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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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Back to Back Oscars for Eddie?

""The Molly Ringwald Story"?." -Rick

"I can't help but think there is going to be significantly more backlash here after Dallas Buyers Club. Also, is trans the new Oscar-bait? I don't know how to feel about that." -BD


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Best Picture: October is The New December

one... two... three... do the release date shuffle ♬

Over the past couple of weeks the last quarter of the year has pulling its usual release date switcheroos, brushing detritus or unfinished masterworks (you decide) from its schedule. We can all act surprised if we so choose but we're only fooling ourselves when we do.

And they say, "Goldfish have no memory"
I guess their lives are much like mine
And the little plastic castle
Is a surprise every time

-Ani DiFranco "Little Plastic Castle"

This happens every year! So no more Foxcatcher in December. No more Grace of Monaco in November. Curiously both films had released trailers seemingly moments before they were pulled from the calendar. (Foxcatcher's trailer was quickly snatched back from view before I even had time to watch it but at least we had time to discuss Grace). 

In paradoxically more alarming / less surprising non-news [more]

Click to read more ...


Yes, No, Maybe So: Frozen

Hi, it's Tim. In the past couple of days, Disney has released the first full North American trailer for their upcoming animated musical Frozen, giving us the first look at the actual movie beyond that silly, vaguely aggravating gag reel with the snowman that accompanied Monsters University into theaters. Though "first" requires that we ignore the existence of a pretty fantastic Japanese trailer that doesn't resemble the new American one much at all.

Which means, among other things, that this new ad tells us exactly what the Disney marketing people think of their target audiences in different countries, namely... well, let's not give away the ending.

Here's the trailer in case you haven't had the chance to see it yet and the Yes No Maybe So breakdown after the jump

Click to read more ...


NYFF: Home Invasion in 'Exhibition'

TFE’s coverage of the 51st New York Film Festival (Sep 27-Oct 14) continues with Glenn discussing Exhibition.

I’ve seen a lot of weird stuff go on in cinemas in the last five years or so. As more and more people stop going to the movies as often and instead rely on home entertainment for their flick fix, so too has the home entertainment has found its way into the cinema. Texting, talking, obnoxiously loud eating practices… they’re all so common place these days that it’s no wonder people are staying home. This, of course, is nothing new. However, today at a the New York Film Festival screening of the education documentary American Promise a man pulled out his laptop. His LAPTOP! I’d seen an iPad illuminate a cinema before, but never a laptop. The man had it charging at an electrical outlet no less and early into the picture walked down from his seat and started opening folders and checking emails. I was flabbergasted, but it’s just par for the course, really. I told him to quit it and he did, but it always baffles me when I see phones light up on the other side of the cinema and nobody says anything. Don't people care? Sigh.

Still, while many people decry the death of the cinema-going experience thanks to inconsiderate and annoying people who look upon the cinema as their living room, I found myself going back to Joanna Hogg's Exhibition. I had watched just a couple of days earlier and it has clearly stuck with me. I found myself marvelling anew at the attention this film placed upon the idea that even our homelives aren't protected from the outside world anymore. The internal sanctuary of our homes have been encroached on by the busy world as much as the cinema or our workplace or anywhere else.

Hogg’s third feature – her first two, Unrelated and Archipelago, screen in the “emerging artists” sidebar alongside the three films of Fernando Eimbcke, whose latest, Club Sandwich, will be looked at next week – is an initially uncomsuming affair. A low-key look at the lives of a British couple, both artists who work from home, and the upper class ennui they experience upon selling their house. While the film is slow with its use of static camera shots and a complete lack of any errant, unnecessary dialogue, it’s the first rate sound design that make the film what it is. A densely layered masterclass in the slow-burn effect that sound can play in cinema and in life. How often do we truly pay attention to the cacophony of sounds that surround us on a daily basis? In that regard it reminded me a lot of Peter Strickland’s stunning Berberian Sound Studio (which, by the by, not enough people saw).

I found Hogg’s Exhibition to be about the way our home is no longer a sanctuary. It was once, but not anymore. As sound mixer Howard Peryer and sound editor Jovan Ajder weave together a patchwork of modern city soundscape that recalled Andrea Arnold's Red Road with less menace, the film became about so much more than just bickering artists. Watching Viv Albertine’s “D” and Liam Gillick’s “H” one could easily determine their lives were quite small, privileged in their inner-city cocoons, but in the world that Hogg has created it is impossible to not be inundated almost 24/7 by the modern world. Construction trucks, police sirens, speeding cars, street youths, doorbells, nosy neighbours, a creaking mechanics of the house itself… the characters here are so constantly surrounded by the world that D begins forcing her own unique creation upon the world for anybody to witness

Yes, that's Tom Hiddleston in a small role.

Exhibition is a unique film. It is a small film. But it is a unique, small film that subliminally subjects the audience to confront the world in a new way before they even realised what is happening. Unlike the typical kind of “home invasion” that audiences are used to seeing, this one bears no blades or bullets, but cunning commentary and a keen ear for the modern world.

Exhibition performs for audiences on 9/29 and 10/8 with director Joanna Hogg in person.


Percussion. Strings. Winds. Links

For Musical Nerds
BuzzFeed definite proof that The Little Mermaid's Prince Eric was a homo 
The Exploding Kinetoscope best words I've ever read about Judy Garland's For Me and My Gal
Pajiba more of those new photos from Into the Woods

Sillof's Workshop look at these AMAZING custom toys, If Dr Seuss wrote Jurassic Park
Grantland Mark Harris joins me in my eternally losing war against Category Fraud (this time with Daniel Brühl in Rush) and talks Enough Said, too 

The Film Doctor five notes on Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring, now on DVD
L Magazine see, I'm not the only one that thinks Cuarón's Gravity is a disappointment!
/Film wait they're making Fargo into a TV series and it's the William H Macy role that's the lead? Don't they know that people loved that movie because of Chief Marge Gunderson?

Finally, MNPP reminded us that we can all get our Alexander Skarsgard loincloth dreams back on since his Tarzan flick is no longer (apparently) in development hell. Word is that Christoph Waltz is the villain now. Many will greet this as very good news but this makes me sad. It's not that Waltz isn't a good actor but remember how lame it was the last time he was a threat to pachyderms?

Who wants to go back to there? I do not. And I even kinda liked that movie more than most but Waltz was not the why. How about a few more surprises in casting, Hollywood? Aren't there literally a hundred famous actors in Waltz's age range that might be a fun curveball as the villain? But instead we're going to get somebody who already abused elephants. (sigh)


StinkyLulu's Preliminary Thoughts on The Supporting Actresses of 1980

[Editor's Note: On Monday, the next Smackdown hits, Supporting Actresses of 1980. Here, as intro, is StinkyLulu to continue the festivities. If you missed the revival of the series last month we did 1952. In October we'll hit 1968. -Nathaniel R]

The 53rd Academy Awards were a life-changer for me. The ceremony for 1980 marked (held in March 1981) marked the first time I watched the broadcast and determined that it was my urgent task to see each of these nominated films. A precocious scheme, really, given that I was at the time thirteen years old and living in the middle east when I viewed (on betamax) the taped-from-tv recording of the ceremony months after its actual airing. Still, the 1980 Oscars were a clarion call to this wee little Stinky, a prompt to seek out films worth watching. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I started with the actressing, ultimately screening (mostly via similarly bootlegged betamax tapes that filled my expat community’s lending library) all but one of 1980’s nominated best- and supporting actresses as quick as I could.

Returning to these deeply-imprinted films after so many years in preparation for this weekend’s Supporting Actress Smackdown has been intriguing, to say the least. What’s perhaps most startling is just how clearly, in 1980, Oscar liked his Supporting Actresses to be catalyzing presences. We got three maddening beauties, one sage observer, and one crafty nemesis — each of whom compels the protagonist to and through their transformation pretty much just by being there. To their credit, these particular actresses do not just stand around being the battle-axe (Eileen Brennan, Private Benjamin), the crone (Eva Le Galliene, Resurrection), the moll (Cathy Moriarty, Raging Bull), the neighborhood gal (Diana Scarwid, Inside Moves), or the frustrated wife (Mary Steenburgen, Melvin & Howard). Still, being “that woman” is pretty much all that’s asked of them.

It’s a peculiar paradox really. These films are ripe with “liberated” depictions of the empowering potential of the female orgasm, of women deciding their own sexual partners and futures in defiance of masculine reprobation, of the gruesome brutalities of domestic violence, of the perilous degradations of sexwork, and so on. (Not to mention all Ellen Burstyn’s randy "I'm touching your penis" jokes). Even still, for the supporting actresses in these flicks, it remains presence first, and character second.

Diana Ross & Donald Sutherland presented the 1980 Best Supporting Actress Oscar

But sometimes that’s what actressing at the edges is all about — to shade contour and dimension within the broad strokes of a casually-scripted character, to make a presence into a person. And, for better and worse, 1980 gives us five memorably distinct approaches to this core burden/opportunity of supporting actressness. Notably, Oscar himself anointed a surprise winner, which makes me wonder if this weekend’s Smackdown might also do the same. (I know I have my clear favorite. Do you?)