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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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Tuesday
Dec292015

Top 15 Most Hardworking Performers in 2015

Manuel here continuing our year end review.

Remember in 2011 when Jessica Chastain went from unknown actress to Oscar nominee in the blink of an eye thanks to the whirlwind of release dates that had her starring in over six films in that calendar year? It was as great a calling card as you could ask for and while Chastain had a relatively subdued year (Crimson Peak, The Martian), other actors gave her a run for her money in the “how many projects can I appear on in one year” race. Not that it’s a contest, but we’re fan of lists here at TFE even as we understand they’re more jumping off discussion points rather than monolithic assertions of quality or taste. And so find below a list of 15 actors who were extra hardworking and who you couldn’t have missed seeing as they were everywhere from superhero franchise films and prestige flicks to Netflix series and festival sensations.

The Martian cast had a busy 2015, but 2016 looks busier still for Damon, Chastain, Mara and Marvel boy Stan.

Rankings and inclusions were both arbitrary and subjective. Thus, they’re neither binding nor absolute (my personal fave and the inspiration for this post in the first place comes at #2). Feel free to tell me who I missed and whether you agree with our undisputed #1 placement who’ll be getting a special Gold Medal from Nat himself for their Body of Work this year.

15. Bill Murray (Aloha, Rock the Kasbah, A Very Murray Christmas)

14. Nicole Kidman (Grace of Monaco, Paddington, Strangerland, Secret in Their Eyes)

13. Chiwetel Ejiofor (Z for Zachariah, The Martian, Secret in their Eyes)

the ubiquitous dozen after the jump

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Monday
Dec282015

Curio: Hateful Eight Art

Alexa here, back from a long vacation and ready to jump into winter film season and, despite reviews, buy my tickets for a 70mm Roadshow showing of The Hateful Eight. Keeping my expectations low worked toward my enjoyment of The Force Awakens so I'm hoping the same (and a healthy pre-show dose of alcohol) will help me enjoy the mayhem, however rote. I have enjoyed these creative artistic homages to Tarantino's latest. Perhaps they will prove superior to the film?

more beauties after the jump...

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Monday
Dec282015

Best of '15: The TV Experience

Dancin' Dan here to take a look at 2015 on the small screen. When I moved to NYC late last year I thought that I would be going to the movies all the time. After all, so many more movies play here than my previous home in the middle of Connecticut! But the sheer glut of movies to see, both old and new, caused a lot of second-guessing and a bit of paralysis, leading to a less robust slate than I had imagined.

But the plentiful offerings of television were there for me in my indecisive, paralyzed state. I didn't watch everything, but I did watch a lot. And these are...

15 Favorite Things About TV in '15
after the jump... 

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Monday
Dec282015

Beauty vs Beast: Shadow of the Auteur

JA from MNPP here christening 2015's final episode of "Beauty vs Beast" with one of my favorite movies of ever, which is celebrating it's 15th anniversary this week - E. Elias Merhige's Shadow of the Vampire, which fictionalized the filming of F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu by adding in some actual behind-the-scenes bloodsucking, was released on December 29th, 2000 -- I have strangely fixed memories of seeing this film for the first time, from the dreamy Art Deco opening credits on down; anyway it left a mark, so don't ask me what the hell happened to Merhige after this. He's only made one more feature-length film since, the 2004 serial killer thriller Suspect Zero with Ben Kingsley.

As for Shadow of the Vampire it didn't do great box-office-wise but it did manage to score two Oscar nominations - one for Make-Up and a much-deserved Best Supporting Actor nomination for Willem Dafoe, playing the actor Max Schreck "playing" the creature Nosferatu as a hilarious spin on Method acting. ("Thissss is hardly your peecture any longgger!" is weekly chatter in my house.) But under-sung if you ask me is John Malkovich's twisted take on the director Murnau, meeting Dafoe every inch in their dance towards Hell without the benefit of literal blood-thirst - his hunger is movie-making, the magic on the screen, and he makes it, by god he makes it.

PS if we want to wrap this movie into the now its influence can easily be seen on Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi's hysterical vampire mockumentary What We Do In the Shadows, which unleashes a house-full of Nosferatus (Nosferati?) on some unprepared filmmakers.

PREVIOUSLY I hope everybody celebrated the past week the new cool way to do it - by storming around downtown Los Angeles dragging prostitutes and pimps around like sacks of flour, cackling all the way - speaking of, in last week's Tangerine duel Sin-Dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) grabbed a clump full of our collective hair and wouldn't let go, taking a full 3/4s of the vote! Said BD:

"Oh my gosh, that whole door-busting, hair-pulling sequence was so bad-ass."

Monday
Dec282015

"The best kind of music comes from experimentation and messing up" - on Scoring 'Steve Jobs'

Daniel PembertonAs we move towards the Oscars each year the public tendency is to look back and reassess the most interesting contributions to cinema in a given year. From this impulse, a good one we'd argue, top ten lists, "best ofs" and awards traction are born. Though the legendary names of film scoring all seemed to be quite active this year -- even recently absent giants like Morricone and Williams -- some of the most innovative and exciting work was being done by the relative newcomers.

One of the buzziest among them is the 38 year old composer Daniel Pemberton. He made an award-winning name for himself in British television but his feature film work only began in force just a few years ago with highly praised work on the supernatural period drama The Awakening (2011). It's safe to say that 2015 will be regarded as his breakout year. He did stylish rethink work on The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and in just a few weeks he'll presumably be at the Golden Globes where he's nominated for his innovative triple-scoring of Steve Jobs

Will an Oscar nomination follow? It's tough to say given the temperament of Oscar's notoriously insular music branch but it would not be undeserved. He recently spoke with The Film Experience about innovation, 80s synthesizers, and how he'll keep it fresh moving forward.

NATHANIEL R: So I'll be up front with you. I find music, particularly scoring, completely mysterious. I can read music and play piano a bit but it feels like a foreign language. How does a film composer even discover their talent for it? 

DANIEL PEMBERTON: I basically started messing around with on the piano when I was very young, and I just started writing music just for fun. And then one day I saved up enough money to buy myself a synthesizer and a tape recorder, and I started making music. Pretty much from that is how I got to here!

NATHANIEL R" But there are so many different careers in music. Did you imagine yourself as this type of composer or did you want to be a rock star when you were young? [More...]

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Monday
Dec282015

Thoughts I Had While Staring at Posters for Penelope Cruz’s Upcoming Films

Manuel here. Every once in a while I like to check in on actresses I’ve been missing and see what they’re up to and what’s next. Last week, for example, I singled out Michelle Williams and was glad to see she has two promising films landing at Sundance. This week, I wanted to see when I’d get my next Penelope Cruz fix. Sadly, it looks like she’ll be spending 2016 doing press junkets for two comedies I have no real interest in. 

Disjointed thoughts on these films, Cruz, and the actress’s post-Oscar career follow after the jump...

 

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