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

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Friday
Sep272013

Percussion. Strings. Winds. Links

For Musical Nerds
BuzzFeed definite proof that The Little Mermaid's Prince Eric was a homo 
The Exploding Kinetoscope best words I've ever read about Judy Garland's For Me and My Gal
Pajiba more of those new photos from Into the Woods

Miscellania
Sillof's Workshop look at these AMAZING custom toys, If Dr Seuss wrote Jurassic Park
Grantland Mark Harris joins me in my eternally losing war against Category Fraud (this time with Daniel Brühl in Rush) and talks Enough Said, too 

The Film Doctor five notes on Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring, now on DVD
L Magazine see, I'm not the only one that thinks Cuarón's Gravity is a disappointment!
/Film wait they're making Fargo into a TV series and it's the William H Macy role that's the lead? Don't they know that people loved that movie because of Chief Marge Gunderson?

Elephantitis
Finally, MNPP reminded us that we can all get our Alexander Skarsgard loincloth dreams back on since his Tarzan flick is no longer (apparently) in development hell. Word is that Christoph Waltz is the villain now. Many will greet this as very good news but this makes me sad. It's not that Waltz isn't a good actor but remember how lame it was the last time he was a threat to pachyderms?

Who wants to go back to there? I do not. And I even kinda liked that movie more than most but Waltz was not the why. How about a few more surprises in casting, Hollywood? Aren't there literally a hundred famous actors in Waltz's age range that might be a fun curveball as the villain? But instead we're going to get somebody who already abused elephants. (sigh)

Friday
Sep272013

StinkyLulu's Preliminary Thoughts on The Supporting Actresses of 1980

[Editor's Note: On Monday, the next Smackdown hits, Supporting Actresses of 1980. Here, as intro, is StinkyLulu to continue the festivities. If you missed the revival of the series last month we did 1952. In October we'll hit 1968. -Nathaniel R]

The 53rd Academy Awards were a life-changer for me. The ceremony for 1980 marked (held in March 1981) marked the first time I watched the broadcast and determined that it was my urgent task to see each of these nominated films. A precocious scheme, really, given that I was at the time thirteen years old and living in the middle east when I viewed (on betamax) the taped-from-tv recording of the ceremony months after its actual airing. Still, the 1980 Oscars were a clarion call to this wee little Stinky, a prompt to seek out films worth watching. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I started with the actressing, ultimately screening (mostly via similarly bootlegged betamax tapes that filled my expat community’s lending library) all but one of 1980’s nominated best- and supporting actresses as quick as I could.

Returning to these deeply-imprinted films after so many years in preparation for this weekend’s Supporting Actress Smackdown has been intriguing, to say the least. What’s perhaps most startling is just how clearly, in 1980, Oscar liked his Supporting Actresses to be catalyzing presences. We got three maddening beauties, one sage observer, and one crafty nemesis — each of whom compels the protagonist to and through their transformation pretty much just by being there. To their credit, these particular actresses do not just stand around being the battle-axe (Eileen Brennan, Private Benjamin), the crone (Eva Le Galliene, Resurrection), the moll (Cathy Moriarty, Raging Bull), the neighborhood gal (Diana Scarwid, Inside Moves), or the frustrated wife (Mary Steenburgen, Melvin & Howard). Still, being “that woman” is pretty much all that’s asked of them.

It’s a peculiar paradox really. These films are ripe with “liberated” depictions of the empowering potential of the female orgasm, of women deciding their own sexual partners and futures in defiance of masculine reprobation, of the gruesome brutalities of domestic violence, of the perilous degradations of sexwork, and so on. (Not to mention all Ellen Burstyn’s randy "I'm touching your penis" jokes). Even still, for the supporting actresses in these flicks, it remains presence first, and character second.

Diana Ross & Donald Sutherland presented the 1980 Best Supporting Actress Oscar

But sometimes that’s what actressing at the edges is all about — to shade contour and dimension within the broad strokes of a casually-scripted character, to make a presence into a person. And, for better and worse, 1980 gives us five memorably distinct approaches to this core burden/opportunity of supporting actressness. Notably, Oscar himself anointed a surprise winner, which makes me wonder if this weekend’s Smackdown might also do the same. (I know I have my clear favorite. Do you?)

Friday
Sep272013

NYFF: A Queer Revelation

TFE's coverage of the 51st New York Film Festival (Sep 27-Oct 14) continues with Jose discussing What Now? Remind Me and Stranger by the Lake.

At one point during Joaquim Pinto’s What Now? Remind Me his confessional style got so raw and introspective that all I wanted to do was look the other way. His story is one that I felt I should’ve been more receptive to since he is a gay filmmaker with a deep passion for the arts and culture. Listening to him talk about an ancient book he saw in Spain, how badly he wanted to inspect it, reminded me of the way I feel about certain artworks. Watching him farm with his husband Nuno (who I felt was so my type) and their dogs, inspired in me a sense of domestic bliss I sometimes crave. What made me want to look away then? The way in which Pinto tells us about his harrowing battle with HIV.

Even if we live in a world of information, where everything we might want to know is a click away, the movies - and media in general - have done so little to discuss HIV that I’m ashamed to admit sometimes I react to it the same way conservative audiences react with onscreen sex: it makes me uncomfortable. I had this very thought during the screening and was instantly reminded of the movie I’d seen the day before, Alain Guiraudie’s Stranger by the Lake.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Sep272013

Thoughts I Had... The First Image of Meryl in "Into the Woods"

Uncensored as they come to me... thoughts on the first on the first still from Into the Woods

  • This image gives me hope and I need it with this movie which could easily be a disaster because Rob Marshall
  • "blue hair"... no longer a euphemism!
  • Someone needs a manicure. (The place I go for my mani-pedis services Marcia Gay Harden. The manicurist couldn't speak English but obviously knew her client was a celebrity because she'd plastered her photo all around her station -- and was beaming when I acknowledged them. This has nothing to do with Meryl Streep but you know whoever does her manicures feels like they won the Oscar of nail polishing!
  • If they were going to give her the puffy black shoulder sleeves THANK GODDESS they surprised with the hair otherwise it could've been confused as an outtake from her eccentric auntie cameo in Lemony Snicket
  • Colleen Atwood's 11th nomination and 4th win for Best Costume Design? I'd call her the Meryl Streep of that category except that there are two Streeps of that category. The other being Sandy Powell (who also have 10 noms and 3 wins)
  • I love La Streep's singing voice. I mean LOVE it. I still regularly listen to her songs from Postcards from the Edge, Ironweed, Death Becomes Her and that wonderful undersung practically sung-through performance in A Prairie Home Companion. So I'm happy she's doing a real musical and not Mamma Mia 2: More Screaming, More Running, More OverActing
  • Since Into the Woods is SUCH  a creation of the stage I hope they find a way to transfer it happily to this new medium. I'm hoping they really use the title setting wisely. Woods can look beautiful, eery, earthy, surreal... they're so flexible and rangey; they're the Meryl Streep of Nature. 

Friday
Sep272013

FYC Best Supporting Actor: Ulysses

I have seen the greatest performance by a supporting actor in 2013.  All hail "ULYSSES". Here he is in a key moment from his star-making role in the Coen Bros Inside Llewyn Davis.

What a face! But he doesn't coast on it. He acts with his whole body. If there's any justice in the world, a BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR campaign will rev right up.

Okay okay. I realize this is a silly argument and I know exactly what you're thinking...

You're thinking:

"But Nathaniel, a nomination for Ulysses will never happen. I mean, hello, Oscar Trivia! The Coen Bros filmography, which is chalk full of excellent supporting turns never produces nominations in the supporting category that aren't arguably leads (William H Macy in Fargo and Javier Bardem in No Country For Old Men are both in the driver's seat of their film's narrative even if they aren't the protagonists). It's only happened once: Michael Lerner in Barton Fink. And complete unknowns rarely get traction... especially when the film they're in doesn't even feature them in the press notes"

To this I say "But you haven't seen this awesome performance yet and Ulysses DOES drive the plot along -- sometimes in soft footed silence and other times with a sprint. Plus, where's your faith? No supporting actor in a Coen Bros film has ever given a performance this pure of heart or this instinctual. I don't mean to be disrespectful to John Goodman, John Turturro, and the entire Coen repertory company but none of them have ever purred or kneaded their leading men on cue so maybe they just didn't deserve one. 

I consider it an indignity that Ulysses will be left out of the film's SAG ensemble nomination (if it gets one) since he goes uncredited. He has way more screen time than Garrett Hedlund and better close-ups than Justin Timberlake.

Don't hate on gingers. Root for Ulysses.

Thursday
Sep262013

Mickey and the giant

Tim here. 2013 has proven to be a banner year for Mickey Mouse, the lovable corporate spokesman, marketing juggernaut, and justification for some of the most ruinous developments in copyright law history. I believe he has also, at some point, featured in cartoons.

To celebrate the 85th anniversary of the character, the Walt Disney Company has promoted a new series of made-for-TV shorts bringing his troublemaking side back to the fore after generations of sanding have turned him into a perfectly respectable, deeply bland mascot (I’ll confess to not liking these shorts much at all, but I’m glad they exist). Later this fall, he’ll be starring in a brand-new, old-style cartoon, Get a Horse!, set to play in front of Disney’s winter tentpole Frozen.

With so much Mickey flying around, it was impossible not to pounce at the 75th anniversary this week of one of my very favorite shorts starring the character, Brave Little Tailor.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Sep262013

Burning Questions: Captain Phillips and Ugly Audiences

Michael C. here.  On the Boogie Nights DVD commentary track, Paul Thomas Anderson tells the story of how the audience cheered at the film’s first screening during the scene where William H. Macy’s Little Bill snaps and shoots his adulterous wife. PTA recalls sinking in his seat, wondering how he stepped so wrong that the moment he intended to be a nauseating gut punch was being received as a crowd pleaser. He was relieved moments later when, as he tells it:

William H Macy's gut punch as "Little Bill" in Boogie Nights

Bill Macy walked out and he shot himself in the face and they shut the fuck up real quick. And they weren’t laughing, and they weren’t cheering, and it was dead silence. And I thought, “Good.” I’ve done my job okay. It’s them that’s fucked up. It’s really the moment where you blame the audience and go, “No, you’re wrong.

The question Anderson asked himself in that theater back in ’97 is one that flares up every time a crowd has the “wrong” response to a movie:

How responsible is the filmmaker when a movie provokes an ugly response from the audience?

Click to read more ...