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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.

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Cannes Jury

"The Jury Lineup is very diverse and unconventional " - Amy

"I love Agnes Jaoui! If you haven't seen her movies yet, you are in for a treat." - Adri

"Huppert's chances of winning seem increased to me with her biggest fan Chastain on the list." - Tyson

Interviews

Betty Buckley (Split)
Michael O'Shea (The Transfiguration)
Filmmakers (Cézanne and I)
Melissa Leo (Most Hated Woman in America)
Ritesh Batra (Sense of an Ending)

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Saturday
Aug222015

Interview: James Ransone on Leading Man Duties in 'Sinister 2' and 'Tangerine'

Jose here. James Ransone had me at Haneke. As we sat down to talk about Sinister 2 I explained my hierarchy of scariest things, clowns come first, followed by children, ghosts, and snakes... He responded “I don’t get scared by that stuff, I get scared by Michael Haneke movies...Amour scares me”. It was one of many responses that caught me completely off guard, because unlike most interviewees at junkets for studio movies, Mr. Ransone seemed completely unscripted, he was just saying what he thought, which made for a truly refreshing conversation.

James Ransone photographed in NYC. Credit: Jose Solis

It’s this very same irreverent quality that makes Ransone so compelling to watch onscreen. Whether he’s in a miniseries like Generation Kill or an indie hit like Tangerine, which he made with frequent collaborator Sean Baker, Ransone’s characters always seem to be coming up with their dialogue on the spot (no offense to the truly great screenwriters he’s worked with). The actor’s presence is so natural that he makes for a hybrid of Brando and John Cazale, who both seemed to effortlessly conjure the essence of their characters.

Mostly seen in supporting parts, this weekend Ransone gets promoted to leading man in Sinister 2, in which he plays Ex-Deputy So & So, the self-deprecating, do gooder who sets off to protect a mother (Shannyn Sossamon) and her two kids who are being terrorized by demonic beings. I talked to the eloquent Ransone about his opening weekend expectations, his own experiences with the "supernatural", and what he thinks is missing in modern American cinema.

JOSE: This room’s setting made me rearrange the order of my questions, because it looks like a shrink’s office and I read that you read Lacan and Zizek…

JAMES RANSONE: Yeah...I mean listen, I’m not gonna pretend that I just sit around and read a lot of philosophy and masturbate to myself intellectually, because that’s really fucking dangerous, but they’re really influential on my thinking. Basically I’m always trying to figure out why society works the way it does, and a lot of these guys helped make sense and shape some of the things that never made sense to me before. Foucault too, big time.

Sinister 2 and Tangerine after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Aug222015

Peter Bogdanovich Gives Good Quote

on the set of What's Up Doc (1972)Peter Bogdanovich, one of the leading directors of the early Seventies, has finally made another movie at 76 years of age. She's Funny That Way, which stars Jennifer Aniston and opens today, is his first since The Cat's Meow (2001) with Kirsten Dunst. His career has been very quiet since his last true hit (Mask, 1985) but he hasn't been.

Bogdanovich's lack of inhibition when talking to the press has surely caused him problems in his career, but it's a source of joy for movie fanatics.It's all too rare to get unmassaged opinions from powerful artists who aren't worried about ruffling the feathers of other artists.

He just gave good quote to the Hollywood Reporter on Barbra Streisand in What's Up Doc? (1972) who originally wanted to do a drama with him instead of a comedy, Cher in Mask (1985) --  he doesn't exactly flatter her but to say he believes she should have won the Oscar that year, and making Paper Moon (1973) with the O'Neal's. That's our favorite of his pictures as you probably noted during the 1973 Smackdown last year.

But his quote on The Last Picture Show (1971) is the best:

[The scene in which] Cloris Leachman [who won the best supporting actress Oscar for her role] throws that coffee pot and yells at Timothy Bottoms — Cloris did it brilliantly. She wanted to rehearse it and I kept saying, “I don’t want to rehearse it; I want to see it for the first time when we actually roll.” I had learned that idea — to not let the actors show you an emotional scene before they shot it — from John Ford through Henry Fonda. It was Hank Fonda who told me that for the big climactic scene with the mother in The Grapes of Wrath, [Ford] wouldn’t let the actors play it for him — he wanted it to be fresh when they did it and of course he used the first take.

So I said, “Action!” and she was extraordinary. [But] she said, “I can do it better.” I said, “No, you can’t; you just won the Oscar.” And to this day — Jeff Bridges told me that he [recently] ran into Cloris and that she said, “Oh, I’m so angry at Peter. That was the first take. I could have done it better.” And Jeff said: “Oh, Cloris. You won the Oscar!”

Saturday
Aug222015

What's the best scene from summer movie season?

Team Experience will be sharing highlights of their summer viewing in a week but until then, out of curiousity... What would you name the best single scene of the summer movie season? Here are a bakers dozen of candidates that thrilled yours truly...

• Chez Andie. Magic Mike XXL 
The Opera House. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (and where the hell has this Rebecca Ferguson woman been all our lives?)
The Dream. Inside Out
• A Dangerous Dance. Tom at the Farm 
Furiosa vs. Max. Mad Max: Fury Road - That chained throwdown with Immortan Joe's harem as audience
Saving the Barn. Far From the Madding Crowd. Schoenaerts to the rescue!
Karaoke Night. I'll See You In My Dreams 
Birth of The Vision. Avengers: Age of Ultron. Damn but it's good to see Paul Bettany floating, mysterious, forehead bejewelled, and airbrushed red 
Laced Drink. The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Elizabeth Debicki is everything, in OR out of focus
Nested Flashback. Ant-Man. Starring Michael Peña 
Commercial on Loop. The D Train Jack Black's James Marsden obsession begins
Stepmom Stakes ClaimRicki and the Flash. It's always special and too rare to see an actress challenge Meryl Streep to a duel in a face off scene. Go Audra!
Visiting an Old Friend. Grandma. It's been a good summer for Sam Elliott. See also: I'll See You In My Dreams

I wanted to list something from A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence but since the whole thing is brilliant short vignettes, it would take up half the list.

Please do share your favorites! 

Friday
Aug212015

Stop Hiding Toby Kebbel's Face! 

Why won't Hollywood let us see it?!  

He keeps getting all these big movie jobs wherein you can't see his face. First there was all that hair as Agenor in Wrath of the Titans. Then the motion capture villain Koba in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. He's in theaters right now (well, not for much longer) as Doctor Doom (presumably scarred and metal-masked) in Fantastic Four. He's in the Warcraft movie soon and there are a ton of CG characters in that though I know nothing about that video game so perhaps his character is human?

Toby talking about motion capture acting last yearAnd now he's joined the cast of the King Kong related movie Skull Island. No word yet on his role but if he's invisible via motion capture again, imma be pissed! Stop hiding him, filmmakers. This is vaguely like when people pretend that Toni Collette or Jamie Bell are bit players or that we don't like to look at their faces by hiding them in the background or making them play second fiddle to lesser actors or in Jamie's case, burying that mug under rock man CGI. 

Toby gets to act with his face finally in the Messala role in Ben-Hur. That's the gay part Stephen Boyd so memorably played in the 1959 Best Picture winner. No word yet on whether this version will be as conservative as Charlton Heston thought the original was. He was famously unaware that Boyd and the director William Wyler had teamed up to amp up the homo subtext in their scenes. 

Let's start a petition to unleash Toby Kebbel's face in the movies. No more masks or CGI. 

 

 

Friday
Aug212015

Is "Notorious" Hitchcock's Only Feminist Film? 

Welcome back to our Ingrid Bergman Centennial... we accidentally took a week off. Here's Deborah on Hitchcock's Notorious (1946) - Editor

Notorious is Hitchcock’s only feminist film, and Alicia Huberman, as played by Ingrid Bergman, is the only Hitchcock heroine rewarded, rather than destroyed, for her sexual agency. Notorious pairs a tramp, which is what Alicia calls herself, with a misogynist, as Cary Grant’s Devlin says he’s always been afraid of women. Alicia, then, is not fighting Nazis, she’s fighting the patriarchy and its misogynist attraction/repulsion for female sexuality. 

Everyone knows that Hitchcock coined “McGuffin” to mean the thing that everyone in the film cares about, but no one in the audience cares about. The example generally used is the radioactive sand from Notorious. But I’d argue that the entire Nazi plot, in fact World War II as a whole, is the McGuffin. This is a love story, a sex story, an awakening story, and, yes, a feminist story. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Friday
Aug212015

1954 Look Back: Audrey's Style in "Sabrina" or the Givenchy Effect

We continue our 1954 celebration (Year of the Month) with abstew on Audrey... 

Audrey Hepburn isn't just a movie star, but a fashion icon. Her image is so closely linked to her style that the moments that immediately come to mind when we think of her - in a black cocktail dress, pearls, and oversized sunglasses nibbling a croissant in front of the window of Tiffany & Co, descending the stairs of the Louvre in a red evening gown, arms out-stretched with Winged Victory as backdrop to name just two - are all influenced by what she was wearing.

Every year some young ingénue is compared to Audrey on the red carpet. Her look and grace have become shorthand for a kind of elegance. In Jerry Maguire, when Renée Zellweger's Dorothy appears in a little black dress for her date with Tom Cruise's Jerry his adoring reaction is:

That's more than a dress. That's an Audrey Hepburn movie."

And it's thanks to the work of French designer Hubert de Givenchy and his creations on 1954's Sabrina that launched the timeless Audrey Hepburn look we know today. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Friday
Aug212015

i'm just a link machine... a bloggin' writin' fiend ♫ 

MNPP picks five favorite shots from his favorite movie Rosemary's Baby
Village Voice wonderful insightful review of Lily Tomlin as Grandma 
Comics Alliance did you know we almost got a Jurassic Park animated series before Spielberg changed his mind?  
Coming Soon Christian Bale to star in a biopic about Enzo Ferrari directed by Michael Mann
THR might we have another documentary theme nominated in the Original Song category? Lady Gaga & Diane Warren's "Till It Happens To You" from the campus rape documentary The Hunting Ground is a buzzy one

Coming Soon speaking of Lady Gaga, here's our first look at her in American Horror Story: Hotel
Out Cheyenne Jackson talks about her, too. She's all up in my internet today!
Pajiba on the expanding cast for that Netflix Brad Pitt movie War Machine 
Playbill Carrie The Musical being revived again... in Los Angeles this time in October. It never truly dies
The Film Stage James Gray has begun production on Lost City of Z starring Charlie Hunman, Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller, and Tom Holland. (They don't mention it in the article but this is the first time he's made a movie WITHOUT Joaquin Phoenix since his 1994 debut Little Odessa.)
The Film Stage also shares Bong Joon-Ho's 10 favorite films: Recent entries like Zodiac  appear alongside stone cold classics like Psycho and South Korean classics like The Housemaid (1960) which you might remember was recently remade.
Variety Hugh Jackman may make an Odyssey movie. 
Final Girl top 20 horror movies of the 21st century. I read stuff about horror by smart horror fans way way more often than I am willing to watch horror. Why is that? Don't know! But it's true.
Variety wonders why The Americans still can't catch a break with Emmy voters 
Variety is the Emmy race for Drama down to Game of Thrones versus Mad Men
i09 ewww Buffalo Bill's creepy house from Silence of the Lambs is for sale (basement not included which makes the news far less creepy)

Off Cinema For Fun
Bad Lip Reading takes on the First Republican Debate -heh
Zimbio "it turns out posing Nicki Minaj's wax figure on all fours was a bad idea" - ya think!? 

Showtune to go...
Congratulations to Tony winner Victoria Clark on her recent wedding! Beautiful wedding photos and if you've ever seen her perform you won't soon forget. Her acting and her gorgeous voice are ideally fused together and she gives splendid rich and nuanced musical performances. Lately she's been relegated to featured roles as mothers and grandmothers but she is one fine leading lady. Here she is doing Sondheim's classic "Losing My Mind" from the recent revival of Follies (Bernadette Peters played the role in NYC but Victoria took over for Los Angeles)

Photographed by Julia Wade