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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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"Big performances and big personalities tend to have the edge. It so happens that all the acting categories this year have one or both of them. In supporting actress specifically, Janney has a bigger performance and a bigger real life personality." - Joseph

"Are you all OK with the Del Toro sweep? He would be my 4th choice." - Peggy Sue

"Poor Timothée!😔 Al least he has a chance to win the Spirit Award 🙏🏻 Or is Kaluuya going to upset?!" -Amirfarhang

 

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Wednesday
Mar092016

In Ebbing

Jason from MNPP here with today's best news if you ask me, and you didn't, but here I am anyway -- perhaps you'd heard about In Bruges writer-director Martin McDonagh's new film when it first got announced back in September? You had to at least have heard the whooping sound I made since it was very loud, for Martin McDonagh's new film is going to star Frances McDormand.

Frances McDormand!!! You know her recently from scowling through last year's awards-shows even though she gave probably the best performance out of anybody at said awards-shows in HBO's Olive Kitteredge. Scowl away as much as you want, glorious Frances, you have earned it. (McDormand-related side-note: yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the release of Fargo, meaning yesterday was also the start of my 20-year torrid love-affair with Frances McDormand from afar, and over at my own site I made a list all about that movie's ladies -- check it out here.)

Anyway McDonagh's new film is called Three Bridges Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which is a title I want to give a great big bear hug to, and it's about a woman who takes on the local police after her daughter is killed. They are set to start filming in April, so today's news is casting news! The always-under-appreciated Woody Harrelson has just joined the cast -- Woody is very nearly always the best thing happening in his projects (he gave five times the performance McConaughey did in True Detective for example) and yet nobody takes decent notice. Take notice!

And then there's Sam Rockwell, who worked with McDonagh on Seven Psychopaths, who is also on board for Ebbing. He too is also a right and proper good egg, that Rockwell. All signs for this movie point to "Heck Yeah!"

One thing though: I do hope that we hear more actresses' names dropped into the cast, since McDonagh's films are always heavy on the sausage-fest (poor Abbie Cornish in Psychopaths) and having McDormand in the lead's giving me hope that he wants to broaden that POV out a bit with, you know, some broads. Wonderful broads!

Wednesday
Mar092016

Say What? Maggie & Vanessa

(How did I miss this photo last month?) Amuse us by adding a caption or dialogue to this photo of Dame Maggie Smith and Vanessa Redgrave taken a short time ago.

Wednesday
Mar092016

HBO’s LGBT History - Back on Board: Greg Louganis (2015)

Manuel is working his way through all the LGBT-themed HBO productions.

Last week we looked at Remembering the Artist: Robert de Niro Sr. which looked at the father of the Oscar winning actor who, in case you didn’t know, was a well-regarded visual artist and a gay man. The doc was (sadly) more interested in the former assertion than the latter, despite sexuality having been central to his art—his most curious muse? Greta Garbo in Anna Christie. This week, we’re taking about another doc portrait though one clearly more centered on its subject’s sexuality.

“Who is Greg Louganis? What kind of question is that?!”

Louganis, still considered the greatest Olympic diver in the history of the sport balks at even having to answer such a question for Cheryl Furjanic in the opening minutes of Back on Board: Greg Louganis. But as he mulls over the question he has to admit he’s not quite sure who Greg is. After all, he retired from diving in 1989, spent much of the 90s coming to terms with himself—he publicly came out ahead of the release of his best-selling memoir, Breaking the Surface (which was later made into a TV movie starring Mario Lopez), disclosing at the same time his HIV-positive status—and finds himself at the start of shooting this HBO Sports documentary fighting with his bank over his mortgage. Yes, Louganis, once a household name synonymous with Olympic glory currently faces the prospect of losing his house and he hopes auctioning off his medals and memorabilia will be enough to keep him afloat. more...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Mar092016

Judy by the Numbers: "Good Morning!"

Anne Marie is tracking Judy Garland's career through musical numbers...

Freed, Garland, & Edens c. 1930s

After the whirlwind that was The Wizard of Oz, it may seem like a letdown for Judy to return to the Mickey & Judy musicals of before. However, she returned with two things she hadn’t had before: A-level star status, and the Freed Unit. The former made her a major box office draw, which meant that her movies had bigger budgets and better material. The latter meant that Arthur Freed - a writer turned producer who’d flitted in and out of Judy’s career since she started at MGM - could use those budgets and material to put on shows unlike any MGM had produced.

The Movie: Babes in Arms (MGM, 1939)

The Songwriters: Nacio Herb Brown (Music), Arthur Freed (Lyrics)

The Players: Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, Charles Winninger, Guy Kibbee, directed by Busby Berkley

The Story: At its inception, The Freed Unit consisted of 8 men: Arthur Freed, director Busby Berkley, Roger Edens, dance director Chuck Walters, music director Georgie Stoll, art director Cedric Gibbons, writer Fred Finklehoffe, and cameraman Ray June. These eight (minus Finklehoffe) created the four biggest Rooney/Garland musicals by ingeniously recycling popular material (like the Rogers & Hart musical Babes in Arms) with new material (written or borrowed from elsewhere), lavish musical numbers, and a fairly conventional backstage musical plot. Berkley and June added a visual element that hadn’t been seen in teen musicals before. But despite this increased complexity, at their heart the movies still relied on the unbeatable chemistry of Mickey & Judy.

previously: "The Land of Let's Pretend" (1930), "The Texas Tornado" (1936), "Americana" (1936), "Dear Mr Gable" (1937), "Got a New Pair of Shoes" (1937), "Why? Because!" (1938), "Inbetween" (1938), “Zing Went the Strings of My Heart” (1938), "Over the Rainbow" (1939)

 

Tuesday
Mar082016

Visual Index: Best Shots from Ghostbusters (1984)

With the new riff on the ol' Ghostbusters property nearly upon us, what better time to look back at the original comedy smash? While the film's comic tone and dialogue are well remembered its visuals are less often discussed. The film was shot by the Hungarian cinematographer László Kovács. He logged a lot of quality time in the romantic comedy genre (What's Up Doc?, My Best Friend's Wedding, Say Anything...) but made his name in the 70s on scrappy, famous and/or ambitious pictures like Five Easy Pieces, Shampoo, New York New York, and Paper Moon.

Without further ado, let's see what the Hit Me With Your Best Shot club thought of the look of this picture and what slimy memories this revisit stirred up...

GHOSTBUSTERS
Directed by Ivan Reitman. Cinematography by László Kovács. 
Starring: (in order of billing) Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Sigourney Weaver,
Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis, Annie Potts, William Atherton & Ernie Hudson.
Click on the 12 images to read the 15 corresponding articles

Bill Murray. What does make him tick?
-54 Disney Reviews 

The look on their faces tho... 
-Daniel Laferriere *first time participant*

Grown white men have their fun while the rest of the world cleans up their mess...
- Bennett Prosser *first time participant*

A good old fashioned 80s Improvement Montage, complete with a song that is either brilliantly awful or secretly genius...
-Scopophiliac at the Cinema *first time participant*

It arguably has endured as a beloved classic precisely because the people in it are so full-heartedly human.
-Nebel Without a Cause

 I'm well aware that this is nobody's idea of a scary movie...
- Antagony & Ecstasy

it’s fun to see things pop in and out of frames, especially when the frames are static. It’s almost like seeing a painting being disturbed...
-Coco Hits NY


 It’s useless to try to deny my love for her and it’s inescapable that my best shot features her...
-Magnificent Obsession 

Bill Murray's chemistry with everyone... and I mean everyone in the movie.
-Movie Motorbreath

The images of Sigourney keep getting richer and sexier as the insanity mounts
-The Film Experience

We Need to Talk About Dana Barrett’s Apartment.
-FilmMixTape

Recreating the Exorcist as a screwball comedy date...
-Bohemian Cinema Salon *first time participant*

The movie doesn't really get interesting, narratively and visually, until midway when Weaver's character gets possessed by the spirit of Zuul.
-Sorta That Guy


Most of my favorite shots are when the movie embraces its crazy and over the top nature.
-Wick's Picks *first time Best Shot participant!*

Ghostbusters is a perfect '80s blockbuster version of the classic 50s monster B-movies...
-Dancin Dan on Film

 

NEXT WEEK: Joe Wright's adaptation of Ian McEwan's Atonement (2007) with James McAvoy, Keira Knightley & little Oscar nominated Saoirse Ronan. [Keira Knightley Voice] "Come back to me it."

Tuesday
Mar082016

MTV Movie Awards Really Love Daisy Ridley

The Oscars are apparently not the end of awards season, as the MTV Movie Awards nominations were announced today. Star Wars: The Force Awakens led the field with 11 nods and despite being in theaters for less than a month Deadpool scored 8 nominations. Joining the two in the best film category are Avengers: Age of Ultron (6 nominations), Creed (only one other nomination for its star Michael B. Jordan), Jurassic World (3 nominations) and Straight Outta Compton (3 nominations).

Click to read more ...