NOW PLAYING

latest reviews  

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) B+/A-
Nymphomaniac (2014) B-
Divergent (2014) C
Enemy (2014) B/B+

review index

HOT TOPICS


Welcome

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. "Like it" on facebook!

 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

Powered by Squarespace
Comment Fun

COMMENT(s) DU JOUR
April Showers...

THE PIANO
Hunter is so expressive, like a firework (intended) exploding again and again.
❞ - Henry

THELMA & LOUISE
I took a "fluff" class senior year of high school called Mass Media, and we were allowed to do a project on anything we wanted. My friend Meaghan and I decided to do our project on Brad Pitt,..I had never seen "Thelma & Louise" and found myself obsessed with it. I think I watched it five times by the time my senior year was over. ❞ -Jakey

 


Keep TFE Strong

Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience

THANKS IN ADVANCE

For those who can't commit to a dime a day, consider a one time donation for an article or a series you are glad you didn't have to live without.

What'cha Looking For?
Twitter Feed
Subscribe
Thursday
Aug302012

Love Letters Pt. 1: Zachary Quinto, Ahna O'Reilly, Chris Messina

© Nick Stepowyj[Editor's Note: Melanie Lynskey (Hello I Must Be Going) is guest blogging. We love her. And now there's a lotta love to go around. - Nathaniel R]

After my love letter to Noah Taylor I thought it might be kind of fun to write to some people for The Film Experience and ask THEM who they'd want to write a love letter to. Hopefully this is making some kind of sense. So I made a little dream list of people I respect and admire beyond all reason and I sent them a little e-mail saying:

I've seen you do work that has made me want to write you a love letter because it's moved me so deeply. Who or what would you like to write a love letter to? What piece of art or artist or feeling has moved you in this way?"

Here are a few amazing responses I got from these talented and passionate individuals!

To the magnificent & unique Zachary Quinto "my love letter to you is mostly me obsessing about: Angels In America!"

Zach's love letter:

I remember so vividly the first time i saw IL POSTINO. i was a freshman in college - completely ravenous for creative inspiration - and i found myself alone at one of the only art house movie theaters in pittsburgh at the time. i was so enraptured by the experience. the tenderness and intimacy of the story. the beauty of the landscape. the powerful exploration of love. and in particular the performance of massimo troisi. it stays with me to this day: his subtlety. his vulnerability. his openness. his humor. and as i learned more about the film and the tragedy of its star - my genuine love for the movie blossomed into something that still inspires me any time i think about it. troisi's commitment to this story ultimately cost him his life. he died just twelve hours after the film wrapped - and only days before he was meant to go to london for the heart transplant that likely would have saved him. but his connection to the project (which he also co-wrote) was so absolute and unwavering that - even in the face of his obviously weakened state - he would not back down until it was complete. and you can see it on screen. his passion and investment in the story is one of the most bittersweet manifestations i have encountered. i love that film and i love that performance. and i love the memory of the first time it all washed over me.
-ZACHARY QUINTO

To the incredibly brave & brilliant actor and director Joe Swanberg "my love letter to you is mostly me obsessing about: Nights and Weekends..."

Joe Swanberg and Greta Gerwig in "Nights and Weekends"

Joe's love letter:

My love letter is to Elaine May. She's one of the coolest filmmakers alive and a constant source of inspiration. I watched THE HEARTBREAK KID and the first 20 minutes of ISHTAR about 5 times each this Summer when I was prepping my new film. She's a brave, adventurous filmmaker and it's a shame she didn't make more work, but what exists fills me with love and gets me excited about making my own stuff."
-JOE SWANBERG 

To the best actress I know, the incredible Tina Holmes "my love letter to you is mostly me obsessing about: Six Feet Under..."

Tina's love letter:

There's a scene in the beautiful movie Oslo, August 31st that i can't get out of my head. the movie takes place on the last day of summer. 24 hours in which the main character is struggling to decide whether or not he can bear to go on living. it's sounds so grim, but the movie is filled with life and beauty. anyway the scene that blew me away is where he is watching some friends go for a swim at dawn after a long night's bender. he sits alone and watches them, especially this young beautiful innocent girl he has met that night. the camera stays on his face and he watches in silence and i swear to god you watch him engage with life and hope and then despair and engage and despair and engage and despair and back and forth. all that and i don't think his expression even really changes much. it's haunting. that's when i love acting. when you can see inside someone. it's not even anything they do. i don't even know how it happens really. some people just let you see their soul."
-TINA HOLMES

To the versatile, handsome, showing his heart and constantly working Chris Messina "my love letter to you is mostly me obsessing about: Celeste & Jesse Forever..."

Chris's love letter:

I instantly thought of John Cazale and his performances in all 5 of his films. Each one of them so different and nuanced. Dog Day Afternoon was mind-blowing for me as a kid. To see New York in the 70's, the heat, the anti-establishment "Attica" chant, of course watching Pacino felt at the time like finding god. And John Cazale's silence and intensity is something that I will never forget. I was afraid at any moment that he would start shooting the Employees, and then Sonny, Pacino's character asks him what country he wants to go to when the robbery is over and Sal (Cazale) says "Wyoming" not played for laughs, you instantly see into Sal's heart all his vulnerability and desperation. A complex subtle performance that continues to amaze me each time I revisit it.

What Sidney Lumet did with that story and each and everyone of those actors brought to it... this was a defining moment for me in wanting to be a storyteller."
-CHRIS MESSINA

To the insanely funny, thoughtful director, writer, actor (and also a ridiculously gifted magician), David Wain "my love letter to you is mostly me obsessing about: Wet Hot American Summer (obv); Wanderlust... "

Dear NASHVILLE,  thank you for enveloping me in your glow when I discovered you fifteen years after your release! I left our first (nearly 3 hour) date feeling exhilarated, inspired and spent. You opened my eyes to new possibilities in filmmaking, storytelling, comedy, acting, sound. You resonated with me over the last twenty years, always reminding me to be bold and to trust my voice!"
-DAVID WAIN

To the hilarious and authentic and awesome Natasha Lyonne "my love letter to you is mostly me obsessing about: Slums Of Beverly Hills, you in Night At The Golden Eagle..."

[Natasha didn't get back to me with her finished thing but I thought I'd include the things she was thinking she'd write about because they're amazing choices: ' Think I'd choose susan tyrell in fat city or bob fosse & all that jazz ... or Terrence Stamp or Toby Dammit...]

To the super funny, super sweet, unlike any other person living, the genius Michael Showalter "my love letter to you is mostly me obsessing about: "The Baxter"...

Michael Showalter's letter:

Call me sappy but if I'm gonna write a love letter it's gotta be for romantic comedies, so my love letter is for my favorite rom-com filmmaker Richard Curtis (writer/director of Four Weddings And A Funeral, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones, Love Actually.) His bittersweet world of laughter, loss and love is one that I really enjoy visiting - like your favorite bookstore or coffee shop. Everyone is smart, nice and funny. They are optimistic but not necessarily "happy." They like eating good food, talking at length about their neuroses and wear warm clothing. There's never anyone in a Richard Curtis story that feels "too cool." Nope, they are just people. Friends. Acquaintances. Trying to get by, trying to be good, to be better, fallible, trying to grab at some little piece of joy and sweetness.

To the brilliant and intense and funny and great actor Michael Weston I love everything you've ever done but my love letter to you is mostly me obsessing about: that amazing episode of Six Feet Under where you kidnap David..."

Michael Weston's letter:

You know, there are so many actors and movies and filmmakers who have inspired me... who continue to inspire me. I think I have been really blessed to have a group of friends who are so deeply creative and fun and funny and silly, and I find that they are always my greatest inspiration and what I dwell on in loving revery-time.

But, when I go back to the beginning... where I really felt the power of film and what still makes me laugh because I was so completely moved by it... was the movie "Flash Gordon". I know that's sort of like sitting in some crazy heavenly wine cellar and asking for a bottle of two buck Chuck. But, the truth is, the year was 1980, I was like 7, and that was the moment I wanted to be a part of film. In that finale scene where he's like driving the spaceship and he's about to skewer Ming The Merciless and that awesome music is playing "Flash! Ah-haaahhh! Duhn duhn duhn!". Man... I stood on my seat and f-ing cheered. Literally. I didn't give a hoot who was looking at me because I was so in it. I whooped. And was finally brought back to earth, pulled back into my seat by some kid I was friends with at the time. See, I don't remember who I was with, but, I still find myself, returning to that moment. And I still sing that theme song to myself... and others if they'll listen."
-MICHAEL WESTON 

To the extraordinary, radiant, gorgeous and real Ahna O'Reilly "my love letter to you is mostly me obsessing about: The Help..."

Ahna's letter:

I want to write Sissy Spacek a Love Letter for everything, especially "Coal Miner's Daughter" and "Carrie". I want to be her.

-Tommy Lee Jones/Robert Duvall in "Lonesome Dove", I saw this when I was little and it has meant a lot to me ever since. I think it was the first time I understood chemistry between actors.

-On the topic of things from when I was little: Hitchcock (Almost all of them except "Frenzy" and "Marnie," those were the two sexy ones we weren't allowed to watch); Fred Astaire & Ginger Rodgers ("Barkley's of Broadway" and many others); "The Sound of Music"; Audrey Hepburn ("Roman Holiday", "Sabrina"), Judy Garland ("Meet Me in St Louis", "Easter Parade"). These people and their movies were pretty much all my parents let us watch...ahhh to be sheltered. 

-Timothy Scott, my heart breaks for him even if I only see his face for a fleeting second in a movie (just re-watched "Days of Heaven" and there he was for 3 seconds, and I loved him).

 -The author Tracy Kidder.

-Marion Cotillard in La Vie En Rose. I know this is an obvious one. But I could watch this on a loop, the thought of it makes me cry."
-AHNA O'REILLY 

I'm so grateful to all these amazing people!

-Melanie

P.S. UPDATE: More love letters from Rosemarie DeWitt, Kathy Najimy, etcetera

 

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 ...