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 | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 


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 "I love that two people independent of one another gave Claire Trevor an extra star simply for being Claire Trevor." - Glenn

"Interesting to see the take of young people on these movies." - Les

"That was fascinating. I love the thoughts on Executive Suite, post-post-WWII and the "benevolent patriarch." " - B.D.


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Creative Arts Emmys: Lily & Melissa & Liberace

The Emmys have 5 bajillion categories so they can't announce them all on their PrimeTime ceremony (next Sunday! We'll live blog or something?) so last night they did their 'not ready for primetime' prizes for shows on... uh... primetime

And the winners are...

Guest Actress, Comedy: Melissa Leo as "Laurie" on Louie
Guest Actress, Drama: Carrie Preston as "Elsbeth Tascioni" on The Good Wife
Guest Actor, ComedyBob Newhart as "Arthur Jeffries/Professor Proton" on The Big Bang Theory
Guest Actor, DramaDan Bucatinsky as "James Movack" on Scandal
Voice Over: Lily Tomlin, An Apology to Elephants (HBO) 

File it under "if only it were a triple crown". Before 30 Rock popularized the notion of the "EGOT", the only multi-prize haul that the general public cared about by nickname was "The Triple Crown" (Oscar, Tony, Emmy) which still makes more sense as an aspirational haul for celebrities. Anyway, Lily Tomlin adds another Emmy to her trophy haul which includes 2 Tonys and a Grammy so the only thing preventing her EGOT is that she lost the Oscar for Nashville... (sniffle).

The LEOgend, Liberace, and more more more after the jump

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Box Office Ten

No, no. Not the top ten actual grosses from last weekend but ten things worth noting.

1. Any article about this weekend's movies that does not mention Short Term 12 is just a giant waste of time. Expanding into 30+ more cities, this awesome indie climbed the box office charts escalating its gross to a healthy ½ million to date. Congratulations to writer/director Destin Cretton and Brie Larson (interviewed right here at TFE) and everyone involved with this wonderful movie. But most of all let's thank Cinedigm and their publicity team for really getting behind this one. Securing distribution is only half the battle. Once you've got a distributor, you had better hope someone really believes in your movie. And several someones did. 

2. Insidious Chapter 2 opened at #1 with a huge $40.2 million, making it Patrick Wilson's second smash hit horror movie of the year. He's found his niche, however different that niche is than I expected when I first fell for him.

3. The Family, Michelle Pfeiffer's pfirst leading role since Chéri (2009) and only her third in the past ten years (jesus!) opened in second place with $14 million. That's neither here nor there as openings go but at least she's in a movie again! We'll talk about that one soon. 

seven more brief notations about current movies after the jump

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Stage Door: The ghost of Smash haunts First Date

In Stage Door we share our live theatre adventures here in NYC through our movie-mad filter…

Glenn here. The poster for the Longacre Theatre’s First Date makes it look, shall we say, rather interminable. An insipid, generic romantic comedy with an overdose of uber-quirk made by phony producers in West Hollywood as a tax write-off. Something along the lines of this. To be honest, I can see how many would find it to be exactly that, but it subverts its potential worst case scenario to win a few hearts the old fashioned way.

First Date is a rather modest original musical with a book by Austin Winsberg, plus music and lyrics by the team of Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner who have used their one-act show (no intermission in the roughly 100-minute musical) to show off a variety of music styles and a broad comedy style. Modest in size, but not pizzazz or laughs or heart. It’s got those in spades. There’s only one set – a cozy-looking New York City bistro with a flashing neon sign just off to stage left and a cabaret-singing bartender – although it frequently breaks out with fantasy sequences and a fair share of discotheque lighting to keep the eyes busy. That is when said eyes aren’t fixed on dreamboat Zachary Levi who stars alongside Krysta Rodriguez as Aaron and Casey, a pair of miss-matched (or are they…? I think you can figure that out on your own) blind-daters. Zachary Levi is 

The ghost of Smash returns after the jump...

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"In years to come, they will continue to whisper your name NICOL... I mean GRACE" 

The teaser for Grace of Monaco has finally arrived and it is one money shot of Goddess and/or Opulence and/or FYC Advertisement after another, all to further iconize Grace Kelly through another film icon Nicole Kidman.

It's an actressexual oroborus and I be gobbling it up.

Gobbling it up whilst fretting about the reviews and response to come. I'm not so secretly dreading the onslaught of negativity about 'how dare Kidman play Princess Grace' when discerning cinephiles or anyone who has actually watched their respective filmographies will surely understand that Kidman > Kelly. And anyone who can look past glamour iconography will surely understand that Grace Kelly was only 25 years old for 12 months of her life... that just happened to be the year of her life when the bulk of movies she's remembered for appeared (Rear Window, The Country Girl, Dial M For Murder) and looked different later on after leaving Hollywood. (Different being older).

Long after The House of Grimaldi has fallen, the world is going to remember your name, your highness. You are the fairy tale, the serenity to which we all aspire. And peace will come when you embrace the roles you have been destined to play.  For no matter where you are in the years to come they  will continue to whisper your name, the Princess Grace.  

The teaser's monologue is set to a lovely piece o' opera familiar to all little boys who obsessed over A Room With a View's original motion picture soundtrack in their bedroom in their parent's basement in Michigan. Hypothetical little boys from Michigan who now write film blogs in NYC which obsess over Nicole Kidman!

(Is that supposed to be Alfred Hitchcock in the first shot? Is a Costume Design nomination locked up for Gigi Lepage? Are you gagging over the beauty or just gagging? Tell us in the comments)


The Story Of Film: An Odyssey

Anne Marie here with a mixed blessing for film lovers. Turner Classic Movies is hosting the American premiere of The Story Of Film: An Odyssey, a fifteen part documentary on the history of film by documentary filmmaker Mark Cousins. Cousins, who looks like the Scottish love child of Quentin Tarantino and David Lynch, spent 6 years researching and filming for his documentary series, and his efforts paid off. The Story Of Film: An Odyssey is even more fun (and informational) than a World Film college course.


Cousins does a great job of connecting moments in film to each other. He shows how the visual language of film was formed, and builds each step in the development of modern filmmaking. For example, in the premiere episode, Cousins shows us the first example of a closeup from a 1901 short called The Little Doctor and the Sick Kitten, in which a closeup is used to show in detail a sick kitten being fed. Then, Cousins shows how the closeup has evolved into something more powerful, first with a scene from an Eisenstein film, and then with a scene from Once Upon The Time In The West. Cousins narrates each episode in his own distinct style.

While you can enjoy and take notes from Cousins's extensive knowledge of world film history (as I have; who knew Swedish silent cinema was so cool??) keep in mind that every filmmaker is biased. Cousins's bias is against Hollywood. While I understand that he's attempting to expand his viewers' perspectives outside conventional Hollywood cinema, I disagree with his methods. Last week's episode was devoted to early Hollywood, and Cousins's favorite image to repeat is a Christmas ornament shattering on the rocks near the Hollywood sign. It gets heavy-handed. He also fails to define his terms, dubbing most of Hollywood "Romantic" cinema but then failing to discuss what constitutes "Classic" or "Realist" cinema, though he throws the terms around a lot. He does, however, call Erich Von Stroheim a "Realist" director. Von Stroheim was many things - an auteur, a fetishist, an innovator, an egoist - but he definitely wasn't interested in reality. But now I'm just showing you my bias.

Turner Classic Movies shows a new segment of The Story Of Film: An Odyssey every Monday night, with an encore every Tuesday. Also on Monday nights, TCM has a lineup of some of the films discussed by Cousins. The 15 part series will run into December, so if you're looking for something to do on Mondays besides laundry, definitely check it out!


Lauren Bacall Gave Good Face

JA from MNPP here, putting my lips together and blowing a very happy 89th birthday in the direction of the living legend Betty Joan Perske... that is, Lauren Bacall. Next year marks the 70th anniversary of her film debut in Howard Hawks' To Have and Have Not, opposite - who else - Humphrey Bogart. And she's still at it, although her last disputably notable role was in 2005 with Lars Von Trier's Manderlay. (I haven't seen The Walker - how was she in that?) It's weird but when I think of Bacall I always immediately think of her as the suitably boring straight woman opposite a trio of over-actors in Douglas Sirk's Written on the Wind. Why is that the role out of all her roles that I think of? Is it just I'd always rather be thinking about Dorothy Malone...? Tell me - what's your favorite Bacall? And do you hold a grudge against Juliette Binoche for stealing her Oscar, or are you a sane person who thinks the fact that Juliette Binoche has an Oscar is one of the most right things with the world?


TIFF 2014 Vow

I will do this better next year. I will do this better next year. Steep learning curve I experienced schedule-wise at the Toronto International Film Festival. One must build in travel from theater-to-theater time, doublecheck "types" of screenings, have plan "B"s for screenings at the ready, interview time for some glitz, writing time for some sanity, reign-handing to people to cover non-festival news while you're abroad, queueing time for your limited public screenings. And that's just the obvious ones learned through trial by error. TIFF 2014 here I come. 

But I did eventually write up each and every film save one. Herewith links to all of my TIFF 13 adventures

Podcast a group discussion of TIFF 13: Oscar buzz, our favorite films, and more
Ambition & Self Sabotage on Gravity and Eleanor Rigby: Him & Her
Mano-a-Mano Hallucinations Norway's Pioneer & Jake Gyllenhaal² in Enemy
Quickies Honeymoon, Young & Beautiful, Belle
Labor Day in a freeze-frame nutshell
Jessica Chastain at the Eleanor Rigby Premiere
August Osage County reactions Plus Best Picture Nonsense
Rush Ron Howard's crowd pleaser
The Past from Oscar winner Asghar Farhadi & Cannes Best Actress Berenice Bejo
Queer Double FeatureTom at the Farm and Stranger by the Lake
Boogie Nights Live Read with Jason Reitman and Friends
First 3 Screenings: Child's Pose, Unbeatable and Isabelle Huppert in Abuse of Weakness 
TIFF Arrival: Touchdown in Toronto. Two unsightly Oscars

Post Festival Additions:
Amir interviewed Asghar Farhadi on The Past
Amir on the David Cronenberg Exhibition - Long Live the New Flesh!
Amir's Fest Roundup - Pt 2
Amir's Fest Roundup - Pt 1 
August Osage County - an exceedingly rough draft months in the making