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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The Only Post You Will Ever Need On The "August: Osage County" Teaser Poster

A clever teaser poster that manages to put the Weston family home first and thus draws a great connective line between the stage production's branding (which always used the house) and the film version. (That house better be its own character in the movie. If this movie is 100% closeups they'll ruin the house as character!)

Or, another way of looking at this...







Related. P.S. Yes, I'm working on the Oscar charts right now. Soon, fair reader, soon.


Interview: Steve Hoover, Director of Oscar-Buzzing "Blood Brother"

Amir here. When Steve Hoover's debut Blood Brother, won both the audience and jury prizes at this year's Sundance Film Festival, it automatically became one of my most anticipated documentaries of the year. Lucky for me, I didn't have to wait long to see it. Hot Docs brought it to Toronto. Having now seen the film twice, crying through and laughing with it both times, I am confident this is one of the year's best films and deserves all the plaudits that will come its way.

a scene from Blood Brother

Blood Brother is a personal close-up of the director's best friend, Rocky - affectionately referred to by Indian children as "Rockyanna" - who has spent the past few years living in India in an orphanage where HIV-positive children and women are cared for. It is a character study of a man whose strength, humility and grace are unparalleled. Needless to say, the environment of the film is absolutely heartbreaking, particularly at the climax where we follow the story of a young boy named Surya and his experience with AIDS. What I didn't expect, however, was to leave the film filled not with sadness, but with joy and a new found appreciation for every little moment of my life. Hoover's film is anything but a tear-jerker. It maintains a fine balance between "extreme joy and extreme pain", as he put it, and in that balance finds a way straight to our hearts. 

On the occasion of Blood Brother's Hot Docs premiere, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Steve Hoover for a chat. Understandably, most of you haven't had the chance to see it yet and the intimate details of the films discussed here probably won't mean as much to you as they do to me, but this film is an absolute must-watch. I hope you'll seek it out and check back on this interview again then. 

AMIR: I’ll admit upfront that I’m a bit jealous of you, both because you’ve made such a wonderful film at such a young age and because you get to be friends with Rocky.

STEVE HOOVER: Thanks! You know, I’m 30. You still have a few years to get here.

AMIR: I’m not optimistic about my chances! But let’s get to your story. I want to ask you a bit about your relationship with Rocky prior to the film...

Steve Hoover (director) and his best friend Rocky (subject) in "Blood Brother"

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Reader Spotlight: Troy Hopper

We're getting to know the Film Experience community with reader spotlights once or twice a week. This may take awhile! Today we're talking to Troy from Maryland.

What's your first movie memory?

My first movie memory is seeing Annie in the theater with my mother, aunt, and cousin. I recall being thoroughly drawn in as everyone's favorite redhead clings to Punjab for dear life toward the climax of the film. I also have a vivid recollection of viewing Pinocchio when it was re-released in the early 1980s. I guess that makes me one of your elder readers.

Aw, we have readers of all ages. It's just the younger readers seem way less shy. When did you start reading TFE?

Oscar race 2001 after a link from Sasha Stone's site. As someone who was not a fan of A Beautiful Mind, I was impressed by your incisive dissection of the movie's glaring flaws. My continued reading of your blog showed me someone whose love, passion, and knowledge of all facets of cinema quickly became contagious.

You have a goddaughter, right? How do you plan to educate her cinematically.

My oldest is nearly seventeen, so unfortunately, my time has passed with him. As for my two goddaughters, if they learn nothing else from me, they will at least be taught that the medium is too broad in scope for them to be myopic in their taste. They will also realize that Tyler Perry is an enemy whose total annihilation is essential for the progression of blacks in film.

LOL. Okay, three favorite directors?

Aw, man! I was hoping to get the actresses. Ha. With the one-two-three punch of The Fountain, The Wrestler, and Black Swan Darren Aronofsky unquestionably earns a place on that list. Too much of Spike Lee's filmography is indellibly imprinted in my mind for him not to be included as well. I also wish that Jonathan Demme worked a great deal more, especially considering how adept he is across genres.

If Troy ran Hollywood, they'd all get more work!

If you ran Hollywood what would you greenlight?

Because of my background in musical theatre, the intial order of business would be the production of more musicals with the stipulation that Rob Marshall, Adam Shankman, and Bill Condon have absolutely nothing to do with them. In addition, I would grant Angela Bassett approval for any project of her choosing, provided it would give her a chance at another meaty starring role. Any talented auteur hoping to get his or her film made would have to find quality parts for Sharika Epps, Nicole Beharie, and/or Christina Hendricks. Finally, there would be a mandate for intelligent, adult thrillers and horrors that harken back to the time when studios didn't merely perceive them as an easy, relatively cheap way to make a quick buck.

Does "background in musical theatre" mean "actor" and if so, any dream roles?

I am indeed an actor-singer trying to finally break free from his day job. I've already taken on so many good roles -- Jimmy Early in "Dreamgirls," Mitch Mahoney in "Spelling Bee," Benny in "RENT," Belize in "Angels in America: Perestroika" -- that it's difficult to say what I would like to do next. I'd love to tackle something else non-musical, maybe an August Wilson piece, and I wish there were a role in "August: Osage County" for me.

Troy and Ron Giddings performing "I Don't Do That Anymore" this past November

!!! Your voice is so good. Okay, final question. You live in Maryland which begs the question: what's your favorite John Waters movie?

I have honestly never seen a single John Waters movie in its entirety. Though the man himself is quite the character, his aesthetic as a filmmaker has never truly appealed to me. And with that revelation I will probably be banished from Charm City forever!

previous reader spotlights


Thoughts I Had... While Looking at the Nymphomaniac Teaser

A day or two ago I casually linked to the first poster for Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac though this flippant "oh and..." way of dealing with it doesn't do its succinct brilliance justic. So, it gets a whole post.


  • Classic Lars pranksterism
  • Although... does Lars love or hate Charlotte Gainsbourg's punani? This is difficult to suss out. I mean he obviously hated it in Antichrist (rusty scissors anyone?) but despite this tagline "Forget About Love" this strikes me as a very affectionate nod to Charlotte's private parts
  • Best use of the parenthetical since Me and You and Everyone We Know

Back and Forth Forever

  • Pedro Almodovar probably already has this poster framed... (The Shrinking Lover anyone?)
  • I don't see how this would work for a matching penis poster. No, I was not just trying to figure that out on my keyboard. Shut up.
  • There's been a lot of talk about "real sex" rather than simulated sex on the set of this movie but we heard that before with Lars von Trier's The Idiots and he actually used body doubles for that so who knows if the starry cast (Shia Labeouf, Willem Dafoe, Connie Nielsen, Jamie Bell, Udo Kier, Stellan Skarsgård, Uma Thurman, etcetera) are being spared the grunt work (get it, "grunt" work? no, never mind) 
  • Remember when Charlotte Gainsbourg was married to Heath Ledger in I'm Not There and how great she was in their scenes together? She's so undervalued as an actress but at least Lars gets her.
  • In real life Charlotte is married to Yvan Attal who once made a picture co-starring Charlotte in which they played "Yvan" and "Charlotte" called My Wife is an Actress. The plot involved him worrying about her being unfaithful on set. I demand a sequel that takes place during the shoot of Nymphomaniac.



Julianne Moore... Rock Star?

Are you buying Julianne Moore as a Rock Star? (Click over to Vulture for "Hook and Line" from What Maisie Knew). She's not quite Juliette doing PJ in Strange Days but still pretty convincing, don't you think?



"Hit Me..." Summery Schedule

Every Wednesday we look at a picture together and choose our own "best shot" individually. It's a great way to see a motion picture through multiple sets of eyes. Join us...  Add eyeballs to our crazy blogging monster that just looked at cloned monsters, rotten to the core dames, and stars reborn. 

Summertime, Ripley, Fantasia, Hud

5/8 Summertime (1955) David Lean shoots Katharine Hepburn in Venice
5/15 The Talented Mr Ripley (1999) Tom would really like Dickie's life, thank you very much
5/22 Fantasia (1941) a strictly conducted 'best shot' special. You have three options:

1) Beginners (or Short on Time?): In honor of the May Centennial of "The Rite of Spring", choose your Best Shot from that section of Disney's experimental early feature.
2) Apprentice: Choose from 'Rite of Spring' AND the movie as a whole. Two shots.
3) Sorcerer:  Your post will contain six screenshots, your choice for "best" from each of the movies major classical movements: The Nutcracker Suite, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Rite of Spring, The Pastoral Symphony, Dance of the Hours, and Night on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria

5/29 Hud (1963) 50th Anniversary! Nominated for 7 Oscars but outrageously not Best Picture. If you've never seen it, this is mandatory viewing before our Hit Me Hiatus in June. (Season 4 concludes in August)


The State of the State of Cinema

Hey everybody, it’s Tim, here to add my two cents to what has been, incontestably, the film story of the last few days: the sprawling, self-described “rant” delivered by Steven Soderbergh as his keynote speech on the State of Cinema at the San Francisco Film Festival on April 27. The San Francisco Film Society has made the video of his entire speech available, accompanied by a not-quite-accurate transcript; it’s worth checking it out in either form, though I found it easier to puzzle out what the director was getting at in the text version.

By all means, it takes some puzzling. I yield to no-one in my love of Soderbergh, but there’s no denying that his speech is very much a rambling, discursive piece, meant to be enjoyed as conversation, rather than analyzed closely for a structure it very much does not possess. It’s pure stream-of-consciousness (it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising to find out that it was predominately improvised), and that’s okay: anybody who has listened to one of Soderbergh’s DVD commentaries is well aware that when he gets to rambling, some very keen insights on the nature of the art form tend to come tumbling out...

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