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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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Friday
Feb102012

Three Terrible Ideas Involving Lesbians, Vampires, and Lennons

Hey, Let's Remake a Hitchcock!
While some of us enjoyed Gus Van Sant's maligned Psycho (1998) experiment in "recreation" (hey, it's more honest than "reboot") -- generally we're forgiving of artistic experiments in comparison to parasitic cash-grabs --  remaking Hitchcock movies is never a good idea in the strictest sense of the word "good". Think of the relief on the internetz when that new version of The Birds didn't take flight. See, Alfred Hitchcock is not like so many great auteurs of yore that today's audiences aren't familiar with. If there is any classic Hollywood director that contemporary mainstream audiences still 'get,' isn't it Hitchcock? The latest of his features someone wants to remake is Rebecca (1940). Maybe there should be a law against remaking Best Picture winners? I do not trust anyone in 2012 with "Mrs. Danvers". Back away from the apparitional lesbians*!

Hey, Let's Keep Making Vampire Pictures!
Doesn't anyone in Hollywood worry about bankrolling trends long past their sell-by date? While it's true that vampires never go completely out of style they do sometimes hibernate, burrowing deep into the ground until they're ready to engage again (a la The Vampire Lestat), in terms of pop culture popularity. So after two plus decades of vampire madness doesn't it seem like that bubble could burst at any moment and someone will lose bazillions of dollars? As far as I can tell 2012 and 2013 are already so stuffed with vampires onscreens both large and small that eventually audiences will be wearing garlic when they approach the TV or multiplex. But they've decided to make another one called Harker in which Jonathan Harker is no longer a Keanu Reeves like lawyer but a Russell Crowe like investigator for Scotland yard.

Hey, Let's Adapt Movies No One Saw Into Broadway Shows That Are About Famous Musicians Whose Songs We Don't Have the Rights To!
Remember that biopic about John Lennon's pre-fame years called Nowhere Boy? It had one of those long torturous 'what year does this film belong to' releases 'round the world but never caught on. It's the film that introduced us to Aaron Johnson (Kick Ass, Albert Nobbs) who we now seem to be stuck with. It also introduced him to director Sam Taylor Wood and they're happily co-habitating and child-rearing three years later. But I'm losing the point. One of the distracting things about the movie, which made narrative but not emotional sense was the absence of Beatles. Now moneyburning people are adapting it into a Broadway musical. Who pray tell would spend $100+ a ticket to see an original musical about the founding members of the Beatles that is not a Beatles jukebox** musical???

*Nick introduced me to the term apparitional lesbians. I'm forever grateful because it's so damn useful. And fun to say. Try it.

** I hate jukebox musicals. I'm not suggesting someone should make one here, just that that's what audiences would want if they went to a show about John Lennon.

Friday
Feb102012

Complete the Sentence... On Oscar Night...

For Oscar Night I'm planning to ___________________________________ . (Aw, c'mon tell us what you're pencilling in.)

Friday
Feb102012

20:11 Horrible Captains and The Deathly Pooh Part 1

Year in Review Fun! Herewith the 20th minute and 11th second of the movies of 2011 in chronological order of US release dateIt's like flipping channels for snapshots of the film year! For those who like a challenge, I've written the film titles in invisible ink (you can highlight to see them) below the screencap.

I realized halfway through doing this series that it wouldn't actually be able to be completed given that it will take another 6 months before everything is on DVD. So only one more of these "remember this" screen captures before we close out the film year. If you're just joining us TFE basically thinks of Oscar night as New Year's Eve. 2011 hangover lasts for a few days post Oscar (you have to discuss the big night afterwards, don'cha know) and then 2012 can officially get underway on March 1st. Wheeeee

How many have you seen? Do these images make you want to stop surfing and watch?

Jan | Feb | March | AprilMay | June

Part 7: July and August

He liked alcohol. We'd give him a sip and he'd want more. We gave him puffs on a joint…"

PROJECT NIM

 

I don't understand why you guys don't quit. Are you registered sex offenders?"

HORRIBLE BOSSES

 

-We can't just stand here.
-You're the brilliant one!
-I've got something but... it's mad."

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PT 2 

6 more screencapture guessing games after the jump.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Feb102012

Ignorance is Bliss

via


Only 4 days away! [This gave me quite a chuckle this morning. I doubt it's real but the font is so... gah! It's serving Microsoft Word 10.0 2002 realness.]

Thursday
Feb092012

12 Linkeys

Brad to the Bone
Yahoo Movies
Another Oscar roundtable I participated in. This time I'm talking Best Actor with Thelma Adams, Sasha Stone and others. I kick it off with more Brad love.
Serious Film on Brad Pitt's winning streak. It's not just 2011.
Press Play stumps for Brad Pitt (Moneyball) for Best Actor. It's weird all the excitement seemed to be in Best Actress until just recently and then Best Actor was all anyone could talk about. Maybe because it still feels like a race? 

Links
Flavorwire
Ridley Scott and Michael Fassbender for a new Cormac McCarthy penned movie?
Guardian Naomi Watts signs to play Princess Diana in a bio directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel (Downfall) called Caught in Flight on the last two years of her life. I guess we need to start thinking about all the 2012 2013 Best Actress contenders.
NY Post Daniel Radcliffe not happy that Harry Potter 7.2 was not Best Picture nominated. And here I thought people had stopped thinking about that.
In Contention Happy 80th birthday for John Williams
Funny Or Die Jean Dujardin auditions for every villain role
Carpetbagger has been doing a series where they invite celebrities to fill out fake Oscar ballots (i.e. non AMPAS members. Today Tabatha Coffey. I always wanted to do this random celeb Oscar chat thing but alas, The Film Experience doesn't have the clout of The New York Times. Someday ;)
Boy Culture excavates an old Madonna interview from when she was only 34 wherein she talks about aging and knows that people will want to put her out to pasture soon. We love that she's living her ideals 19 years later and not allowing that. Given that life expectancy keeps moving up in years, you'd think civilians (who age faster than celebrities!) would stop groaning about celebrities that are "too old" to be entertaining us. I'm pretty sure in 20 years times I'll still rather see Meryl at 83 than, you know, some random 20 year old Hollywood is trying to shove down my throat. May all the talented ones keep working until they croak! This goes for the fresh ones too who are just starting out. Jessica Chastain, pace yourself. We hope to enjoy you when you're 71... if we're still alive!

Finally... the Berlinale Film Festival kicked off today with Opening Ceremonies. Here are the jurors arriving and lining up... which I snapped from the live feed.

From left to right: Director Asghar Farhadi (last year's Berlinale winner for A Separation), Actress Charlotte Gainsbourg, Director Mike Leigh, Actress Barbara Sukowa,  Director Francois Ozon, Director Anton Corbijn, Writer Boualem Sansai, and Actor Jake Gyllenhaal ("Jakey!!!") who the crowd and photographers went wild for the second he stepped out of the car and onto the red.

Sundance is the first major festival of each new film year but Berlinale is always hot on its heels. Will anything as great as A Separation debut there this year? We'll soon hear. 

Thursday
Feb092012

Distant Relatives: Sunset Blvd and The Artist 

Robert here w/ Distant Relatives, exploring the connections between one classic and one contemporary film.

How does one begin to discuss The Artist in terms of just one distant relative? The film is a paean to all films silent-era Hollywood and enough films stretching far beyond the silent-era including Singin' in the Rain and A Star is Born, to which it owes story elements, Citizen Kane from which it borrows specific conceits and Vertigo... well, we'll leave that one alone. But I think the connection that intrigues me the most is notable not for what the two films have in common, but in how they differ.
 
The Artist tells the story of dashing silent film actor George Valentin and his fall from grace juxtaposed against rising talkie star Peppy Miller who, in a cruel twist of fate, is an ingenue he discovered. Sunset Blvd enters the world of former silents star Norma Desmond as discovered by aspiring screenwriter Joe Gillis, a world overgrown with bitterness, denial and impending senility.


 
Sunset Blvd is in a way the anti-Artist. If you started with one similar concept and gave the script to a half-glass-full director and a half-glass-empty director, you'd quite possibly end up with The Artist and Sunset Blvd. The similarities are obvious enough. Both films are about silent stars whose downfalls hasten when "words, words, words" make their way into motion pictures, soon making them quite irrelevant. George Valentin and Norma Desmond suffer the same fate, and the requisite eventual drinking and depression. The only difference is, Norma's "savior" finds her many years too late.
 
I use the term "savior" pretty liberally here, since this is where the films' paths really start to diverge. Peppy and Joe have enough in common. They're young. They're attractive. They're eager to make it into show business. And they have the one thing that Valentin and Desmond do not: potential. Now keep in mind, that's only true as defined by their genres. In a film noir, potential is a hack and a cynic stumbling into a good idea. In a feel-good film it's the rise of a dreamer.
 
However, these two have polarized motives. Gillis (our hero mind you) is in it for himself. He's using Norma's help to propel his success. Peppy quite contrarily is using her success to help George. And herein lies the reason these films reach their different conclusions, not to mention the reason why one of them is on it way to the Best Picture Oscar while the other didn't win the prize.
 

It's about appreciation. Peppy appreciates the classics, the silents, the stars. She loves them as we love them. And as our hero (if we can call her that since Valentin doesn't do anything active to save himself) this love propels her to be one of the most decent, morally unimpeachable movie characters in recent years. And then there's Joe. Joe Gillis doesn't care, and vicariously through him, nor do we, and even further than that Sunset Blvd suggests that very few do, and nowhere included in that few is anyone in show business. It's a dark, cynical accusation that no one cares about the old "wax museum" of stars whose talent built up the picture business. It's a sentiment that's not particularly easy to vote for even if it happens to lead a film that is both brilliant and in many ways, honest.


Which makes me wonder, has much changed since 1950? Certainly we now have home video, we have streaming and the internet. The brilliance of the slient era is more accessible than it's ever been, and that allows for a sizable fanbase. And what about within the world of The Artist? Valentin's discovery of Peppy originally seems like a spoonfull of irony but turns out to be uplifting cinematic karma. If she were not there to save him, would anybody? Would Valentin end up just like Norma Desmond? Would The Artist become a cautionary tale instead of an inspirational one?
 
The Artist was made in 2011 and takes place in the late twenties, early thirties. Sunset Blvd was made in 1950 and takes place in 1950. Therein may lie the ultimate clue to why these very similar films reach very different conclusions. Nostalgia is always inspirational. Reality, not so much.

Thursday
Feb092012

We Love You Too, Sibel

Sibel Kekilli out and about in Germany

Love the 'Je T'Aime' tee-shirt. Simple, hot.

She's currently our favorite German actress and we want more after Head On (2004) and When We Leave (2009). Currently crossing fingers that the new exposure from Game of Thrones (she plays "Shae" the courtesan) will open up major doors for her.

Game of Thrones is actually doing all right by our favorite foreign actresses. Next season (two months away) The Netherlands' Carice Van Houten (Black Book) joins the cast as the frightening priestess Melisandre... The Red Lady. Here's a new gallery of photos from season 2.

I wish I liked the show more. (sigh)

Shae (Sibel) and Melisandre (Carice)

If anything can convince me to keep watching it's probably these two. We shall see.