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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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Friday
Feb082013

Burning Questions: Are Jump Scares Ever Not Awful?

Michael C here. I recently caught up with Andres Muschietti’s Mama and found it to be a decent little chiller with one particularly irksome habit. It is packed end-to-end with cheap jump scares. It’s as if the studio insisted the director include a quota of brainless “Boo!” moments amid all the creepy suspense stuff that takes actual filmmaking skill. 

Savvy filmgoers understand that jump scares are the worst. Apart from the fact that it requires roughly the same level of craft to startle someone with a loud noise as it does to zap them with a seat buzzer, they have the added drawback of creating distance between the audience and the film. They release tension, rather than build it. This explains their popularity among teenagers who see horror movies as a carnival ride, doling out empty “scares” with mechanical timing.

So finding a minefield of these cheap shots in another otherwise capable spook story like Mama got me thinking. Are there any defensible examples of the jump scare? Or is it an artistic sin every time it’s trotted out?


jump scares after, um, the jump.

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Friday
Feb082013

Thoughts I Had... While Staring at the First Image From "Nymphomaniac"

Behold the first still released from Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac which will star Charlotte Gainsbourg (in her third collaboration with the director following Antichrist & Melancholia). These are the thoughts I had in actual chronological order...

• That's a really odd choice for a first still. It's a tremendously vague tease but better this than those movies which release "first looks!" that might as well be headshots of the actors, they're so generic.
• Remember when Laura Dern got high from inhaling glue in paper bags in Citizen Ruth
• If that were Michelle Pfeiffer and this were 1992, a bunch of cats could run into frame and resurrect this poor soul.

• Who is this poor soul? 
• This doesn't look as fun as the movie's title. Bleak it looks.
• If this movie is as good as The Idiots (1998), my vote for the single most underappreciated von Trier marvel, I will want to have sex with it.
• Did you see Smashed? That scene where Mary Elisabeth Winstead accidentally smoked crack during a Lost Weekend really threw me.

• Will this movie have a mix of pathos and humor like many of von Trier's films or will it be an across the board icky provocation like Manderlay or Antichrist.
• Oh, I actually just looked up the plot synopsis on IMDb which suggestes that this is an image of Charlotte from perhaps the opening scene of the movie:  

A self-diagnosed nymphomaniac recounts her erotic experiences to the man who saved her after a beating.

• Interesting cast I think: Returning von Trier alum Charlotte herself plus Jens Albinus, Udo Kier, Jesper Christensen, Stellan Skarsgård and Charlotte's Antichrist hubbie Willem Dafoe; Scandinavian von Trier Virgins: Shanti Roney (who was marvelous in a sexually charged uncomfortable scene in Applause) and international actress Connie Nielsen who turns it out when a director challenges her (i.e.  infrequently but enough to make you long for the next time); People we most hope have sex very naked and super often in the movie even if its uncomfortably von Trierian sex: Jamie Bell & Uma Thurman; Stunt Casting: Christian Slater (as Charlotte's father?!) and Shia Labeouf who one assumes wanted to get naked and artsy again

p.s. here's a second official image, less vague, less safe for work. 

 

Friday
Feb082013

Dear AMPAS... Love, Team Experience

With the final Oscar voting commencing today -- can we still say "ballots going out" when this season has been so dramatically electronic? -- I asked Team Experience to write very brief notes to Oscar voters.

I'll start us off...

❝Dear AMPAS, Two Words: Emmanuelle Riva. Respect your elders and wish her a happy 86th birthday on February 24th (your 85th!). In your 85 years you've had plenty of impossible dreamgirls like Lawrence, rapidly ascending versatile stars like Jessica, and resilient fierce mamas like Naomi. But you've never given the prize to anyone like Emmanuelle. Do your own Best Actress legacy proud by switching it up and proving you're still free thinkers in your 80s! 
Yours always, for better & worse, Nathaniel

pleas for The Master, Zero Dark Thirty, Moonrise Kingdom and more after the jump...

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Friday
Feb082013

Link-o-mania

This week has been so relentless that I haven't had a chance to publish any of the links I've been storing up. It's a tidal wave of links for vous. You've lots to read this afternoon and over the weekend. Ready Set... Go...

news bits
David Poland on the binge-viewing model people are talking about post House of Cards. Incidentally I'm not at all for this. If I'm going to spend multiple hours watching something, I can catch up on movies I missed. My favorite thing about TV might be its serialized brevity. Don't ruin that TV gods.
Playlist another new pic from Behind the Candelabra the Liberace biopic - although i almost didn't link because I hate when images are trotted out as "first official" when we've all seen myriad photos already. Splitting hairs for traffic. But since it's a Liberace biopic I shall let it slide this one time. 
Cinema Blend Ryan Gosling uses the casting couch! Girlfriend Eva Mendes joins the cast of How To Catch a Monster, Gosling's directorial debut 
LA Times Wong Kar Wai's The Grand Master opens Berlinale and gets bought up by Weinstein Co. 
Guardian both Ellen Page and Melissa McCarthy are going to direct comedy features soon!
In Contention Good news. ParaNorman did solid enough business that Laika and Focus will reteam for The Boxtrolls (2014) 

star-gazing
Hammer and Thump Nicholas Hoult draws pictures for film bloggers. Ugh. So sad I didn't do Warm Bodies interviews now.
Coming Soon Hoult has also just joined the cast of Young Ones, a sci-fi thriller costarring Elle Fanning
Laughing Squid animated Superman gif throws dozens of iconic characters into the mix 

individualistic takes
A Blog Next Door looks at Django Unchained. Loved the very last observation and not just because I'm tired of people not realizing that this movie is infinitely inferior to Inglourious Basterds
Two Dollar Cinema enjoys Pitch Perfect's organized nerd singing despite his very manly nature
Cinematic Corner 'best of' whoa, someone really likes The Dark Knight Rises.

how very random
L Magazine Ryan Lochte recreates the iconic Nirvana "Nevermind" cover, although the swimsuit kinda kills the effort.
i09 wonders why Batman doesn't return to TV where it could totally thrive again
i09 10 movies that should become TV series right now. #1 is a great punchline
Hark a Vagrant makes an insanely long scrawl joke out of a pop culture moment from 1987 

retro
Film Doctor looks back at Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious -- one of my favorites from his oeuvre. 
Stale Popcorn issues a warning Terence Stamp's crotch will drive you loco in Teorema.

gold-digging
New York Magazine Frank Rich on Oscars in the Obama age. He'd vote Django Unchained and here's why.
LA Times finally finds a way to make those Oscar Luncheon group portraits interesting. Make them interactive. I totally loved clicking around here. You should too.
The Carpetbagger Tony Kushner responds to critiques of Lincoln and the notion of "accuracy" in historical recreations
Awards Daily thinks Supporting Actor is anyone's game 

Thursday
Feb072013

Second Viewings Playbook

David here. What induces you to give a film a second viewing? Usually, I suspect it comes down to adoration, and the desire to feel that rush of emotion again, whether it was delirious laughter, cathartic sobbing or immobilising terror. The 'Repeaters' are the films that become mainstays of your life, the comfort food, the personal canon. We’ve all got them.

Robert's second viewing face

Rarer, though, are the second viewings induced by curiosity. There are so many movies from every decade and country that there’s really always something new to watch -- why waste time on something you’ve already seen and didn’t even like that much? Movies, especially in Oscar season, don’t exist in a vacuum – there is so much discussion around movies, be it from friends or critics or random people on the internet like me, that sometimes you’re forced to think about films you didn't respond to more often than you would have otherwise. Sometimes you find yourself needing to reevalute.

A case in point after the jump...

Click to read more ...