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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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Thursday
Aug302012

A Love Letter to Noah Taylor

[Editor's Note: Melanie Lynskey Guest Blogging Continues!]

So, the movie Lawless came out last night. I don't know a whole lot about westerns, but I do know this movie is filled with great actors. Including, one of my absolute, all-time, favourite actors, Noah Taylor.

I remember so clearly the first time I saw Noah Taylor in a movie. I was 16, and I saw the movie Flirting, and that was it. I was in love. I loved his face, I loved the way he walked. I loved his voice and the little lisp in it. I loved the way he looked at Thandie Newton so shyly but so directly at the same time. There was such a lovely, innocent quality to him, but underneath it was something really powerful. He was sexy in a very unexpected way. There's a little edge to him and he's so funny in that movie. I went on a Noah Taylor rampage. I saw The Year My Voice Broke, I saw The Nostradamus Kid. At a certain point I realised that the reason I loved him so much was that there is an incredible vulnerability to him. You feel his soul radiating when he's on screen. He just has to glance sideways and you feel your heart twisting in compassion. There is something in his eyes that made me feel like this person has known and understands life, and love, and suffering, and he's putting it up on this screen with no filter. As the young David Helfgott in Shine, he is like a walking open wound. There is such a sweetness to that performance. But you feel him breaking as the movie goes on... just taking the mistreatment and quietly shifting and trying to adjust himself until he collapses inward. It all happens very subtly, but he really sets up Geoffrey Rush's insanely great performance as the older david.

Over the years Noah Taylor has become a truly great and versatile character actor. Every time I see him on screen, I cannot look away. He's played sweet dads (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), rock and roll band managers (Almost Famous), and Adolf Hitler (Max) and been utterly believable as every one. He can play comedy (The Life Aquatic) so beautifully; there is a realness to his humour that is so appealing, and that sweet face can be so goofy when he wants to be goofy. But he can easily access a dangerous quality that can set you on edge. I also love the wide range of genres and sizes of movies he's done. He can do a big silly action movie (Tomb Raider) and look like he's having so much fun while also, totally committing (not easy), and then fit right in to something like The Proposition.

Noah in [from top left]: The Year My Voice Broke, Flirting, Shine, He Died with a Falafel in His Hands, The Life Aquatic, and Submarine

Noah Taylor, I love you, and I'm so happy you're in movies.

- Melanie Lynskey

Next: Chain love letter

Thursday
Aug302012

Melanie's Lynskey's Photo Album Pt 2

[Editor's Note: Today's guest blogger is the actress Melanie Lynskey. Her new film, the Sundance hit "Hello I Must Be Going" opens on September 7th. Don't miss it! -Nathaniel R]

PHOTO TIME. I'm sharing photos
(see part 1 for Venice with Peter Jackson and the upcoming feature Teddy Bears)

Cast & Crew of "They Came Together". © Melanie Lynskey

This photo above is of me saying "How in the hell did I get so lucky?" It is from the set of They Came Together, which is a romantic comedy that was written by David Wain and Michael Showalter and directed by Mr. Wain. Back row L-R: me, Amy Poehler, our first AD Lyda Blank, Paul Rudd, Erinn Hayes, Cobie Smulders, Kenan Thompson (on arm of sofa) Front row L-R: Michael Showalter, Ed Helms, Jason Mantzoukas, David Wain. Funny funny funny people!!

The next three pictures are from the set of Hello, I Must Be Going. It comes out September 7th -- so soon!

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Aug292012

Melanie Lynskey's Photos from the Set of "Teddy Bears"

[Editor's Note: The Film Experience is pleased to welcome Melanie Lynskey, star of Hello I Must Be Going (opening September 7th), as today's special guest blogger - Nathaniel R]

PHOTO TIME. I'm sharing photos! (Part 1)

Most of my old photos are at my parents house in New Zealand, but I did find one good oldie. So I will post one old one, and the rest are from four films I finished filming in the last year. That way I can totally plug those movies!

© Melanie Lynskey for The Film Experience

The first photo was taken at the Venice Film Festival in 1994. I want to tap myself on the shoulder and say, "hey, you're at the Venice Film Festival! Put some mascara on!" But I was going through a time in my life where I refused to wear makeup or high heels or anything form-fitted, partly to drive my mother crazy and partly because I was reading "The Beauty Myth" every few months and getting angrier every time. Also it would really delight Peter Jackson when I showed up to a premiere in Converse, and I love his little laugh, so I was happy enough. I love this picture because I am So. Excited. to be meeting the director of Reservoir Dogs. I love that Quentin Tarantino. (He literally would not stop talking long enough to get his picture taken, he's just carrying on with some amazing comprehensive story.) Sarah Pierse, who played my mother in Heavenly Creatures, is that gorgeous lady to my left. She's one of the greats, I think. An amazing actress. My beloved David Lynch was the head of the jury that year and I got to meet him. I cannot even tell you how into Twin Peaks I was at that point, not to mention the fact that I would re-watch one of his movies pretty much every weekend of my life. I started crying as soon as I was out of his sight. It was the most exciting thing that had ever happened to me.

This next little group of photos is from the movie Teddy Bears, which we filmed in April. I'm posting these photos to say look at this cast, yo!

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Aug292012

Melanie Lynskey: DVDs I Had To Own

[Editor's Note: The Film Experience is very pleased to announce that  the lovely actress Melanie Lynskey is our super extra special duper final guest blogger this week. Take it away, Melanie - Nathaniel R]

Hello everyone!

I could not be more honoured that Nathaniel asked me to do this little guest spot on my beloved Film Experience. I read this blog so much and it's always thoughtful, funny, and enlightening. I hope I do a good job guest blogging and I desperately wish I could use a word other than blogging, because ugh it is a horrible word. Okay. Remember, I'm a college dropout, so please forgive bad grammar and clunky sentences. (Dearest Nathaniel I hope you're having a great time with your mom.)

"picture of myself drinking a scotch as I blogged to go with your banner xo"

 

Somebody wrote to me on twitter and suggested that I write a piece about the movies I consider to be the ten best movies of all time. They said they'd be interested to see how the movies stacked up against the Sight and Sound poll. Well, the truth is, I honestly feel like I haven't seen enough movies to be able to compile a list of The Best Movies. My knowledge of pre-70s cinema is embarrassingly limited. I'm also super indecisive. So, I thought that instead, I could take a picture of a bunch of random DVDs from my collection and give a brief explanation of why I love these particular movies.

I don't buy a lot of DVDs so every one of these picks is because I said to myself "Yes. I must own this. It's important."

 

in photo order...

1) Terms Of Endearment- I remember one summer this was on TV when we were on a family vacation. I watched it with my mother and my grandmother (!!) I think I was nine or ten. I already knew, at that point, that I loved acting, I loved becoming a different person. But this was the first time I remember thinking, "oh, you can make people cry their eyes out from acting?" I couldn't believe how the performances made me feel, and I understood that even though the story was so moving, the thing that was making my heart ache was what these actors were doing. I knew it was magical. Shirley MacLaine, man. Wow.

2) The Piano- Oh Jane Campion I love you so much. I love the women in her movies. I love the sexuality. I love the light and the composition. I feel like I can smell the earth under the character's feet and feel the air around them watching a Jane Campion movie.

3) Gigli- yes. Gigli. [More Melanie Picks after the jump]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Aug282012

Take Three: Christopher Walken

Craig from Dark Eye Socket here with Take Three. This week: Christopher Walken


Take One: True Romance (1993)
One of Tony Scott’s best loved films was True Romance, based on Quentin Tarantino’s script. And one of its most fondly remembered supporting performances was Walken’s psychotic criminal Vincenzo Coccotti. His sole scene – the ‘Sicilian scene’ as it became dubbed – is often quoted for its spiky dialogue and playful yet intense interaction. In the scene Walken pays a visit to Clifford Worley (Dennis Hopper) for information on the whereabouts of the latter’s son Clarence (Christian Slater). Worley knows that he’s going to die regardless of what he tells Coccotti, so he relates an offending story hoping to insult him as a last FU. For the most part Walken does seemingly very little; Hopper does most of the talking. But his responses, his turning to his henchmen for reactions and hardy yuck-yuck laugh add an amusingly unsettling tension. Walken’s screen persona in scenes of violence has often relied on his characters’ ability to suddenly snap and violently “disagree” with other characters (see A View to a Kill and King of New York particularly). Walken waits out the bulk of the scene, letting Coccotti’s rage simmer as Worley offends him. Coccotti never rises to the verbal bait; Walken doesn’t overplay it. (Apparently, only the words ‘eggplant’ and ‘cantaloupe’ were adlibbed to the script as written.) He sits listening, stewing in his carefully guarded anger. It’s obvious he’ll boil over at some point but we don’t know when. Though he embeds himself in your mind quickly, he generously lets Hopper shine for the scene's duration before shrewdly asserting himself, switching into psycho mode for the finish.

I haven’t killed anyone since 1984"

Walken's savvy waiting game here is testament to how he regularly imbues a film with sly style through his uniquely scary persona. The scene is barely five minutes long, and Walken has only a handful of words, but he does some of his best supporting work within the timeframe.

Two more takes after the jump

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Aug282012

Curio: Leslye's Film Life

Alexa here. There's nothing I love more than reading a fan memoir, or more adequately put, a life story as told through beloved music or film.  Some of Pauline Kael's reviews read that way to me. I also enjoyed Nick Hornby's Songbook.  Right now I'm reading The Film That Changed My Life, which compiles some amazing interviews with directors about that favorite, pivotal film that changed things. I was similarly moved reading Leslye's great post, which reminded me of how films have shaped me, and also how my life shaped my viewing of certain films. Being at my most depressed helped add to my love of The Big Lebowski, as it finally lifted me from the funk. And seeing Rosemary's Baby during puberty, when I felt my body was betraying me, was a most visceral experience. 

Since mine is an arts column, I thought in honor of Leslye's coming-of-age tales I'd post some visual homages to her film signposts. (And if you're wondering why The Philadelphia Story is missing, it's because someone needs to get on designing a good indie poster for that one, stat!)

Rushmore lithograph by Cameron Thorne.

Love and Death by Richard Noble and Rita Sales Luís.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Aug282012

Sense and Sensuality (and Cinema, Natch.)

Hello, darlings.  Beau here, still filling in for Nathaniel* in this last gasp of August. (Thank fucking GOD, I’ve never been a fan of summer. Bring on the fall and the awards fodder and the pumpkin spiced lattes!)

Leslye Headland (whom you’ve all met by now) wrote something very interesting the other day that ignited a particular memory I’d long since forgotten from High School.

Follow me back all the way to late 2004...

Click to read more ...