-Drunk Love)
  6. Peggy Dodd (The Master)
  7. Clementine (Hard Eight)
  8. Jessie St Vincent (Boogie Nights)
  9. Becky Barnett (Boogie Nights)
  10. Elizabeth Egan (Punch-Drunk Love)
  11. Claudia Wilson Gator (Magnolia)
  12. Hope Harlingen (Inherent Vice -cameo)
  13. Aunt Reet (Inherent Vice - cameo)
  14. Rose Gator (Magnolia)
  15. Xandra (Inherent Vice)
  16. Helen Sullivan (The Master)
  17. Petunia Leeway (Inherent Vice)
  18. Penny (Inherent Vice)
  19. Japonica Fenway (Inherent Vice)
  20. Sortilege (Inherent Vice - great voice that Joanna Newsom has, though)
  21. Shasta Fay Hepworth (Inherent Vice)

 

Tuesday
Nov182014

Foreign Oscar Watch: Iran's "Today"

[This post is part of our continuing series on this year’s contenders for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. We're aiming to review (gasp) half of them. Here’s Amir with the Iranian entry, Today. He has also interviewed the director and discussed the film on his Iranian cinema podcast "Hello Cinema". - Editor]

Reza Mirkarimi is probably overdue for an Oscar nomination. Sure, his name doesn’t ring a bell for a lot of cinephiles and doesn’t carry the same weight as internationally renowned Iranian auteurs such as Kiarostami, Panahi or Asghar Farhadi, but consider this: He is the only filmmaker to have had his films shunned by both the Academy and the Iranian committee that submits them!

His first try for gold came back in 2005 with So Close, So Far, a meditative and moving portrayal of a broken father-son relationship. It was far stronger than all five of the eventual nominees but that was before voters in this category had begun to vote for what is actually best. Still, he had every reason to be hopeful in 2012 with A Cube of Sugar, a distinctly Iranian film with a regional flavor that surprisingly won awards at every festival it played at. Coming on the back of A Separation’s win, it was reasonable to expect the raised profile of Iranian cinema to help the film along the finish line. Yet, the Iranian committee submitted the film and boycotted the Oscars later on the same day! Remember that strange story?

So, two years on, Mirkarimi is back with Today, a consensus option that wasn’t exceptionally well received in its home country, but saved the committee a whole lot of political trouble compared to their other choices...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov182014

Curio: Coin Characters

Alexa here with your weekly art break. Brazilian-born, Frankfurt-based graphic designer Andre Levy uses his free time from his job in advertising to create more personal work.  One of these projects has gotten a lot of attention on the internet: entitled "Tales You Lose," the project has Levy transforming coins into portraits of pop culture icons. 

Amelie, Bride of Frankenstein and more after the jump

Click to read more ...

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