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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
Nov012013

October. It's a Wrap

Two months left to go and we wrap 2013. I can't believe how close to the Oscar thick of it we are. Before we really dive in (I'm off to LA again real soon) a last look back at October. We spent a lot of time with horror films of course (tis the season) for those well received "Before Exorcist / After Exorcist" lists... but what else was hot this month? Here are 11 more of our favorite posts.

Greta Gerwig talked to us about Frances Ha's Gotham snubbing
12 Years of Horrors one of my favorite episodes ever of the Podcast
Tom Hanks as all ages training wheels for movie-star loving
Her premiered at NYFF and Jose shared a few thoughts 
The Fiennes Profile The Grand Budapest Hotel promos got us gawking at Ralph Fiennes again 

Cate Blanchett Glenn spent an evening with her
American Hustle who has what to prove? 
Crazy Possessed Ballerinas what do the movies have against toe shoes? 
Supporting Actress Smackdown '68 Ruth's witchy triumph 
Blue is the Warmest Color got many of you hot and bothered 

Most Comments:
"Remember when we didn't know who would star in Gravity?"


Coming in November
SO MUCH... Where to even begin? Thor: The Dark World, Julie Delpy Interview, The Vivien Leigh Centennial, The Book Thief, Supporting Actress Smackdown 2003 10th Anniversary, Interviews with the casts of Dallas Buyers Club and 12 Years a Slave, The AFI Festival, The Return of Judi Dench, two new musicals: Frozen and Black Nativity and lots more Oscar buzz.

Any Requests?

Thursday
Oct312013

Unbroken Jolie

Did you ever see Angelina Jolie's directorial debut In the Land of Blood and Honey? I myself missed it, given it's blink and you'll miss it release (there are a handful of movies each year that feel like they didn't come out that, in fact, did.... Oscar qualifying shadiness is usually to blame). It received middling reviews but will she have more success with her follow up Unbroken? I hope so. I'm always wishing her well since she's one of the Earth's greatest celebrities.

The first photos from the set have emerged and in this one, it looks like she's remaking Kon-Tiki the water is so very blue and the man in the raft is so very blonde.

But actually the film is about  US airman and former Olympian Louis Zamperini (played by young Brit star Jack O'Connell with whom I am unfamiliar. Anyone?) and his World War II adventures in the Pacific where he crash-landed before eventually doing time as a prisoner of war. The film which could well serve as a breakthrough for its trio of young actors also features Domnhall Gleeson (you know him) and gorgeous soap star Finn Wittrock who will also be in Darren Aronofsky's Noah next year so he's going to be so soggy and pruney in 2014. Acting while wet!  The legendary Roger Deakins is behind the camera.

Empire promises...

it will also have sharks. Lots and lots of sharks. 

Hmmm.

I'd rather watch Angelina punch them than direct them. 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Oct312013

Movies that go bump in the night

Happy Halloween, everybody! It’s Tim, here to celebrate the high holy night of horror movies, when even the most squeamish can steel themselves up to watch a scary movie, and scary movie lovers stock up all our best and blackest to watch in marathons of unendurable dread.

But let’s not go prattling about every random horror film that comes to mind (which is, I’m a little sorry to admit, the way that I assembled my movie playlist for the night). Instead, I’d like to ask everybody to pitch in their suggestions for a question always on my mind this time of year:

What movies best capture the spirit of Halloween?

That question already has a lot of wiggle room baked into it – do we mean Halloween as a night of ghosts and witches, Halloween as a night of trick-or-treating and costumes, Halloween as a night of crisp autumn air and fallen leaves? I don’t know, and that’s why I want to throw it out to all of you. But before I do that, I want to offer three suggestions of the movies that best capture what enters my head when I hear the word “Halloween”. (And I’m not including John Carpenter’s Film Experience-endorsed slasher film Halloween. There’s such a thing as too damn easy).

Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
Absolutely not a joke. The third of the seasonally-arranged film’s four chapters takes place in its entirety on Halloween night, and there’s not a film out there that better evokes a the feeling of dressing up and hunting for candy on a cool fall night. Not many directors in Hollywood history ever had a better grasp of what to do with color than Vincente Minnelli, and in this sequence, he and cinematographer George Folsey gorgeously capture the variations of browns and yellows that dominate the landscape during a Midwestern October (in fact, Carpenter and his DP, Dean Cundey, looked to this film as the inspiration when making Halloween). The warm nighttime lighting is just spooky enough to evoke the feeling of being a child who secretly wants to be scared, and it all couldn’t be more pleasantly nostalgic. Bonus: one of only two films that’s both a terrific Halloween movie and a terrific Christmas movies (the other, of course, is The Nightmare Before Christmas).

Kill, Baby… Kill! (1966)
Because, first, I’d be falling behind in my mission if I didn’t use an article about horror films as an excuse to talk about Mario Bava and the wide world of visually florid, narratively bonkers Italian horror cinema. And second, because my Halloween always needs a stop-over in foggy cemeteries and decaying, haunted Mitteleuropean villages, and some of the absolute best ever put to celluloid can be found in this story of a ghostly little girl making life awful for an isolated Carpathian town has some of the best. The normal rules of Italian horror apply: if you’re hunting for mood and blissed-out color cinematography, this will do you up right, and if you need a tight piece of storytelling… but hey, look at that cinematography! Still, there’s probably no place that approach is more objectively defensible than in a ghost story, where the uncanny and inexplicable is part of the fun. Nor do many movies about ghosts understand so well the primal, bedtime story impact that a good Gothic set can have when it’s been lit to be this creepy.

Sleepy Hollow (1999)
I can remember as vividly now as the day after it happened, the first time I saw Tim Burton’s last completely successful movie and thinking to myself, “That’s it! That’s autumn!” Not bad for a film shot entirely on a soundstage, without a whisper of natural lighting, for which we can credit both Rick Heinrichs’ just-exaggerated fairy tale woods, and Emmanuel Lubezki’s absolutely gorgeous lighting palette, beautifully evoking the yellow haze of light filtered through dying leaves (Heinrich won an Oscar, Lubezki was nominated. Frankly, the visuals would be enough to secure the movie a spot on my annual Halloween-time viewing schedule even if it wasn’t a pretty great ghost story, or didn’t have its own Halloween scene with quintessentially Burtonesque jack-o’-lanterns flickering in the background. There’s an atmospheric creepiness to the film that has everything to do with setting and place, not with plot (which, given the things the plot does, is for the best), and few things have ever colonized my feelings about walking in the woods quite so effectively.

What about the rest of you?

What's your favorite Halloween movie? Let us know in comments!

Thursday
Oct312013

Our Coven: Anjelica Huston IS The Grand High Witch

I was all about to complete "Our Coven" -- our series of holiday witch posts -- in the traditional way when I realized that this requested review of The Witches that I'd written years ago had been lost from the internet! So we must repost with a couple minor updates. I hope you'll enjoy this look back at a key film from 1990.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
Celebrate with The Witches 

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Oct302013

Supporting Smackdown '68: Lynn, Sondra, Kay, Estelle and Ruth

The revival of "StinkyLulu's Supporting Actress Smackdown" now in its new home at The Film Experience continues. The year is... [cue: time travelling music] 1968.  Oscar skipped the Globe nominees in this category from For the Love of Ivy, The Lion in Winter and Finian's Rainbow and despite their love of Oliver! AND of women in musicals AND of prostitutes with hearts of gold they also skipped newcomer Shani Wallis. Instead they went with these five...

Tony Curtis presented the 1968 Best Supporting Actress Oscar

THE NOMINEES

Estelle Parsons, the previous year's winner in this category for Bonnie & Clyde returned for a victory lap (though she skipped the ceremony). She was joined by two showbiz veterans: Ruth Gordon, a three time nominee for screenwriting who was in the middle of a surprising golden years reinvention as a beloved character actress, and Kay Medford, who had previously experienced her greatest successes on stage. Filling out the shortlist were two fresh faces nominated for their film debuts: Sondra Locke (who would later partner up with Clint Eastwood both on and offscreen for 14 years) & Lynn Carlin (who would later vanish into a series of guest spots on television).

Who will win the Smackdown? Read on 

Click to read more ...