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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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Amy Adams for Janis Joplin

"It's baffling to me that Amy Adams will potentially have as many nominations as Blanchett, Winslet, Maggie Smith, Vanessa Redgrave, Thelma Ritter, Deborah Kerr, Sissy Spacek, and Glenn Close. This is weird, right?" -Aaron

"What is happening with Nina Arianda's Janis film with Sean Durkin? It's still listed as "announced" on her IMDB. Are we to assumed that it is a lost cause?" -Ryan

 

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Saturday
Dec292012

Que Sera Sera, Whatever We'll Link, We'll Link

Roger Ebert delivers his top ten list with Argo up top. Ebert's always been a fairly mainstream Oscar-Friendly voice so it's no surprise to see three of the (presumed) top six Best Picture nominees at the very top. But it's nice to see lesser discussed titles like End of Watch and Oslo August 31st getting their due.
In Contention details a prestigious win that I didn't know about for the French film Farewell My Queen, one of my favorites
IMDb the most pirated movie of 2012 was... Project X. Huh. 


NPR ooh, I missed this interview earlier in the year. Doris Day reflecting on her life and career 
The Guardian here's a fun top ten list if you're feeling that new holiday weight: the best onscreen personal trainers from Mr Miyagi (The Karate Kid) to Pai Mei (Kill Bill)
/Film Test footage for animation/live action hybrid crimes against my childhood: Hong Kong Phooey and Marvin the Martian 

Les Línkables
Vulture Kyle and Amanda argue over Les Misérables with a side of Disneyland
Kelli Marshall pummels considers Les Miz of which she is (previously) a fan
The New Yorker on the consistent greatness of the property and "a continuity of culture" in which the old stories can still be the best
Guardian looks back on Tom Hooper's career. I always forget that the much-loathed director (at least on the internet) made so many wildly acclaimed TV films before moving to the big screen
International Business Times reports that the soundtrack is selling briskly -- I received mine yesterday (thanks Universal peeps!) -- and looks back at the most popular film soundtracks ever. Speaking of which...
Atlantic Wire the music is stuck in our heads forever... again.

Pretty soon everyone will be humming "One Day More" or "Master of the House" and will not be able to stop, and there will be nowhere to escape it. We will all become Les Mis zombies like it's the '80s or something. It might be fun for the first few days, communal and all that, but after a couple of weeks, we'll all be wishing for the same sweet sickness that sent Fantine to heaven.

It's true. Just yesterday I sang the most amazing Les Miz MegaMix in the shower.


Click on the photo if you missed my earlier post on Zero Dark's screenplay

Today's Must Read
Salon Andrew O'Hehir has written the piece on Zero Dark Thirty I've been longing to read. This provocative essay looks at all sides of the argument and the confusing evasions of Mark Boal and Kathryn Bigelow, and doesn't retreat to the frustrating polarized agendas we've been reading like "it's Reifenstahl-level evil and totally pro-torture!" or "people who think so aren't paying any attention" (Subtext: it just can't be pro-torture because I've already expressed my love for it and what does that say about me?!?)

Saturday
Dec292012

Kristen Stewart is a Rock Star and Other "On The Road" Discoveries

The Scene: September* 2012, NYC. An industry screening and cocktail party for On the Road.

Kristen Stewart stood at the front of the crowded screening room in a white oversized dress shirt and black slacks. Director Walter Salles and co-star Garrett Hedlund stood beside her and she shifted nervously while they all spoke to the assembled Academy and Guild members and small pockets of press types like me. The "stop looking at me" vibe, already familiar from her many public appearances rippled outward. One wants celebrities to enjoy the rarified air they breathe, both because success is a beautiful coveted trophy and because careers in the public eye require being looked at to achieve any degree of it. I've written about my discomfort with her discomfort before in a piece that was provocatively called "Jodie Foster is Wrong: On the Mandatory Price of Fame." Yet, through the course of the evening I found myself reconsidering her particulars.

Kristen Stewart does her randiest (and maybe her best) work ever in "On the Road".

*Yes, this scene I've set took place in September.

I foolishly didn't write about the party immediately thereafter though it happened to be the first awards season get together of 2012 as "the Doyenne of Buzz" Peggy Siegal reminded us in welcome. Even then On the Road (The Movie) seemed to be as lost in time as its protagonists were on the map as they drove and drove, searching for connection, energy, sex, thrills, drugs, music -- anything that felt alive. I knew the film wouldn't open until the tail end of the year in limited release (possibly near you) and I wondered, as I often do, what I'm to do as a film blogger about movies that remain so elusive, movies with strange and distant release dates. Films, like movie stars, are invented to be looked at, but many of them hide despite the best efforts of publicists, filmmakers and journalists who are eager to embrace them and discuss them with moviegoers.

[I worried, even then, that this moody sweaty retro film would be utterly ignored in the crush of Shiny Noisy Awards-Baiting Behemoths. The Adult-Oriented Christmas Multiplex Glut is simply no place for a film that so pointedly craves wide open spaces and young hormonal surges. I'm mystified that the distributor (Sundance Selects) didn't choose to open this one somewhere between July and October, much more comfortable climates for its subject matter and appeal.]

Very briefly at the after-party I spoke with Kristen Stewart about the green splint on her finger which I had mistaken for an oversized piece of costume jewelry. She told me I wasn't the first and held it up, not for my benefit but for her own 'why do people keep mentioning that?' contemplation. I never learned how she'd hurt her finger and that's all we said to each other. But in the little circles that form themselves around The Talent at these industry parties, she seemed perfectly content, if still a bit restless, to be talking to other people in her profession. As I left the party I felt a little bad about my impatience with her celebrity unease because up close and impersonal, I suddenly saw it from a different and I assume clearer perspective. Kristen Stewart isn't, in spirit, a movie star but a rock star. Rock stars are allowed more antagonistic friction between themselves and the world. Sometimes they're even rewarded for it.

...all of those smashed-up guitars.

Hedlund & Stewart. True Lust Forever.

This is, quite obviously, why Stewart's previous best performance to date was as Joan Jett in The Runaways. And it has to be why she's so mesmerizing again as the untamed teenage bride "Marylou".

Stewart's fame far outstrips that of her male leads but for all her screen magnetism in this particular role, the true star of On the Road is Garret Hedlund as "Dean Moriarty" the object of nearly everyone's affection. Hedlund made his way through that same September party with an eager friendliness in amusing unintentional direct contrast to his co-star. It's remarkably easy to fall in deep like with him and in the film it's impossible not to fall in deep love. Were On the Road to be more widely seen, Hedlund's explosive sexuality as Dean coupled with the quality of his acting would make him an instant 'cast him in everything!' sensation. On the Road doesn't always work but Hedlund's star turn definitely does.

I recently screened the film a second time and left with the same impression. The same impression that the film wisely underlines. The classic book and this film version both conclude with a confessional mantra: 

I think of Dean Moriarty. I think of Dean Moriarty. I think of Dean Moriarty."

I dare you to see the film and leave thinking of anything else.

previously
more Kristen Stewart
more Garrett Hedlund 

Friday
Dec282012

Who Were The Most Beautiful Men Ever To Hit the Screen?

If you're tired of all the bickering and partisanship from this very young Oscar season (We've got 8 more weeks of people fighting about Les Miz and whether or not Zero Dark endorses torture. Have...uh... fun!) why not choose sides on a much different less weighty topic? 

Boy Culture has launched a very extensive opinion piece on the History's 100 Hottest Movie Actors. It might be the perfect antidote right about now if you honestly can't take one more "Argo F*** Yourself" joke, Ode to Lincoln, or "Jennifer or Jessica?" blog post.

Only half of Matthew's list is currently up but there's already an impressive range of eras (a list which stretches from Rudolph Valentino through Colin Farrell is okay by me, clock-wise), nationalities, talent levels (from none to cup overflowing) and fame curve in the 50 men selected. If Takeshi Kaneshiro and Jude Law aren't top ten'ers I will pay for Matthew's next optometrist visit.

Who would you put in a top ten list?

Friday
Dec282012

Dlink. The D is Silent

Mandatory the 100 funniest tweets of the year. Some of the movie folk who get punchlined: Liam Neeson, Helena Bonham Carter, Johnny Depp.
Nicole's Magic Scans from Paris Match -- Nicole Kidman looks great as Grace of Monaco
E! Anjelica Huston is PETA's person of the year
i09 Futuristic predictions that came true this year
The Lost Boys farewell to Peter Knegt's long running blog.
Slate I've been talking a lot recently about people being hideous jerks when it comes to the topic of Les Misérables so here is a negative review from Dana Stevens which I think is completely fairly written and actually pretty clever in some of its digs. I've only ever asked that people be fair about it and state their biases if they have them (Stevens doesn't like the source material).

Unreality looks for gender flipping of Star Wars in the cosplay community. Sadly the gallery has no Prince Leia Lee. WTF?
Cinema Blend Quentin Tarantino wants to make a third revisionist history revenge flick called Killer Crow. This saddens me as Tarantino hasn't made a non-revenge themed film since Jackie Brown. That's a long time to be working one kind of narrative template, even if you do it extremely well.
Shadow & Act the actress who plays "Coco" in Django Unchained, a slave in a French maid's uniform, speaks about her experience on the film. And while we're on the topic ...

Spike & Quentin
I feel bad for Spike Lee. I really do. Even when people are trying to be fair to him, they end up dissing him. Press Play's Steven Boone wrote an excellent provocative piece on Django Unchained that has measured compliments for Spike Lee's work but it's still basically a slap.

Not to say that Django is an exceptionally subtle piece of work. Both Spike and Quentin have a Sam Fuller tendency to go all-caps, tabloid large when staging bits of provocation that would be juicy all on their own. But let's just lay it on the table: Tarantino is the better filmmaker, by many miles.

Meanwhile We Are Respectable Negroes reviews the movie (Quentin's) that does exist but still ends up critiquing an imaginary movie that doesn't (Spike's). And though the article is really interesting and makes strong points about the imaginary movie that's maybe still wildly unfair once you stop to think about it.

Meanwhile Quentin and others like Sarah Silverman are defending the controversial rampant use of the "N" word in the movie on the grounds that it's a period piece set during the time of Slavery. Which is a basically a solid defense. But I think the reason Quentin sounds like such an asshole spelling that out is because he's always used the word rampantly in his movies, even when that excuse was nowhere to be found.

ANYWAY... Spike really was in a lose-lose situation with Django Unchained. If he spoke against it without seeing it he'd be dissed. If he made anything like it he'd be crucified whereas Tarantino is celebrated (hi, double standards). If he hadn't said anything people would have surely kept asking him to. So he said that Slavery wasnt a Spaghetti Western but a Holocaust (which is true, duh) and now everyone is pissed at him. Would they still be pissed at him if he saw the movie and still said that? I think so. 

Today's Must Read
The Vote discusses the biggest problem with Oscar this year: the early voting deadline. Jon concludes with the message I'm always trying to send to the Academy which is basically this: Stop worrying and just be you. I'm glad others are starting to carry this message because my voice was lonely and choruses are louder. The Academy is Goliath. There is no David. And yet they're constantly changing to dodge the phantom slingshots. 

 

Friday
Dec282012

13 Days...

...until Oscar nominations hit.

Are you ready?

Thursday
Dec272012

Interview: Eddie Redmayne Talks Live-Singing, Skinny-Dipping, Name-Calling

If there's a surprise name called out as one of the Best Supporting Actors this year on Oscar Nomination morning, might it be Eddie Redmayne? The rapidly ascending 30 year-old actor, a recent Tony winner for "Red" on Broadway, stood in as surrogate for our enduring communal crush on Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams) in My Week With Marilyn just last season but the spotlight is even brighter now. Les Misérables' entire second act romantic structure spins on his swooning revolutionary Marius. In one of the quirks of movie awardage, male actors aren't generally honored for their facility with romantic drama, but Redmayne's secret weapon could well be his rendition of the grief stricken show-stopper "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" in which he mourns his fallen brothers who died at the lonely barricades... at dawn. He'll undoubtedly jerk at least some tears from the Academy's acting branch this week as they finalize their ballots (due on January 3rd).

Marius is getting married! Eddie Redmayne in "Les Misérables"

I asked Redmayne about the massive pressure he must have felt approaching this famous number in Les Misérables and our conversation stretched back to Oliver! The Musical on stage and on through his non-musical duets with Cate Blanchett, Julianne Moore, and Michelle Williams in his young but vivid filmography. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec272012

Interview: Kerry Washington on "Django" & Diversity

Kerry Washington and I were both blindfolded if not gagged when we spoke about Django Unchained. Metaphorically, you'll understand. Neither of us had yet seen Quentin Tarantino's latest revisionist revenge flick when we found a window in her schedule to talk but talk we did.

Kerry Washington as "Broomhilda" in Django Unchained

Amusingly we had quite different feelings about not having yet seen it. I was desperate to attend a screening. Kerry was, apparently, not. When I asked her if she enjoyed watching her films she laughed with a "No!" and a shudder...

It's a process I force myself to endure. Usually not more than once.

For the rest of us the prospect of seeing one of the screen's most stunning actresses is a lot more enticing than 'something to endure'. Since Kerry's big screen roles have rarely been as sizeable as her talent, a key role from an A list auteur is something to treasure while we have it.

In Django Unchained, Kerry found herself in the unusual position of playing a relatively non-verbal part considering the dialogue heavy nature of Tarantino pictures. She plays Broomhilda von Shaft, the wife of freed slave Django (Jamie Foxx) who aims to rescue her from the sadistic plantation of Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) where she currently resides.

Our conversation about Django, her TV work, and the politics of her screen career is after the jump.

Click to read more ...