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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 | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 

 

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HONORARY OSCARS GO TO...

 "...and will these three great artists appear on the actual Oscars show?" - Rick G.

"To dig up some tabloid history (not that it was buried deep) for a footnote, Reynolds' "love rival" Elizabeth Taylor won the same humanitarian award in 1993. It sort of goes to show that everybody got theirs in that situation, except for Eddie Fisher." - Hayden W.

"Congrats to these three! They are all deserving of this honor but I STILL can't believe the Academy has pass up Doris Day AGAIN!" - Anthony

 

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Tuesday
Oct152013

Geeks OUT @ Comic Con

Reader Takeover Day! The Reader Spotlight is coming back soon but as a special triple treat here's the first of a few posts over the next 24 hours written by you, the reader. (Well, not you literally). Here's Charles Quittner to share his Comic Con adventure. TFE had neglected the annual NYC event (I was in LA) but Charles is here to rescue us! - Nathaniel

Here I am as a post-Disney acquired Spider-Man

Hello there! I’m Charles, a faithful reader of this fabulous site by way of a Google search for Oscar predictions 5 years ago. 

This weekend was the 8th annual New York Comic Con at the Jacob K. Javits convention center. Media aficionados dressed in awesome costumes lined up 10th avenue to buy and browse merchandise of the geektastic variety and to catch glimpses of upcoming books, comic, TV series, and films from the mouths of the creators and stars. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct152013

12 Links Today

Cinema Blend 50 Shades of Grey might go with Alexander Skarsgård (and a new screenplay)  now that it lost its leading man. Skarsgård has to be anxious for True Blood to wrap given the movie offers coming his way.
Ultra Culture the exhaustive list of Xavier Dolan's credits... in his own movies.
Xavier Dolan ...oh and he's started film #5
Pajiba has an awesome take down of the recent resurgence of "boohoo it's hard to do female characters" quotes and articles -- I can't even with those comments from the animators of Frozen!

Popcorn Taxi Tom Hiddleston doing Owen Wilson doing Loki. wtf? (and also LOL)
Coming Soon Netflix has ordered a new family secrets thriller series from the creators of Damages
Variety Paul Rudd and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are said to be Marvel's top choices for upcoming superhero flick Ant-Man
Variety Weird. Susan Sarandon and Eva Amurri may star in a mother/daughter sitcom. I can't say I predicted a sitcom for Sarandon and isn't "Mom" already on TV?
i09 the weirdest vampire movies ever made
The Playlist new images and clip from 12 Years a Slave 
MNPP 250 words or less on Captain Phillips 

my favorite Best Actress win of the 1970sFinally...
Movie Mezzanine seemingly asked everyone but me to compile their "top ten" of the 1970s without commentary. I dont know why lists without commentary are fun to read but they are. It's fun to see which movies dominated their massive roundup (The Godfather is the expected winner, topping 6 lists and it's nearest rivals - more interesting -- are tied for 3 #1 ranks each:Annie Hall, Days of Heaven and Taxi Driver). I've already done this particular top ten in an earlier post but if I were to redo it it'd maybe look like so. And weirdly no one they polled had my #1 as #1 though it appears on a few lists. 

1) Manhattan 2) Nashville 3) Cabaret 4) Apocalypse Now
5) Network 6) All That Jazz 7) Carrie 8) Taxi Driver 9) Annie Hall
10) Dog Day Afternoon 11) Cries and Whispers 12) The Conversation
13) Three Women 14) Jaws 15) The Godfather 16) The Way We Were
17) Klute 18) McCabe and Mrs Miller 19) Star Wars
and 20) Grease (for the nostalgia. shut it)

Okay I cheated with a top twenty but the astonishing thing about that decade is that everyone's lists look completely reasonable because great films can be seen wherever you choose to look in your 70s film education. You know? 

Exit Music
How about a little "Chopsticks" with Oscar bound (again) mega-stars Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock? So crazy that today's new adults (Happy 18th, 1995 babies!) were born into a world where Hanks and Bullock were ruling the box office and today here we are again. Talk about legs (and I don't mean Bullock's literal ones but wow those gams)

Monday
Oct142013

Monologue: Dianne Wiest x 2 in "Rabbit Hole"

As awards season gets into full swing The Film Experience will grow more Oscar focused by the week. I'm nowhere near as adept at prognostication as Nathaniel, but I reckoned it was as good a time as any to resuscitate one of our key features, the Monday Monologues. To make up for its absence, you get two quickies.

I was re-watching a few episodes of In Treatment last weekend and remembered how much I love Dianne Wiest. I’m sure you do, too. In a career of illustrious turns (including her duo Oscar wins) I’m turning my attention to one a little less feted, the supporting role of "Nat" in Rabbit Hole.

Rabbit Hole remains one of the most interesting curios in recent Oscar history. [more]

Click to read more ...

Monday
Oct142013

Thoughts I Had... About Our First Look At "Grand Budapest Hotel"

In the interest of speed and efficiency, and before all this good icing melts, my uncensored thoughts as they come to me...


• This poster looks good enough to eat. Literally. All I see is a tiered heavily frosted chocolate cake and I want it in me right now. Put it in me!

• Remember when people made such a big deal of Natalie Portman's nudity in "Hotel Chevalier" even though it was only like side butt? Will their be profile nudity in this hotel? And if so whose? My guess is Léa Seydoux though its unlikely to occur at all.

• The title signage is like delicate decorative pastel frosting (I have not eaten dinner yet, can you tell?)

• So pleased that Ralph Fiennes' career seems to be on an upswing again -- I believe he's the protagonist and butler here -- though I read the weirdest headline the other day (I didn't click on the link) about The Invisible Woman, his second directorial effort, being a misfire of a vanity project. I have seen the movie and I can't for the life of me think why it would be considered a vanity project (though "misfire", maybe) when Fiennes is SO much more handsome in real life than he allows himself to look as Charles Dickens. And Dickens doesn't even come across all that well in terms of character, either. He's no outstanding citizen in the movie. 

• Can Ralph Fiennes please do playful homages to Tim Curry and Forrest Whitaker and other famous butlers when he hits the talk show circuit. Please?

• Did Oscar winner F Murray Abraham get a new agent or something? Totally back! Homeland (sinister!), Inside Llewyn Davis (wonderfully judged cameo), and now this.

• This poster reminds me of the architectural minimalism of Chris Ware or maybe it could have been done by illustrator Max Dalton who did great stuff for Matt Zoller Seitz' new book on Wes Anderson. I want to read that book. Did any of you get it yet? 

Max Dalton print of Wes Anderson characters

• My favorite Wes Anderson movies are The Royal Tenenbaums (#1 by a margin of 375 imaginary city blocks), and Moonrise Kingdom. Hotel Chevalier and Fantastic Mr Fox tie for third. No, really.

• My best friend used to live super close to the exterior of The Royal Tenenbaums on Convent Avenue here in  NYC and I used to stare at that building in melancholic wonder every time it entered my field of view. 

• Wes Anderson is the ideal person to make a movie about a hotel because structures are like actual characters in his movie: the train in Darjeeling Unlimited, the submarine in The Life Aquatic, the tree in Mr Fox, the vertical home in Tenenbaums, and so on...

• When will Oscar voters ever warm to Anderson? Beyond the writers branch who (wisely) gets him.

• I just noticed that Anjelica Huston's name is not on this poster and it suddenly doesn't look as tasty.

Monday
Oct142013

Box Office: Gravity Hurtles At Full Speed 

It's Amir here, bringing you the weekend box office report.

one more worry for the good Captain

The biggest news this week is Gravity's ridiculously small drop in sales. Anyone who has seen the film would tell you to watch it in 3D to truly experience it, and it's no surprise that with aid of those hiked up prices, Alfonso Cuaron's visual masterpiece topped the charts again by a wide margin. That's one extra problem Captain Richard Phillips didn't need to deal with, but as it turns out, Astronaut Sandra Bullock is even mightier than Muse. Although Captain Phillips's 26m opening is impressive enough, one can't help but imagine what it would have done without a direct competitor eating into its demographic.

Click for more cool Gravity postersWeekend's Top Ten
Gravity $44.2m
Captain Phillips
$26m
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
$14.2m
Machete Kills
$3.8m
Runner Runner
$3.7m
Prisoners
$3.6m
Insidious Chapter 2
$2.6m
Rush
$2.3m
Don Jon
$2.3m
Baggage Claim
$2m

The weekend's other wide release was Machete Kills, opening to an embarrassing 3m, proving to you, dear reader, that you're not the only one who didn't even know this film exists. This flop is all the more curious because the franchise - oh god, it's a franchise now! - added proven box office draw Lady Gaga and current audience magnet Mel Gibson to its cast. Further down the top ten list, Runner Runner continues to fizzle out with 3m, proving to you, dear reader, that Justin Timberlake will never ever be a move star - though the film's international sales have already recouped its budget.

In limited release, Romeo and Juliet opened to less than a million dollars on nearly 500 screens. Perhaps the Oscar nominated Hailee Steinfeld is not ready to be a romantic lead yet, but the more likely reason behind the film's failure is that the world absolutely doesn't need another adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. Other notable limited releases this weekend were the quirky horror film Escape From Tomorrow, which was secretly filmed in Disneyland, God Loves Uganda - I reviewed it at Hot Docs; see it! - and James Franco's As I Lay Dying. None of them did particularly strong business but at least two of them are worth your time. Finally, Saudi Arabia's first ever Oscar submission, Wadjda, is playing on 47 screens and if you haven't seen it yet, you must correct that immediately. It's bloody marvelous.

What did you see this weekend? Share your thoughts on the weekend's offering with us!

Saturday
Oct122013

NYFF: A Few Thoughts on "Her"

Jose here. The New York Film Festival is coming to its end this weekend and earlier today we were treated to Spike Jonze's Her, which has its official world premiere at the festival tonight.

The film takes place in a not so distant future where human communications have evolved into something quite fascinating: people get paid to write handwritten letters, video games push your buttons and force you to try harder and computer operating systems have personalities that you can even fall for. This happens to the film's protagonist Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls madly in love with his OS named Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson).

The film is a small masterpiece that will undoubtedly appear on endless Top Ten lists at the end of the year and here are a few random thoughts I had about the film and at the press conference that followed which included appearances from Jonze, Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara and Olivia Wilde.

More Jonze, Phoenix and ScarJo after the jump!

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Oct122013

Notes From L.A.

backlit by L.A.'s eternal sunshineHello you. It's Nathaniel. I've been absent but with good reason. I'm in Los Angeles for a few days visiting friends and catching up with favorite peeps at a couple of studios before the season hits like a tornado and whisks us all away to the Merry Ol Land of Ozcars. But really things are already spinning furiously. And there's no Kansas. There's only New York and L.A. where your house might land. Los Angeles is sunny and beautiful and there are more blondes per block radius than you could ever imagine in NYC. I get why people love it here but I started longing for the East Coast within 36 hours. People complain that NYC is loud and crowded but at least you don't have to drive. Driving is terrifying here. Google maps is currently in hate with me for my frequent confusions on the road. I've driven to about 6 places and been lost 4 times. 66% chance of things going wrong! Yay me. 

 I just wrapped up a junket at The Four Seasons for Dallas Buyer's Club (more on that film real soon) and the conversation before the talent arrived was all about "locks" for Oscar. The press gathered were saying things like "there are 5 locks for... and 5 locks for..." and if you've been reading The Film Experience for any length of time whatsoever you will know that I was horrified.  This is not how it works people. Sigh. Entire categories don't lock up before the precursors and even when they do firm up, there's usually a deathmatch for slot #5 in any given category. Unless by "lock" you mean "this looks like it might happen but who knows" in which case the symboic word has lost all correlation to its real life counterpart so quit using it. 

I don't normally do junkets since it's virtually impossible to get fresh exclusive coverage from them. Apparently I have control issues because not being able to shape a conversation with a fine director (let's say, oh, Jean Marc-Vallée) or ask about his past work in relation to his new work while the noisiest junketeer in the room merely asks him to regurgitate the entire press note package for his entire alloted time in the room just makes me C.R.A.Z.Y.

HYPOTHETICALLY SPEAKING, YOU UNDERSTAND.

view from my room at the Four Seasons

 But I can't say that I didn't enjoy my time at the Four Seasons. Lounging poolside first thing in the morning, or typing in a plush bathrobe while the balcony door lets in a cool breeze, or a quick elevator ride up several floors to sit down with Matthew McConaughey? I'll take it!  

P.S. Good god his eyes are blue in person. When he touched the hand of the girl next to me to illustrate a point, I thought she might spontaneously combust. Or melt.

How is your weekend going?