Advertisement
HOT TOPICS

Advertisement
NEW ON DVD / BLURAY

Advertisement
Welcome

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

 

Powered by Squarespace
Comment Fun

COMMENT DU JOUR
Up Next on "Best Shot" 

"HELL YES Amadeus! That movie is practically the nipples of venus personified." - Fadhil

WILL YOU BE JOINING US THIS ROUND?

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.

Subscribe
What'cha Looking For?
Thursday
Sep122013

TIFF: Twelve Ye... Oh, Let's Just Oscar Update

Twelve Years a Slave is... God, I'm going to need some time to collect myself. Good grief but that movie is harrowing / amazing. That's all I got for now. Can we discuss later when I've stopp... I think I have something in my eye.


But since we're talking powerful and overwhelming emotion, our minds should naturally drift to actresses. Patsey the slave (Lupita Nyong'o) confides memorably to Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) that she has no comfort in this world. But Supporting Actress is deeply comforting to us and we need comfort right now after this movie.

Reducing great movies to Oscar talk is awful. I know I know. I hate myself for typing this but LET'S TALK OSCAR'S BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS RACE (UPDATED CHART). I went in to 12 Years a Slave anxious to see what McQueen & Fassbender could do (I'm happy to report that they're three for three under the umbrella of utterly amazing director/muse collaborations) and wasn't thinking about the actresses much at all. A rarity. But still, once I remembered to think of them I was curious about Qu'venzhane Wallis (barely in it... in fact most people won't notice that she is) and Alfre Woodard. Alfre at least has a juicy and blessedly atypical scene to chew on. It's kind of a relief really from the scenes surrounding it and every harrowing story needs catch your breath moments. Especially if you've forgotten to breathe. Which kept happening to me.

As it turns out Lupita Nyong'o as the slave girl "Patsey" and Sarah Paulson as her cruel mistress "Mary Epps" are where it's at for supporting actressing in this movie. Their every scene together is knife's edge brilliant.


Also @ TIFF
Labor Day in a freeze-frame nutshell
Paranoia Mano-a-mano Thrillers Enemy & Pioneer
Jessica Chastain at the Eleanor Rigby Premiere
August Osage County reactions Plus Best Picture Nonsense
Rush Ron Howard's crowd pleaser
TIFF Vow: Dreaming of 2014
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

Thursday
Sep122013

Links. The Top Three Best Whatevah! 

Serious Film does an all time 5 best cinematography ballot. The best ever?  Hmmmm. Well they're all stunning at the very least
TFE Facebook my 3 favorite film scores off the top of my head. I was surprised as you to scribble John Williams there but what can you do. You give props when due. Yours?
The Film Stage Hayao Miyazaki's retirement is truly final this time (failing eyesight *sniffle*) and The Wind Rises gets an Oscar qualifying release
The Playlist Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac is now two films that will run five hours in total. UGH. I am exhausted by movies wanting to be TV series. Be your best self. Be a  MOVIE. 90-110 minutes is ideal! (Same goes for TV with unrelated stand-alone episodes. That's dumb. You're not a movie, be a TV series.)

Bloody Disgusting James Cameron loves Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity. Of course he does!
The Studio Executive is starting a snarky series on 'How to Be A Film Critic'. I don't qualify for the first three how to succeed suggestions (wealthy parents, influential friends, unethical bastard behavior) which only leaves me with the fourth (cock-sucking... also known as sleeping your way to the top), which I have no objection to. But no one famous/influential/wealthy willing to make my career has ever rung me up to ask. #shameless
Yahoo Movies new trailer to August: Osage County 
The Dissolve The Harry Potter world will continue on screen with a (presumably endless) spinoff series Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. For my reaction to this news, I can only share the brilliant tweet of another...

 

 

 

Must Read (If You Haven't Yet) 
What Was, Is, and Will Be Popular in the New York Times Magazine. A fascinating long read discussing the impossible to define notion of popularity in our fractured pop culture be it television, movies, music, opera, museums, or anything really. Candy bars, even! For example I seriously haven't even heard of the actress that they claim personifies modern TV fame (Pauley Perrette? Who dat?) and I don't know if you've heard but I like actresses a little. The essay has also got awesome sidebar goodies... did you know that "Bella" is the most popular name for both cats and bitches now? (Damn you Twilight). There's even a cute little point about 1000 "likes" on facebook putting some kind of artistic wind in your sails for struggling indie "popularity" in our fractured world, so The Film Experience is almost there. Like us.

Today's Awesomest Review
Cinematic Spectacle Lee Daniels' The Butler  review/reaction in gifs. I lol'ed and it's just so true. Also: perfect punchline.

Thursday
Sep122013

Thoughts I Had... While Staring at this Image from "Maps to the Stars"

David Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars (2014) just released this image featuring Sarah Gadon and Julianne Moore. 

my thoughts presented to you in order they appeared...

  • I welcome a good scalp massage but I'm not sure I'd want one in the context of a David Cronenberg movie. Too many orifices!
  • My visine drops repulse me this morning. Drip this movie on my eyeballs RIGHT NOW
  • Is Sarah Gadon the new _________ ?
  • This is Sarah Gadon's fourth movie directed by someone named Cronenberg.
  • Do Father & Son Cronenberg have some sort of sick threeway relationship going on with her straight out of a Cronenberg movie? Do they tie her up with rubber hoses and talk dirty about her mutant vagina?
  • Sarah Gadon does the most amazing blank face acting. She's beautiful, sure, but the beauty is blonde generic. And yet... her face is unsettling in its robotic disinterest (Cosmopolis), society frivolity (Belle), pregnant concern (Enemy) or weird ball-and-chainery (A Dangerous Method)
  • I have guilt for skipping Brandon Cronenberg's Antiviral
  • Will Julianne Moore remember what it means to be an auteur vessel after all these disappointing or at least non-challenging movies of late? It's been a long time since the Haynes days
  • I have touched Julianne Moore twice (handshake 2002 / hug 2010) but she was not naked on a table
  • If you touch Julianne Moore's ginger locks, all your wounds are healed. True fact. Sarah Gadon will live to be 100.
  • Sarah Gadon plays a character named "Clarice". Julianne Moore surely winced every time she spoke the name.
  • I keep forgetting what this movie is about but I like to be surprised so don't tell me!

 

Thursday
Sep122013

TIFF: Paranoid Mano-a-Mano Hallucinating With "Pioneer" and "Enemy"

TIFF is still raging but most journalists are now running on fumes, including me! And NYFF press screenings start next week. Give me strength! I know I know... you're waiting on writeups for Oscar hopefuls like The Railway Man, Gravity, and Twelve Years a Slave which is A LOT to get through still in the next few days but here are two films from Norway and Canada which I wanted to discuss. They both pit wounded unraveling men against themselves and each other for our viewing pleasure.

Wes Bentley vs. Aksel Hennie in "Pioneer"

PIONEER
Paranoia thrillers aren't really my cuppa as movie genres go but this not so distant history expose drama from Norway is just gripping. It deals in part with the American and Norwegian battle over oil drilling contracts and pipeline off Norway's massive jagged coast. Not So Spoiler Alert: Norway won making it one of the wealthiest nations in the world. But the political history is the setting rather than the focus, as we follow one diver Petter (Askel Hennie) who gets caught up in the unethical goings on which happen to have a body count. Not-So-Spoiler Alert 2: Big Oil is corrupt business no matter what flag it's flying under.

It helps quite a lot that Pioneer's opening sequence is just superb, with tensions and character detail already in media res as we meet an American diver (Wes Bentley) squaring off with the Norwegian brothers (Hennie & André Erikson) he's competing with for a trial diving mission. The men are being tested for the ability to withstand the unwithstandable oceanic pressure situations and scientists look on and experiment with the air they're breathing to see what keeps them functioning and alive. Soon they're hallucinating. When their first mission begins, the movie gets even more tense with some of the alien beauty of the James Cameron filmography elevating its underwater sequences. Once we've come up for air, shaken and much worse for the wear, the movie levels off into more familiar paranoia thriller tropes but it's so moodily lit, engagingly scored (by Air!), and slippery with the shady 'who can he possibly trust?' twists, that I didn't care and by then I was already well-hooked. The American actors (Stephen Lang, already totally typecast as the "this is a dangerous mission and I am secretly evil!" guy -- I've seen him do it like 3 times recently, and Wes Bentley) aren't half as subtle as the Norwegian stars which makes for some weird cartoon vs. human tonal shifting within scenes but it's good and very accessible filmmaking. It's still in the running towards becoming Norway's next top Oscar nominee. B+ 

P.S. Speaking of Oscar submissions, Mexican actress Stephanie Sigman, Miss Bala herself, plays one of the divers wives and speaks Norwegian in the film. Who knew?

Jake Gyllenhaal Versus Jake Gyllenhaal in "Enemy"

ENEMY
Take Jake Gyllenhaal's lonely OCD decoder in Zodiac and bring along his evocative cinematography and color palette. Split him in two with one version schlumpy and Adam Goldberg like (out of date reference?) and the other cockier like Gosling on a motorbike. Mix in Eyes Wide Shut's plinking/cagey 'sex party'. Plop it down to in Talent Agency and University settings as nondescript/sterile as the stockbroker firm in American Psycho and throw a curveball with inexplicable Video-Store detours from ye olden times. Stir it all together for a Franz Kafka stew. Add a little sprinkling of Isabella Rossellini, and a final glaze of blonde love interests (Melanie Laurent & Sarah Gadon) who are both confusingly disappointed; You're sleeping with Gyllenhall, ladies. Cheer the fuck up!

Do all that and you might get this eery, compelling, off putting, possibly slight but mercifully tight (90 minutes. Huzzah!) cinematic adaptation of Jose Saramago's "The Double". I kinda dug it but I have no idea if it's any good or what happened or where I am anymore and what aiiiiiiiieeeeeeee that last sound/shot. WTF 

Podcast a group discussion of TIFF 13: Oscar buzz, our favorite films, and more
Ambition & Self Sabotage on Gravity and Eleanor Rigby: Him & Her
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

Wednesday
Sep112013

"Labor Day" in a Nutshell

If I'd have known that the poster to Jason Reitman's Labor Day, an adaptation of the Joyce Manard novel, hadn't made it online yet at this writing, I'd have snapped a picture of it. It's a beauty for its rarity. How many actual film stills are used for movie posters these days? It's usually either iconic floating heads or powerful star bodies. If not that then boring vertical / horizontal grids of star faces, or a mishmash collage.

Here's the freeze frame in question, that's only been slightly modified for the poster image...

Kate Winslet & Josh Brolin star in Labor Day

And that film still, the first image released, is truth in advertising. What's more -- and only faithful TFE readers will truly appreciate this -- it's the image that stopped me in my tracks during the movie and made me think  "That's my choice for 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot' though I promise I don't play that game with every movie I watch. 

The image is the story in a nutshell...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Sep112013

Cool Girls Don't Look at Explosions

Michelle Pfeiffer in The Pfamily. Just two days away! Are you planning on seeing it this weekend? I was more excited when it called Malavita but I'll be there for my haphazardly committed girl. (Oh you feel like working two months biannually? Well, good to have you back!) Here are pics from the premiere to which I totally should've been invited. My pfeelings, hurt.

Click to read more ...