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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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Introducing... In "Vertigo"

I've only written about Alfred Hitchcock's immortal Vertigo (1958) once for an episode of the old series "May Flowers" so I thought I'd dig up that old piece now that Vertigo is in the news having been named "The Greatest Film" by Sight & Sound. I always think of Vertigo as an early summer movie. What other movie besides its closest descendants Robert Altman's Three Women and  David Lynch's Mulholland Drive feel more ruled by twin sign Gemini? Hitchcock films generally deserve complete dissertations but we don't have Scottie Ferguson's (Jimmy Stewart) stamina when it comes to fetishizing doppelgangers. So today let's merely glance back at his introductions to Madeleine/Judy (Kim Novak).

Ferguson has been hired to follow Madeleine and as he first spots her in a deep rose red restaurant. [Click here to open a panoramic shot in a new window]. Hitchock slow zooms out from Scottie (far right) at the bar and pans left, following his gaze, into the dining area filled with flowers and well heeled customers and even a painting of a floral arrangement framed by floral arrangements before it finally stops at Madeleine (tiny, far left) in her emerald green dress.

As she leaves the restaurant we get Kim Novak's first bewitching close up, carefully calibrated and emphasized by Hitchcock's editor George Tomasini and cinematographer Robert Burks. Scottie likes what he sees but this is a job.

Click to read more ...


Ask Nathaniel. Even Though He's Slow To Respond.

I apologize that I never responded to the last batch of questions. I had trouble parsing them -- a lot of essay length questions (be gentler with me), questions we'd answered before, or questions that made me feel guilty. Why don't I ever talk about Garbo? I don't know. Why don't I watch Breaking Bad? I don't know x 2. When am I bringing back "Reader of the Day"? I don'--oh wait, this month! It's Reader Appreciation Month)  Still more of the questions, a lot of them, had to do with The Dark Knight Rises  and I answered all of those to the best of my ability in my longwinded review. So let's open the floor back up and I'll try to answer questions as soon as (gulp) Wednesday!

P.S. Remember, if it's more suited to a top ten list style answer, I never answer it. I just file it under "top ten list" possibilities. 



Yes, No, Maybe So: "The Paperboy"

I know you've been waiting to discuss this one or spent all your discussion energies elsewhere. But do it again. Humor me! You know how bad I want this movie, even if it's terrible. Let's break it down quickly since I'm all YESSSSSSSssssSSSsssS Gimme.



  • "That man is dangerous. Lovin' him is dangerous ♫" - perfect music choice
  • Speaking of dangerous Pt 2 Nicole Kidman trashy, sweaty, in character, on fire. If she were a man people would bow down like they do with Daniel Day-Lewis.
  • Speaking of dangerous Pt 3 Precious director Lee Daniels. Generally you can't achieve genius unless you're willing to risk looking ridiculous. Reviews suggested the latter but still. Brava for taking chances.
  • Zac Efron's wet underwear contest and Nicole Kidman's gawdy costumes, Two great looks that look great together.
  • The cast. Matthew McConaughey has been on a roll and Macy Gray is always welcome. She was just inspired in her cameo in For Colored Girls and memorable in Lee Daniels' Shadowboxer, too. 
  • "These your paperboys? What are they gonna do for me." // "They're gonna save you" Chills.


  • This trailer verges on the totally incoherent. "What the hell is going on?" can be a good future ticket buy question spurred on by a trailer but generally not in the "what the hell is going on within the trailer itself!?" kind of way. I think it's the overlapping sound editing. It's just cacophonous. 


  • John Cusack. I admit I am nothing like a fan. Very occassionally I'm intrigued but there are more misses than hits if you ask me.

the trailer in case you're also running late...

Are you a Yes? a Hell Yes? or a Gimme Now Before I Spontaneously Combust? no? maybe so? 

I know I'm not supposed to think that Nicole has an Oscar shot for something this pulpy and outre but damn this looks like a killer part. Will she kill it?


Yes, No, Maybe So: "Cloud Atlas"

Beau here to give Cloud Atlas the Yes No Maybe So treatment while Nathaniel remains otherwise occupied.

Ben Whishaw and Doona Bae in "Cloud Atlas"

Jesus. What to say? I’m struck by the visual nature of the beast, but that’s to be expected given the caliber of talent involved with the project. At the same time, something so grandiose and ambitious has a natural inclination to tip, like the leaning tower of Pisa. Beautiful to look upon, but you don’t want to get to close lest the thing actually crumble under its own weight. Gravity is tricky that way. [More...]

Click to read more ...


Please Please Please Let Me Link What I Want

PopBytes gives Kristen Stewart advice re: her custody battle with Robert Pattinson (they share a beautiful dog)
Kirsten Dunst shares Garrett Hedlund tempting a squirrel with his nuts! (We used to do this as a little kid -- until my sister got bit!)
My New Plaid Pants remembers delicious latent homo Michael Biehn in The Fan. The internet is a wonderful time-free zone where people can obsess on Biehn like it's 1982 whenever they damn well want!
Gawker on Demi Moore's long cinematic rough patch 
The Playlist Nicole Kidman will play a small role in Lars von Trier's pornographic The Nymphomaniac (2013). Oh how I love them both. Please please please let this be as good as The Idiots.

Stale Popcorn Glenn reviews Cosmopolis and Step Up Revolution together because, duh, obvious double feature
i09 has the greatest unintentionally funny lines in genre films/tv. Love #8 and #1 so much. 
In Contention Spike Lee to be honored in Venice
NY Times profiles the rising Ukrainian boy band of sorts, Kazaky, featured in Madonna's "Girl Gone Wild" video 
Vanity Fair gives Olympian Ryan Lochte the Ryan Gosling 'Hey Girl' treatment 
Slate Dana Stevens embraces her inner punk rocker while staring at the Sight & Sound List 
Movie|Line I'm a bit confused by this article about Elizabeth Olson praising 50 Shades of Grey but then "no, no, no" about starring in it. I think we're missing a quote or a follow up question from the reporter!
Comic Book Movie Hugh Jackman on set as The Wolverine. Please please please let these be better than X-Men Origins: Wolv --oh never mind. It would be nigh impossible to be worse!

Finally... I think it's worth noting as a die hard fan of Bring It On (2000) -- which made my top ten list in its year and which I do not, in any way, consider a "guilty" pleasure, just a pleasure full stop --  that the stage musical version is upon us. My friend Tom liked it which gives me hope but I'm still leery. Screen to stage transfers are often very problematic and weirdly the number one thing they seem to get wrong seems very basic to me; super short scenes, of which movies are typically composed, are fussy and distracting on stage especially if they're constantly making adjustments to the sets or trying to keep up the manic visual pace of movies. Too many stage musicals pretend that you can just act the movie out on the stage but that's absolutely the worst way to go. I'm also worried because Bring It On's deserved reputation as one of the best high school comedies and best girly comedies has been utterly tarnished by a lengthy string of straight-up-terrible straight-to-video "sequels".

If any of you have seen it in previews, do share your reactions. Should I go?


The Future of "Hit Me..."

Breaking: Hit Me With Your Best Shot has been renewed for a Fourth Season. The response to the last few episodes was warm enough to suggest that it'd be worth one more year. It might never be as widely participatory as I'd hoped but the people who are into it are really into it, so we continue. It's like one of those critical darling tv series that the diehard fans keep alive.

THREE EPISODES LEFT IN SEASON 3. Don't be shy, join the party!

Wed August 8th, SHERLOCK JR (1924)
Buster Keaton's silent comedy is only 45 minutes long so you've got time to watch it. Don't pretend you don't! And it's available to instant watch on Netflix so join us in choosing a favorite, er, best shot. 

Wed August 15th, SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952)
The Sight & Sound Poll clearly wasn't in the mood to celebrate Gene Kelly's crowning achievement and dropped the film by 10 places just in time for our favorite song & dance man's Centennial --  Rude! Singin' in the Rain is like a shot of undistilled joy. Can't wait to see it again for the nth time.

Wed August 22nd, DOG DAY AFTERNOON (1975)
Confession: I've never seen this movie and blog projects are often the best way to finally get around to something. This sweltering bank robbery drama was inspired by real life events which took place on this very day 40 years ago.


Jessica & Chaplin

Remember when we interviewed Jessica Chastain and it was so obvious that she was that beautiful semi-rarity among famous actors: a complete cinephile. Well guess what? To further underscore the point her dog's name is Chaplin. How cute are they together?

Answer: Very.

Chaplin recently visited her on the set of The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: His. Although I'm not sure about taking your best animal friend for a walk while wearing animal print. I'm glad Chaplin isn't her pet leopard.


P.S. Friend of TFE Katey Rich, met Chaplin on a set visit. He has only three legs! Now we must love him even more.