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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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Amy Adams for Janis Joplin

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Tuesday
Sep042012

Take Three: Samantha Morton

Craig here with the penultimate ‘Take Three’. This week: Samantha Morton...

The Artists are present: Samantha Morton (and Marina Abramovic) doing jury duty in Venice right now

She's currently advising R-Pattz in Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis on screen and serving as a jury member on the 69th Venice Film Festival off screen.

Take One: Under the Skin (1997)
After some acclaimed TV and short film work, Morton made her feature bow in Carine Adler’s Under the Skin. In it she plays Iris, a girl selfdestructing and suffering due to the death of her mother. In this blistering debut Morton flits between girlish abandon and hot-tempered wilfulness. At times the camera has trouble keeping up with her as she weaves through life picking up numerous sexual conquests in retaliation for not being able to confront her grief. Other times, the camera can’t seem to pull away from its close focus on Morton’s expressive face, as in the scene where she enters a church and tearfully gazes at the congregation.

Iris’s spiralling descent into sexual oblivion is every bit as bruising and obsessive as, say, Michael Fassbender’s Shame odyssey – but from a far more adult viewpoint. (Whatever Fassbender’s Brandon did, he never had a guy piss on him for empty thrills – something Iris experiences here.) Iris vainly makes herself over by donning her dead mother’s clothes, wigs and makeup in an attempt to ‘become’ her in order to keep the memory close. Morton subtly alters Iris’ actions by veering between this maternal imitation and the fractured shell of a girl she really is. Authenticity is paramount to Morton and she shrewdly maintains a delicate balance between sexually assertive and introverted that never once feels contrived or tied up in actorly affectation. She's been a risk taker and has kept it real from day one.

Morton putting on a different face in "Under the Skin"

Control and The Messenger after the jump

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Sep042012

V/H/S, or The Concept of a Woman

Hi, loves! Beau here, having just caught the new horror compilation V/H/S on VOD, and spent the night ruminating on a few different elements that the film(s) brought to light for me.

V/H/S is a horror film that for me, is a game changer. And not in a good way. Were you to pull a gun to my head and ask me what genre captures my heart and my imagination more than any other, I’d say horror. It’s my Achilles heel, bloody and severed. The pulse quickens and the imagination runs rampant. You’re not limited to set tonal shifts but atypical ones. You can go anywhere in horror. And what V/H/S left me with is the sense that if we’re willing to venture into this stylized vein of storytelling, why aren’t we taking more risks inside of it? Pandora’s box is a large one, loves. She likes it that way. A girl needs a big purse.

I’ll sum it up briefly

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep032012

The Seven Link Itch

LA Times Michael Clarke Duncan (Oscar nominated for The Green Mile) dies at 54.
Badass Digest Devin charts the evolution of the MPAA system and offers up an idea for a revamp
Gawker Russell Crowe in a spot of trouble kayaking is rescued by the Coast Guard. I feel like we need a Noah joke here but I can't think of one. 
First Showing plot details (read at your own risk) for the new Spike Jonze film Her. It stars Joaquin Phoenix as a man who falls in love with a computer voice.

Salon interviews the hilarious Retta on her Parks & Recreation scene stealing "Treat Yo Self" and her popular TV crazy twitter feed 
Movie|Line George Clooney's 1986 Tiger Beat profile!
Movie|Line interviews For a Good Time, Call... director Jamie Travis. Had I known it was Jamie Travis I woulda been first in line to see that film! Love love love his short films. (You may remember I embarrassed myself geeking out on him at the Nashville Film Festival.) Did any of you see that comedy this weekend? Next Friday is quite the girlie risque weekend with this film expanding and Bachelorette and Hello, I Must Be Going all opening. I officially declare September 7th "Girls Gone Wild" day.

...however should we celebrate?

Finally... with Telluride wrapping up and Venice and Toronto hitting the ground, reactions are flying fast and furious when it comes to fall Oscar hopefuls. More on that once I've collected my thoughts and recorded tonight's podcast (you heard me)...

Monday
Sep032012

Review: "Compliance" 

Compliance is the kind of film I always hope to love. Ambitious, confrontrational, and very well acted films that rely on theme and character and ideas are jawdroppers for me in a way that explosions, stunts, and visual effects innovations almost never are. But ambitions and soulful actors can only take you so far when fundamental flaws get in their way.

It's best to see Compliance cold (as I did) with no knowledge of its subject matter. Unfortunately it's almost impossible to talk or write about without giving its game away which is why it's a tough sell (it's made $111,000 in limited release) though it's gripping enough should you buy a ticket. So read on at your own risk...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep032012

Happy Labor Day 

 

If you're at work, please explain yourself! Wait, why am I at work blogging?

Sunday
Sep022012

Review: "Lawless"

The article originally appeared in my column at Towleroad

A terrible performance... or a great one? You decide.

Special Deputy Charlie Rakes (Guy Pearce) doesn't believe the tall tales about the outlaw Bondurant Boys especially the ones about Forrest (Tom Hardy). Local Virginia legend has it that Forrest can't be killed, that he's immortal.  "Have you ever seen what a tommy gun does to 'immortal'?" Rakes sneers in a (successful) effort to terrorize the town's Forrest-fearing men into submission. Rakes then beats the youngest Bondurant brother Jack (Shia Labeouf) into a blubbering pulp. But, as it turns out, the Bondurant brothers are resilient enough to inspire tall tales. Forrest and his brothers make their living as moonshiners in this Depression-era Western and with Prohibition empowering organized crime, everyone is looking to be the top boss. The brothers value their autonomy but the guns are out and if an actual crime lord (Gary Oldman's "Floyd Banner") don't get them, then the even more crooked law enforcement (Pearce's Deputy) just might.

Such is the bloody conflict of John Hillcoat's Lawless, based on the historical novel "The Wettest County in the World" which was written by a grandson of the Bondurants (all childless during the movie) suggesting straightaway that at least one of them is going to make it out of the movie alive. Not that the film is shy about spoilers given its heavy handed foreshadowing and the past-tense narration. (You gotta Live to Tell).

MORE AFTER THE JUMP...

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Sunday
Sep022012

No Exorcisms Ever Rid the Box Office of Its Demons

If there's a sure way to hit #1 at the box office with minimal effort, it's this: make a demonic possession flick. Someone should do a study because it seems to me that they're the most profitable subgenre ...of anything. They always open well even if they feel virtually indistiguishable from the last one. Even if the last one was super recent. Even if they aren't innovative with f/x. Even if they have no stars. It makes you wonder if The Exorcist, discussed robustly recently here, is the most influential movie of the past 40 years rather than Jaws which usually gets the credit in building the foundation of our current cinematic culture.

Chart adapted from Box Office Mojo

This makes me wish exorcism flicks would go extreme mash-up. Let's take some genres which the mass public are weirdly averse to despite their entertainment value, say the screwball comedy or the musical or the adult romance (non comedic) and revive interest in them by throwing a little demonic possession in as a subplot. Imagine the setpieces!

What did you see this weekend? Or, since the weekend isn't officially closed until Monday night (Happy Labor Day!) which movie are you planning to see? I saw Lawless (review later tonight) and I almost made it to Premium Rush because I'm anxious for Looper. It made a kind of impulse item sense but I was thwarted.

what's in the bag?

Maybe the studio would have pushed it harder if a demon-possessed baby was in JGL's courier bag?