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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Say What? A Streep and Her Dog

Awww. Meryl Streep walking her dog in Manhattan.

Amuse us by adding a dialogue or caption to this photo in the comments. I'll select a winner later.



Something Portman This Way Comes

JA from MNPP here - by now I think most of you have probably heard the news that Michael Fassbender is going to play Macbeth for the director of Snowtown. (Any fans of Snowtown up in here? I found it monstrously, emphasis on monstrously, effective.) Speculation immediately turned to what actress would play the scheming Lady to his doomed King - I saw everybody from Tilda Swinton to Emma Watson mentioned (and no doubt somewhere Sally Kellerman whispered her own name into the wind, too).

Well today we find out his former Jane Got a Gun co-star to be that never was Natalie Portman will be the one whispering deadly somethings in his ear, and... people don't seem happy, from what I can gather? I have to admit I'm kinda skeptical myself. I like Natalie, I thought she deserved her Oscar for Black Swan, but Vincent Cassel wasn't wrong when he told her she can nail the White Swan but she has some trouble with the darker side. Can she summon the wicked gravitas you need for this role?

I mean, we need somebody in this part that can convincingly tell Michael Fassbender that he doesn't have, you know, the sufficient manhood, ahem. So yeah... now that I think about it pretty much anybody's doomed, having to sell that whopper. "The Scottish Play" is a curse after all!


April. It's a Wrap

I hope April was a good month for you. On the other hand, if you, like me, weren't having a 'firing on all cylinders' month, you probably missed some goodies. Herewith ten highlights from the month... I mean, besides Reader Spotlight and Best Shot which are always highlights. 

Ryan, Tilda, and T-Rex were the stars of the month here at The Film Experience

Jury Duty my stint at the Nashville International Film Festival and the prizes we gave
Can a Bad Sequel Diminish a Classic? Michael asks Burning Questions with flair 
Surprise Podcast Joe, Nick and I discussed The Place Beyond the Pines and 1990s flicks
Jude in the Snow I think the highlight of this year's noncommittal April Showers (sorry) was Andrew's piece on Anna Karenina, don't you?
The Oscar That Got Away Judy Garland's immortal star turn in A Star is Born was commemorated with a Best Shot episode

Top Ten Non-Nominated Supporting Actresses (1980s) this was a fun list to make. Perhaps I'll do more
Jurassic Park Featuring Tilda Swinton Yes, Jurassic Park makes me think of Tilda Swinton. Don't judge 
Watching You Watching... I asked readers to confess the last three movies they saw, no editing. So fun to read the comments. If only you'd comment this much all the time ;)
Language Barrier? with the release of Kon-Tiki, Tim wonders if we can ever really see a foreign film as it's meant to be seen
Best New Directors of the 21st Century a big discussable Team Experience countdown

Coming in May - Are you ready for summer?
Yes, I'll try to wrap up some loose ends (cough. I know I know) plus we'll look at Iron Man Three, The Great Gatsby (costumes and all), Before Midnight, Benedict Cumberbatch Into Darkness, Cannes films and fashions, Frances Ha and more. We're also trying a little something different this month with two guiding Stars: look out for a handful of Hepburn (Katharine) soon and a tall cool drink of Paul Newman at month's end. If you like those theme weeks maybe we'll try more of them.


April Showers... Poor Truman

april showers & a tuesday top ten in one!

Do you ever think of The Truman Show (1998)? I really and truly loved it in 1998 naming it 'The Best Film of the Year!' to anyone who would listen. (This was in my pre Film Experience days of course... though it's hard to remember such a time). 

My Top Ten Of 1998 - Unranked

  • Bulworth (Warren Beatty)
  • Celebration / Festen (Thomas Vinterberg)
  • Gods and Monsters (Bill Condon)
  • High Art (Lisa Cholodenko)
  • The Idiots (Lars von Trier)
  • Living Out Loud (Richard LaGravenese)
  • The Opposite of Sex (Don Roos)
  • The Thin Red Line (Terence Malick)
  • The Truman Show (Peter Weir)
  • Velvet Goldmine (Todd Haynes) 

...with Central Station and Shakespeare in Love just outside the top ten though I'm always considering reinstating them. They were both once on the actual list (The Idiots and the Malick I saw a little later). I haven't seen any of them save Velvet Goldmine for at years? Would my list hold up? Would yoursHow often do you revisit your #1s from various years and do you ever lose track of them completely the way I did The Truman Show

Today the movie popped into my head in an existential "is this all there is?" crisis moment I was having. Then I thought about the malfunctioning sudden downpour that drenches the star of that show. Truman is played by Jim Carrey (in the first of his series of FYC performances that Oscar sadly passed on). The childllike man still hasn't figured out that his life is actually a TV show. Despite his ignorance oddities like the malfunctioning rain start waking him up to life's surreal absurdities if not yet fully to his own life's precarious relationship to reality. He stares in confusion and disbelief as the shower follows him and eventually he ends up laughing and yelling with joy as the glitch gives way to a fullfledged rainstorm.

I worry that I wouldn't be as amused if this happened to me.

I need to find a way to be that lighthearted and childlike when I'm suddenly drenched. After all, when it rains it pours and we aren't always carrying umbrellas.


previous shower
Anna Karenina's stylish snowfall


Smash: "The Producers"

One might also read that blogpost title as a command, "Smash the producers!" Go ahead. I won't stop you.

Tonight I am deeply in envy of my friend Glenn who took over Smash review duties over a week ago while I was in Nashville and lucked upon the best episode of the season "Opening Night". That episode was so good I even liked Karen Cartwright in it! *gasp*

But beware the fall when you reach a peak! Last week was too good to be true and this week's episode proves that Smash won't really be missed when it's finally put down despite its intermittent and blessedly unique high points. Last season's "hate watching," so widely reported because musicals are favored targets of scorn, seems to have turned into "hate-to-watch" since the ratings fall each week. Did you see Theresa Rebeck's e-mail to Buzzfeed? For all of the problematic agenda and ego that might have prompted her very late reply to their infamous Behind the Scenes expose on the troubled Season 1 show, she may well have a talking-about-herself-in-the-third-person point here:

If in fact Theresa Rebeck was the problem with Smash and the trainwreck it became, wouldn't things have gotten better rather than drastically worse - once she left?

Yeah, yeah, I'm avoiding talking about this episode.

A lot of screaming. Which is what I do whenever the show focuses on "Hit List"

Click to read more ...


American Lone Wolf in Linking

YouTube Edgar Wright talks to the cast of American Werewolf in London, one of his favorite films.
Vulture the latest Mad Men episode in 5 gifs - yeah, I know I'm late writing this one up (and there was so much movie business, too)
Guardian great prickly interview with Judy Davis who, rather shockingly, does not like her work in Husbands and Wives (only one of the great supporting actress performances of all time!)

Moviefone interviews Anthony Mackie who will play Falcon in Captain America Winter Soldier. And bless them for asking him about rap battles with Eminem in 8 Mile.
The Ochre has an interactive movie-oriented video. You choose once choices come up. Short and quite random. 
IndieWire film critics and the 20 minute rule 
Slate the purge of Netflix Instant Watch features and queues. I'm so sad about this. Why does Netflix hate us? I don't want to go back to the world pre-Netflix when every movie cost me money and movies were so hard to find.
... on Twitter and Facebook we've been we're talking about Kirsten Dunst's best work today on her 31st birthday. You'd know that if you were "following" or "liking" so join us.

Three More Things About The Tony Award Nominations Today Starting With This Tweet That Made Me LOL



That's for you "Smash" fans... those of you who remain
The Film Experience I filled out that messy post on the nominations (sorry about that) with a little more commentary and a few photos
The Onion sticks a fork in the Awards with this hilariously titled piece "Loud Desperate Need For Approval Leads Tony Nominations" 

Over at Towleroad I've interviewed the director Yen Tan about his new gay drama Pit Stop which has already picked up a couple of prizes at film festivals even before the LGBT film festival season (which starts in May) kicks off.  One of those was from my own jury at Nashville (previously discussed). The film stars Bill Heck and Marcus DeAnda as two gay men who are struggling to extricate themselves from failed relationships in rural Texas. We talked about the trials of "gay panic" when you're casting for LGBT films, realistic sex in movies and authenticity in dialogue when English is your second language. You can see a list of upcoming screenings here (festivals in Boston, Maryland, Oklahoma City, Ann Arbor, and San Diego are next). 


Hot Docs: Expedition to the End of the World

Amir here, bringing you a film from the Hot Docs festival that will surely land on my top ten list come the year’s end.  

I'll have the watch till 11 o'clock. Then I'll go down to the saloon and write the meaning of life.”

As a general rule, I try to avoid all films that deal with the ocean. I'm not averse to action adventures but I suffer from intense thalassophobia and cinema is an experience I'd like to enjoy, not endure. Exceptions have to be made every now and then, of course, and a few experiences have been rewarding enough to justify all the shaking and sneaking through fingers. I made one such exception for Expedition to the End of the World, based on strong word of mouth, and I’m happy to say I came away thoroughly satisfied. In fact, I doubt I’ll see a better film at this year’s festival.

Click to read more ...