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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 | 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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Tuesday
Sep102013

Today in Stupid: 20 Best Picture Nominees & Standing Os for August: Osage County

Relax. The headline is misleading, thank the baby Jesus. Variety is merely wondering if there should be 20 nominees and the only argument they can see against it is that it would make the ceremony even longer?!? Why would anyone propose such a thing? Oh, yes, shameless traffic-baiting is always the why. A website gotta have hits. But since we're feeling generous we've indulged them with a link.

The Film Experience would rather go back to 5 when a Best Picture nomination meant something and was difficult to procure. Even with 10 slots available it's so diluted. One unfortunate side effect is the Best Director category which, despite some fascinating surprises last year, has lost some of its appeal since gone are the days when you could wonder about the "lone wolf" nominee. With any more Best Picture nominees all the tension and drama that comes with annual competition would instantly be sucked out of it, like a zigzagging balloon with knot untied, falling to the ground in a rubbery lump of no fun who cares.

In other stupid news there seems to be a weird notion floating around twitter that the Standing Ovation for August: Osage County is a big deal somehow or that it's "rare".  Standing ovations are the furthest thing from rare at festival screenings if the cast or director actually shows up... unless they went and changed the definition of rare while I was up flying the friendly skies. They're kind of expected... that thing you do to say 'thank you for coming, movie stars!' 

Julianne, Dermot, Julia, Juliette, Ewan & Abigail at the premiere

Nevertheless August: Osage County is clearly where your head is out (I read the comments sections) and where Twitter's been sl let's discuss the reactions after the jump

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Sep102013

"At the Farm" or "By The Lake", Queer Films Among Best @ TIFF

This article was originally published in my column at Towleroad

The French famously call an orgasm "la petit mort" or, the little death. In two new French-language films playing at the Toronto International Film Festival (in full swing through next weekend) this euphemism forgets to be euphemistic. If you like your sex all mixed up with danger -- you know, the way straight people did during the mainstream erotic thriller years (the Glenn Close thru Sharon Stone continuum) -- consider these films 'must sees' when they hit your city. IF they hit your city. It's tough out there for art films, especially gay ones, as recently discussed in a fascinating piece at IndieWire mapping out the problems.

Prolific twenty-four year old writer/director/actor Xavier Dolan has been a sensation on the festival circuit and in Canada since his award-winning debut I Killed My Mother in 2009. Despite the accolades Dolan has yet to win the Stateside following he deserves, even among LGBT audiences. This is largely because his films are in French and they have had a weirdly hard time making their way onto US screens. I Killed My Mother was famously delayed and delayed and delayed again. Before I received a screener a couple of years ago I was convinced that it was an imaginary movie, dreamt up by journalists to make the rest of us feel jealous that we aren't fabulous enough to party in Cannes with them each May. Dolan's subsequent features, the stylish unrequited love triangle Heartbeats (also known as Imaginary Lovers) and the recently released three hour trans drama Laurence Anyways only increased his wunderkind reputation. His latest TOM AT THE FARM may well be his most accessible but reviewing it presents a challenge because the less you know about it going in the better.

Let's keep it very simple AFTER THE JUMP... 

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Sep102013

Twenty Years A Sculder

JA from MNPP here - typing this now I'm realizing I actually have no idea what Nathaniel's stance is on The X-Files, but today's the 20th anniversary of the very first episode if you can believe it, so I figured I'd check in with you guys, see if we have an fans up in The Film Experience. I can never quite believe that I came as late to the show as I did - it was firmly up my alley even back then, but it wasn't until well into the show's fifth season that I started watching. I think that maybe corresponded with the first movie? Anyway I was hooked just in time for the quality to take a nose-dive (hello Annabeth Gish), but I stuck with it straight to the muddied end. There's been talk ever since the second movie in 2008 of a third film, wrapping it all up - do you want to see it come back? Or should Mulder and Scully stay off in the sunset? 

 

And how freaking fabulous does Gillian Anderson look these days (she is divine on Hannibal) anyway? Sound off on your favorite X-Files moments in the comments!

 

Tuesday
Sep102013

TIFF: More Than a Head Rush

David reporting from TIFF in spirit though I'm an ocean away in person. Ron Howard's Rush premiered at the festival last night, but I got a sneak peek on my own shores so Nat didn't have to. Turns out, he might want to anyway...

Motor racing is a peculiar sport. Dangerous (formerly deadly even), impulsive and isolated, it’s often more about the beauty of the machines than the drivers for fans. Seeing the flash of the sleek cars go past is about all spectators actually present will do – the whole picture can only come across on screen. It’s less a sport than a spectacle.

Brühl & Howard on the setThis is what makes it, perhaps, an ideal subject for cinema, although it’s been far less exploited than most sports have over the past sixty years. Senna, Asif Kapadia’s 2010 documentary, thrillingly reproduced the story of its eponymous driver from archive footage, focusing particularly on his rivalry with fellow driver Alain Prost. It’s a similar competitive rivalry that drives Ron Howard’s latest blockbuster, the rather obviously titled Rush, which rewinds the F1 clock a little further to the 1970s. [more...]

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep092013

Besties Bounce Bell Bio-Pic

JA from MNPP here - I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but don't you just love forever besties Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts? I saw them once walking into the movie theater in Union Square in New York and I spent weeks contemplating what they were going to see. I mean, I can't be the only one who spends an unhealthy amount of time imagining them laying on a sofa, both in sweatpants, Naomi's head in Nicole's lap, a comically enormous bowl of popcorn on Naomi's belly, as they nosh and watch some difficult and demanding foreign film and see who can call dibs on the director first, right? That's totally how it rolls.

 

Anyway, picture that. Only this time Naomi rolls over, spilling some kernels on the floor, super sad. "Aww, what's wrong, puss-puss?" Nicole Asks. Nicole calls Naomi "puss-puss" in this scenario. Just go with it. And yes, Nicole is nervous that Naomi's going to bring up the reviews for Adore, or even worse the Princess Di bio-pic - Nicole has her own bio-pic worries, what with that guy who was supposed to be cutting the trailer for Grace of Monaco having fallen off the face of the Earth and all. But Naomi doesn't have any of that on her mind, thankfully. "I don't think I can make the Herzog movie," she cries. Ahh, Nicole thinks. The Gertrude Bell bio-pic! That's a juicy one! Nicole's laser quick control of her facial features kicks in - do not let on your glee, she thinks! "Oh no, puss-puss. That's terrible. We both love Herzog so much." She emphasizes "both," but not too dramatically.

 

And so it goes. As Naomi goes and dries her tears in the bathroom, Nicole reaches into the drawer of the side table stealthily, pulling out her long-ago scribbled list of names - Auteurs I Will Work With One Day, it says in large block letters. She draws a firm red line through Werner Herzog with a smile. She'll wait to call her agent tomorrow; now's the time to bust out the box of wine from the fridge and soften Naomi up for the transition.

 

In the bathroom, Naomi flushes the toilet and speaks quietly into her cell-phone. "Hey Werner. It's puss-puss. We got her. No worries."
Sunday
Sep082013

Riddick Beats The Butler. What Did You See This Weekend?

It feels somehow right in early September while the world's film critics, pundits, and bloggers and world class auteurs are all over the Globe at festivals (Telluride, Venice, Toronto) that the mainstream has to reheat ole' hit leftovers for their movie dinner. Riddick, the long awaited ... another sequel to the Pitch Black franchise took the top spot at the box office with a decent $18 million. It'll eventually turn a profit since they kept the budget reasonable (a good lesson for all B franchises... or anything really).

In other news, Lee Daniels' The Butler, which came in second after three weeks at the top, will be Lee Daniels' First 100 Million Hit by this time next week... though I can't help wishing we lived in a world where The Paperboy and Precious also got there on the grounds of "you have to see this madness!" and "can you believe the genius of Mo'Nique/Kidman?" What a wonderful world that would be! 

Also worth noting: Blue Jasmine crossed $25 million (a huge sum for a Woody Allen film though still less than half of Midnight in Paris's eventual domestic gross, and Short Term 12, buoyed by the strength of my awesome Brie Larson interview (kidding... but you should read it), took in another $100,000+. That doesn't sound big given that box office reporting tends to care only about movies with at least two more 0s on that number, you try marketing a movie about troubled foster kids and their supervisors. Well done, Cinedigm! Next week it adds 30 cities or so and if you go see it in droves I promise to quit bugging you about it. Deal? 

What did you see this weekend? Care to share?

Sunday
Sep082013

Meanwhile in Venice...

While I struggle to keep up at TIFF (good lord what a learning curve) the Venice Film Festival wrapped up and announced its awards. We didn't share them in a timely fashion. My apologies. The winners were...

Stray Dogs

 

Golden Lion: Sacro GRA (Gianfranco Rosi)
This surprise winner is a documentary about a famous highway in Rome. Sometimes non-sexy subject matter translates into great films.
Grand Jury PrizeStray Dogs (Tsai Ming-liang)
From the sounds of twitter this was the sensation of the festival though it doesn't screen at TIFF until after I leave town. *snifffle*
Silver Lion (Best Director): Alexandros Avranas, Miss Violence
Best Actor: Themis Panou, Miss Violence
I have a terrible habit of skipping films which then become winners at festivals. This is also playing Toronto but descriptions make it sound like a Greek version of The Virgin Suicides and I didn't bite. In hindsight and with awards under its belt a Greek version of The Virgin Suicides sounds tempting.
Best Actress: Elena Cotta, A Street in Palermo
Luckiest Gown: "Versayce" on Scarlett Johansson
okay that's not a real award but it should be. because dayum...

Marcello Mastroianni Award (Best Young Actor)Tye Sheridan, in Joe
Between this and his wonderful work in Mud, quite an arrival, huh
Best Screenplay: Philomena (Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope)
Dench was rumored to be the frontrunner for Best Actress but the jury thought otherwise... which might be telling since they obviously liked the film.
Special Jury Prize: The Police Officer's Wife (Phillip Groning)
Luigi de Laurentiis Award (Best Debut Feature): White Shadow (Noaz Deshe)
This one is a Tanzanian film (!) about an albino on the run from witch doctors.  

Theres another set of awards called "Horizon" and they chose...

Eastern Boys

Best Film: Eastern Boys (Robin Campillo)
A film about Eastern European young male immigrant hustlers in Paris's Gare du Nord station. 
Best Director: Still Life (Uberto Pasolini)
Special Jury Prize: Ruin (Michael Cody)
Award for Innovative Content: Fish and Cat (Shahram Mokri)
Best Short Film: Kush

 

Have you ever been to Venice or Toronto? Are they way up on your dream festival list or are you all about Cannes?