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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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The Greatest Sci-Films. A Top Ten

"Excellent list. I wish it had included John Frankenheimer's and Rock Hudson's Seconds. The War of the Worlds also coulda been a contender. We won't discuss Soylent Green- BCarter

"...something new for my Netflix list. "-John

How would you rank them?

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Box Office: Underwhelming New Releases Run the Show

It's Amir with the weekend's box office report.

Although we've entered awards season, theaters were dominated by new releases that haven't got a prayer in the world to make a dent on any Oscar race. (This might sound unusual for a November weekend, but history tells us it really isn't. Two years ago, this very weekend brought us such unforgettable gems as Tower Heist and A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas.) It was also the first weekend since early August where three different films were released on more than 3000 screens. This can usually be taken as a sign that studios don't believe there's much overlap between the target audiences of those films, and who can blame them. I imagine few people were in a quandary about which of Free Birds, Last Vegas and Ender's Game to watch -- excluding those who were in their 40s when they read Ender's Game, have waited 28 years for an adaptation but now find themselves more attuned to the beat of Last Vegas, but I digress.

01 ENDER'S GAME $28 *new* Previous Discussions
03 LAST VEGAS $16.5 *new* 
04 FREE BIRDS $16.2 *new* 
05 GRAVITY $13.1 (cum. $219.1) Many Previous Posts 
06 CAPTAIN PHILLIPS $8.5 (cum. $82.5) Podcast & Hanks For All Ages
07 12 YEARS A SLAVE $4.6 (cum. $8.7) Slavery in Cinema & Previous Discussions
08 CLOUDY WITH CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2 $4.2 (cum. $106.1)
09 CARRIE $3.4 (cum. $31.9) Previous Discussions
10 THE COUNSELOR $3.2 (cum. $13.3) Previous Discussions
11 ESCAPE PLAN $2.2 (cum. $21.6)
12 ABOUT TIME $1.5 *new* Review

Ender's Game won the weekend with a mild 28 million. This one never looked likely to be a sensation, which is strange given the decades long wait for its arrival. Is the marketing to blame, or are YA fans too young to remember/connect to the source material? Worse yet, things are only going south when Thor drops from Asgard next week. Bad Grandpa beat competition from the new old men on the block and clinched second, one place above Last Vegas. The near universally panned Free Birds (which was originally called Turkeys -- too easy) had a disastrous opening and will be very lucky if it can recoup its 55 million dollar budget. The usual suspects occupied the rest of the top ten, with 12 Years a Slave expanding particularly well. Next weekend sees the film take on more than 1000 screens. Any question regarding the box office potential of McQueen's grueling, but brilliant, film can definitively be answered then.

Meanwhile, in limited release, Dallas Buyers Club opened to a strong reception on only 9 screens. Is the Oscar potential of this film dependent on its box office performance? Two acting nominations appear almost certain at this point, but if the public responds well, can we expect more? That's a question that certainly doesn't apply to Oliver Hirschbiegel's Diana. (Remember when we thought Naomi Watts might be a best actress contender? lulz!) Handicapped by aggressively negative critical response and advance word of mouth from overseas audiences, Diana barely exceeded 1k per screen and will surely fizzle away before long. And while we're on the subject of awards players in limited release, Belgium's foreign film contender, Broken Circle Breakdown, also opened this week. I fall in the range between a thumb up and a shrug, but it's charming.

Anyway, I haven't yet seen any of these new releases. Instead, I made a trip to TIFF Bell Lightbox, where a major exhibition on David Cronenberg's work is taking place and watched Naked Lunch and The Fly, and listened to David Cronenberg, Jeremy Thomas and Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Stephan Dupuis discuss their work. I also caught up with Hong Sang Soo's Nobody Daughter Haewon and rewatched Iran's non-submission to the Oscars, A Cube of Sugar. A good weekend, I'd say. What did you watch?


Podcast: Blue is the Color Before Midnight

Blue is the Warmest Color, the erotic French drama, has moviegoers and film bloggers talking. Hear what Katey, Joe, Nick and Nathaniel have to say about it in the new podcast (we held the conversation for a week to give more of you a chance to see it). We also revisit the trilogy capping Before Midnight starring screenwriter/actors Julie Delpy & Ethan Hawke.

This week's podcast also features affectionate (?) sidebar shoutouts to acclaimed documentary Call Me Kuchu, cranky moviegoers and ushers, Disney's Frozen, John Cassavettes Faces, the Israeli drama Late Marriage, the Ridley Scott classic Thelma & Louise, Sarah Paulson & Queen Latifah, and movie characters we'd like to drop back in on. 

You can listen at the bottom of the post or download it on iTunes. Join in the conversation in the comments.

Supplemental Reading / Listening:
Blue Is...-Nathaniel's review
These Sapphic Superstar tweets ... referenced in the podcast
Operation Kino - Nathaniel guest stars on Katey & Mister Patches's podcast. We're talking Dallas Buyers Club 


Blue is the Podcast's Color


Tomorrow tomorrow I luv ya tomorrow. You're only 411 days away

Quvenzhané Wallis strutting to playback

Sounds tinny? And what do you need that much oxygen for "a (breath) day (breath) a (breath) wayyyyyyyyy" but set footage always looks/sound chintzy so I shan't judge. Things look sound/different onscreen. Annie arrives for Christmas (December 19th to be exact) 2014.


Reader Ranking: Smackdown '03

The Year of The Month is 2003, so we'll be sprinkingly a little 10th anniversary Early 'Aughts glitter here and there on our usual blog party for the next few weeks. On December 5th, we'll be celebrating those 10th anniversary Supporting Actress Nominees in the next SMACKDOWN. Since the revival of StinkyLulu's series began (with his blessing and participation), we've covered 1952 (comic landslide), 1980 (super tight race), and 1968 (Happy Halloween!). 

And now something presumably all of us actually lived through!

We'll get to discussing Shohreh, Patty, Holly, MarciaMarciaMarcia, and the Zeéeeee as a group on December 5th (The Smackdown!). For now I wanted to let you know that balloting is open. If you'd like your votes counted in the smackdown tally you...

a) rewatch the movies (be suspicious of 10 year old memories!)
b) send us an email with "2003" in the subject line by Sunday December 1st
c) give whichever of the five performances you've seen a rating on a scale of 1 to 5 hearts with or without commentary. (You may only vote on performances you've seen all the way through... no guessing or 'i've seen clips! presumptions'... its unfair to the actors!) 

And since we like to build a little "context" for a given year's Smackdown please vote on which of these 2003 movies you'd most like to read about (none of the Supporting Actress nominated pictures are in this poll because those movies will obviously get talked about).





Interview / Giveaway: "Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait"

TFE's Vivien Leigh Centennial Celebration (November 2-6) 
Here's David with an interview and book giveaway 

Vivien Leigh was only nominated for two Oscars, but she won both of them. More impressively, both of her winning performances are still frequently said to be among the finest of all-time. If she’d done nothing else in her career, that would be a legacy to be proud of. It’s even more extraordinary when you consider the personal struggles that the actress went through: constantly striving to feel worthy of acting alongside the love of her life, Sir Laurence Olivier, and an undiagnosed and mistreated bipolar disorder that increasingly overtook her. In Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait, Leigh scholar Kendra Bean digs into the actress’ dramatic life story, using a myriad of photographs both legendary and rare to imbue Vivien’s life with the vulnerability of her delicate beauty.

book contest and interview after the jump

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Where My Girls At: Post-Halloween Edition

TWO DAYS LATER... I've sucked at Halloween lately which is why I'm having trouble letting it go this weekend. I mean I really have. It was once my favorite official holiday (I'm still petitioning for Oscar Night to be a Federally recognized holiday because, duh, that's the best one) but for the past couple of years I haven't dressed up or celebrated and just haven't been feeling it. So Imma have to start planning my costume for 2014 now just so there's no backing out. If you've ever lost the love for a holiday and reclaimed it, do help me out in the comments. What to do???

Since the clock falls back one hour tonight (daylight savings endeth) I'm using that an excuse to pretend time and calendares are completely fluid/meaningless and it's not too late to post these pictures of two of TFE's most favorite ladies/actresses/divas/witches Nicole Kidman and Angela Bassett doin' the holiday up... and Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy co-starring again post The Heat for a little trick-or-treating

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