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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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Thursday
Jul182013

Emmy Nominations Repeat Series But Fresh Notes in Acting Categories

Emmy is a beautiful lithe but deadly woman. Look at the lines in her figure! Each year she holds the world of television in her tiny gold hands but unless you're the one holding her you get jabbed by the dagger like wings.  Herewith the lucky official nominees of Emmy 2013 and the less fortunate players who should wear protective gear when approaching her.

DRAMA

OUTSTANDING DRAMA
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
Homeland
House of Cards
Mad Men

Series & Acting noms / commentary after the jump

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jul182013

Special Note to New England Readers

Maureen Stapleton in Interiors (1978)If you're anywhere near Troy or Sarasota Springs, NY this weekend there's two special events you might want to attend should you fancy a summer drive or a little movie-educational fun.

3:00 PM in Troy, NY
TFE reader Billy (who we've interviewed before in "reader spotlight") is hosting the final gallery tour of an exhibit in honor of Maureen Stapleton at the Rensselaer County Historical Museum. Billy's been a lifelong fan of the legendary stage and film actress who cherished her hometown of Troy. He even got to meet her and hold her Oscar. He's sharing his private collection, her Oscar winning moment, and speaking about her career in this guided tour. Champagne toast to end the afternoon! [$5 admission]

12:00-4:00 PM in Sarasota Springs, NY
Nearby in Sarasota Springs they're celebrating Solomon Northup day at Skidmore College. Northup, a Sarasota Springs native, is the subject of the new film 12 Years a Slave. In addition to guest speakers educating you on the man to be played by Chiwetel Ejiofor in the movie, Fox Searchlight says they'll be showing a bit of footage from the movie.  [Free to the public]

I just made your Saturday afternoon plan for you! You're welcome. If you plan on attending either, let me know

Wednesday
Jul172013

Teen Wolf in... a Hospital ☑ a Bank ☑ a Motel ☑ 

Lydia freaks out well and oftenWould you forgive me for continually not writing up Teen Wolf episodes if I gazed off into the distance like I was seeing something invisible and horrific, as psychic Lydia does, and let out a bloodcurdling scream? Because that is actually what I do each morning on my second cup of coffee when I realize I have about 45 minutes of free time for the next 12 hours of deadlines and demands and I've already wasted 15 of it on the first cup.

Let this post serve as my train-of-thought apology to those of you watching Teen Wolf which I hope you will accept and do, respectively. It won't be the last time I go "damn, I wish I had time to write up Teen Wolf!" but ...yeah. Moving on so we can catch up. 

Deucalion barks a lotThis season began, memorably, with an episode called "Tattoo" (written to accomodate star Tyler Posey's new tattoo... thus rationalizing the hilariously dumb 'how do werewolves get tattoos when they heal so fast?' C-plot). Since then it's settled into three repetitive mysteries. The first is about when a team of hateful alphas who want Derek (Tyler Hoechlin) to kill his pack will attack?Answer: Every episode. mystery solved! [more]

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jul172013

Best Shot: Mary Poppins Makes Your Heart Feel Light

Let me make one thing perfectly clear: Mary Poppins never explains anything! That's true of both the character and the film, actually. There's no back story (Hallelujah!) and no fussiness about the how and why of her "magic". (Sadly, this movie would never be made today when the mystery is drained from everything). More surprising for a family film there's very little overstating of its message (though Dick Van Dyke does a little bit of singing it directly to Mr. Banks just to make sure he's clear). If you don't believe me, really watch it again. Despite the imposing length (2 hours and 20 minutes) it's structurally smart and so light on its feet that it simply blows in on the East wind and then floats away when the super nanny's mission is accomplished. Like its heroine, the movie is practically perfect in every way.

"Cheeky" - my favorite shot of Julie Andrews in the film

I'll do my best to emulate her and keep my "best shot" explanation brief -- if only I could sing it! though it's a bittersweet task since, if I was choosing a different shot, I'd get to talk at length about how brilliant Julie Andrews is in the movie. Her Oscar win is one of the most unusual choices the Academy ever made for a Lead Acting trophy (no histrionics, no "clips", nothing one might define as Oscar-Bait) and one of their smartest, too. But I'll have to wax rhapsodic about Julie another time and jump right to my choice for Best Shot.

When I was a kid my favorite song in the movie was "Jolly Holiday". I'm not sure if it was because I wanted to dive into the chalk paintings or if I just found it catchy or if I just loved that incredibly funny moment when all the barnyard animals get solo lines and they each sound EXACTLY like a singing version of that animal should. As an adult I still love the song mostly because its such an accurate description of how one feels in Mary Poppins presence: light and grand... your heart starts beating like a big brass band.

Best Shot -- I wish I could see this on the big screen!

But, as anyone familiar with Mary Poppins know, there's a beautiful melancholy undercurrent to the plot and the feeling which is why I'm choosing this moment, right after the chalk painting adventure when Mary and the children have left Bert in the park. It's gray and stormy now but Bert's mood is unaltered. He keeps dancing in the rain, still enjoying the imagined holiday as the colors lose their shape but glow like memories.

This visual motif with a man in near silhouette with a telling splash of color is repeated again (only more empathically) in both the showstopping "Steppin' Time" number (blue) and when Mr Banks is fired from his job (red) but here is where it most beautifully summarizes the film's smart disposition (both firm and truthful but  loose and magical) and the color Mary brings to people's lives.

When the day is gray and ordinary
Mary makes the sun shine bright!

Mary Poppins warns us over and over again -- though not in hamfisted redundant ways -- that all things are temporary. One day childhood will end. Very soon the chalk paintings will wash away. As soon as the wind changes Mary herself will vanish. Mary Poppins would never say anything as mundane as "seize the day" but in her cheeky way she's making sure that we get that each day counts. She recommends feeding birds, flying kites, and a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down.

Best Shot Steppin' Time
Antagony & Ecstasy - on Julie Andrews' brilliant star turn
Allison Tooey - the feeling it gives
Encore Entertainment - Mary Poppins needs you to get your act together
Entertainment Junkie - on magical realism
Film Actually - defying logic, physics, and gravity
The Film's The Thing - a familiar silhouette
Manuel Betancourt - Julie Andrews Steppin' Time
Stale Popcorn - actually hates the movie!
Serious Film - praises David Tomlinson's Mr Banks
Victim of the Time - the measure of a woman
We Recycle Movies -on childhood nostalgia

Wednesday
Jul172013

Remember the Stanwyck

Fans of Classic Hollywood Goddesses will want to check out The Barbara Stanwyck Blog-a-thon which is apparently going on all this week.

A LOT of articles are scheduled and some are already up including a tribute to her sparkling hot costume in Ball of Fire (1941, my second favorite Babs performance!) and a litle Christmas in July action with Remember the Night (1940). I wish I'd known about this one in time to join. It was really fun to write and read about Double Indemnity earlier this summer and Stanwyck has a highly discussable extensive body of work that stretches all the way from classic 1930s Pre-Code talkies on through to hugely popular 1980s television soaps like The Thorn Birds and Dynasty. Anyone remember her on those?

What's your favorite Stanwyck role?

Wednesday
Jul172013

A Topic That Never Grows Old: Best Actress 1995

Elisabeth Shue had my vote among the Oscar nominees

With the time left -- you can have more money, you can drink all you want -- just stay. That's what I want. I want you to talk. Or listen. Just stay."

Alicia Silverstone, Clueless (MTV Winner, Globe Nominee)
Angela Bassett, Waiting to Exhale (Image Award Winner)
Annette Bening, The American President (Globe Nominee)
Gong Li, Shanghai Triad (None)
Joan Allen, Nixon (SAG Lead Nominee but Oscar Supporting Nominee)
Jennifer Jason Leigh, Georgia (NYFCC Winner, Spirit Nominee)
Jessica Lange, Rob Roy (None)
Julianne Moore, [safe] (Spirit Nominee)
Julie Delpy, Before Sunrise (None)
Kathy Bates, Delores Claiborne (Saturn Nominee)
Michelle Pfeiffer, Dangerous Minds (MTV Nominee, #1 Female Led Box Office Hit)
Nicole Kidman, To Die For (Globe Winner)
Sandra Bullock, While You Were Sleeping (Globe Nominee, #2 Female Led Box Office Hit)
Toni Collette, Muriel's Wedding (AFI Winner, Globe Nominee)

...and the Oscar nominees
Elisabeth Shue, Leaving Las Vegas 
Emma Thompson, Sense & Sensibility (won for Screenplay!)
Meryl Streep, The Bridges of Madison County (#3 Female Led Box Office Hit)
Sharon Stone, Casino (Globe Winner)
Susan Sarandon, Dead Man Walking (The Winner) 

*and I dedicate this list to Pocahontas in Pocahontas who I wish was a real actress

Such riches to choose from! Definitely in the running for Bestest Best Actress Year of All Time? Your ballots please.