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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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Beauty vs. Beast


If you don't vote for Jack, he'll come after you with an axe


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The BIG EYES Poster

"I didn't even notice the stars at first but that's why I like it. Tag line is clever. I hope Burton gone substance over style (while being stylish) with this one." - Jija

"The art is ugly creepy kitsch... that is, slightly above dogs playing pool and black-velvet Elvis. I have a hard time grasping why we should care who created it..." - Owen

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Complete the Sentence. Last night...

Last night I watched __________________ and it left me feeling _____________________________ . If you must know I ate  ______________ while watching it.


Link Out Your Dead

My New Plaid Pants a funny exchange between David Cronenberg and Robert Pattinson regarding Cosmopolis' prostrate exam scene
Pajiba 7 performances that changed our minds about actors this year
Movie|Line hey girl, it's the Ryan Gosling coloring book 
Serious Film chooses his Oscar ballot for Best Actor if the awards were only once an... ever. 

Hollywood Robert Pattinson will play TE Lawrence (of Arabia) in a new movie about Gertrud Bell which will star Naomi Watts. She's really, suddenly, fighting for that Oscar again what with all these biopic roles.
Movies Now A Mary Pickford revival is on the way
Arts Beat Raiders of the Lost Ark gets a week on IMAX screens in September. Yay! That'll be fun.

Sad News About Dead Projects
/Film says that Eastern Promises 2 is probably dead. Ugh. I so needed more Viggo as Nicolai in my life. I really did. 
Empire Henry Selick, who did such an excellent job shepherding Coraline to the screen had been working on another stop motion film for Disney. They've pulled the plug. God, hadn't they seen Coraline or The Nightmare Before X-Mas? This man is an amazing talent.

Happy News About Dead Projects
Finally Fox has turned the rights to Daredevil back over to Marvel (who'd like all their characters back, thank you) after not getting it together for a reboot (Joe Carnahan had been mapping one out). Daredevil was obviously Fox's sacrificial lamb because they didn't want to give anything Fantastic Four related back and (contractual) time was running out on both properties. It's really too bad that Marvel can't get all their characters back because they're better at the superhero movie making than the other studios are. Plus, imagine the crossover possibilities. This might be shortsighted on Fox's behalf though because Daredevil is not a bad franchise concept at all. It was just that Fox did a T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E job translating it to screens, with horrible casting, horrible movie making, horrible visualization of Daredevil's radar (he's a blind superhero, remember) and horrible everything. Worse yet they sullied the property by pissing away its best story arc on a subpar movie. The Daredevil vs. Bullseye vs. Elektra arc was nothing short of classic scary exciting unnerving in Frank Miller's hands in the comic books. On screen not so much... or rather not at all. If I were in charge (lol. I'm *so* not!) I'd give up trying to reboot Daredevil as a movie but relaunch him with a TV series, part legal procedural, part organized crime drama, part superheroics.  You'd only get to Bullseye and Elektra once the series had found its voice and sure footing because you don't wanna be fucking that storyline up; it's gold.


Searching for Treasures at TIFF: A Top Dozen List

Hey Everyone. Amir here to preview the Toronto International Film Festival. There's less than a month to go before opening night. Those of you who follow the festival’s news regularly probably know that yesterday marked the completion of most of the festival’s strands, so we can officially start salivating all over the program book. Making a “Most Anticipated Films” list is a fool’s errand; TIFF’s lineup is so vast that the list would basically equate to everything that’s left to be screened in 2012 and then some. Titles like The Master, Anna Karenina, Argo (the latter of which I'm anticipating and dreading) and Cloud Atlas will feature on everyone’s list. There are also Cannes leftovers such as Rust & Bone, Reality, No and The Paperboy to be excited for, but I’m dedicating this list, to the pleasure of discovery which is the lifeblood of festivals.

Last year Nathaniel made a similar list of sixteen potential gems in advance of the festival. Some of those were films I would not have watched had he not suggested them, and I’m glad to say that one of them ended up not only as my top film of the festival, but the best film I saw all year. Here’s hoping we can strike gold again with any of these:


The Suicide Shop

12. A Liar’s Biography/The Suicide Shop

Yes, I hate "ties" as much as you when it comes to list-making but I wanted to round things out with an animated film and couldn’t decide between them. We've got a 3D fictionalized telling of Graham Chapman’s life through the perspective of the Monty Python gang or a Patrice Leconte musical about a family who help people take their own lives. Can you blame me for the indecision ?!?

12. The ABCs of Death

The Midnight Madness program is the one I’ve attended the least over the years, mostly because I see too many films in a day to have the energy at midnight. Yet this omnibus film seems like the perfect campy end to a festival day. Twenty-six directors from all over the world (including Ti West and Ben Wheatley) give us twenty-six alphabet inspired ways to die in a horror film.

10. Barbara

Barbara already screened at Berlinale to terrific reactions, but given that it has no Canadian distributor I’m watching. Director Christian Petzold netted a Silver Bear in Berlin and Nina Hoss, terrific in his last two films, returns to star in a third consecutive. The 80s-set story concerns a scientist forced to stay in a rural hospital as punishment by the East German government.

Isabelle Huppert, Terrence Malick, and Seven (or more) Pyschopaths after the jump.

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Burning Questions: Can a One-Note Performance Be Great?

Michael C here. On my list of cinematic obsessions the Alec Baldwin scene from Glengarry Glenn Ross ranks near the top, alongside stuff like the zither music from The Third Man and the ending of Barton Fink. Part of that obsession is my ironclad belief that Baldwin should have won the Supporting Oscar hands down, no contest.

Those who disagree could justifiably point to the complexity of Gene Hackman's and Jaye Davidson's nominated performances that year in Unforgiven and The Crying Game, or, for that matter, the greater range shown by Alec's Glengarry co-star Al Pacino. Baldwin's performance shows no such range. We don't see his softer side, he doesn't reveal any hidden dimensions, we don't even learn his name. He just struts in and delivers a seven minute tour de force of invective.

It's an unforgettable scene but is that enough? Can a one-note performance truly be considered great?

This discussion cropped up earlier this year when Michael Fassbender's supporting turn emerged as the clear stand out from Prometheus. All the praise came with the caveat that as an android, his role lacks the range to attract any real awards attention. To this I would ask, does not the limited nature of the role make his work more impressive? Isn't it a remarkable achievement to hold the audience's fascination while staying inside the confines of playing a machine?

Are intrinsically limited characters limitless with the right actors?

Acting, as we've so often heard, is about making choices, so in the right role is it not sometimes the stronger choice to refuse to show additional sides of a character? Look at Robert Duvall's Colonel Kilgore in Apocalypse Now. Would it make the character stronger if he dropped that guy's invincible confidence to show a few moments of vulnerability? Of course not. That would have been disastrous.

Or better yet, look at Full Metal Jacket's R Lee Ermey. There's a guy who finds precisely one note and hammers on it down to his last second of screen time. At the time, audience's could be forgiven for wondering if Ermey could act at all, or if he could merely dole out colorfully obscene abuse on command. We now know from his work in films like Dead Man Walking that he is a perfectly capable actor, and time has shown that his choices in Jacket to be the correct ones. I will never forget the impact when it became clear during his final confrontation with Vincent D'Onofrio that the bastard was still - still - not going to soften one iota even when faced with a psychotic soldier pointing a loaded gun at him. And isn't leaving a lasting impact on the viewer what great acting is all about?

What's your take on this? Are certain performances barred from top tier status by their narrow scope, or can the right actor be brilliant in even the most limited of roles, a la Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man?. Let us know in the comments.

You can follow Michael C. on Twitter at @SeriousFilm. Or read his blog Serious Film.


Curio: Painterly Posters by Aaron Wells

Alexa here. I always enjoy a film poster that is actually painted; the eye tires of seeing only minimal vector graphics. So I love these posters I found on etsy created by freelance illustrator and painter Aaron Wells...


I think his choice of films lends itself to the painterly treatment in different ways, both through caricature and use of imagination. 

Or maybe I just like his taste. You can buy prints at his shop, and all are priced under $20! After the jump a two Darren Aronofsky gems and and The Fifth Element...

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'Til Link Do Us Part

The Film Doctor usually finds interesting angles. For Hope Springs he interviewed his signifant other on the depiction of marital turmoil and therapy therein.
Final Girl this one is for you horror fans, a funny mashup of The Human Centipede with slasher icons.
The Playlist 15 new stills from P.T. Anderson's long awaited scientology drama The Master
Coming Soon Life of Pi will open the New York Film Festival and...
Awards Daily Flight will close it. (Will Robert Zemeckis and Denzel Washington and Ang Lee all be returning to Oscar's good graces?)

In Contention You've probably read Guy Lodge's Sight & Sound top ten list by now but in case you haven't it's interesting from top to bottom. Somehow I hadn't completely registered that Guy shared my love of Colorogy. So much green and red happening here!
Guardian so Jennifer Aniston is engaged and there's a whole new round of false romcom press narratives happening
NYT interesting observations on the trainwreck spectacle of online confessional blogging
AV Club Jodie Foster to direct a female-led mob drama on Showtime. Interesting... but I sure wish she'd rediscover her love of bigscreen acting instead. There are a lot of directors who are good at helming TV series. There are very few actors who can be Jodie Foster on the bigscreen.
/Film lately I actually forgot Ron Howard existed but they've reminded me that he is making a movie with Chris Hemsworth and the adorable Daniel Brühl called Rush
Film Junkie has behind the scenes photos from 12 Years a Slave 
Pajiba on 8 memorable marital fights on TV



Take Three: Tommy Lee Jones

Craig here with Take Three. Today: Tommy Lee Jones who is currently working it out with Streep onscreen in Hope Springs.

Take One: No Country for Old Men (2007)
In the Joel & Ethan Coen's No Country for Old Men, the ostensible main character is weary Texas lawman Sheriff Ed Tom Bell played by Tommy Lee Jones, though his co-star Josh Brolin is the film's nominal hero. Jones, though, an ‘old man’ on the verge of retirement and tired of the country he’s patrolled for so long, brings a melancholic meaning to the film’s title. Sheriff Bell had more of a life/backstory in McCarthy’s novel (much of which the Coens left out) wherein he discusses his experiences in WWII, which hint at a desire to shy away from violent combat/confrontation, and his life is generally laid out in more detail. What we do learn of Bell in the film is from the slivers of significant information Jones imparts in his refined characterisation.

The actor is typically, movingly good in the key scene where Bell visits his uncle Ellis (Barry Corbin). We see their playfully wry relationship in an exchange of sarcastic pleasantries over Ellis's ‘outlaws cats’ -- a perfectly daft moment that features one of Jones' very best comically weary glances – but the visit is also rife with understated detail that speaks volumes about Bell as a man. Shot in profile staring out a window at the desolate and godless expanse of the Texan desert, and discreetly withholding his true inner thoughts, Bell enigmatically responds to Ellis about why he’s quitting the law.

I always figured when I got older God would sorta come into my life somehow... and he didn't."

Two more takes after the jump

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