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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
Nov012012

A Handful of Link

Pop Elegantarium Alexa's Rosemary's Baby costume she was hinting at the other day in her Curio column. Well done!
/Film new images from Django Unchained
In Contention interviews the production designer of Moonrise Kingdom Adam Stockhausen
Big Thoughts From a Small Mind has a mea culpa about Sidney Lumet in 12 Angry Men. Confession: I myself have never seen this movie but I have seen productions of the play so I am unschooled in the furious dozen

 

Unreality reminds us that with that Star Wars purchase, Disney now also owns a certain fedora wearing archaelogist adventurer 
Monkey See predicts several headlines that will appear when the new Star Wars film is released in 2015. Hee
Awards Daily wonders if the lack of the DGA before Oscar nominations, might throw off the usual correlations
Vimeo if you're already missing Halloween -- it was kind of unsatisfying here on the East Coast without the usual festivities -- here's a creepy impressive 30 second short called "Rot" 

And we end with a very well cut fan vid 'James Bond Death Match,' all six Bonds fighting it out for supremacy.

I demand another rematch.

Thursday
Nov012012

It's a Wrap. October Highlights

We're doing this month's look back a bit differently. Though we wish all readers were year-round TFE maniacs, traffic always spikes during Oscar season so we welcome our fairweather friends back to us as we all link arms and beginning following that yellow brick red carpet road to the Wonderful Word of Oscars. In October we've been busy with plentiful limited series posts so here were some highlights from those batches.

NYFF
My single favorite moment of the NYFF is documented above. Shortly before The Paperboy screening for critics (with Nicole Kidman on hand afterwords to answer questions) the promo reel for the 50th anniversary of the festival froze on this image and stayed that way for minutes. I wasn't complaining. I like to look at her. As for the movies themselves, I was knocked out by three of the Best Foreign Language Films competing for Oscar: Austria's Amour, Chile's No and Bwakaw from the Philippines. Michael was dazzled by Noah Baumbach's Frances Ha with career best work from Greta Gerwig, and Denzel Washington's soon to be Oscar nominated performance in Flight. Meanwhile everyone was talking about Lincoln's Secret Debut "Secret" Debut including Team Experience on the Podcast.

007 Lists for 007 
Deborah has been getting us celebrating the 50th anniversary of the longest running film franchise with James Bond centric lists. Like her 007 favorite films or the *only* 007 femme fatales. And we're asking all of you to vote on your 007 favorites... LAST CHANCE. Voting ends tomorrow, November 1st.

Oscar Horrors
Team Experience was asked to choose from a list of every Oscar nomination bequeathed to the horror genre or thereabouts and write about it -- just one Oscar nomination per post. Pan's Labyrinth got you talking, Addams Family Values got us laughing again (I even watched it again because of the post), and we reminisced about creepy actressing in Hush Hush Sweet CharlotteRebecca, The Spiral Staircase and Fatal Attraction to name just a handful of entries.

5 Random Favorite Posts
Which is Yummier?, "Lousy Lay", Guilt Trip Poster, Into the Woods reading and Monty meets Bernie

Happy November Everyone. Here's to the great (we hope) penultimate month of 2012 

Wednesday
Oct312012

Was Oscar Horrors Your "Frieeeeeeend"?

HAPPY HALLOWEEN !

Here Lies... bits and pieces of thieves and murderers all stitched together to form the Robert DeNiro version of Frankenstein's Monster. 

Yes, we close this year's season of "Oscar Horrors" by celebrating the gruesome Oscar-nominated makeup in...(deep breath)... Columbia Tri-Star Picture's Kenneth Branagh's Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994) . So many possessives! And the film, if I remember it correctly, is possessed. Kenneth Branagh has never been a wallflower as a director and his version of Frankenstein has the exuberant gonzo abandon (i.e. shameless confidence) that also characterized his far more artistically successful reincarnation noir Dead Again (1991).

The makeup designs by Daniel ParkerPaul Engelen and Carol Hemming won Oscar's attention but the team lost to a black and white celebration of a more infamous gonzo director, Ed Wood

Now. You might be asking "why, Nathaniel, are we looking at shirtless (briefly) buff Kenneth Branagh and his Bride of Frankenstein instead of the Frankenstein Monster?" I may answer. "Have you seen this Frankenstein Monster? He is DIS-GUST-ING. I don't want to look at him anymore." To the make-up teams credit he really does look like bits of thieves and murderers stiched together the skin being different textures, different elasticities, different stages of decay. The stitches look painful and threaded by unsterile instruments. The makeup effects err on the side of gruesome realism. He looks nothing like the traditional Frankenstein monster with a caesar haircut, green skin and bolts in his neck and Branagh even brings him to life in his birthday suit so the makeup team designed borrowed man parts, too; this monster has nuts but no bolts. 

P.S. I also went with Kenneth & Helena photos because other than the Frankenstein experiment (slimy, nude, mad, clumsy -- an original take from Branagh) the only thing I ever remember about this movie is that it marked the end of that most awesome early 90s film couple Kenneth Branagh & Emma Thompson as he threw her over for Helena Bonham-Carter before Helena then left him for Tim Burton... or something like that. Consider this film Helena's "Bridge to Burton". Here in one film she's yanked from her then familiar Victorian doll iconography and lands painfully into the now familiar decayed gothic doll aesthetic.

The Complete Season 2 of Oscar Horrors  
Psycho -Director 
Carrie - Supporting Actress
The Nightmare Before Christmas - Visual FX
The Spiral Staircase - Supporting Actress
Ed Wood- Supporting Actor

Return to Glennescaul - Short Film
Aliens - Visual FX
Jaws - Editing
Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte - Supporting Actress
Phantom of the Paradise -Original Score

Shadow of the Vampire - Supporting Actor
Dogtooth - Foreign Film
Rebecca - Supporting Actress
Monster's Inc - Animated Feature

The Virgin Spring - Foreign Film
Pan's Labyrinth - Art Direction
Them! - Visual Effects
American Werewolf in London -Makeup
Addams Family Values  -Art Direction

Wednesday
Oct312012

Oscar Horrors: Looking into PSYCHO

Here lies… a film no other man could have made – Psycho.

Matt here! Alfred Hitchcock directed Psycho just after he made Vertigo and North by Northwest, two gigantic Technicolor productions for Paramount. Imagine the pitch he made – Shoestring budget, black & white, killing off Janet Leigh after 40 minutes, main character’s a schizophrenic taxidermist motel-owner. He shot it in a few months on the Paramount lot using a television crew, paying for everything himself.

The rest is history. After spending roughly $800,000, it has grossed over $50 million and had enormous cultural impact. Recently, it placed 34th in Sight & Sound’s “Greatest Films of All-Time” critics poll. In 1960, it was nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Director. One single bathroom sequence revolutionized expectations for audiences, filmmakers, and censors. What business does a true-blue, low-budget horror flick have in the pantheon of cinematic art?

While Psycho may not be Hitchcock’s greatest film, it is the apex of his directorial control, his auteurist posture. More...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct302012

Where My Girls At? Susan, Tilda, Uma, Sir Ian

The Man Who Loved Actresses Too Much. That's the title of my forthcoming memoirs. Because I love too many actresses I often lose track of their upcoming film projects so let's look at some recent casting notices (by recent I mean I'm sorry I didn't mention them earlier this month!) involving ladies I, and hopefully you, love. 

Susan Sarandon, currently co-starring in Cloud Atlas, has been working consistently since her career peak (1988 through 1995) but her parts haven't been so great or the films have left one wanting. Can The Last of Robin Hood reinvigorate her career or spark passion in her fanbase again? The Hollywood bio film is from the indie directing team of Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland (full disclosure: I used to be friendly with Glatzer) who previously made The Fluffer and Quinceanera. It's about Errol Flynn's (Kevin Kline) affair with a 17 year old actress at the end of his life who he first seduced when she was all of 15. Sarandon will play the young actress's stage mother. Here's why I'm hopeful - the mother Sarandon will play actually wrote a book about this love affair called "The Big Love" so her role could be substantial -- though I'm unclear as to whether this film is based on that or wholly original.

Julianne Moore is a screen queen I never lose track of, per se, but sometimes the projects disappear! Does Being Flynn really exist? Did Shelter? What happened to that period-noir-detective-with-addiction-issues series she was going to star in for HBO? Given the populist genre of her next project, it's less likely to disappear. She's about to reteam with Liam Neeson as screen husband for the thriller Non-Stop. Neeson is an US Air Marshall and they're fighting a mysterious enemy who is texting him. Oh please let it be Amanda Seyfried! #AwkwardChloeReunioin

The ginger goddess will also co-star in Dan Fogelman's directorial debut, a dramedy called Imagine.  Fogelman's credits include writing one of Julianne Moore's best screen jokes for Crazy Stupid Love, well, and the rest of the movie, too. The film stars Al Pacino as a former rock star who discovers he has an adult son (played by Jeremy Renner). Julianne Moore will play the hotel manager where Pacino lives. 

Uma Thurman needs a strong director -- nothing wrong with that if you're great when you get 'em -- and she's had a rough go of it, screen-wise since the Kill Bill series. Wising up now, she's joining Lars Von Trier's increasingly star-studded "porno" Nyphomaniac.  There's no word on what her role will entail (though most believe it's the same role that Nicole Kidman vacated) but it's not the title role. That would be Charlotte Rampling, who isn't shy about onscreen eroticism (see: The Night Porter or Under the Sand). update: LOL. My wishful thinking substituted Charlottes Charlotte Gainsbourg, who is a von Trier favorite (Antichrist, Melancholia). Uma doesn't trade on her own erotic appeal nearly as often but she should. Beyond Tarantino's oeuvre I'd argue that her best performance is in the very libidinous Henry & June. To this day I'm still certain she caused the NC-17 even though she (mostly) kept her clothes on.

Uma's been low key enough lately that I blinked and missed the news that she had her new baby in July and named her "Rosalind Arusha Arkadina Altalune Florence Thurman-Busson"! Take that, Gwyneth.

Tilda Swinton is supposedly filming the new Terry Gilliam film The Zero Theorem right about now. The film is about a computer genius (Christoph Waltz) seeking the answer to whether life has meaning or not. I can solve the puzzle for him. Tilda Swinton exists and that is an inexplicable miracle so life obviously has meaning. The meaning being TILDA.

Sir Ian McKellen, who we'll soon see reprise his Oscar-nominated Gandalf role, is the star of the most hilarious news you'll read all week: Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Derek Jacobi will be co-starring in a British sitcom about two senior gays living together called "Vicious Old Queens". This seems like it couldn't be true but it is, hunty, it is! The title and stars alone make it a must-see but -- even better -- British series tend to be short which still leaves plenty of time for the drama queens to make their film appearances, too. If the show is half as good as the casting and title, we all win.

Are you excited about any of these projects?

Which actress have you recently lost track of?

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.