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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. "Like it" on facebook!

 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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Saturday
Nov242012

Golden Horse Wins

Today's Golden Horse Awards, the Chinese-Taiwanese Oscars, spread the wealth. Superstar Andy Lau (A Simple Life, Infernal Affairs, House of the Flying Daggers) had the honor of presenting Best Picture. It went to Beijing Blues but Beijing hardly dominated. Every BP Contender took home at least one prize and some of them major. 

I watched a bit of the ceremony live on the web even though I speak no Cantonese, Mandarin or Taiwanese. Awards shows are -- you'll never believe this -- a source of endless fascination to me. Yes, even if I have no clue what's going on.

I was told at one point though that the producers were asking the hosts to ad lib more since the ceremony was running short -- imagine it! Otherwise awards ceremonies speak a universal language. Consider the Best Actress category: silly presenter banter, 5 nominees, a mix of teary and elegant and 'why did they pick that?' clips, tense multi-camera grid as the winner is announced, and a tearful young beauty winning the big prize.

Also, just like it would happen at the Oscars, her equally pretty young male co-star (Joseph Chang) lost the counterpart male category to a mature and well respected character actor who'd paid his dues. The gender rules of awardage appear to be universal, too!

THE WINNERS
Best Picture Beijing Blues (pictured left) is a drama about a detective catching thieves
Audience Choice Gf*Bf (a popular youth-oriented romantic drama)
Best Director Johnny To Life Without Principle (Hong Kong's Oscar submission)
Best Actress Gwei Lun-Mei Gf*Bf 
Best Actor Ching Wan Lau Life Without Principle
Best Supporting Actress Liang Jing Design of Death
Best Supporting Actor Ronald Cheng Vulgaria 
Best New Performer Qi Xi Mystery 

 A complete list of winners and nominees can be found at the official Golden Horse site.

Friday
Nov232012

I Dreamed a Dream That The Film Version of Les Miz Would Be Awesome.

It came true.

Tom Hooper, looking very confident, took the stage at Alice Tully this afternoon to welcome everyone to the screening with a Happy Thanksgiving and a confession that he had finished the film at 2:00 AM in time for today's all guild screenings, the very first! If we were sitting there "It must mean I've finished it," he quipped.

Though reviews are embargoed until December 11th, let it suffice to say (for now) that my fears about the film adaptation of the classic musical were alleviated quickly. MORE...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Nov232012

Are You Excited For "Bates Motel" or "Hannibal"?

Alfred Hitchcock is getting as much attention this year as 007, what with Vertigo topping the Sight & Sound poll and the new Hitchcock biopic that references Hitchcockian mythology from 1958 through 1962 but focuses mostly on Psycho (1960). All that plus a new TV show that will look at the life of Young Norman (Freddie Highmore) and the infamous Mrs. Bates (Vera Farmiga) long before she was a dead woman rotting away in the fruit cellar. 

The first official image released inspires hope. It didn't go for something obviously CREEPY. Instead, counterintuitively, it's calm and painterly ...very Wyeth... and if you knew nothing of Psycho you might not even think of blood...blood... oh god mother the blood!

As a general rule I hate Hollywood's fascination with prequels, an obvious example of their creative bankruptcy but also, more dangerously, a key contributor to the dearth of imagination in audiences. It trains people to be passive viewers as if it's anathema to participate in what you're watching and create your own narratives to align with particularly gripping stories you're told. This is a strange dichotomous development considering that the easy access to art and technology these days seems to have actually inspired more participation... so why do people still want inspiration-killing backstories... the worst examples ever being the Star Wars prequels which just robbed the originals of their mythological potency. THIS IS WHAT CAUSED THAT. THIS BECAME THAT. REMEMBER THAT BIT? IT'S BECAUSE OF THIS. LET ME HOLD YOUR HAND AND OVER EXPLAIN EVERYTHING.

So I'm confused that I'm so excited for this. It must be the resilience of Psycho. It's already withstood several sequels, countless ripoffs and parodies and one recreation, and the kind of marrow deep cultural impact that you'd think would make it feel redundant to watch. Nope. It still terrifies and intrigues. The casting of the prequel series is also compelling. Freddie seems ideal, right? And Farmiga is one of the big screen's most compelling actresses, even if Hollywood isn't really helping her deliver on her potential -- even after her Departed / Up in the Air hit Oscar films breakthrough. What gives?

Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) enjoys his meal. Not vegeratian.

Still, with Dexter long overstaying his welcome on Showtime (this season started strong but quickly devolved and last season was just bad bad television... and there's still one more to go!) and Hannibal (yes, The Silence of the Lambs' Hannibal) about to get his own prequel series, doesn't TV already have enough 'life inside the head of a serial killer' drama? Serial killers are to television now what they were to the movies in the mid to late 90s.

Have you had enough or do you still enjoy the genre?

Friday
Nov232012

Thanksgiving Linkovers

Good afternoon! I only had one piece of pumpkin pie last night so it absolutely cannot be counted as an unqualified success of a Thanksgiving. So, desperate for leftovers (I wasn't even sent home with any spare pie!), I turn to good blogs, the whip cream of this internet pie.

Film Dr. a pictorial primer on Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2
MNPP JA's living vicariously through Amanda Seyfried fixation continues unabated
Towleroad homoerotic Skyfall poster 

In Contention the first of countless top ten lists, Cahiers du Cinema finds Holy Motors at the top
DP/30 Jake Gyllenhaal talks End of Watch. Which I still haven't seen. I am a bad Gyllenhaalic this year. (I also missed Won't Back Down
Awards Daily Sasha interviews Ang Lee (Life of Pi)
LA Times Tracy Letts says he didn't alter much about August: Osage County for the screen in his screenplay. So... it's three hours long then? 
MovieLine Noomi Rapace does her best Mick Jagger in a new music video. But is it Mick Jaggery enough? 
Empire Marisa Tomei may co-star in a new Hugh Grant romcom. I can see that pairing totally working.

Finally...
Timothy Brayton, easily one of the best (and most completist-friendly) online film critics, has ranked every single Bond film (with each link going to a new review) the Bond Girls and each James Bond. That's a lot of 007. 

Yes yes. I'll post the results of the readers poll here soon -- sorry for the holiday delay -- but before we are totally Bonded out, knock back a martini with Tim's reviews and lists.

Thursday
Nov222012

Happy Thanksgiving !

I hope your dinner is/was marvelous and the hugs plentiful. Thank you all for reading, donating, sharing, and commenting faithfully over the years! 

This cartoon from the latest New Yorker made me lol. Of all the things I'm thankful for, 3-D is not one of them!

3 Things I'm Thankful For Right This Second

  • You, the readers. Thanks for being here, reading, commenting, donating, and sharing so faithfully and with so much movie love of your own.
  • The Oscars for teaching me to obsess over movies. And then the movies for teaching me to forgive the Oscars and enjoy them for what they are: sometimes maddening but always fascinating time capsules of movie culture and what people loved when.
  • In less than ONE DAY MORE I'll be seeing Les Misérables  !!!

YOUR TURN!