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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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JASON CLARKE INTERVIEW

"I loved Clarke's scenes with Edgerton in The Great Gatsby. I thought, oh now I'm watching men not boys, and now I'm watching actors not movie stars.-Adri

"He has become someone I look for in films because he always comes across with such honesty." -Henry

 

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Tuesday
Jan012013

Curio: Frank Langella at 75

Alexa here. I just couldn't let the day pass without paying tribute to Frank Langella on his 75th birthday. He has always been one of my favorite actors; something about his unctuous classicism makes him appear to be a larger-than-life Caravaggio, and my gothic sensibilities have only truly been satisfied with his turn as Dracula. His work continues to intrigue; 2007's Starting Out in the Evening was a recent high point in a career that has spanned more than 50 years. Plus, he revealed himself to be quite the debauched dandy in his memoir Dropped Names, making him all the more endearing (read what Nathaniel had to say about it here; it really is a fun read). 

 

I'm enough of a fan that I invested in an Edward Gorey-illustrated poster from his Broadway turn in Dracula, and I still hold on to my VHS copies of two of his early films... [more]

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec312012

One Day More (of Oscar Voting)

Everyone join them in a rousing chorus of "One Day More ♫"I think this must be a first. In the response to technical difficulties and voting problems with their new online balloting system, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has extended Oscar nomination balloting by a single day. Ballots are now due by Friday January 4th, by paper or online, instead of January 3rd. (The nominees will still be announced on January 10th). I'm not sure how much 24 hours will help but given all the long-ass movies on offer, but it can't actually hurt. (I've taken their cue and also given myself a couple more days on my top 20ish list so that starts on Thursday.) 

So herewith my plea to voters:

Have a Great 2013 Academy Members!
It's Nathaniel at the Film Experience. One of the ways you can make the new year happy is by really thinking over your ballot. So many film fans obsess over your choices.

And though you'll never please everyone, those Supporting lineups are going to be so much more exciting (think of the Oscar night clips!) if you include Matthew McConaughey in Magic Mike and Nicole Kidman in The Paperboy. No matter what you think of either film, great risky artistic stretching from big stars shouldn't be tossed aside just because the film containing it isn't being widely "considered" in any other way if you know what I mean. I mean why give all the nominations to the frontrunning heavyweights like Lincoln, Les Miz, and Argo when there's so much good work out there in so many films! Put in those Beasts of the Southern Wild and Moonrise Kingdom screeners (to name just two examples) -- aren't you curious? -- and see how visually and sonically rich movies can be without mega-budgets.

Finally, here's to the underdogs -- have you seen Perks of Being a Wallflower or Anna Karenina or Middle of Nowhere or Amour or Compliance yet? You've got a whole extra day. Stay in and watch some movies!

 

Monday
Dec312012

Year in Review: The Best LGBT Characters

Over at my weekly (okay, bi-weekly) column at Towleroad, I put up my annual review of the best queer characters of the film year. The year's most acclaimed gay narrative feature was obviously Keep the Lights On but since I didn't personally respond to that one I had to look elsewhere for my favorite gay characters. Likewise, many will wish for more love for that dandy Cloud Atlas couple of Sixsmith and Forbrisher.

But I made room for films as diverse as On the Road, ParaNorman, and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The most controversial bit of the top ten will probably be the section I like to call "The 'Are They Or Aren't They?' Box Set" which begins like so..

With the ever increasing number of gay-identified characters it's less of a parlor game to imagine the characters who might well be queer than it used to be but it's still fun: Tomboy does not always equal lesbian but regardless of her orientation  "Princess Merida" in Brave really shakes up the heteronormative Disney fairytale world merely by being utterly uninterested and even opposed to that Someday When Her Prince Might Come; The chorus of townsfolk who continually sound off on "Bernie" in Bernie argue about whether he's cruising for men on the sly or sleeping with rich widow Shirley Maclaine but both sound pretty gay to me...

...READ THE REST @ TOWLEROAD

 

Previously on 'Year in Review' 
James Bond Mania -Bond Girl Reader Ranking. (+ Silva)
The Year in of Snow White the apple muching fairest of them all was everywhere
Overrated Amy Adams, superheroes, film critics, and more
Worst of 2012 Cloud Atlas, The Amazing Spider-Man, and more
Summer Crushes Pt. 1 and Summer Crushes Pt. 2

Best of the Blog from...
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October and November

Monday
Dec312012

Happy Birthday Hannah (Plus: New Year's Resolutions)

Oops. Now I've ruined Kate Winslet's surprise for Hannah! It's a birthday cake.I've always felt bad for people whose birthdays fall around the holidays. They have to share the spotlight with something huge and impersonal (to them) and I hope that they pretend that the world around them is just celebrating their special day with a holiday-themed blowout party. So when I learned that Hannah M, a devoted member of the The Film Experience community was born on New Year's Eve I vowed to wish her a happy birthday this year. So...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY HANNAH!

And happy birthday to any of you reading who were born during holidays of any sort. I hereby vow as one of  my New Year's Resolution to bring back the 'Reader Spotlight' in 2013. That was fun when we were doing it.

As for other resolutions about life here on the blog, feel free to make suggestions in the comments though I'll be aiming for more interviews (albeit more spaced out), video blogging and festival coverage (maybe if I can find the money) and more commemorative hoopla for special films and actors. As always your comments, donations, subscriptions (see right hand sidebar), sharing and liking, and retweeting and whatnot are invaluable to keeping TFE going since this has always been a passion project indie site surrounded by behemoth corporate movie blogs. And more and more of them each year, too! It's not easy. Every year I think it'll be my last and then I here from one of you about what the site means to you or see the odd new subscription donation (one cup of coffee a month - cheap!) and I start typing again.

The point is. The site would have folded long ago without its passionate readership. So here's to next year (we survived 2012!)

MAY YOU ALL HAVE A MEMORABLE NEW YEARS EVE!

And here's to 2013 being a huge step up from 2012, which was a tough year for so many people around the world.

Be safe tonight. xoxoxo

-Nathaniel

 

Monday
Dec312012

Reader Rank: 2012's 007 Mania featuring the Bond Girls

Though we've really just begun our Year in Review of 2012 no such survey would be feel complete without at least a perfunctory visit to the shadowy world of super spy Bond, James Bond. Skyfall, the 23rd official James Bond feature released to coincide with the franchise's 50th anniversary is already the top grossing Bond of all time with $1 billion at the global box office. That's enough cash to get any Bond Villain (or Bond Villain parody) rubbing his fingers together with greed "one beeeeeeeiiiillion dollars"

Bérénice Marlowe as "Severine" in SKYFALL

Just before Skyfall came out I asked readers to submit their own rankings of the Bond films. It's such a big tallying project that I think I'll have to save the main results for the Skyfall DVD release (so if you still want to submit your ballot email it to me with "Bond Rank" in the title line and make sure to rank every Bond film you've seen in the email). I have finished the less strenuous task of tabulating the numbers for your favorite Bond Girls. How does the newbie Bérénice Marlohe as Severine stack up for all of you? I personally thought she was sensational with a lethal mix of smooth outer beauty and deep inner terror that had me imagining the feeling of skating on dangerously thin ice that's cracking loudly underneath your feet. I've included her in my "sexpot of the year" nominees. Pity that she has to share that new Film Bitch Awards page with her captor/lover Silva (Javier Bardem) who is nominated in the "villain of the year" category. 

cue theme music....

READER'S RANK: THE BEST BOND GIRLS

Maud Adams has the Trivia Bonus distinction of having played two different Bond Girls in her career. "Andrea" in The Man With the Golden Gun (1974) and the title character in Octopussy (1983)

Honorable Mentions (aka 007 More Women Who Scored Well With Readers): Natalya (GoldenEye), Tatiana (From Russia With Love), Elektra King (The World is Not Enough), Malina Havelock (For Your Eyes Only), Fiona Volpe (Thunderball) and Maud Adams as Octopussy. I love this comment about the latter from Andrew:

The character is not that much fun in the movie itself, but just the fact that she's basically a brothel madam named "Octopussy" is pretty great."

The 007 Top Girls with a few key reader quotes after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Dec302012

Had Your Self a Misérable Little Christmas?

Another big cash grab day is ahead for the movies as New Year's Day approaches. But for this weekend the winners are clear. Django Unchained & Les Misérables much ballyhooed "Sad Off" was a true contest for wintry dollars with Tarantino's controversial slavery comedy revenge fantasy eventually pulling out in front of the musical. But the war for profit puts Les Miz in winner's position since it's already equalled it's budget in just the first six days. Django has a ways to go for that milestone but let's not nitpick as they're both true hits. 

Box Office Chart repurposed from Box Office Mojo

In fact, it's been a good box office year for Oscar-buzzing players. Affleck and Spielberg's pictures were both $100 million grossers with Lincoln still going strong. Pi & Playbook have solid sales - they didn't embarrass themselves. Of the front-running Oscar six only Zero Dark Thirty has been little seen but that's a function of timing and platforming rather than audience choice. If Zero Dark Thirty doesn't delay its expansion for too long it seems certain to demolish The Hurt Locker's gross in no time.

Did you see both Django & Les Miz over the break?

I almost went to The Hobbit but abruptly changed my mind and tweeted as much:

 

 

Oh sweet relief! I really do feel it.

Sunday
Dec302012

Did You Gag on "Killer Joe"?

My screenings these past two weeks -- cram session! -- to complete year end business, have been like one wild tonal shift after another swinging as they have from meta rib-nudging (Seven Psycopaths) to the hormonally twee (Take This Waltz), severely depressed (Oslo August 31st) and on through the defiantly stiff and self-medicated (The Deep Blue Sea)... I can't possibly write about them all. But I did feel the night to blurt out (choke out?) a few sentences on William Friedkin's Killer Joe based on the play of the same name by Tracy Letts.

Friedkin and Letts aren't quite joined at the hip as collaborators go despite the Oscar winning filmmaker taking the cinematic reigns on both Bug and Joe. Letts most acclaimed play August: Osage County went to another filmmaker though it's fascinating to think what Friedkin might have done with the material. He is, after all, at least as willing as Letts to attack his material with edgy flair, wicked humor and artistic abandon... for better and worse.

[NC17 madness and two SPOILER images after the jump]

Click to read more ...