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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

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Monday
Feb222016

Beauty Break: Douglas Slocombe, Cinematographer

Douglas Slocombe (1913-2016)Sad news to report. The former "oldest living Oscar nominee" cinematographer Douglas Slocombe died today just two weeks after his 103rd birthday. (If you're curious that makes the goddess Olivia de Havilland, who turns 100 this July, the oldest living Oscar nominee or winner)

Imagine shooting the boulder-roll opening sequence of Raiders of the Lost Ark or lighting its snake pit scene with torches! Douglas Slocombe did it. His other two nominations sprang from far more feminine pictures, the Jane Fonda Best Picture nominee Julia (1977. Also: Meryl Streep's film debut!) and the Maggie Smith vehicle Travels With My Aunt (1972).

More on his iimpressive career and some images from key films after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb222016

Q&A: Iconic Couples, Vote Counts, Favorite Kurosawas

There were so many good questions this week for the Q&A that we had to do this twice. Here are more questions asked of your host Nathaniel, and now answered. Thanks for being engaged readers!

Nicole & Ewan at MTV Movie Awards 2002Since there's been talk of how sweet it would be to see Leo and Kate both win Oscars this year, I've been thinking about recent screen couples that have captured audiences' imaginations in that way, that people would love to see win Oscars at the same time and I couldn't think of any quite on that level. Are there any post-Titanic screen couples you think of as legendary pop culture pairings? -EDWIN

Had Nicole Kidman & Ewan McGregor ever reteamed post Moulin Rouge! I think they might have become a screen couple like that. The fact that they haven't is a tragedy since we will love them until their dying day. You could argue that Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling (The Notebook) qualify. I think if Heath Ledger were still alive this might have happened with him and Jake Gyllenhaal since they're both such tremendous actors and liked each other quite a lot. It would have been fascinating to see them co-star in a second film in a totally different genre. 

The Film Experience is 1000% behind today's Hollywood realizing that reteaming stars who had insane chemistry is one of the best traditions of Old Hollywood. It's not only fun for fans, it's also marketable! Wouldn't you be so excited if Kate & Leo made a comedy together in 2018?

What's your favorite performance given by an animal actor? -TYLER

Asta as "Mr Smith" from The Awful Truth (1937) which is my first or second or third* favorite screwball comedy of all time. (It's hard to decide because they're so many great ones)

If it was up to you to decide, would you release the official vote counts from old Oscar ceremonies? Or would that take away the fun of endless speculating? is there a particular race you would want to know the official tally? - MARCELO

The answer and more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb222016

Interview: Visual FX Oscar Nominees on Lightsaber Duels and Collaborative Arts

For as many articles I've read and videos and movies I've seen, the realm of visual effects remain a mysterious and magical power... not unlike The Force in that galaxy far far away. Speaking recently with two members of The Force Awaken's visual team, I suddenly imagine my confusion is probably akin to how it would feel to act a scene out with Chewbacca; all the Star Wars regulars understand his throat noises but I would definitely need subtitles.

Nevertheless it was a good time sitting down with Roger Guyett, a four time Oscar nominee who does both visual effects supervision and second unit direction for J.J. Abrams -- he tells me this is somewhat normal since second unit work tends to fall in the visual effects arena -- and Pat Tubach, also a previous nominee (Star Trek Into Darkness) who attempts to explain what "plate supervision" is though my brain won't comply. 

Herewith the parts of our interview that I did understand, I think, and Roger & Pat's game answers including what their loved one think of their work and seeing the movie for the first time. 

NATHANIEL: You're both "visual effects supervisors," so how does the work get divvied up? Do you get specific scenes? 

PAT TUBACH: Roger okays everything. We do break things up a little bit for ease given the sheer number of shots and number of people involved. I worked a lot on the opening scenes: the village raid, the TIE figher escape sequence with Finn and Poe. As well as the rathtar escaping and terrorizing the gang. 

So you had Captain Phasma -- I assume she was the most difficult to pull off since her suit is so reflective and much of her environment isn't actually there!

more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb222016

Wouldst Thou Link Deliciously? 

• Medium wonders why diehard horror fans reject artful genre works like The Witch and It Follows
The Film Doctor reviews Owen Glieberman's book "Movie Freak: My Life Watching Movies"
Flick Chicks loving on pets in the movies. Awww
Boy Culture interviews Molly Bernard from TVLand's great sitcom Younger (the one starring Sutton Foster that I'm always hoping you'll start watching. Sutton 4evah!)
• The Film Stage an interview with director Robert Eggers of The Witch
• Vanity Fair Kate Winslet's son wants her to EGOT. Perhaps Broadway is next?

• Towleroad congratulations to producer Greg Berlanti (The Flash, Brothers & Sisters, Arrow, The Broken Hearts Club, etc...) who welcomes a newborn son via surrogate to the world
Black Phillip from The Witch has his own Twitter account. He boasts a lot and has real species pride
• Vanity Fair Amy Adams going to television. She'll star in a series version of Gillian Flynn's Sharp Objects (which is extremely actress-friendly as we've previously noted)
Awards Daily How the year of the woman became the year of the man... again
Decider Joe Reid ranks EVERY Oscar nominee 

Best of Best of
• CineMunch the second Annual CineMunchies with prizes to Mad Max and Room and best food & drink moments in movies - I am totally here for that spaghetti scene in Brooklyn
• Antagony & Ecstacy Tim finally reveals his top ten list with surprising choices beyond Mad Max and shocking exclusions - no Inside Out? WTF 
• Cinematic Corner chooses 15 best shots of the year: Crimson Peak, Youth, and more...
Entertainment Junkie's 10 best: Tangerine, Inside Out, and more 
Variety Carol named best film of the year by International Cinephile Society 

News That Requires Not Linkage
Batman v Superman is going to be 151 minutes long. Uff. 

Potentially Awesome TV News
We've long hoped that a TV Variety show could air which would really work - it's such a fun abandoned form but too many recent attempts have been shoddy (that Rosie O'Donnell attempt) or so manic they're unwatchable (Neil Patrick Harris's). The Tracking Board says that we could get another attempt as early as this year starring Maya Rudolph (Great choice: She's funny, can act, also rocks) and Martin Short. 

Today's Watch
How they brought Colossus to life in Deadpool... five different actors and a whole team of visual fx artist

 

Monday
Feb222016

New High-Rise Poster

Manuel here. Can it really be true that we haven’t yet discussed High-Rise in any depth here at The Film Experience? For yes, while we’re all avowed actressexuals we sometimes do follow certain actors near and far (take Mr. Ruffalo who were just discussing). Enter Tom Hiddleston, the greatest hat actor of our generation. The fan favorite Marvel actor has yet to find a property that helps him break out of his Loki role: Crimson Peak had its fans but it wasn’t the hit (or the cult fave) many thought it could be; I Saw the Light looks to join the long list of forgettable biopics, and Only Lovers Left Alive was a critical hit (it's so good!) but barely made a blip in mainstream moviegoers’ radars ($1.9 million gross).

While High-Rise, Ben Wheatley’s filmed adaptation of the J.G. Ballard allegorical novel about class got sort of eviscerated at TIFF (“an ambitious failure,” with “aberrant creative visions”), its marketing department is revving its engines and doing a damn good job of piquing our interest.

After some gorgeous teaser one-sheets they’ve just released the final poster and it’s beautifully retro and modern at the same time. (Much better than those eye-soars we looked at for those other 2016 releases last week at least!) And really, how could you go wrong with Hiddlestone in a slick suit, Luke Evans in a pornstache, and Sienna Miller looking like Kate Beckinsale? That’s to say nothing of the stylized trailer which, yes, has your fair share of naked Tom to entice you. Seriously, that minute and fifteen seconds all but call out for a Hit Me With Your Best Shot, so full of eye-catching shots, from Tom in that mirrored elevator, to that slo-mo air stewardesses dance break. Take a look for yourself:

But what say you? Any Ballard fans looking forward to High-Rise, if only to see Elisabeth Moss on the big screen?

Monday
Feb222016

6 Days til Oscar. Trivia Party

We're less than a week from Hollywood's High Holy Night. Are you excited yet?
For today's trivia party we'll look at the only people to win exactly six Oscars. Four men. It's always men (sigh). Only 11 people have won more Oscars than these four men. I did not include confusing cases like Visual FX guru Dennis Murren -- IMDb argues exactly 6 but that depends on how you count them since his prizes are many and a confusing jumble of technical achievements, special Oscars, and regular competitive statues. (Unfortunately I couldn't find photographs of the set decorators) 

Gordon HollingsheadGORDON HOLLINGSHEAD (1892-1952)
This producer won more Oscars in the short film categories than anyone other than the legendary Walt Disney and Frederick Quimby (of Tom & Jerry fame) but he won them for live action films. His first Oscar, though, was in the inaguaral year (1933) of a category called "Best Assistant Director" which the Academy cancelled just a few years later. 

THOMAS LITTLE (1886-1985)
This set decorator, originally from Ogden Utah, nearly made it to 99 years of age but he quit the business in the 1950s. He won six Oscars in the Production Design category (formerly Best Art Direction) from How Green Was My Valley (1941), This Above All (1942), My Gal Sal (1942), The Song of Bernadette (1943)*, Wilson (1944), and Anna and the King of Siam (1946). His last nomination was for Viva Zapata! (1952) and he retired from the business the next year.

WALTER M SCOTT (1906-1989)
Another set decorator! Walter M Scott was originally from Ohio and worked on close to 300 films in his very long career. His Oscars came from The Robe (1953), The King and I (1956), The Diary of Anne Frank (1959), Cleopatra (1963), Fantastic Voyage (1966) and Hello, Dolly! (1969)

BILLY WILDER (1906-2002)
The mega talented ridiculously versatile writer/director/producer helmed so many classics it's rather mind boggling including but not limited to: Ninotchka (1939), Double Indemnity (1944), Sabrina (1954), and Some Like It Hot (1959). His six Oscars came for only three films though: 2 Oscars for The Lost Weekend (1945), 1 Oscar for Sunset Blvd (1950), and 3 Oscars for The Apartment (1960). He later was honored with the Irving Thalberg award. 

Do you think anyone in your lifetime is going to become a six time winner?
The closest to achieving this currently is John Williams with 5 Oscars. He's mostly retired now but if he wins for his score for The Force Awakens, he joins this very small club. He hasn't won since Schindler's List (1993) despite constant nominations since then. Iñárritu, who currently has 3, will almost be in this club IF he wins Pic/Director this year for The Revenant, and the following working artists have 4: Clint Eastwood, Woody Allen, the Coen brothers, Milena Canonero in costume design and Nick Park in animation. If Sandy Powell wins for either Carol or Cinderella this year in Costume Design she'll join the 4 Oscar club. 

*If Emmanuel Lubezki wins his 3rd consecutive Oscar in cinematography he'll be the first to do so in that particular category but he won't be the first person to achieve it in any craft category since Thomas Little did it in art direction in the 40s (and possibly other people have done it elsewhere, too).