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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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Back to Back Oscars for Eddie?

""The Molly Ringwald Story"?." -Rick

"I can't help but think there is going to be significantly more backlash here after Dallas Buyers Club. Also, is trans the new Oscar-bait? I don't know how to feel about that." -BD

 

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Tuesday
Dec172013

Team FYC: Her for Best Cinematography

Team FYC lets Film Experience contributors highlight their favourite fringe contenders for awards season. Here's Amir Soltani on Spike Jonze's Her.

In recent years, the Academy's cinematography award has been handed out in tandem with the best visual effects one. It has become an inevitability: if there is a best picture nominee that can be described as a "visual spectacle" is present, it will win both awards. This year will be no exception with Gravity, and if I were to put money on it, I'd a hazard a guess that Christopher Nolan's Interstellar will be the beneficiary of AMPAS's infatuation with big, effects driven cinema in this category next year. But Dutch cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema shouldn't need to wait another year for his first Oscar nomination.

With Spike Jonze's Her, van Hoytema adds yet another impressive entry to a decade-long resume that already boasts an astonishing range of styles. The soft, colorless hues of Let the Right One In and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy are more easily recognizable as the works of the same DP, but the scrappy, hand-held look of The Fighter is almost a 180 degree turn. Her has shades of van Hoytema's collaborations with Tomas Alfredsson, but is infinitely more vibrant. Perhaps more than any other film this year, the cinematography here needs to be recognized as a collective achievement with the works of the production and costume design teams as it brings their colors and sleek, intimate designs to life, but contains them under extremely soft lighting. It is richly realized but also suitably representative of the cyberspace; think of it as beautifulhandwrittenletters.com incarnate.

In a way, Her's aesthetic is one of contrasts. It is bursting with reds and pinks but it feels melancholy. It is sensitive but equally icy. It seems perfectly appropriate for a film about "artificial" intelligence, creating a landscape that looks ethereally digital, but also oddly palpable. It's apt, because Her is as much about our future as it is about our modern condition and van Hoytema’s work captures that contrast beautifully. Will Academy voters recognize his genius? Does the strong critical response to the film tell us anything about its Oscar hopes? It is certainly possible. Then again, it wouldn’t be the first time a Spike Jonze finds favor with critics and no luck with AMPAS. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

Monday
Dec162013

The "Original Song" Eligibility List. Hum Along

Look, I enjoyed the "Please Mr Kennedy" song scene in Inside Llewyn Davis as much as anyone -- I was laughing out loud -- but I am curious why people ALWAYS want novelty songs to be honored for gold? Is it because they don't take the Original Song category seriously? I'm still pissed that everyone was rooting for the 30 Rock gag song "Rural Juror" to beat Smash beauty "Hang the Moon" for the parallel Emmy category! "Please Mr Kennedy", which has been nominated for the "Critics Choice" and the Golden Globe is not Oscar eligible but here are the 75 songs that are.

As for other non Mr Kennedy songs that make great scenes from their movies? Just know that we're rooting for "So You Know What It's Like" from Short Term 12 and "Moon Song" from Her. If the former happens can we all agree to pretend it's as good as a supporting actor nomination for Keith Stanfield? Any other FYCs out there from this list? Which movies do you think use their songs well? 

OSCAR'S ELIGIBILITY LIST - BEST ORIGINAL SONG
5 will go on to Oscar nominations

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec162013

100 of the Oldest Living Screen Stars of Note

Updated on 06/13/2014

With the recent back-to-back departures of Peter O'Toole and Joan Fontaine I've been really bummed about losing great artists from Hollywood's Golden Age. The Golden Age is roughly considered to be from Hollywood's 1930s through the 1950s. I still hadn't recovered from the loss of Eleanor Parker, an underappreciated actress I had honestly planned a retrospective of but never got around to. 

One morning in my movie grief I inadvertently killed dozens of people off on twitter by claiming there were only six stars of the Golden Age still living. So consider this list my penance. In the past I've published a semi-annual list of all living Oscar-vets in any capacity. It was never meant to be a morbid countdown list but a way for us to honor people while they're still theoretically conscious of our appreciation for their indelible contributions. So though I normally publish such a list on Ms. Luise Rainer's birthday and it normally includes all crafts, I thought I'd publish an actor specific list that is NOT about Oscar... so send out telepathic waves of appreciation to these talents. Rent one of their movies this month!

100 OLDEST LIVING SCREEN STARS OF NOTE

 DISCLAIMER: Not all screen actors who are old enough for this list are represented. We had to stop somewhere lest the list become a full time job. 

01 Luise Rainer (1/12/10) 
She is 104 going on 105 ♫... that doesn't have a great ring to it but The Sound of Music is such an earworm and Hollywood did like to pretend she was Austrian nicknaming her "The Viennese Teardrop" (she was actually German but that wouldn't do in late 30s Hollywood). Oscar's first back-to-back Acting winner for The Great Ziegfeld (1936) and The Good Earth (1937) was recently name-checked not so flatteringly in Hitchcock (2011) but she can handle it. The outspoken actress was very vocal about what she thought of Hollywood, her unsatisfying films, and "The Oscar Curse" which she doesn't believe in. Other key works: Not really. Her acting career was short-lived.

02 Lupita Tovar (7/27/1910)
Appeared in the Spanish Dracula (1931), mother to Oscar nominee Susan Kohner and grandmother to the Weitz brothers who are now directors in Hollywood 

03 Mary Carlisle (2/3/1914)
B movie actress of the 1930s in films like Baby Face Morgan

04 Norman Lloyd (11/08/14) Actor and producer. 

05 Eli Wallach (12/7/1915)
This beloved character actor and recent Honorary Oscar recipient, played "Mr Freeze" on the Batman TV series. He's most famous for frequent television apperances and for his role as "Tuco" in The Good The Bad and The Ugly (1966).  In terms of contemporary film, he popped up in Oscar favorite Mystic River (2003) and his most recent acting gig was in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010). Other Key Works: He was busiest from the late 50s through early 60s stretching from Baby Doll (1956 - Golden Globe Nomination) to The Magnificent Seven (1960) and on throughThe Misfits (1961) and Moon Spinners (1964).

06 Olivia de Havilland (7/1/1916) 
The oldest truly enduring movie star on this list had won Best Actress twice by the time she was 33 for To Each His Own (1946) and The Heiress (1949). Olivia's legend was cemented years earlier than either of her Oscar wins, though, with her first nomination as the kind-hearted "Melanie" in the immortal Gone With the Wind (1939). She is the one of the only four remaining living actors with speaking roles from that historic film. The Snake Pit (1948) and Hold Back the Dawn (1941) also won her Oscar attention. Other Key Works: Maid Marian in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), My Cousin Rachel (1952), and Light in the Piazza (1962). 

100+ more wonderful talents after the jump

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec162013

Linkomaniac

Pajiba Frozen/Star Wars poster mashup
Total Film
now that the Weinsteins have access to their Miramax back-catalogue expect sequels. Shakespeare in Love 2 is coming at you (no, this is not a satirical Onion style post)
Variety Disney is planning a Jesse Owens biopic centered around the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Rich subject though it will obviously be easy to slide into pandering "inspirational"
/Film
at press conference James Cameron compares his Avatar sequels to The Godfather trilogy. Oh Jimmy. I love you more than just about anyone but less talking (you're no good at it!) and more filmmaking (you're great at it!)
Cinema Blend
first teaser for Gregg Araki's White Bird in a Blizzard with Eva Green and Shailene Woodley
In Contention Kris Tapley's top ten list featuring Mud, All is Lost, The Place Beyond the Pines and more

small screen and miscellania
Towleroad first images from Ryan Murphy's adaptation of The Normal Heart
Slate
on the big problem with Masters of Sex. I absolutely agree with this but for me the show is great enough to overcome it... which is saying a lot since Bill Masters (Michael Sheen) is the lead
BuzzFeed 24 reasons why Cher is the Queen of Twitter 

Today's Best Movie Anything!
God bless Screen Daily for uncovering this gem...

In a week when American film critics organization have been tripping over each other to bestow awardage which, even when thoughtful can feel totally boring, a Danish Film Critics group have shown the world how it's done. They've mocked themselves up in character posters a la Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac to promote their awards (on February 1st) - note their outlet instead of character name on the posters. Nymphomaniac will be eligible for their prizes since it opens for Christmas in Denmark. This makes me want to read every single damn one of these critics weekly so a job well done!

Monday
Dec162013

Online Film Critics Society chooses 12 Years a Slave

Tim here - I won't keep you very long, since it's just another damn critics' award, but the OFCS has announced its winners this morning, with 12 Years a Slave winning five times, including only the second award that Michael Fassbender has received from any group to date. The asterisk here is that Her wasn't made widely available to the membership at large before the conclusion of voting, and it's the kind of film that tends to do well with OFCS.

The full list:

Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave
Best Animated Feature: The Wind Rises
Best Film Not in the English Language: Blue Is the Warmest Color
Best Documentary: The Act of Killing
Best Director: Alfonso CuaronGravity
Best Actor: Chiwetel Ejiofor12 Years a Slave
Best Actress: Cate BlanchettBlue Jasmine
Best Supporting Actor: Michael Fassbender12 Years a Slave
Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong’o12 Years a Slave
Best Original Screenplay: Her
Best Adapted Screenplay: 12 Years a Slave
Best Editing: Gravity
Best Cinematography: Gravity

Special Awards:
Best Sound Design and Best Visual Effects to Gravity
To Roger Ebert, for inspiring so many of our members

Top Ten films Without a U.S. Release:


Closed Curtain
Gloria
Like Father, Like Son
Our Sunhi
R100
The Rocket
Stranger By the Lake
We Are the Best!
Le Week-End
Why Don’t You Play in Hell?