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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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Wednesday
Aug292012

Melanie Lynskey: DVDs I Had To Own

[Editor's Note: The Film Experience is very pleased to announce that  the lovely actress Melanie Lynskey is our super extra special duper final guest blogger this week. Take it away, Melanie - Nathaniel R]

Hello everyone!

I could not be more honoured that Nathaniel asked me to do this little guest spot on my beloved Film Experience. I read this blog so much and it's always thoughtful, funny, and enlightening. I hope I do a good job guest blogging and I desperately wish I could use a word other than blogging, because ugh it is a horrible word. Okay. Remember, I'm a college dropout, so please forgive bad grammar and clunky sentences. (Dearest Nathaniel I hope you're having a great time with your mom.)

"picture of myself drinking a scotch as I blogged to go with your banner xo"

 

Somebody wrote to me on twitter and suggested that I write a piece about the movies I consider to be the ten best movies of all time. They said they'd be interested to see how the movies stacked up against the Sight and Sound poll. Well, the truth is, I honestly feel like I haven't seen enough movies to be able to compile a list of The Best Movies. My knowledge of pre-70s cinema is embarrassingly limited. I'm also super indecisive. So, I thought that instead, I could take a picture of a bunch of random DVDs from my collection and give a brief explanation of why I love these particular movies.

I don't buy a lot of DVDs so every one of these picks is because I said to myself "Yes. I must own this. It's important."

 

in photo order...

1) Terms Of Endearment- I remember one summer this was on TV when we were on a family vacation. I watched it with my mother and my grandmother (!!) I think I was nine or ten. I already knew, at that point, that I loved acting, I loved becoming a different person. But this was the first time I remember thinking, "oh, you can make people cry their eyes out from acting?" I couldn't believe how the performances made me feel, and I understood that even though the story was so moving, the thing that was making my heart ache was what these actors were doing. I knew it was magical. Shirley MacLaine, man. Wow.

2) The Piano- Oh Jane Campion I love you so much. I love the women in her movies. I love the sexuality. I love the light and the composition. I feel like I can smell the earth under the character's feet and feel the air around them watching a Jane Campion movie.

3) Gigli- yes. Gigli. [More Melanie Picks after the jump]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Aug282012

Take Three: Christopher Walken

Craig from Dark Eye Socket here with Take Three. This week: Christopher Walken


Take One: True Romance (1993)
One of Tony Scott’s best loved films was True Romance, based on Quentin Tarantino’s script. And one of its most fondly remembered supporting performances was Walken’s psychotic criminal Vincenzo Coccotti. His sole scene – the ‘Sicilian scene’ as it became dubbed – is often quoted for its spiky dialogue and playful yet intense interaction. In the scene Walken pays a visit to Clifford Worley (Dennis Hopper) for information on the whereabouts of the latter’s son Clarence (Christian Slater). Worley knows that he’s going to die regardless of what he tells Coccotti, so he relates an offending story hoping to insult him as a last FU. For the most part Walken does seemingly very little; Hopper does most of the talking. But his responses, his turning to his henchmen for reactions and hardy yuck-yuck laugh add an amusingly unsettling tension. Walken’s screen persona in scenes of violence has often relied on his characters’ ability to suddenly snap and violently “disagree” with other characters (see A View to a Kill and King of New York particularly). Walken waits out the bulk of the scene, letting Coccotti’s rage simmer as Worley offends him. Coccotti never rises to the verbal bait; Walken doesn’t overplay it. (Apparently, only the words ‘eggplant’ and ‘cantaloupe’ were adlibbed to the script as written.) He sits listening, stewing in his carefully guarded anger. It’s obvious he’ll boil over at some point but we don’t know when. Though he embeds himself in your mind quickly, he generously lets Hopper shine for the scene's duration before shrewdly asserting himself, switching into psycho mode for the finish.

I haven’t killed anyone since 1984"

Walken's savvy waiting game here is testament to how he regularly imbues a film with sly style through his uniquely scary persona. The scene is barely five minutes long, and Walken has only a handful of words, but he does some of his best supporting work within the timeframe.

Two more takes after the jump

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Aug282012

Curio: Leslye's Film Life

Alexa here. There's nothing I love more than reading a fan memoir, or more adequately put, a life story as told through beloved music or film.  Some of Pauline Kael's reviews read that way to me. I also enjoyed Nick Hornby's Songbook.  Right now I'm reading The Film That Changed My Life, which compiles some amazing interviews with directors about that favorite, pivotal film that changed things. I was similarly moved reading Leslye's great post, which reminded me of how films have shaped me, and also how my life shaped my viewing of certain films. Being at my most depressed helped add to my love of The Big Lebowski, as it finally lifted me from the funk. And seeing Rosemary's Baby during puberty, when I felt my body was betraying me, was a most visceral experience. 

Since mine is an arts column, I thought in honor of Leslye's coming-of-age tales I'd post some visual homages to her film signposts. (And if you're wondering why The Philadelphia Story is missing, it's because someone needs to get on designing a good indie poster for that one, stat!)

Rushmore lithograph by Cameron Thorne.

Love and Death by Richard Noble and Rita Sales Luís.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Aug282012

Sense and Sensuality (and Cinema, Natch.)

Hello, darlings.  Beau here, still filling in for Nathaniel* in this last gasp of August. (Thank fucking GOD, I’ve never been a fan of summer. Bring on the fall and the awards fodder and the pumpkin spiced lattes!)

Leslye Headland (whom you’ve all met by now) wrote something very interesting the other day that ignited a particular memory I’d long since forgotten from High School.

Follow me back all the way to late 2004...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Aug282012

Nathaniel On His Travels: Streep Branding & Les Miz Jitters

Hi kids. I thought I'd check in briefly from my mom-centric travels. I'm typing this from my hotel room in St. George, Utah where the air is hot, the rocks are red, and my nephews live. They were inundating me last night with all sorts of information I didn't understand (mostly about video games) but once we got to the movies I was on sound footing (their preferred topics: superheroes and Miyazaki).

But how are you doing -- Aren't the guest bloggers doing a bang up job keeping us entertained? I ate up all of Leslye's posts (by which I mean read them multiple times) and pricked my ears up to a new voice in our sound mix, Matt Zurcher. Thank you as ever to longtime regulars Jose and JA. And to Beau, too,  because Sharing is Caring -- TFE is like his new Confessional which I guess makes me (and you) the priest? Hee!

I bought two books in the airport from sheer indecision about what to read (why don't I have a kindle or iPad yet?) and the one I've started is "The Meryl Streep Movie Club" which is probably a shameless attempt to borrow TFE's most discussed movie star's bankability to sell some books. But here's the catch to shamelessness: it often works. I bought the book didn't I? It's about an estranged family of sisters, who after a tragic orphaned childhood, reunite as adults and get some very bad news. Their aunt hosts a weekly movie night at the inn where they've gathered and it happens to be Meryl Streep Month. So far Silkwood has been name dropped the most -- a choice I fully support -- and they're about to watch Bridges of Madison County. I'm not very far in because my inflight movie was The Avengers (more on that in a couple of days when I'm back to NYC) which was more than enough to keep me occupied.

As you read this my soul is being stirred.

 Chances are at least. See, I'm off to see Les Misérables on stage for the first time in aeons. As a teenager I wore out my tape of the soundtrack and when I found out it was playing at Cedar City's annual widely acclaimed Shakespeare Festival (they've even won a regional Tony Award) I jumped at the chance to take my mom because a) she doesn't get out much and b) she's never seen it on stage but loves musicals and started me early on them for which I can only give her millions of hugs. It's a perfect opportunity to see the show before the movie hits and becomes the possibility definitive version for millions upon millions of people who don't get to stage shows often or ever. Which is unfortunately a lot of people -- even for shows as successful as Les Miz which has earned over $2 billion globally in its 27 year life.

I have no jitters about seeing the show on stage again because it's a magnificent epic in its original medium. But will it work on the movie screen? Bring it home, Tom Hooper! Bring it home.

Which brings me to my exit questions:

  • Have you ever seen Les Miz on stage?
  • Which is your favorite song? (If you must know mine is "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables")