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 | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 


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Beauty Break: Keira Knightley

Here's Andrew Kendall to celebrate Keira Knightly who just turned 29. Happy Belated Birthday Keira

Keira at the Jack Ryan premiere

Considering that both Anna Karenina and Seeking a Friend for the End of the World were released in 2012 is it too soon for Keira withdrawal? Admittedly, I'm greedy -- in the demographic of late twentysomething / early thirtysomething actresses, she's the one most likely to get me to see a movie, no questions asked. (And, so, I fell prey to Jack Ryan which did little in the way of satiating that Keira shaped void.)

Keira lovers have three films to anticipate for 2014: the comedy Laggies debuted at Sundance; the historical drama The Imitation Game with Benedict Cumberbatch which already has Oscar buzz; and Begin Again, the significantly less intriguing name of the film once titled Can A Song Save Your Life that featured in TFE's "We Can't Wait" 2014 countdown.

It seems strange that she's only 29. [More...]

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Scream Queens, Rusicals, and Snatch Games

If you can't love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love someone else? Amen. I love myself therefore I forgive myself for being three weeks behind my promised RuCapping. I hate calling tv posts recaps, though that's the web's preferred terminology, because I'm not about to recount everything that happened. That's for the contestants themselves to do on reality television. That's the whole structure, right? Step 1: Talking head commentary on clip you're about to see from contestant involved. 2: What you actually see from the contest. Step 3: A recap of what you just saw via the same or different talking heads. Then the next day on the internet everyone who is not on the show recaps again. We're a very redundant pop culture, we are!

But I do feel bad for going AWOL because these three weeks of RuPaul's Drag Race were really movie friendly and you know how I love my TV at the Movies. After the jump brief notes on the queens forays into celebrity impersonation, horror movies, and off-key musicals.


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A Year With Kate: Stage Door (1937)

Episode 13 of 52 wherein Anne Marie screens all of Katharine Hepburn's films in chronological order.

In which we've finally made it to the good stuff, so let's celebrate with Katharine Hepburn vs Ginger Rogers in a battle of the stars.

Hallelujah! Katharine Hepburn has arrived! From the ashes of Quality Street she rises, patrician and perfect. After 12 weeks of inconsistent performances, to suddenly be confronted with Kate in all her Mid-Atlantic, New England-born, iron spined, pants-wearing glory is a downright religious experience. And lo, Katharine Hepburn did star in a Kaufman and Ferber adaptation, and it was good.

Stage Door is the limelight dramedy of a gaggle of Broadway hopefuls living at the fictional Footlights Club in New York. The original play was an ensemble piece, but director Gregory La Cava and writer Morrie Ryskind remade the the movie in the image of its stars. Ginger Rogers, then between musical blockbusters, stars as Jean Maitland, a cynical chorine who falls for a slimy producer (Adolph Menjou). Kate is Terry Randall, a rich New England girl who decides to make it in showbiz. Rounding out the cast are Eve Arden, Gail Patrick, Lucille Ball, baby-faced Ann Miller, and Andrea Leeds, whose bland Olivia de Havilland knock off somehow landed her an Oscar nomination, and therefore a mention here.

Catfights and calla lilies after the jump

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Next on Hit Me: You Can't Stop This Letter to Pocahontas!

We kicked off Season 5 of Hit Me With Your Best Shot with two undisputed modern classics Eternal Sunshine and LA Confidential but it's time to get a little more adventurous and rangey. Each season has a mix of classics, oddities, and at least one animated entry because though we originally conceived of the series as a tribute to cinematography it's become readily apparent that the best shots can come from the work from other departments, too. To join us simply a) watch the movie b) pick your favorite shot and c) post it somewhere public. Then we'll add you to our roundup. 

Tuesday April 1st
For April Fool's Day a legendary "so bad it's good" movie, Alan Carr's Village People musical CAN'T STOP THE MUSIC (1980) which won the very first Razzie award for Worst Picture. I'm sorry about the short notice but it's easy to find, so start dancing, queen.
Netflix Instant | Amazon Instant | iTunes Rental

Tuesday April 8th
No film this week. I will be on my annual short post-Oscar vacation (April 4th-8th)

Tuesday April 15th
We'll be looking at William Wyler's noir adaptation of Somerset Maughan's THE LETTER (1940) which was nominated for 7 Oscars in its year including Picture, Cinematography and Best Actress Bette Davis. (This installment is multi-tasking. It'll also be our 4th episode of Seasons of Bette)
Netflix | Amazon | iTunes Rental

Tuesday April 22nd
For Earth Day 2014, we'll sing with all the colors of the wind for Disney's POCAHONTAS (1995). I chose it principally because a) I've been trying to come up with an excuse to revisit it and b)  it's easy to access. I had some other ideas but you'd be surprised how few things are easily accessible these days if you have something specific in mind. If you're a browser it's all good but devoted film fans are in trouble. The morphing of Netflix and the crash of the physical disc system has really wreaked havoc on easy accessibility since streaming is such a tiny percentage of movies we're interested in.
Netflix Instant Watch | Amazon Instant | iTunes Rental


"my plastic surgeon..."

...doesn't want me doing any activities where balls fly at my nose.

- Well, there goes your social life."

Great Moments in Screen Bitchery #184, Clueless


The Temple of Link

Vulture Pharrell on his Oscar loss and Frozen's "Let it Go"
Cinema Blend super depressing think piece about Chris Evans planned retirement after Captain America and why our franchise culture kills an actor's passion
Empire Madonna is not done directing. Next up: Ade: A Love Story based on the novel by Alice Walker's daughter

Guardian wonders when we'll start seeing gay parents in family films from Disney
Variety True Detective will compete in drama rather than in miniseries at the Emmys. Interesting move, right? I still think the Emmys need to start making rulings on this sort of thing just so there's consistency, rather than letting the shows decide. 
The Wire FWIW this is the article that seems to make the most sense as to why HBO is doing that
Film School Rejects Plans for Prometheus 2 move forward. Rumors of multiple Michael Fassbender sound perfect to me. Fill the screen with him.
Salon on Wes Anderson and the art of Twee "It's not easy being twee"
What Culture on 18 screenplays every aspiring writer should read. Some interesting choices / points but it's VERY man's man oriented. Obviously written by a guy who doesn't get into female protagonist cinema because I don't know how you make a screenplay list and don't include All About Eve
St Paul Lutheran Church Get this. Oft employed character actor James Rebhorn (Homeland, The Talented Mr Ripley, Far From Heaven) wrote his own obituary before he died. It's beautiful

From CinemaCon in Vegas
i09 sees and loves footage from Luc Besson's "insane" Lucy starring Scarlett Johansson as a drug mule turned superpowered killer. They liken it to Kick Ass which is unfortunately for me a superpowered deterrent.
In Contention on Angelina Jolie's Unbroken preview - I haven't drawn up my "april foolish" predictions yet but I think I'm probably less bullish on this one than most. I keep thinking Seabiscuit. Not that that film wasn't an Oscar hit but that type of inspirational power of human (or animal) spirit isn't as easy of an Oscar sell as it once was, I'd wager. 

P.S. And in case you haven't heard Jonathan Groff (Looking, Frozen) and Lucy Liu will announce the Tony Award nom this year on April 29th.

P.P.S. I'm not going to link to any of the many articles about the possible reboot of the Indiana Jones franchise (a.k.a. Indiana Jones 5 or 6)  because the only way to end reboot culture and get some actual NEW material up in here is for the media and the public to start ignoring these creatively bankrupt cash-ins that desperately want to keep giving us things we've already had.

What happened to youthful rebellion, I ask? Why do kids today want to see watered down versions of their parents favorite heroes instead of getting their own? Katniss aside, it's ALL their parents heroes over and over again.


Streep Finally Listens, Gets Real Director.

We've been harping on Meryl Streep's extraordinary lack of interest in working with A list directors who might actually, you know, direct her for a decade. She's finally working with one. She's now attached to Ricky and the Flash and, juvenile sounding title aside, it sounds like a potential winner.

She'll play a rock star trying to reconnect with her estranged children when her career peters out. The script is by clever Diablo Cody and in the director's chair, none other than Oscar winner Jonathan Demme. He's quite gifted with actresses having previously directed arguably career best work from actresses as diverse as Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married), Melanie Griffith (Something Wild), and Jodie Foster (Silence of the Lambs). He also guided Michelle Pfeiffer, once his favorite actress, in her best romantic comedy outing (Married to the Mob). More...

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