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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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Love Affair (1994) - as "A Year With Kate" nears its conclusion

A YEAR WITH KATE... 2 episodes left

 "A really beautiful look into the careers of one of my favorite actors, but it's made me consider the careers of so many different actors and how the great ones adapt to eras while still staying true to themselves. This is a special, lovely series. I both cannot wait for and am so sad for the end next week.-John T

 

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Saturday
Oct272012

Oscar Horrors: Martin Landau in 'Ed Wood'

Oscar Horrors continues was Beau looks at one of his favorite performances of all time.

HERE LIES.. Supporting Actor Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton's 1994 masterpiece, Ed Wood.

Martin Landau. Holla.

Martin Landau's performance in Ed Wood is a joyous celebration of its time period. The manic energy with which Landau performs as Bela Lugosi mirrors Tim Burton's marvelous pacing and infectious love of the genre in this, his career-best. Bela Lugosi was a legend. He is primarily known today for his signature role, Dracula, but Lugosi was in fact a very ambitious actor. (He has said in several interviews that he always wanted to be the lead of romantic comedy.) His failure to diversify reflects a typecasting and stereotyping in 1950s Hollywood that helped set the foundation for how business is done today. It's not a matter so much of whether or not Lugosi was good enough to try different roles. It's about the compartmentalizing of the personality, boxing it up, shipping it out. Maintaining hold.

Landau's gruff drug addicted depiction of Lugosi is a treat. My generation is not well acquainted with the works of Ed Wood or b-movies from the 1950s and I'm no exception, so  I couldn't take as much enjoyment from the reenactment of certain moments as I might be able to, in say, the upcoming Hitchcock in terms of Psycho. The central joy of watching these kinds of mimick'ed performances is seeing an actor that you're familiar with side-by-side with a legendary performer -- two contrasting takes -- but it's not the only joy. Landau understands that to successfully play Bela Lugosi is not to simply imitate or mimicking him, but imbibe him. You can get drunk so easily watching Martin Landau drink a case of Bela Lugosi. His Oscar win is one of the best choices the Academy ever made in Best Supporting Actor.

"Look into my eyes"

Tim Burton's direction eerily mirrors and compliments the ferocity with which Wood approached each and every project. The beautiful thing about Ed Wood, is the fact that this man who was completely oblivious to the fact that he had no true talent still managed to let his passion drive him through his life. In a very interesting way his story is not so much a cautionary tale for storytellers, but a map. In the 21st-century with production values taking precedence over narrative structure and any of the foundational building blocks of great films young independent filmmakers are looking to one another to trust in each other to build themselves up. With the advent of video-on-demand, filmmakers are discovering new outlets in order to release their product and story out into the world. You can market it a certain way. You can advertise a certain way. You can sell it with your passion for the project. One could go so far to abel Ed Wood as much of an auteur as Alfred Hitchcock or Howard Hawks. There are distinct notes, unique trademarks and fingerprints that are over every single frame in his films. Andrew Sarris would drop dead reading this, but it's true. Ed Wood is a hero to the American cinema because of his love for it.

Landau's contribution to the film is the spark that reignites Ed Wood's fire. And for that, in a very roundabout way, I am eternally grateful.

 

Oscar (ACTING) Horrors
[S2]
The Picture of Dorian Gray - Angela Lansbury
Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte - Agnes Moorehead
Shadow of the Vampire - Willem Dafoe
Rebecca - Judith Anderson
[S1]
Rosemary's Baby - Ruth Gordon
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane - Bette Davis
Carrie - Sissy Spacek
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - Fredric March

Saturday
Oct272012

Linkfall

My New Plaid Pants "13 Whores of Halloween" a fun countdown of film characters: "Jules" from Cabin in the Woods, "Lucy" from Bram Stoker's Dracula and 11 more!
Star Ledger movies as political propaganda: Won't Back Down, 2016: Obama's America, and more
Pajiba a shirtless link roundup. Why haven't I thought of this? On a content related note: I hadn't heard that Ryan Gosling has left Nicolas Winding Refn's Logan's Run remake. Sad face. But I guess Ryan Gosling, who is 31 going on 32, would already be dead by Logan's Run standards! 
Hollywood Elsewhere on John Goodman's Oscar campaign problem for Flight.

 

After Elton cute and thorough interview with the star of Gayby out actor Matthew Wilkas
The Incredible Suit meets James Bond Daniel Craig in posh hotel as Skyfall takes London by storm 
Fashion It So funny newish tumblr on the costumes in Star Trek: The New Generation. Love how randomly specific the interwebs can be
In Contention looks at all the contenders in the Best Animated Feature race 
/Film gets excited by one random comment from the difficult brilliant genius Paul Thomas Anderson about Chris Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy  
Movie|Line wonders if Idris Elba will win the James Bond role in the future. But why are we talking about this? I want Daniel Craig to keep on running, shooting, fighting, travelling, stripping, and bedding those Bond girls. Don't you?
Cinema Blend ...at any rate, Daniel Craig's possibly final two Bond pictures MIGHT have linked stories, a la Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace 

 

Saturday
Oct272012

Secret Messages: "better not tell you now"

secret messages from the movies 

BETTER NOT TELL YOU NOW."

Name the actress, the film, and what off-resume task the Magic 8 ball has just performed (i.e. not answering a question) Bonus points if you can decipher the question she's just asked the Magic 8 Ball (silently) from its answer.

Go!

Friday
Oct262012

007 Songs

Deborah Lipp, author of The Ultimate James Bond Fan Book, is counting down 007 Favorite Things while we await Skyfall during this, the 50th anniversary year of Bond, James Bond.

It started with Goldfinger. Shirley Bassey belted out a bold, brassy, remarkable title song that changed everything. Oh, sure, Matt Munro had sung From Russia With Love, but over the end credits, not over the titles. Besides, a sweet-voiced crooner delivering a pretty but bland love song was not about to make movie music history! No, it was Shirley who turned the tide, busting her vocal chords on Newley and Bricusse’s lyric while she busted the charts. From then on, a Bond film had to have a great (at least in theory) title song, and the rest of the movie industry sat up and took notice — movies sell songs, and songs sell movies.

Bond songs usually play over the title and reflect them. There's a new double CD out called "Best of Bond... James Bond 50th Anniversary Collection" and I've included a track listing at the bottom of the post so you can play along in choosing your 007 favorite Bond songs.  

Trivia Alert: "Nobody Does It Better" was the first Bond song with a different title than the film, although it name-checked The Spy Who Loved Me in the lyrics. "All Time High" made no effort to name-check Octopussy—can you blame it? Other than those two, every Bond song has reflected the film's title until we get to the Daniel Craig era. Adele's song, at first reported to be called Let the Sky Fall, appears to be a real title song; "Skyfall".

Deborah's Favorite 007 Bond Songs after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Oct262012

Oscar Horrors: An Irish Ghost Story

HERE LIES... Hilton Edwards' short film Return to Glennascaul, mauled by Disney's Bear Country.

Andreas here with another spooky Oscar Horrors case file! This time, it's a ghost story. And who doesn't love a good ghost story? (Other than the Academy, I suppose.) Return to Glennascaul (1953) retells a traditional urban legend, that of the "vanishing hitchhiker," but with so much flair and atmosphere that its overfamiliarity doesn't matter. The set-up is classic: it's late at night, on a winding road outside Dublin, and the narrator stops to pick up a stranded motorist. But aha, a twist: the narrator is in fact Orson Welles, on a break from Othello! What better addition to a ghost story than Orson, that master raconteur, he of the perfect radio voice?

Aother small twist: his passenger isn't a ghost, but instead has his own eerie story of two mysterious women and the old abandoned house he drove them to, a house called Glennascaul. All these framing devices, coupled with Orson Welles playing a wry version of himself, make the short feel like a "friend-of-a-friend" anecdote. Like something built up too plausibly not to be true. And hey, who knows what can or can't happen in the misty Irish countryside? The women themselves (one old, one young) seem harmless enough, if a little kooky, until Orson's new friend contacts the realtor trying to sell Glennascaul... and, of course, learns that they've both been dead for years. (If that's a spoiler, then you should really bone up on your campfire stories.

This is some subtle horror, certainly, but it grows in power as the climax hits—as the gentleman makes the titular return, only to discover a dusty, desolate house with no residents to speak of. Truly haunting. In addition to Orson's baritone, the film's carpeted by a sparse piano and harp score, and it's shot in chiaroscuro black and white; exactly the minimalism that the material calls for. Sometimes, as Return to Glennascaul teaches us, all you need to tell a chilling story is 20 minutes, a little music, and an old house. Oh, and Orson Welles.

It may not have won the Oscar (thanks, Disney) but it will send shivers up your spine.

Recent Oscar Horrors 
Jaws - Best Editing
Aliens - Visual FX
Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte - Supporting Actress

All Oscar Horrors

Friday
Oct262012

"The Loneliest Planet" Finally Lands in Theaters

One of my favorite films from last year's New York Film Festival was The Loneliest Planet starring Gael García Bernal. I sometimes jokingly think of the pocket-sized actor as the mascot of Oscar's Foreign Language Film Category since he appears in frequent submissions and because he really ought to have been nominated himself by now. Worthy performances have included Amores Perros and Bad Education but he's top notch in just about everything whether rescuing a movie from itself (see The Crime of Father Amaro) or being self-effacing and excellent when the film is so much more than just a leading actor's vehicle (see the neo classic Y Tu Mama Tambíen or the Chilean Oscar submission No. No really, see them when you get a chance.) I hadn't really forgotten about The Loneliest Planet but I had given up hope of the ever-delayed theatrical release which has finally come to pass. It opens today in limited release hot on the heels of its Best Picture citation at the Gotham Awards.

So I thought I'd revive last year's review to convince you to see it. Beau recently asked me what the "big spoiler" was but to purposely spoil this gorgeous contemplative picture for yourself is so masochistic. It's not a twist movie per se but in some ways it is all about a shocking split second moment at the center of the picture and why know that beforehand?

MORE AFTER THE JUMP...

Click to read more ...