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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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Team Experience's Emmy Ballot

"Love the premise of Feud, but the execution of it? Oof. Molina, Davis and a smattering of technical nods (ex. those opening credits!) would be more than generous, IMO." - Mareko

"Not enough Orange is the New Black mentioned." - Brad

 

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Thursday
Jan212016

Throwback Thursday: Still ended up in outer space...

Lynn Lee here, with a little "before they were in Star Wars" trip down memory lane...
Remember when Poe Dameron and Kylo Ren did a novelty song with Justin Timberlake?

Does this mean JT will be joining them at some point in our favorite outer space saga?  Maybe there can be a truce trio - or even a quartet with Daisy Ridley...

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) is one of those films that I didn't love when I first saw it but gradually burrowed its way into my soul.  I now think it's one of the Coen brothers' best.  Of course, a lot of credit goes to the gorgeous musical performances, especially Oscar Isaac's solo turns, even if they're continually punctuated (and punctured) by the complete lack of on-screen audience appreciation.  Or maybe all the more because of that: you feel like you're making a private discovery, whether of the character or the actor, or both.  Definitely worth revisiting, if nothing else as the sad-mask companion piece to "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" or for the always-welcome reminder that Oscar Isaac can sang.

Wednesday
Jan202016

First Look at Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Kieran, here. The three films nominated for Best Makeup and Hairstyling at the Oscars this are an interesting bunch.  The Academy had a lot of options to choose from and it almost feels miraculous that they didn’t default nominate things like The Danish Girl or Black Mass, which (questions of merit aside) are practically begging the viewer to notice the makeup work in both cases.  Even if they’re not yours, it’s a respectable crop of nominees. An aside: if we’re going to get five original song nominees every year no matter what, why only three nominees in this category? Curious…

 Mad Max: Fury RoadLesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega, Damian Martin

Previous Work: A lot of features with both George Miller and Baz Luhrmann, but as supervisors (makeup supervisors don’t get nominated, so they weren’t cited when Moulin Rouge! was nominated in 2001)

How They Got Nominated: It almost feels like a silly thing to ponder when looking at the rich tapestry of character designs populating Mad Max: Fury Road. In a way, it could have all felt very random and directionless, but manages to feel cohesive in an “organized chaos” kind of way. It all feels of a piece, even if the makeup work varies greatly from character-to-character. Lesley Vanderwalt has stated that Miss Giddy was the character who took the longest to create, with her intricate, other-worldly body etchings.

 The 100-Year-Old-Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared – Love Larson, Eva Von Bahr

Previous Work: Many Swedish films, though they did work on David Fincher’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (not the original Swedish language version, oddly enough).

How They Got Nominated: Our Alone, Yet Not Alone nominee of 2015 in that “Who? For what?” kind of way. Few were predicting this to get in, though we probably should have been.  Old age makeup is to the makeup branch what gunfire is to the sound branch—its mere presence in a film automatically makes it a contender. Not to say that there’s undeserving makeup work at play in The 100 Year-Old-Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared (it’s on Amazon for anyone who wants to check it out). The old age makeup here is…about as good as old age makeup should look in a major motion picture. It’s not wholly convincing in terms of believability, nor is it Benjamin Button-level absurd in how over-the-top it is. And (just in case you were wondering) this film has not replaced Who is Harry Kellerman and Why is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? as the longest title of an Academy Award-nominated film.

 The Revenant – Siân Grigg, Duncan Jarman, Robert A. Pandini


Previous Work: Siân Grigg is basically Leonardo DiCaprio’s J. Roy Helland. He’s been his makeup artist on every film since Titanic. If the campaign is not playing up this angle already, they really should be. And here's hoping Leo thanks him in his speech.

How They Got Nominated: The Academy clearly liked The Revenant a whole lot. But, even setting aside the films massive nomination tally, there is good makeup work going on here. In fact, of all The Revenant’s 37 nominations, this is the one it arguably deserves the most (sorry, Leo). The team is in it to win it, too. They’re already making the rounds about how Leo sat in hair and makeup for an exhausting five hours each day to apply the wounds and gashes, which do look pretty impressive.

 What’s your pick to win among these nominees? What missed out on a nomination that was deserving?

Wednesday
Jan202016

HBO’s LGBT History: In Treatment (2008-2010)

 Manuel is working his way through all the LGBT-themed HBO productions...

Last week we looked back at the 1990 1989 Oscar ceremony (it took place in 1990 but celebrated the best of 1989) and got to see an unfazed Jessica Lange and a blustered Charlton Heston, both things which are equally entertaining to watch. This week, we’re tempering our nerves over Haynes’s Oscar snub with a visit to In Treatment’s Dr. Paul Weston (Gabriel Byrne).

Developed by Rodrigo García (who we talked about briefly since he directed Six Feet Under’s “A Private Life”), this HBO show is an American adaptation of the Israeli series BeTipul. Aired as a five-night series, every episode follows a session with Dr. Weston. For today we’re looking at season three’s “Week 1: Jesse” where we meet Dane DeHaan’s character Jesse. And boy is he a testy one!

Playing an aloof New York City privileged gay teen is a balancing act: one false move and you teeter right into a stereotype. Thankfully, DeHaan is more than up to the task. His Jesse is the type of teen who mistakes his own self-awareness for introspection and the actor's cadence is spot on, every sentence oozing a put-on air of self-importance undercut by his nervous need for validation. The episode, which hints at his past troubles (selling drugs at his school) and his current unraveling (he’s just gotten a voicemail from his birth mother), are a perfect example of an LGBT character on screen whose arc is dependent but not exclusive to his sexuality. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jan202016

Linkages: Wondrous Women, Chilly Lesbians, and Academy In-Fighting

Atlantic one of the best defenses of Carol's 'coldness" that you'll read. And as I've been saying since October... "If this is chilly, bring on winter."
Awards Daily has the nominations for the Canadian Screen Awards with Room and Felix & Meara (Canada's Oscar submission) leading the way. Perhaps Canadian readers can tell me about this one: How is it different than the long running Genies? 
Comics Alliance Wonder Woman get a "brassy" logo... which looks exactly like how you'd expect since that W on her breastplate is fairly iconic
Pajiba Wonder Woman has also released a couple of very brief clips including a campy look "disguise" will glasses that will remind you instantly of Lynda Carter librarian sexy look on the TV show. Unfortunately Wonder Woman looks as dark and gloomy as the other DC movies... it's a problem when you have to constantly brighten every still in Photoshop just so you can even see it.  
The Retro Set looks at Broken Lance, that interesting 1954 western we discussed a few months back
Amiresque Amir's "Best of" choices for the film year. A reminder to me that I really should have seen Queen of Earth
The Directors Cut Auteur Paul Thomas Anderson interviews Oscar-nominated Adam McKay on The Big Short
YouTube The Suicide Squad gets a new trailer w/ Margot Robbie looking like the obvious standout

Oscar Fights & Carol Honors after the jump... 

 

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Wednesday
Jan202016

Bowie Beauty Break & "Lazarus" Farewell

Pt 1 Bowie & Velvet Goldmine
Pt 2 Curio Finale
Pt 3 Beauty Break

A picture released by the family last week to accompany their announcement that they will be having a private ceremony. They are overwhelmed by the public outpouring of love but wanted to remind everyone that they welcome all the tributes and celebrations (as people see fit) but they are not officially endorsed or organized by the family.

Have you been listening to David Bowie for a week solid now? If you haven't we forgive you. Where even to start with that discography?  Bowie loomed so large in music and cultural history that we needed more time to process, so a week later here's the final piece of our goodbye -  a beauty break to think of him more visually instead... or at least to give you visual accompaniment to go along with your playlists elsewhere.

Musicians have been catching the acting bug since the movies began to wildly varying degrees of success. Some that showed early promise simply didn't care enough to continue doing it (Annie Lennox, Björk, Courtney Love, Tina Turner), others who seemed to want it badly, didn't really have the gift for it (Madonna, Prince), a few have been successful at it despite not being "good" at it (Elvis). There are other musician/actors on whom the jury is still out of course (Justin Timberlake/Lady Gaga). And then there have been people like Cher who were so good at acting that people eventually or temporarily forgot they were musicians. Finally there's David Bowie, our subject today, who occupies the odd ground of being of the cinema but also quite apart from it. (Are there other musicians who have had a similar relationship to the movies -- maybe Sting?)

After the jump, a visual tour of his filmography...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jan202016

Judy by the Numbers: "Americana"

Anne Marie here with one of the foundational building blocks of the legend that is Judy. This week it's the story you've probably heard: young Judy Garland sings in a two-reel with another mostly-unknown MGM child actor named Deanna Durbin. Mayer sees the short and decides to dump one of the girls. Which he chooses and why is up for debate, but the practical fallout turns one girl into a big star at a small studio, and puts the other on the road towards a mythmaking career.

The Movie: "Every Sunday" (MGM, 1936)

The Songwriter: Roger Eden

The Players: Judy Garland and Deanna Durbin directed by Felix E. Feist

The Story: When young Judy had signed with MGM, she had done so without a screentest. The powers that be decided to rectify that in 1936, casting Judy with Deanna Durbin, another girl singer whose classical style contrasted nicely with Judy's big, swingtime voice. Durbin's option at MGM was about to expire, and the studio decided not to renew it. Durbin was rapidly scooped up by Universal, cast in Three Smart Girls, and became a nearly overnight sensation. These are the facts as we know them.

Many variations on this storyfeature heavily in the Judy Garland myth. In some versions, Mayer tells an underling to "get rid of the fat one," and the studio mistakenly lets go Durbin. In others, Arthur Freed recognizes young Garland's talents and intercedes on her behalf. Whatever the real reason was, this story remains the most romanticized near-miss in Hollywood musical history. It's a story of foils: Classical Deanna vs Brassy Judy, the flashpan sensation vs the undying star, the nonegenarian vs the talent gone too soon. Every good myth needs an origin story, and this moment, when Judy's career nearly stopped before it began, serves neatly as the genesis for Judy Garland, Child Star.