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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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Saturday
Apr272013

Into The... Trainwreck?

For those of you who've had the pleasure of seeing Stephen Sondheim's classic Into the Woods (1986) on stage, you know that, like most of the great composer's once-prolific oeuvre, it is very particularly a Work of Theater. Some artists' skill sets transfer easily between stage, screen, television and literature and so on but others do not. Certain geniuses are so tied to a particular medium they become it; Stephen Sondheim IS Musical Theater. 

But musical theater is different from musical cinema. Naturally compromises will have to be made. The person doing the new compromising is Rob Marshall who Hollywood is still giving the musicals to, presumably because of the huge success of Chicago (2002) and not the floppery of Nine (2009). So yes, compromises must be made...  but they do not have to be made in casting. Many star actors -- if you're forced to cast that way -- have great singing voices. Les Misérables may have botched its casting of Javert (Ugh. Russell Crowe) but elsewhere Tom Hooper seemed to understand that beautiful melodic musical-friendly trained voices were required and could be found in big stars (Hathaway, Hackman, Seyfried) and rising ones (Tveit & Redmayne) and he cast accordingly... except for that bit about letting Helena Bonham-Carter "sing" again post-Sweeney Todd.

Unfortunately Hollywood loves to repeat its mistakes and somehow Sweeney Todd did NOT result in Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter being lifetime banned from future musicals ...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Apr262013

A Place in Your Cinematic Mind

What's going on in that movie-lovin' head of yours today?

 

Tell mama ...
Tell mama all.

Friday
Apr262013

"just the way you want it..."

...straight down the line."

Don't cross Barbara Stanwyck. Get all up in your noir this week with the classic Double Indemnity (1944), available on Netflix Instant Watch., Amazon Instant Video, or for purchase on iTunes.  We'll see you back here Wednesday night (5/1) for the next "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" episode. Join us!

Other Big Dates in Early May...
5/2: Summer Movie Madness kicks off with Iron Man 3 and big buckets of popcorn will be consumed right here.
5/7: Team Experience, which recently picked the best new millenial directors, returns with a list of the Best... nah, we won't spoil it ahead of time but trust - you won't want to miss it!
5/8: A mini 'Katharine Hepburn Fest' kicks off with a "best shot" for Summertime. We'll look at a few other movies, too.
5/10: The Great Gatsby. I'm worried but you know we'll be discussin'

Thursday
Apr252013

Some thoughts on the language barrier

For some people who live in the United States, this weekend will be their first opportunity to see Norway’s 2012 Best Foreign Language Film nominee Kon-Tiki in a movie theater. Sort of. In point of fact, nobody in the United States, not this weekend nor during the film’s limited roll-out, is going to see the film nominated for that Oscar, unless it’s because they’ve imported the unsubtitled DVD from Europe. Because the version of Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg’s movie playing in the States is a combination of footage from the “real” version that played in Norway, with dialogue sequences re-shot in English. It is, literally, a different movie, with the exact same plot and shot setups.

(The New York Times had a nifty little demonstration of the two versions a couple of weeks back)

We’re not here to rip apart the Weinstein Company for releasing that version (though seriously, it’s pretty dumb – the audience for Kon-Tiki in English is certainly not significantly larger than the audience for the original version), but to consider the greater questions it raises about watching foreign language movies in the first place. I assume that you, like me, are at least a little bit offended by this bit of Anglophonic pandering, and would all things considered, rather see Kon-Tiki in its original version, and the question I ask both you and myself is: why?

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr252013

Posterized: Michael Bay

I can't believe I'm doing this. It feels so perverse. But with the Notorious B.A.Y.'s 10th movie dropping this weekend, why not? Pain and Gain is winning generally favorable pre-release buzz for its dumb brute yuks and for Michael Bay's understanding of his own "gifts". And people are even asking if he's an "auteur"... which, well I called him that really early on because he is. Auteur means "author" so anyone with a clear ownership of their filmography -- where you can see their fingerprints all over their work -- qualifies. It doesn't mean "Great Filmmaker" though that tends to be how people use it.

Besides, I'm genuinely curious if you Film Experiencers have seen his movies. I've often bristled at the notion that movie buffs and cinephiles are elitist snobs. From my personal experience its the multiplex masses who are the true elitists, since they're so unlikely to seek out movies that are outside the mainstream comfort zones. Most "film snobs" I know will see just about anything and can find worth in just about any genre. Have any Michael Bay fans seen a film by Michael Haneke, Jane Campion or Lars von Trier?

Anyway... 

How many of Michael Bay's nine GIANT movies have you seen?

Bad Boys (1995), The Rock (1995), Armageddon (1997)
Remember when you couldn't escape these blockbusters? Actually I escaped them. I only saw Armageddon in theaters from Bay's Noisy Nineties Breakthrough period. Because his films were always on cable at one point I think I have seen sizeable portions of the others.

Pearl Harbor (2001), Bad Boys II (2003), The Island (2005)
Remember when Pearl Harbor had Oscar buzz. Hee!
Remember how profoundly uncool it was of Michael Bay to blame Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson for The Island's box office failure? As if they were to blame for him getting his arguably worst reviews.

Transformers (2007), Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009), Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
Michael Bay has been directing giant fucking robots (or the green screens where they will eventually be super-imposed) for the past half decade. Now he's got actors again, though he very wisely chose cartoonish ones.

How many of these blockbusters have you seen? I'm surprised to realize that I've seen only 3 in theaters though it feels like I've seen them all from their ubiquity. I do plan to see Pain & Gain. You?

Thursday
Apr252013

Reader Spotlight: Patrick in Germany

We're getting to know the Film Experience community one-by-one. This is going to take us forever! (That's a good thing. Thank you so much for being part of such a big vibrant fanbase.) Today we're talking to Patrick who lives in Germany and writes for DieAcademy.de, a German site devoted to our favorite awards show.

Hi, Patrick. How long have you been reading The Film Experience?

Maybe 6 years? I like this site so much since it's always interesting topics and wonderful to read.

I know you're really into the Oscars but how about the Lolas, Germany's own movie awards. Which German stars do you recommend our international readers get to know?

The Lolas are not as big of a deal as they should be, but I love some German actors who are still too unknown abroad but doing great work all the time, like: Sibel Kikelli (two time Lola winner for Gegen die Wand & Die Fremde), Susanne Lothar (a three time Lola nominee who died last year) and maybe the best young German actor of our generation August Diehl (who you've seen in Inglourious Basterds and Salt but he's been nominated for the Lola three times and won for "23"). It would be a great pleasure to read a post about any of them.

Two current German greats: August Diehl & Sibel Kekilli

Hey, surely you've noticed my love for Sibel Kekilli. So great every time (though it was weird to see her do that romantic comedy What a Man)

Yes I noticed that. I think she was the best of the cast in What a Man, too but not a good movie. But Head-On. What a performance!

Agreed. Name your three favorite movies in the following genres. Horror, Comedy, Drama, Musical and SciFi. Go...

Horror: The Exorzist, Psycho, Silence of the Lambs (if I put it into this genre)
Comedy: Some Like It Hot, Tootsie, Pillow Talk
Drama: The Godfather (1 & 2), American Beauty, All about Eve (if I could choose 5: Sunset Boulevard and The Hours)
Musical: West Side Story, Chicago, Moulin Rouge!
Sci-Fi: Alien & Aliens, Blade Runner, Terminator (1 & 2).

Do you care about a significant other's taste in movies?

The Answer ist YES! It sounds a bit overdone, but I have a problem with guys, who don't like Kate Winslet in general or have mainstream taste of movies and don't feel complex emotions. The movie that comes to mind is Brokeback Mountain. This movie is not about a gay couple, its about love and why two people can't be together because of external and internal circumstances. Heartbreaking! But I think some hearts are too cold to feel that and that is not what I am looking for. (I hope most readers will know what I mean?)

Patrick with his great love Kate Winslet

I understand you are kind of a lot obsessed with Kate Winslet. What other actors/actresses really grab you?

Julianne Moore. She's still so underappreciated it makes me burst me into tears. I also love Bette Davis, Thelma Ritter, Sean Penn, most of the work of Nicole Kidman and Michelle Williams, the 70s and 80s Work of Meryl Streep (but getting tired of her work after the brilliant Angels of America), Michael Fassbender, Ryan Gosling and many more.

Take an Oscar away. Regift it.

Only one? I love the Oscars, but wanna change so much, especially the Oscars for Kim Basinger & Catherine Zeta-Jones (both to Julianne Moore). The biggest fault from the last decade was the Oscar for Tom Hooper's Direction of The King´s Speech. TKS was good, but the direction was TV-Movie-Material I think and The Social Network is by miles superior! If Colin Firth had pick up Best Actor Oscar the Year before for his brilliant performance in A Single Man maybe he wouldn't have won Frontrunner Status and The Kings Speech wouldn't win Best Picture and Director??? When Kathryn Bigelow announced Hooper as the "winner" it was the only time I completely lost interest in the other awards for the evening; it STILL hurts!


Previous Reader Spotlights
And our imaginary Honorary Reader Oscars go to...
lovely ladies: Mysjkin, Lynn LeeEster, Leehee, Jamie and Dominique 
(and yes we need to hear from more of the girls) 
dashing gentsChristian, Lucio, Joey Moser, Zé Vozone, Tony T, Andy Hoglund, FerdiK.M. SoehnleinSergioBorja, John, Chris, Peter, Ziyad, Andrew, Yonatan, Keir, Kyle, Vinci, Victor, Bill, Hayden, Murtada, Cory, Walter, Paolo, and BBats

Thursday
Apr252013

First & Last: Exiled

first & last puzzles
the first and last image from a motion picture 


Can you guess the movie?