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English Patient Reunion

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Your Daily Reminder That Julianne Moore Won an Oscar

Hat tip and Quote of the week to our friend Ali Arikan in Istanbul

Turkish bootlegs don't have time for your bullshit."
-Ali Arikan 



We Can't Wait! #11: "A Bigger Splash"

Team Experience is counting down our 15 most anticipated for 2015. Here's Nathaniel... 

Who & What: No, kids. NOT the watery pop art David Hockney painting. Not even the highly naked 70s era fictionalized bio sprung from that painting, though we'd happily see that too should someone screen it. (Curators?) What it is is FINALLY the Luca Gaudagino follow up to I Am Love which topped our charts when it was released in 2010. That film's inimitable star Tilda Swinton and its gifted cinematographer Yorick Le Saux (Only Lovers Left Alive) and editor Walter Fasano are all returning. New collaborators are production designer Maria Djurkovic (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Imitation Game), Dakota Johnson untied, and two of the best male screen actors in the world in Ralph Fiennes and Matthias Schoenaerts.  

Here's the only photo that I'm aware of from the set:

Why We're Excited About It: Swinton and Fiennes hinted at fabulous chemistry in Grand Budapest Hotel in their ultra brief screentime together. They're playing ex-lovers this time -- with Tilda married to Schoenaerts so just those names all smooshed together in a daisy chain sound like a bodice ripper for art film fans. The characters all collide on vacation in Italy including Fiennes screen daughter (Dakota Johnson) and things get... well, no spoilers but there's obviously TROUBLE and that trouble is at least somewhat sexual. It's adapted from La Piscine (1969) a French film starring the beauteous coupling of Alain Delon & Romy Schneider. If you want spoilers, go there. 

What if It All Goes Wrong: Guadagnino has been doing shorts and documentaries for the past several years after I Am Love, just as he had before that international breakthrough. Following up a masterpiece is never easy. It's probably not safe to expect something that brilliant again though we wish him enormous success so he might finally get that proposed remake of Auntie Mame with Tilda in the leading role made after all. Another concern: Margot Robbie was originally cast in Dakota's part and, ,apologies to Dakota, but that feels like a downgrade on the evidence of what we've seen so far from both of them.

When: Fox Searchlight has distribution rights for America and filming has wrapped so we'd expect a TIFF or Telluride bow followed by a November or December release if people are wild for it. But you never know. I Am Love did Venice and TIFF in 2009 and then waited until summer of 2010 for release. 

previously in We Can't Wait, Kate Winslet in The Dressmaker


5 Suggestions for that Newly Announced DumBurton Film

Manuel here with your daily Disney update. By now you’ve probably already heard that Tim Burton, he of Alice in Wonderland & Big Eyes fame has signed on to direct a live-action adaptation of beloved Disney property Dumbo. With it, of course, came cries of “IS NOTHING SACRED?!” despite large corporations (in particular the Mouse House) constantly letting us know that, no, actually nothing is. Especially when we’re all so eager to shell out money for Phase 1 of their live action remake roster.

So, rather than rehearse those conversations (“What will they turn to next; Fantasia?!”) or snarkily, if gleefully, begin to imagine what other director/Disney film pairings we could come up with (Fincher’s Ursula, Bigelow’s Mulan, Apatow’s Hercules…), I figured we’d offer some suggestions for this Dumburton film:

• Cast Andy Serkis as Dumbo (or maybe Sean Gunn who did such great work on Rocket Raccoon?)
• Steer away from casting Johnny Depp (no one wants to see his take on Timothy Q. Mouse)
• If you’ll be recruiting past collaborators, make us excited about seeing what Colleen Atwood & Dennis Gassner could do with a circus (they did such great work on Big Fish)
• Gender-bend this mostly male story; might the crows be an all-female gang? (think of it: Ricci! Davis! Ryder! Green! Pfeiffer!)
• Keep it weird (but not Mad Hatter dancing weird, more like ‘is this really a drug-induced elephant dancing sequence?’ weird).

I’m sure we all have strong opinions on this one, so let’s hear ‘em! Are you the teensiest bit excited about this or is Disney’s cash-grab go back-to-the-animation-well more unsavory than when they used it to cast Glenn Close as Cruella DeVil back in the 90s?


Chappie, or "God, How I Hated That Robot"

Michael C here. The more coarse and petty the level of online discourse becomes the more determined I am to elevate things when I add my own voice to the mix. And yet, here I am sitting down to write about Chappie, a film that announces itself as being full of Big Ideas, and all I really want to say is, “God, how I hated that robot.” 

I could couch that in more academic terms. I could say Chappie’s grating personality exemplifies the many drastic miscalculations Neill Blomkamp made in crafting his latest sci-fi parable. But let’s cut to the heart of the matter. Chappie is the worst. Not Chappie the movie, which is bad, but not as Earth-shatteringly terrible as its buzz suggests. Chappie the character, the first robot to be programmed with a soul. I hated Chappie’s cloying, chirpy voice (courtesy of District 9's Sharlto Copley). I hated the supposedly cutesy-poo way Chappie refers to himself in the third person. I hated the attempts to make me go “Awww” by having Chappie relate to the children’s book The Black Sheep. And Sweet Jesus did I hate it when a gang of thugs teaches Chappie to mimic all their irritating mannerisms. [More...]

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Brandy. Whitney. Bernadette. It's Cinderella... Again

Cinderella Week continues with Andrew Kendall on a true event in showbiz history...

On our journey through Cinderellas we take a stop in 1997 for an unlikely entry in the canon. Unlike the animated version it did not change a cinematic form, nor like the Julie Andrews version did it launch a star. When the 1997 TV production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella premiered in 1997 it was hailed as one of the most successful TV musicals in years and audiences did, love it, 60 million of them. But, it has endured as little more than a footnote on the résumé of its fêted cast and crew.

This would be the second remake of the Rodger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella written for Julie Andrews in 1957 (the first remake a Lesley Ann Warren version in 1965). And, still, I’d swear on the altar of all things magical that this is the finest adaptation of the Cinderella story. Myriad reasons, but principally because this Cinderella has more on its mind than just the girl at the centre…

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"You own everything. Everything is yours."

There are so many great moments in Paris is Burning, this week's Hit Me With Your Best Shot subject, that it's a real struggle to narrow down what you even what to say about it. And your top ten moments -- I love the "O.P.U.L.E.N.C.E" moment more than is entirely healthy -- might not even contain anything like your choice for this series.

CATEGORY IS... BEST SHOT! But this queen isn't quite ready to "walk" and our resident Australian Glenn is having a going away thing tonight, so Best Shot must wait until tomorrow so there's still time to Netflix Instant Watch this thing and join us! Some of the legendary Best Shot Children are ready to go so the trophies are theirs. Please click over and read what these fine blogs have to say about this revelatory time capsule.

• Dusty Hixenbaugh
A Fistful of Films
The Spy in the Sandwich
Film Actually
Out to the Movies
Coco Hits NY
Queerer Things
The Entertainment Junkie
Dancin Dan on Film
Lam Chop Chop
Sorta That Guy
The Film's The Thing
I Am Derreck
Video Valhalla
Paul Outlaw
Nebel Without a Cause

• .... AND YOUR CHOICE ???

Oh come on, you know you wanna try. It's only about 70 minutes long and it's on Netflix Instant Watch. Join us and I'll include you in the visual index tomorrow night. You've been given a 24 hour extension on your deadline since I'm running late. We're serving PROCRASTINATING REALNESS.


Q&A: Hitchcock Presents Reader Questions

Oops. The 'Ask Nathaniel / Q&A' column is a Monday experience. And here it is on Tuesday. I blame... what really matters is the blame  somebody to blame. well if that's the thing you enjoy placing the blame, if that's your aim,  give me the blame.

HI EVERYBODY! Are you glad that the themed banner is back up top? I'm going with photography this week so here is a picture of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck for laughs before we get to eight reader questions after the jump starring Alfred Hitchcock, Daniel Day-Lewis, Drew Barrymore and The Golden Girls.

Why? I don't know. So, it's your fault then!

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