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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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"Best known as pudgy British aristocrat Matthew Crawley on Downton Abbey' Pudgy? How very Dowager Countess of you.- par

""from Jimmy Stewart to Terminator" - HA! LOVE this! And boy I loved this movie, I hope all the Downton fans flock to the theaters to see it." - jose



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Oscar Symposium Day 1: Tinker Tailor Party Guys

Welcome to the Annual TFE Oscar Symposium! The Film Experience is proud to introduce the following guests (in alpha order): Ali Arikan chief film critic for Dipnot TVNick Davis Assistant Professor of English and Gender Studies at Northwestern University and the brilliant mind behind Nick's Flick Picks;  Mark Harris author of the instant classic "Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of New Hollywood" and Oscarmetrics columnist at Grantland; Kurt Osenlund Managing Editor at Slant Magazine's The House Next Door. And I'm Nathaniel Rogers, of course, your host here at The Film Experience. We started our conversation on Sunday night and here it is for you.  

NATHANIEL: Gentlemen. If I had access to the Windsor font I'd list us all in alpha order in white lettering on the same black title card Woody Allen style so that there won't be any tragic Corey Stoll business where the Screen Actor's Guild leaves one of us out when our inevitable Best Ensemble nomination arrives. Instead, as per Nick's suggestion, we're all pictured in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy's conference room. That indelible orange soundproof wall! How did this movie miss an Art Direction nomination?

Despite this visual trapping, I don't for one moment want anyone reading to picture us all as "gray little men" in uncomfortable stuffy suits, withholding. (I am generally too exuberant for secrets and would make a terrible spy.) Though I love Alberto Iglesias compositions for that movie, I'll readily admit that the score inside my head this very moment is more John Williams. Before the opening credits are even over, that man will hit you with the climax, and I'm excited to begin.

Feel free to change the setting at any time (the magic of cinema) but we begin at Tinker Tailor's sad little Christmas party (Don't ask me to explain why MI6 is hosting this party to which it was not invited). All the Best Pictures just walked in. Let's mingle. Who will you avoid? Who do you trust implicitly? Where do you see tension brewing. I think it only looks like Midnight in Paris is friendly with The Artist and Hugo. He secretly judges them for trusting so fully in their own nostalgia.

MARK HARRIS: I'm enjoying this party--who doesn't love wide lapels, long sideburns and ugly plastic eyeglass frames? As for who I'd avoid: The Artist, because I'm pretty sure it'd come up to me, lick my face, hump my leg, do a little dance at my feet, and instantly want to be best friends. Too much too soon--stop being so ingratiating and let me get some punch! I think I'd go seek out The Tree of Life--the cool movie glowering in the corner that nobody's talking to because it never gets invited to parties like this.

And I would be very cautious about eating those little tarts that Octavia Spencer is passing around on a silver tray.

ALI ARIKAN: I've just been talking to "Midnight in paris," who makes for a splendid company.  That guy's full of pithy anecdotes about literary figures of yore.

Well, let's stay at that Christmas party at the Circus.  My favourite scene of the year is set there, when a spook dressed as Father Christmas and sporting a Lenin mask, leads the troops in a rendition of the Soviet National Anthem as Smiley discovers his wife's infidelity.  That's one of the two times where Smiley lets his emotions out (the other being his angry "What are you, then, Bill?" at the end of the film), and we can see how devastated he is.  Oldman's nomination was well deserved. But that film was robbed on so many fronts.  Art direction, as you mention, as well as direction and a supporting nod for Tom Hardy, who is magnificent.  

KURT OSENLUND: Being in any sized room with Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is, in my opinion, too close. Moneyball and I are already flashing each other von Sydow-style hand signals. 'Is this guy bothering you?' 'YES.' We meet on the dancefloor, and tap a bit with Jean Dujardin, before heading to see what Smiley is staring at out the window. Is that...Harvey Weinstein? Smooching with Oscar voters?

More including The Artist, critical wars, Moneyball, Songs, and elevating your film...

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Red Carpet SAG: Slinky Angie, Cute Emma, Winning Viola

Red Carpet Conversations continues on the road to Oscar night. The Critics Choice Awards fashions were like something out of easter but the Globes stepped it up with all the colors of the rainbow. Now we've reached the Screen Actors Guild Awards and Pajiba's Joanna has returned!

Joanna:  ‪wooo hoooo fashion‬

Nathaniel:  ‪Welcome back Joanna‬. So how is awards season treating you? You were sick yesterday when we were supposed to talk. Was it red carpet overload?

‬Joanna:  ‪There's only so many ruffles one girl can take.‬ 

Nathaniel:  ‪So we start on a sun-drenched field.

Lane, Wiig, Carpenter, King, and Mol

It was sunny at the SAGs and I'm not just talking about Jean Dujardin's disposition. Look at all the solar rays powering this first group.

 ‬Joanna:  ‪I love love love love love the sparkles on Jennifer Carpenter.  Also, the length.  It's not something you can wear to the Oscars, but is delightfully SAG worthy.‬

Nathaniel: ‪I think the dress is great but maybe not on her. There's something about the lines on the side (gorgeous) that resemble a jutting rib cage. So skinny that one. But I included her as a thank you for being the only good thing about Dexter anymore (done with that show)‬

Joanna:  ‪Oh, yes, our Deb is in need of a sandwich or two.  That's for sure.   Speaking of curves, I'm not usually a fan of frou-frou, but that purple number looks great on Regina King.  She looks very dishy.  Not quite Viola territory, but close.‬ 

Nathaniel:  ‪She is SAG's Social Media Ambassador so I want to click "like" on this‬.

Joanna:  ‪Is she? If I were an ambassador I would demand a sash.  A REALLY fancy sash with Twitter birds on it. ‬

Nathaniel:  ‪That's over capacity fo the red carpet.‬ 

Joanna:  ‪Speaking of accessories. I am not a fan of whatever it is Kristen Wiig has on her neck.‬ A choker? From Wet Seal?  It's competing with the neckline of her dress. 

Nathaniel: I can see that but independently I would digg it. I like that she doesn't try to soften her angularity much on the red carpet. She's got a bit of a dark side, yes?‬ 

Joanna:  ‪Are you saying you think she has handcuffs in that bag?‬ 

Nathaniel:  ‪Shhhhh. ‬No one must know.

 Joanna:  ‪Ugh, her date is so lucky.‬ Can we talk about Gretchen Mol who looks like the fanciest lady on the USS Enterprise? 

Nathaniel:  ‪Hee.‬  ‪I keep wanting not to like it but I totally do. Which is sort of how I have always reacted to Gretchen Mol. No one remembers this but Vanity Fair was trying to make her happen for the longest and I was like "does Conde Nast have stock in her career?" so I was suspicious but i almost always like her in things.‬ 

Whenever I see Diane Lane I think "movie star without the movies"‬

Joanna:  ‪Mol's fancy space collar looks itchy.‬ ‪Oh I remember her and "Vanity Fair"!  I always felt like Weinstein had his sticky fingers all over that situation.‬ But, speaking of Real Genuine Movie Stars, Angelina Jolie was back in her Cruella style. All slinky and drapey and eeeeeevil. 



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The Link Experience

Towleroad Revisiting Drive on DVD. Ryan Gosling's scorpion jacket is at auction. One more day to bid! (I suspect this is a good investment as movie memorabilia goes.)
Carpetbagger Author Jeffrey Eugenides on his Oscar ballot. He loves The Tree of Life and all things Woody Allen. Has issues with Bridesmaids
In Contention breaking Oscar's biopic addiction. Halleloo. 
Movie|Line today is The Artist day in LA. Officially! Harvey Weinstein continues to be a god amongst mortals when it comes to Oscar campaigns.


My New Plaid Pants JA has gone totes l'amour fou for Jean Dujardin. Pervy animated gifsm, dancing in boxer shorts, gratuitous photo spreads. But can you blame him?
Empire another new role for Jennifer Lawrence in the adaptation of the novel Serena about an ruthless ambitious married couple running a timber empire in 1929. This role was once earmarked for Angelina Jolie so clearly Hollywood has faith in Jennifer Lawrence.
IndieWire for your consideration at next year's Oscars. The Sundance crop.
Towleroad Director Stephan Elliott (The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) is out of the closet. I didn't realize he was in. 

The TV Experience?
Brief somewhat random thoughts on Glee vs. Smash and more small screen after the jump...

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Oscar Ballots Are in the Mail

Soon electronic voting will speed Oscar up. (How long before we see Oscar night moving to January?) Hopefully distributors will take pity on the public and AMPAS members and start opening movies before December to help that along (oh who are we kidding?!?). But until that instant voting happens, the post office will be involved. The final Oscar ballots hit the mail today, with those SAG wins fresh in voter's minds if they were watching. Dujardin, Davis, Plummer and Spencer could well repeat if they liked what they saw.

To mark the balloting occassion our annual Oscar Symposium is about to begin! Day One hits the site tonight. So join the party in the comments once the festivities kick off.


Complete the Sentences. "I Finally Saw..."

"I finally saw ______________________ and  _______________________ . Next I'm seeing ___________________ because ______________ ."



RuPocalypse Now

Did any of you watch the premiere of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 4? I'm always wanting to write about it because, more than most performers, drag stars love to mash up pop cultural influences including movies. It's not only the typical Gay Films that get referenced but camp classics of all sexual persuasions (Waterworld classifies as a straight camp classic, right? I mean it's dreadfully serious about itself but it's terrible) and even regular classics, albeit usually the feminine ones. The theme of the first episode was the apocalypse and the first part of the contest was a photoshoot in which the queens were sprayed with "toxic waste" while Ru shouted out instructions. At one point Ru yelled "give me Karen Silkwood!" I can't picture The Great Lady Streep watching this sort of thing but I bet she would have chortled.

Despite all the cultural referencing its evident (sometimes) that many queens are merely parroting the past without actually knowing what they're referencing. So I tend to gravitate towards the smarter queens who are a little more savvy about drag as art and understand gay culture's magpie qualities

WillamIt's dangerous to choose favorites early on in competition shows but I love Willam (Willam Belli) because he seems smarter than the room and could actually back up the bravado and name dropping. He's got a long list of film and TV credits.

 I'm a successful drag queen. I'm not some bitch who has to show for a dollar."

"I've worked with Oscar Winner Diane Keaton," Willam bragged in the after show. Not just Diane Keaton, bitches. Oscar Winner being a title like Dame, see. 

My other instant favorite was Sharon Needles who won the apocalypse challenge by understanding what they were looking for: creative scary theater. The winning look and more movie notes after the jump.

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January. It's a Wrap

The first month of 2012 is a wrap. And you, yes YOU, have really helped the year off to a wonderful start. What can we do to convince you to stick around all summer when Oscar buzz is coolest? The Film Experience turns it out all year long so don't toss us in the spring. The robust discussions recently surrounding Albert Nobbs, Viola's "Dream Big Dream Fierce" and Vanity Fair's Hollywood cover have been a treat and can continue all year long.

Ten Highlights from January

Best of the Year - Nathaniel's top ten list from American stadiums to Iranian courtrooms 
Charlize Theron Interview - on Young Adult's biting character study and that Snow White trailer
Burning Questions - Michael's new series is a big hit. Keep on answering those discussables.
Corey Stoll on Hemingway & Allen - this rising actor was fun to talk to. 
Bret McKenzie Interview - He's already left Middle Earth but he's still playing with Muppets 
Sing Far From Heaven, Sing - Todd Haynes's masterpiece has been musicalized 
A Heartful of Uh-Oh - Taylor Swift for Les Misérables? ****
Pancake Breakfast With Nathaniel - this live chat was a fun experiment. Perhaps we'll do it again? 

My "Drive" scorpion jacket pancake. Although maybe it looks more like an Aliens face-hugger?Most Eyeballs & Comments, Special Event:
Golden Globe Live Blog
Most Eyeballs & Comments, Normal Post:
Oscar Snubs That Hurt

Madonna's W.E., television's "Smash", The Secret of Arrietty, Animated, Documentary and Foreign Feature nominees, screen romance, the rest of the film bitch awards, and more Oscar madness including interviews with a few nominees! 

**** Thanks to Ryan in the comments for the heads up. Word is spreading that Samantha Barks and not Taylor Swift as originally announced will play Eponine. Casting can be a fluid thing. It's best to not believe anything until people start filming. Here is Barks singing "On My Own". She will look much more believable as Helena Bonham-Carter's daughter. 


What do the Oscar gowns of the past 22 years tell us?

It's something like an urban legend that actresses only wear gold to the Oscar ceremony if they think they are going to win. But check out this frankly amazing infographic from US Dish for lots of other interesting statistics regarding our favorite public thing (Oscars) and one of our secret favorite things: colorology.

What pleasurable research hours they must have put in! They've broken down Supporting Actress and Actress gowns from 1990-2011 ceremonies to determine the top trends for the nominees based on designer, color, dress style, and hairdo. And they've crunched those numbers further to show which elements are most likely to appear with winners and losers. So, for instance, if you really really really want to win you should be wearing gold with your hair up in a floor length gown designed by Gautier. Or at the very least updo, floor-length, brown Randolph Duke!


It won't surprise you to hear that of the 200+ dresses of the nominees, black was worn most often (28% of the time) but I was mildly surprised to see that red was down in 4th place (8%).

I only wish they would have had a Streep Sidebar, since she's there the most frequently and it's actually really hard to find EVERY Oscar dress worn by one specific actress over the years. Not that I've tried b... okay, I've tried. Don't judge.