Oscar History
Welcome

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

Powered by Squarespace
Don't Miss This!
What'cha Looking For?
Comment Fun

Comment Du Jour
FEUD arrives one week after the Oscars

"Makes me want to watch the RuPaul's drag race parody : "Wha' ha happen to Baby Jay Jay"" - Cris

"I feel guilt and shame. I've never seen Whatever Happened to Baby Jane" -Jonn

Keep TFE Strong

Love the Site? DONATE 

Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience

THANKS IN ADVANCE

INTERVIEWS

Pablo Larraín (Jackie)
Jessica Chastain (Miss Sloane)
Gael García Bernal (Neruda)
Billy Crudup (20th Century Women)
Nicole Kidman (Lion)
Denis Villeneuve (Arrival

 

Subscribe
Saturday
Jun202015

Inside Out My Mind

Manuel here sharing the funniest Inside Out Twitter thread around.


Nat and I inadvertently (though perhaps not surprisingly) went for Kidman-related images (it IS her birthday after all!)


 

Laurence suggested we begin a trending hashtag #InsideOutMyMind, so tell us, what do your Inside Out emotions look like?

 

Saturday
Jun202015

Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)

Please welcome Kyle Stevens to The Film Experience team. You've previously heard him on the podcast, you can pre-order his book on Mike Nichols, and you should follow him on twitter as he is delightful. - Editor

Adapted from the hit radio play by Lucille Fletcher (who also wrote the screenplay), Sorry, Wrong Number follows Leona Stevenson, a headstrong young heiress who aims to one day be the sharpest battleaxe in the armory. She is also an invalid, relegated to her bed. We discover Leona telephoning inquiries into her husband’s whereabouts when the line fatefully clicks. She overhears a conversation between two men plotting a murder that night. For me, the whole movie hangs on the image of her listening to this narrative catalyst. It hovers over the entire film. Its power lets us never forget that this is Leona’s story, even when we get elaborate flashbacks from others. We recall it later when we see Leona disheveled and shining from tears and anxious sweat. Its tightness contrasts with the way the camera later wanders in and around people, tracing the distances between them that the telephone extinguishes. 

The magic here is all down to Barbara Stanwyck, giving one her best performances (and receiving the last of her four Best Actress nominations). We see Leona’s selfishness ebb as she intelligently listens to the heavies on the line. That is, Stanwyck doesn’t play an inner monologue. Her bright brown eyes and horseshoe furrows do not propose “Oh no!” and “What should I do now?”, as though telling us what Leona wants to say. Rather, Leona, in this moment, and for a change, is not about herself at all. She just listens. This remains a thing of beauty, reminding us how much intelligence just listening can demand. I don’t know of a better demonstration of the cliché that listening is one of those feats accomplished by only the best actors.

Written by a woman and showcasing a female character who fights for what she wants, Sorry, Wrong Number would probably be received as a feminist statement were it released today. But in the moment in which Leona hears unheard, I am reminded that it is not just the film’s gender politics that remain relevant. Over the complex lines of a switchboard (where, according to Hollywood, women controlled the flow of information), the epigraph warns:

In the tangled networks of a great city, the telephone is the unseen link between a million lives… It is the servant of our common needs—the confidante of our inmost secrets…life and happiness wait upon its ring… and horror…and loneliness… and death.”

The technology behind our phones may have changed, but in an age where we’d rather text than talk, we seem to still fear verbal connections. We worry about who’s listening, and we know, deep down, that the voice can give too much away.

Previously
Vintage 1948 - Best of the Year 
Supporting Actress Smackdown - The Schedule 

Friday
Jun192015

HMYBS: Magic Mike (Part Two)

Did you know that Magic Mike (2012) won TFE's Bronze Medal for Best Picture of 2012?Hit Me With Your Best Shot is looking at Magic Mike (2012) before strapping on possessed ballet slippers for The Red Shoes this coming Wednesday.

Due to some scheduling snafus / switcheroos this week we ended up divvying up our look back at Steven Soderberg and Channing Tatum's still undervalued but much enthused over Magic Mike (2012). So you got it in three parts, the first visual roundup (8 early bird participants), this roundup and my own choice, this weekend when I finally get myself together. It's been a looooooong week for me off blog.

The first batch of shot choices included a few takes on the Dallas/Kid training scene, and two surreal shots involving Dallas and Ken. This time it's the act of watching (Cody), the love of being watched (McConaughey), and the commodification of bodies / people.

Magic Mike (2012)
Directed by: Steven Soderbergh; Cinematography by: Steven Soderbergh as "Peter Andrews"

BEST SHOTS
(Pt 1) 7 Images
...and now (Pt 2) 9 Images a couple NSFW so it's all after the jump...
click on the images to read the corresponding article -- really good articles this week, I think. 

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jun192015

Who do you link you are?

The Playlist Stop the presses! Nicole Kidman is working with Jane Campion again, probably on her adaptation of The Flame Throwers
Variety interviews Jurassic World's mini-star Ty Simpkins who has quite a resume for a 13 year-old
Kenneth in the (212) Fred MacMurray was once quite a hunk. How did this escape me? 
MNPP Finn Wittrock joins the cast of AHS: Hotel. So after years of supplying only major diva thrills (not complaining), Ryan Murphy is finally supplying massive hunkiness... all of the dark haired pale skin variety: Cheyenne, Finn, Bomer


MNPP reminds us that Starz is greenlighting potentially great stuff to series: Evil Dead and Neil Gaiman's American Gods (have you read that book? So good.)
THR interview with editor on Inside Out
Birth. Movies. Death. on the strangely cruel deaths of Jurassic World 
Playbill composer Andrew Lippa (I saw his oratorio "I Am Harvey Milk" last fall and it was magnificent) is writing a song for Kristin Chenoweth's Maleficent  for that Disney series Descendants
LA Times looks at the Emmy races for Best Comedy - can Modern Family finally be dethroned?
Empire In news that won't surprise anyone anywhere Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks are joining forces for a heroic Oscarbait biopic Captain Sully

Lots o' Fun
Den of Geek "Cats are not Capable of Understanding Rambo: First Blood Part II"
Jezebel "Damn, Meryl Streep is Great at Turning Off the Lights"
Pajiba Annie Golden, mute Norma on Orange is the New Black, used to be a 70s punk rocker

Hero of the Month!
I have to bow down to my friend Tim Brayton (of Tim's Toons right here) whose site Antagony & Ecstasy has always been one of the very best strictly-movie-reviews sites around. As previously noted Tim, who is a cancer survivor, held a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society -- anyone who donated to them via his fundraiser got a review of their choice -- and he raised nearly $5,000 this year! He's not done with all the reviews yet so I don't know what some TFE readers who donated chose but I can see your names in the list. My requested review was this one for Love With the Proper Stranger (1963) starring Natalie Wood. But he reviews whatever is requested so there's lots of variety: The Iron Giant, Evita, Ball of Fire, Meet the Feebles, Grosse Pointe Blank, you name it.

Bitch I'm Madonna
Here is the Queen's newest video with a slew of guest stars*, yes, but the most exciting thing is unquestionably Madonna herself, still flipping off the the ageist and haters -- "we go hard or we go home" and Madonna aint ever goin home, duh! -- with that ombre trashy pink hair, making out with random partygoers, throwing a drink down Jon Kortajarena's throat (as one does), dancing with naked Asian girls. My favorite part is that awesome collapse at the tail end of the video twice over as the party continues to rage on all around and above her. That final long shot when the hotel's candy colored lights go from garish to dreamy with a single cut is also a keeper. Nice work Jonas Akerlund.

*Beyonce looks like she doesn't want to do it -- so they shoulda cut her -- but everyone else gets into it. My least favorite part is the extended Nicki Minaj rap... if only because Nicki isn't actually there. If you're going do a "featuring" role, commit, damnit! Still, I heart "The Snap"'s take on How Madonna convinced these stars to do it.

Friday
Jun192015

Women's Pictures - Agnes Varda's Le Bonheur

If there’s one kind of first film I love watching above all others, it’s the first color movie by a director previously confined to black and white. Vincente Minnelli’s Meet Me in St. Louis, Powell & Pressburger’s The Thief of Baghdad, and Akira Kurosawa’s Dodes'ka-den are colorful extravaganzas by directors who, though already well-respected for their monochrome movies, will master this new filmmaking tool. The film is even better when that director, like the aforementioned Kurosawa or our director of the month Agnes Varda, is an artist. Le Bonheur is not Agnes Varda’s best film. It’s not even her best film of the 1960s. But if you want to witness an hour and a half of experimentation with how color reflects and refracts a movie’s theme, then Le Bonheur is the film you want to watch.

For a brightly-colored movie with the title “Happiness,” Le Bonheur is remarkably cruel. Perhaps this accounts for its reputation as one of Agnes Varda’s most controversial movies. Or perhaps it is because, after the empathetic female-centric Cleo from 5 to 7, Varda chose to tell a story about a man who treats the women in his life so poorly. François Chevalier (Jean-Claude Drouot) is a carefree carpenter living in idyllic marital bliss with his wife, Thérèse (Claire Drouot), and their two children. When François meets a new postal worker named Émilie (Marie-France Boyer), he falls immediately into love with her as well. The majority of the film is spent following François from his wife to his mistress and back again, as he guiltlessly and guilelessly adds to his happiness by spending time with each woman. When François finally tells his wife, her reaction is surprising and tragic.

What’s more surprising, though, is how little her tragedy means to the conclusion of the story. Since its release in 1965, Le Bonheur has been subject to many different interpretations by critics, however, Varda’s use of color commentary - of color as commentary - spells out her intent. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jun192015

FYC: Tituss Burgess for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy

Team Experience is sharing their dream picks for the Emmys each day at Noon. Here's Margaret...

Tituss Burgess' performance as Titus Andromedon on Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is nothing short of genius. (Before we get any further into this, it should be established that Tituss with two S's is the actor, and Titus with one S is the character. Confusing, yes, but blame Tina Fey and Robert Carlock.)

His vocal control is exquisite, and we see it tested time and again as the writers work up excuses for Titus to belt whenever possible. His grip on his comedy is similarly iron-clad. Every gesture, every line reading, is laser-precise. He never fails to deliver the biggest laugh of whatever scene he's in--he's a dexterous physical comic and quite nimble with Fey & Carlock's twisty punchlines-- but he also lends a distinct pathos to the performance that makes it more than just funny. 

And he's tremendously gif-able. Sweet mercy, how gif-able.



Though often ridiculous, Burgess makes damn well sure we know that Titus is the one telling the joke. Even the most absurd lines fly out of his mouth with self-awareness and complete conviction. (In lieu of apologizing for putting his foot in his mouth, he shrugs: "I am as God made me.") One of the things that makes Kimmy Schmidt so special is its improbable sense of melancholy. Hints about Titus' past point to frustration and pain, and that's present in his performance even as he lives confidently and without contrition.

But most of all, he's just purely and entirely funny. He makes me laugh more than any other TV character, certainly today, maybe ever. To deny him would be like denying Jane Krakowski's Jenna Maroney, which...  well... please don't make that mistake again, Emmys.

Previously: Ann Dowd talks The Leftovers and Nathaniel fusses over the Emmy ballot

Friday
Jun192015

The Troubled Musical Tribute to 'Amy'

Glenn here offering some thoughts on films at the Sydney Film Festival. Here he is discussing the music documentary 'Amy'.

Given what director Asif Kapadia was able to accomplish with the otherwise (to me) uninteresting world of vroom vroom speed racing in Senna, logic would dictate that when handling a subject of great interest to me that the results would be even more outstanding. That doesn’t quite prove to be the case with Amy, another scrapbook collection of archival footage presenting the life of somebody who lived fast and died young, Amy Winehouse, but one which lacks quite the same verve of the director’s predecessor.

Kapadia is in the unique position of making a documentary about somebody whose life isn’t just rife for the Hollywood biopic treatment, but which actually feels like it already has been. Is her story not almost note-for-note for Mark Rydell’s The Rose with Bette Midler? It’s curious as a viewer of a documentary to feel as if I’d seen it all before in a fiction film (albeit one highly inspired by a real life person) and being disappointed because it comes off second best.

The Rose, Kurt Cobain and more after the jump...

Click to read more ...