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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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July. It's a Wrap.

Despite the absolutely sweltering heat in July this summer in New York City I've survived to see another month. It's a miracle. The blog is Made in Air Conditioning. So let's book back on the monthwith highlights in case you melted through them. 

Personalize Your DVD Collection - Meet Nick's guest room
Women Who Deserve an Honorary Oscar - Team Experience gives AMPAS some suggestions since they invariably choose men for the honor
Shot in Chicago - Tim selects the movies that best represent the Windy City 
Cory Monteith (RIP) - Glee loses one of its originals
Goodbye Bunheads - Andrew eulogizes the unique ballet charmer, gone from the TV landscape too soon 

The Halfway Mark - best of the year January to June
Cinematic Swimwear - TFE launches its first clothing line. Which swimsuit did you buy?
Posterized: Almodóvar - His 19 films. How many have you seen?
Natalie on 34th Street - Tim remembers one of the all time great child performances 
A Jolly Holiday with Mary Poppins -best shots from Disney magical nanny masterwork

Short Term 12, Blue Jasmine, The Spectacular Now, Alfred Hitchcock listing, more swimwear (any requests?), back to school goodies, the return of the Supporting Actress Smackdown via 1952 and oldies but goodies like: Shadow of a Doubt, The Color Purple, Singin' in the Rain, The Bad and the Beautiful, and more.



Burning Questions: Is the Summer Blockbuster Broken?

Michael C. here to sift through the Doomsday warnings that the Summer box office has provoked. How fitting is it that the story of this Summer’s box office is beginning to resemble one of the disaster movies Hollywood so loves to foist on audiences? 

Seldom does a Summer go by without a high profile flop or two, but these days we can’t get through a weekend without some mega-budget Summer tent-pole crashing and burning. R.I.P.D., White House Down, Lone Ranger, Turbo. One bomb after another. Slate dubbed it the Summer of the Mega-Flop, while the AV Club simply asked “Are Movies Doomed?” These are intelligent, well reasoned articles but in disaster movie terms they are the equivalent of the crackpot scientists prophesying Armageddon, warning everyone to “Look to the heavens! It’s an extinction level event!”

Many blame the crowded media landscape vying for consumer attention. Others point to the recession limiting the disposable cash in consumer pockets. The overall crappiness of the movies themselves hasn’t gone unnoticed either (out of the many underperformers I’d say only Pacific Rim doesn’t richly deserve its fate). The truth involves some mix of all of these factors, but I think the main problem may lay somewhere deeper. I ask you, Is Hollywood’s blockbuster formula fundamentally broken? 

Click to read more ...


Hitchcock & Oprah on 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot'

Three great (?) movies by three renowned directors (Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg and Vincente Minnelli) are next on Hit Me With Your Best Shot

We didn't mean to take two weeks off (whoops) but here we go again. If you've never participated please consider joining. It's easy and fun and gives you an excuse to watch a classic again or for the first time. On Wednesday nights we look at a famous (or interesting) movie and we each select "the best shot", completely subjective of course, from the film. Tell us why you chose it and we link up. It's communal movie fun!

Wed Aug 7th SHADOW OF A DOUBT (1943)
It doesn't have the highest profile among Hitchcock's classics so let's boost that up a bit since the Master himself was so fond of it among his own movies and Stoker, now on DVD, riffs on it so shamelessly.
[108 minutes, 1 Oscar nomination. Available on Amazon Instant]

Wed Aug 14th THE COLOR PURPLE (1985)
Let's celebrate the return of Oprah Winfrey to the big screen (in Lee Daniel's The Butler) with a look back at this beloved 80s film. I haven't seen it since the 80s and other people adore it so much more than I that I thought now was the time to give it another chance.
[154 minutes, 11 Oscar nominations]

Wed Aug 21st  THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL (1952) winner of 5 Oscars including Cinematography. We're watching it for the return of the Supporting Actress Smackdown on August 28th and plus, Nathaniel (c'est moi) loves Vincent Minnelli movies. Yes, the Smackdown is coming back.
[118 minutes, 6 Oscar nominations.]

After The Bad and the Beautiful we'll wrap up this Best Shot season with one or two more pictures depending on how many of you are participating and where the excitement level is. What should we close with? Let's do a boy appeal movie since I'm often choosing women's pictures. I can't help myself!


Goodbye Peacock. And Other Links

Los Angeles Times AMPAS elects their first African American president in Cheryl Boone Isaacs
on how newcomer Annie McNamara landed a supporting role in the otherwise starry cast of Blue Jasmine
Filmonic John Williams will score the new Star Wars trilogy 
Maps to the Stars on the Cronenberg exhibit at TIFF this year 
Fashionista thinks Claire Danes has lost a leg in this photoshoot 
IndieWire on the 25th anniversary of Midnight Madness at TIFF this year

Empire another big get for rising star David Oyelowo who was so good in Middle of Nowhere and also eye-catching in The Paperboy - he joins the increasingly crowded Insterstellar for Christopher Nolan
The Backlot on HBO's new gay series starring Jonathan Groff. Is it "special"? 
In Contention A Most Wanted Man could put Philip Seymour Hoffman back in the Oscar race
/Film oh dear god. they can't leave well enough alone. Dexter might get a spin-off series after 8 looooong seasons
Salon Before Fruitvale Station there was Boyz n the Hood
Cinema Blend new teaser poster for Gravity 

Finally, you have undoubtedly heard that the fine comic actress Eileen Brennan passed away earier today at 80 years of age. I have to admit a weird unfamiliarity with the most acclaimed turn in her filmography (unlike me I know!) as I never saw her Oscar-nominated work in Private Benjamin. I remember people being really into it when I was a kid but it was rated R and I somehow never caught up with it when I was old enough. I'll personally remember her most fondly as Peacock in Clue with her frazzled manner, soup sipping, and ungainly hat. Others will cherish her work in The Sting or The Last Picture Show or any number of TV appearances including time on Laugh-In with her future Benjamin co-star Goldie Hawn. What will you remember her for? RIP Mrs Peacock.


Top Ten Biggest Money-Making Actresses Right Now

For today's Tuesday's Top Ten we're using Forbes numbers for discussion lift-off We recently discussed their list of the top paid actors from the past twelve months and came to the conclusion that they don't challenge themselves much at all. The women are a slightly different story. While it's true that no one would mistake this for a list of 'The Best Actresses Working' or 'The Actresses Who Are Currently Testing The Limits of Their Range,' this list does have slightly more variety in filmography though far less in terms of beauty and age as is always the case with the men and the women of Hollywood

01 Angelina Jolie $33 
Tops the list by way of signing on to Maleficent for Disney. The Sleeping Beauty prequel is a surefire hit, both because it's presold -- branding being everything -- and because it's Jolie who rarely falters at the box office. 

nine more ladies and an actress poll after the jump

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Curio: Making a Scene

Alexa here, returning from a break (moving is hell, folks) to share some film art for your Tuesday. I recently came upon these ink and marker drawings by Jim Ferguson and felt like they reinvigorated my love of classic Spielberg. Jim illustrates scenes from these and other classic and cult films, with a knack for choosing the perfect moments, both iconic and unexpected. 

These are some of my favorites from his enormous portfolio (six more scenes after the jump)

Click to read more ...