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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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Sunday
Oct142012

Good Laughs in "Gayby"

Because of time constraints and interview availability I ended up having to watch the new comedy Gayby, which opened this weekend in NYC, alone a week or so ago. Though comedies are much funnier with crowds, I still laughed out loud. So it was a joy to interview the writer/director Jonathan Lisecki for Towleroad. He also co-stars in the movie as one of the central couple's best friends, "Nelson". He was smart enough to keep some of the best lines for himself.

Here's two bits about his actors that I couldn't fit into the published interview. 

NATHANIEL R: I noticed you're cross-pollinating with HBO's Girls with your casting. 

JONATHAN LISECKI: Some people ask if I cast Alex Karpovsky and Adam Driver because they’re both in Girls – there was no Girls last year. I love Lena. She’s awesome. My short played with Tiny Furniture on the festival circuit. Once upon a time when we were out to lunch she said 'You should be in your own movie you’re so funny.' I was like 'Well, I’m going to take your advice Lena Dunham!'  

She was shooting Girls the same time I was shooting the movie.

NR: I just saw Jenn Harris, your lead, in Silence! the Musical Off Broadway as Clarice Starling.

JL: Oh god she' s amazing in that, isn’t she?

Jenn Harris as Clarice Starling in "Silence! The Musical" and Jenn Harris as Jenn in "Gayby"

NR: Just hilarious. She wasn't just spoofing the movie and Jodie. I swear to god she was also totally sending up actors who are tired of being in the shows they're in. 

JL: I saw it two weeks ago and she really was! [Laughter] She’s so funny. She's such a gifted comedic actor. Especially on stage. One of the reasons why I wanted her to be the lead of the movie is that I’ve been onstage with her and she's one of the few people in the world who has ever made me crack up onstage and lose character. She'll do anything in the moment. Comedy is important to her and it’s an art. She'll go that extra mile which not everyone will do and she's willing to look goofy to get a laugh.

Read the Full Interview @ Towleroad

P.S. I'd love to send you to see "Silence! the Musical" but Jenn recently left the show after a long run so I can't vouch for the new cast members. But I can send you to see 'Gayby'! It's in NYC now and Los Angeles in a couple of weeks. 

 

Saturday
Oct132012

Oscar Horrors: Dogtooth

HERE LIES... my soul. Well, our souls, after we all subjected ourselves to Yorgos Lanthimos’s mad genius in Best Foreign Film nominee Dogtooth.

Let’s go back a couple of years to January 25th 2011: nomination day for the 83rd Oscars. As per tradition, a shortlist of nine films in contention for the Best Foreign Language film had been released previously and it’s a big understatement to simply say eyebrows were raised when Dogtooth was included among them. Granted, the Greek submission was exactly the type of film that the executive committee was intended to save and the submissions weren’t really a vintage crop, but there were still films like France’s universally admired Of Gods and Men and Turkey’s Golden Bear winner Honey in the running. In any case, the January shortlist was presumed to be the extent of Dogtooth’s progress. Surely, the same group of people who found Departures superior to The Class, or The Secret in their Eyes stronger than The White Ribbon, wouldn’t go for something as outré as Dogtooth, would they?

It turns out, they would!

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Oct132012

NYFF: "Amour" & "No" Are Worthy Oscar Contenders

The Oscar race for Best Foreign Language Film is particularly exciting this year. We have more contenders than ever (71!) and so many strong films that the Academy's always controversial foreign language branch will undoubtedly piss various contingencies off when they announce the finalist list and then the nominees. They could lessen the size of the outcry each year if only their finalist list were 12 films long. It's so strange that they make it small enough (9 films) that those films which miss the nomination are in the minority and, thus, look particularly snubbed... numerically speaking. I've already raved about the Pinoy movie "Bwakaw", and here are two other worthy candidates for this annual honor. Don't miss them if you get a chance to see them

AMOUR (Austria)
“Ladies and Gentlemen, people die. That’s all you need to know.” This line, a recurring catchphrase from aging chanteuse Kiki (Justin Bond) in the now departed Kiki & Herb act, used to make me howl with laughter. It was a perfect punchline, soaked as it was in booze and tragicomic matter-of-factness. People do die. Death is a fact of life but we spend so much time denying it that it often feels completely abstract, an imagined fate rather than an eventual one. But as Anne (Emmanuelle Riva), the elderly woman at the heart of Michael Haneke’s new film reminds us:

Imagination and reality have little in common.”

At first Haneke keeps his customary distance. Were it not for early publicity or the disturbing pre-title sequence that shows us a woman's decomposing body surrounded by flowers, we wouldn't even know who the principle characters were during the post-title opening shot, a crowd watching a piano recital. As in the finale of Haneke's best film (Caché) the director doesn't help you decide where to look; it's your job to find the narrative. But one of the strongest directorial impulses in Amour is Haneke's barely perceptible but undeniably tightening focus on the couple. Each scene seems to bring us closer to Anne and Georges (Jean-Louis Trigninant), a happy well-off couple in their eighties who enjoy literature, cultural events, and visits from their daughter (Isabelle Huppert) and Anne's former student (the pianist Alexandre Tharaud who appears to be playing himself). The first close-ups of note, an utterly captivating shot/reverse shot of the couple as Anne all but vanishes from a conversation in progress, is the bomb dropping...

Michael Haneke with his actors on the set of "Amour"

I don’t want to go on

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Oct132012

Yes, No, Maybe So: "Zero Dark Thirty"

Time and the finite nature of it is an essential ingredient in all suspense films. So I need to get myself on the clock when it comes to Zero Dark Thirty. I was shocked at how quickly we knew of its existence post Hurt Locker but then... it never seemed to come. It still feels like something off in the very distant future set in the very recent past. But it actually opens in 66 days. Tick tock.

Let's break down the trailer...

YES

  • At the very least it'll make an interesting comparison point to Showtime's "Homeland".
  • Jessica Chastain gets her first high profile lead role!
  • Joel Edgerton
  • That hot soldier with the glow stick
  • I've been with director Kathryn Bigelow since Near Dark and I'm not going anywhere. I tend to love her work. And even when I don't, it's interesting.
  • It looks far more beautiful, visually, than The Hurt Locker... which wasn't really going for beauty but there's so many frameable stills in the trailer and a rangier color palette. In short: I'm glad it's not Hurt Locker 2. As much as I love The Hurt Locker it requires no sequel.

    MORE AFTER THE JUMP

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Oct132012

LFF: Black Rock

Craig here with a look at another film showing at the London Film Festival: Kate Aselton's survival thriller Black Rock.

It’s certainly a bad day at Black Rock for Kate Bosworth and her two BFFs. Director/co-star Kate Aselton and Lake Bell both cherish Bosworth’s friendship  but they have their own shaky history festering between them like an open sore. The three women go for a ‘last hurrah’ camping trip to the titular retreat with treasure hunts and restorative bonding in mind. That’s until they chance upon a trio of ex-soldiers, not long back from Helmand Province, on a suspicious shooting trip.

More often than not island settings immediately instil narrative suspense. Indeed, once the women shore up on a deserted beach the potential for drama reveals itself in fraught chatter and mention of either lack of provisions, isolating distance from observable humanity (in the form of, uh-oh, NO MOBILE PHONE RECEPTION), or, as here, all of the above.

Click to read more ...