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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

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Monday
Feb092015

Living For Love & Skimming Through Grammys

Annie takes us to church, then puts a spell on usWith Taylor Swift's cheekily titled "1989" the music world's best-seller of 2014, and a least half of all movie franchises with their roots firmly embedded in the "me" decade is pop culture forever frozen in 80s amber? We hardly needed another reminder that the 1980s are still roaring but what were the chances that the two best performances of the Grammy's would come from Annie Lennox and Madonna?

I don't ask this as someone with significant ties to loving the 1980s (though I am someone like that) but from genuine surprise. It's not that there aren't great performers that are very now but they all seemed conspicuously absent last night or visibly subdued within the long procession of funureal ballads the Grammys showcased. Hell, even Pharell's boppy "Happy" which memorably gave us Streep shimmying and Nyong'o jumping to her feet at the Oscars last year, was performed with 'everything is not awesome' minor key ominousness.

After the jump movie & Oscar related Grammy stuff and big wins. But first a few words on Madonna and the delicious deep red new video from the undeposed Queen of Pop.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb092015

'Nobody's Baby,' But Everyone's Cover Girl

Another wave of Scarlett Johansson mania is nearly upon us courtesy of The Age of Ultron. Here she is very late seventies/early eighties styled for W magazine's spring issue

Photography by Mert Alas

As a child in New York, Johansson was fascinated with every aspect of show business. “I had a big imagination,” she said. “I particularly loved Judy Garland, and, to me, she did it all. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be an actor. And I wanted to do everything. When you’re a kid, they send you on a lot of commercial auditions, and I was terrible at selling things. I never got those parts. I remember crying in the subway, and my mom said, ‘Look—let’s forget it. Do something else.’ And I replied, ‘No. You can’t take this away from me. I want to be an actor!’ Waiting for the B train, I had my come-to-Jesus moment.”

So Johansson (and her mother, who became her manager) decided she would audition only for films. In addition to a precocious mix of sexy and cute, even as a girl, Johansson had a trump card: her deep, slightly hoarse, smoky speaking voice. 

This new W magazine profile is by Lynn Hirschberg and Scarlett shares that the black hair in Under the Skin was her idea. A good one! Strangely the photos for this article aren't up despite a link saying they are.

Sunday
Feb082015

Podcast: Jupiter Etcetera

Remember us? It's been a month. How did that happen? Nathaniel, Nick, Katey and Joe are finally reunited. We had intended to talk Oscar nominations but we're so far past Nomination Morning that the conversation has a mind of its own and just goes where it may. Nathaniel keeps trying to bring up Nightcrawler and Ben Affleck, Amy Adams, Magic Mike and Djimon Hounsou's agent work there way into the conversation, too.

[42 Minutes]
00:01 We're back. DGA Awards & Birdman
10:54 Eddie Redmayne vs Michael Keaton vs Bradley Cooper
19:30 Original Song: Selma, The LEGO Movie
23:11 Beyond the Lights & Gugu Mbatha-Raw
27:20 Seventh SonJupiter Ascending 


 

 

REFERENCED IN THIS PODCAST
American Sniper Conversation from the podcast "Fighting in the War Room" 

Please to enjoy and continue the rambling conversation in the comments. You can listen at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes

Jupiter Ascending & More

Sunday
Feb082015

Box Office: Jupiter Descending

Amir  bringing you the weekend’s box office news. While awards season was in full swing this weekend with the DGA, BAFTAs and Grammys, Spongebob: Sponge Out of Water swept in and wiped off its competition while entering the top five best selling February releases of all time. This is one those films that totally slid below the radar for me; then again, the Venn diagram of people who care about this film and people who care about DGAs and BAFTAs is two separate circles. The weekend’s far buzzier title for cinephiles was Jupiter Ascending, the new visualeffectsapalooza from the Wachowski siblings. It is predictably visually stunning with incoherent plotting and confusing editing etc. etc. Like Cloud Atlas, this was mostly a failure, financially speaking, and you have to wonder how long it will be before they stop getting bankrolled for their strange visions. Finally, Julianne Moore and Jeff Bridges’ Seventh Son also bombed, but Universal, having predicted the dreadful critical response, made the very smart decision of opening it internationally a few weeks ago, so they’ve already made up the costs elsewhere.

TOP TEN
01 THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE $56 NEW
02 AMERICAN SNIPER $24.1 (cum. $282.2) 
03 JUPITER ASCENDING $19 NEW 
04 THE SEVENTH SON $7.1 NEW  
05 PADDINGTON  $5.3 (cum. $57.2)
06 PROJECT ALMANAC  $5.3 (cum. $15.7)
07 THE IMITATION GAME $4.8 (cum. $74.7) 
08 THE WEDDING RINGER $4.8 (cum. $55.1)
09 BLACK OR WHITE $4.5 (cum. $13.1)
10 THE BOY NEXT DOOR $4.1(cum. $30.8)

American Sniper slipped to number 2 on the list but is now firmly the third best film of 2014, still with a reasonable shot at becoming first. Not that being the box office champ necessarily helps its chances with winning the Oscar though – the last time the box office champ (among the nominees) won the Oscar was Slumdog Millionaire in 2008. The Imitation Game is the second best selling best picture nominee and will remain so, given it is still going strong at the theatres. Here is an interesting stat in case you love meaningless stats: the second best selling film is the most likely winner of the Academy award in recent years. Of the thirteen winners this century, five came second in financial terms. Those horrendous “honor the man, honor the film” ads might pay off after all.

 

 

I haven’t been catching up with recent releases at the theatres, but have been rewatching all of Iranian auteur Dariush Mehrjui’s films because of my upcoming introduction of his film, Hamoun, at TIFF, which you should attend if you’re in or around Toronto!

What have you been watching?

Sunday
Feb082015

BAFTA Wins & Open Thread 

 

2:00 PM For those of you who have access to a live feed - I'm settling in for Dianne Wiest's new play - feel free to discuss. I'll chime in soon.

5:25 PM Here are the winners with some quick thoughts on what this means for Oscar.

THE WINNERS

BEST FILM BOYHOOD
BEST BRITISH FILM THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
LEADING ACTRESS JULIANNE MOORE Still Alice
LEADING ACTOR EDDIE REDMAYNE The Theory of Everything
SUPPORTING ACTRESS PATRICIA ARQUETTE Boyhood
SUPPORTING ACTOR J.K. SIMMONS Whiplash
DIRECTOR RICHARD LINKLATER, Boyhood 

Same as it ever was. Despite the internet's total freak out earlier this weekend when Birdman added to its trophy haul with the prestigious DGA prize, the frontrunners remain the frontrunners. Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor are still competitive mind you, but I don't think they're as competitive as people think and I suspect these are all repeat wins at the Oscar. 


EE RISING STAR Jack O’Connell
COSTUME DESIGN THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL Milena Canonero

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Feb082015

DGA Chooses Birdman. But Who Wins BAFTA?

It's tough to call this a "surprise" exactly, given that Birdman recently took hom both the PGA's top producing honor and SAG's Best Ensemble but now the celebrated intricate metashowbiztragicomedywhatsit has won the DGA. Alejandro González Iñárritu was previously nominated for Babel. But this isn't actually his first DGA win.

More on Birdman's DGA and BAFTA Predictions after the jump

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Saturday
Feb072015

75th Anniversary: Pinocchio

Tim here. Today marks the 75th anniversary of Pinocchio, the second feature film released by Walt Disney Studios, and in this animation buff’s eyes, the high water mark in that company’s history (I’m hedging in the interest of good taste. In fact, it’s my pick for the greatest achievement in all of narrative animation). Along with Fantasia, later in 1940, it’s the bright, shining example of what the Disney animators could achieve when given the most resources, support, and artistic freedom that they would ever enjoy.

Lots more after the jump...

Click to read more ...