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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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Tuesday
Oct302012

Princess Leia "I'm Going to Disneyland!"

she'll fit right in.

The news travelled 'cross the web faster than hyper speed earlier tonight. Princess Leia has found a new home at Disney, the Mouse House having purchased all things Lucasfilm for a wee $4 billion and stock.

One day Disney will own the entire world but it's okay because corporations are people. And you'd totally be okay if one person owned the entire world, right??? Pray that your future corporate overlord will be a benevolent dictator... who giggles a lot and wears mouse ears.

Star Wars Episode VII: The Quest For More Billions, or whatever they'll eventually name it, is aiming for a 2015 release. That's quick. I hope they have a screenwriter already typing away. And I hope that screenwriter's name is not George Lucas.

The best part of this news is the Star Wars ride possibilities at amusement parks are endless. The worst part of this news is that the Star Wars franchise is already so over-exposed and now it'll be even worse! What Disney's done to Tinkerbell depresses me virtually every day and what horrible ubiquitous personality-changing fate might lie in store for Leia or the Ewoks or Jabba the Hut or (gasp) Jar Jar Binks.

If the new film is not set too far into the future following Return of the Jedi, will Princess Leia resurface and if so who on earth could play her? Let's do an impromptu Cast This! Ideally though, they'd go with all new characters and let Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford do cameos as their classic trio many years on.

Tuesday
Oct302012

Oscar Horrors: Margaret White Burns in Hell

Just one more day of Oscar Horrors! On this penultimate day of the series, JA has an incredible take on one of our shared favorites, "Carrie". -Nathaniel

HERE LIES... or rather, HERE BURNS IN HELL... Margaret White, Piper Laurie's Supporting Actress nominated performance in Brian DePalma's 1976 film Carrie.

JA from MNPP here - the only thing more shocking to me than the fact that Piper lost the Oscar for Margaret White is the fact that nobody's covered this performance for this here Oscar Horrors series yet. You could just sit back and quote her lines and be done with it - "I can see you dirty pillows." "Pimples are the Lord's way of chastising you." "I liked it. I liked it!" What a grand time it'd be! It would be like any given evening in my house, really. But give me an excuse to watch Carrie for the 50th time, and I will bite.

Piper lost the Oscar to Beatrice Straight's very brief role in Network; I won't diss Straight because I like her and I like that performance (and I like her a few years later in Poltergiest even more)... but come on. 

Rewatching the film today I was reminded what a note-perfect line Laurie walks. Dances, really. In sensible witch shoes. Her Margaret White should be what you see when you look up "Jesus Freak" in the dictionary.

But while she's often criticized for being over the top (and it's not as if director Brian DePalma backs off that angle -- when Carrie tells her mother she's going to the prom, Piper repeats the word aghast - "Prom?" - which DePalma then gooses with some ever-so-subtle lightning and thunder) what I noticed today is it's Margaret's smallness and fear that reveals themselves between the hysterics, and become disturbingly palpable. She is in a battle with herself, the beleaguered Christian, trying to be all the God Warrior she can be, but her beaten-down daughter, meekness personified (Sissy Spacek giving one of the finest performances ever put on screen, if you ask me), begins to beat her back at every turn and she's entirely befuddled by it. You can sense she's felt this before - when her husband, the one with the stinking roadhouse whiskey on his breath, also driven nuts by her zealousness, up and took off. It must be the Devil! You can see the parts clicking into place in Laurie's performance as her confusion turns into its own sense - this is what she is here for. Calmness washes over her; she has found her life's meaning. And it's a serenity that's terrifying.

And that's the thing with this performance and why it continually rings true to me - in the twenty minutes or so of screen-time that Laurie has, she simultaneously charts not just a broad portrait of religious fervor driven way off the deep end, but the pinpoint center wherein stands a very small very frightened woman, deranged by her own terror of abandonment. Once was enough, twice is too many, and she will drag her daughter straight to Hell before she ever lets go.

 

Tuesday
Oct302012

Curio: Rosemary's Bric-a-brac

Alexa here. This Halloween I am taking advantage of the fact that I'm pregnant by dressing as my favorite film heroine, Rosemary Woodhouse. Some may find it in bad taste to dress as the mother of the devil's spawn when you are with child, but I'll use any excuse to celebrate Polanski's masterpiece Rosemary's Baby (1968), which has its Criterion release today.

Rosemary paper doll by Ana Camamiel.

I've ordered my copy, and while I'm at it I may buy one of these these great Rosemary curios I stumbled upon while searching the web for my costume pieces. Tannis, anyone?  

Three more vintage pieces...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct302012

To Link or Not to Link...

Gawker on Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby, just issued in a deluxe Criterion version
BBC Skyfall wins the best Bond opening ever overseas. Remember when we didn't even know if we would get any more James Bonds due to legal issues and rights and studio problems?
The Guardian on Daniel Day-Lewis' infamous ghostly father sighting all those years ago when he played Hamlet on stage (he has not returned to the stage since) 

In Contention George Clooney lines up a very starry cast for his next Oscar attack, the World War II drama Monuments Men: Craig, Blanchett, Goodman
AV Club Mike D'Angelo on the directors cut of one of my favorite films Little Shop of Horrors (1986) 
The Film Doctor 8 notes on Cloud Atlas
Cinema Blend Cloud Atlas karmic interconnectivity infographic
Towleroad Madonna visits Ellen Degeneres! 
Coming Soon Tom Cruise isn't done with the Mission: Impossible franchise yet. And here I thought they brought in Jeremy Renner to replace him. 

CHUD has a 1688 word review of the new Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning movie with 80s action icons Jean Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren returning and refuses to say whether they walk around with asses out as they so famously did the first time. 1688 words and no time for ass? That's just mean.
Movie|Line Ugh. I was totally going to do this Grease-centric Hurricane Sandy thing but a ton of sites beat me to it. I type so fast but I don't have all the time in the world or a huge paid staff to jump on everything. BOO.
Tom & Lorenzo Mad Men filming in Hawaii, eh? Jessica Pare and Jon Hamm in cute bathing suits. Oh I have to share the photo... I can't just link!

Lovely! I've never been to Hawaii, have you? It's nice to dream of Hawaii in the aftermath of dismal, windy, grey, wet destructive Hurricane Sandy.

 

Monday
Oct292012

Review: Free Pass for "The Sessions"

This review was originally published in my column at Towleroad...

When Madonna's "Sex" book turned twenty last week, a common thread of blog coverage was 'tame by today's standards' and I wondered which new standards other people were living by that I wasn't privy to? I'm not talking about private culture -- people have been seeing strangers naked long before Grindr or easily clickable pornography -- but about mainstream entertainment. Which mainstream female celebrity has been running around aggressively in her birthday suit lately? We've hardly made great strides at accepting female sexuality since then. Proof positive: the current political debates. The male body has, on the other hand, become more commonly objectified two decades on but penis sightings are still as rare as they were in the "Sex" book and people continue to make a big flaccid point of being shocked whenever they're visually reminded of their existence... especially in the movies. Find even one article about Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Eastern Promises or Shame that doesn't mention Jason Jr,  Viggo Jr. or The Fassmember; tough assignment. 

This longwinded preface isn't as off-topic as it sounds for a review of THE SESSIONS. The sexually-minded lightly funny new drama stars Oscar nominee John Hawkes (Winter's Bone) as Mark O'Brien, a paralyzed man who dreams of losing his virginity from the discomfort of his iron lung. 

more...

 

Click to read more ...

Monday
Oct292012

Oscar Horrors: "What's This?!?" an Animated Visual FX Nominee

Here lies… The Pumpkin King of The Nightmare Before Christmas, and the visual effects that made him dance.

The work of Pete Kozachik, Eric Leighton, Ariel Valesco-Shaw and Gordon Baker holds a unique place in the history of the Academy’s visual effects category. As the first – and as of 2012, the last – soley animated film to receive a nomination in this category, it earned the visual effects branch’s respect like none before or since. Oh sure, Mary Poppins and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? won the category in their respective years, but those trophies came predominantly for the way they integrated animation with live action. The Nightmare Before Christmas, however, earned its nomination for the way Henry Selick’s stop-motion universe came to life thanks to innovative camera techniques.

While many may think this film’s idea of “visual effects” lays exclusively at the floating ghosts and shape-shifting shadows that pepper Henry Selick’s visual palate, the Oscar nomination was more a reward for the way the cameras were developed with computer technology to help navigate the heavily-designed “claymation” world.

More on this 1993 Oscar Race after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Oct292012

DVD Review: "What To Expect..."

 

What to Extract When You're Watching What to Expect When You're Expecting?

Eyes. Definitely eyes.