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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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Michelle Pfeiffer and Grease 2

"I can't pass a ladder without seriously considering whether I should climb it and start belting Cool Rider" -Joey

"No matter what anyone says (even Nathaniel!), Grease 2 is awesome and Pfeiffer is wonderful in it."-Charlie

 

Interviews

Melissa Leo (The Most Hated Woman in America)
Ritesh Batra (The Sense of an Ending)
Asghar Farhadi (Salesman)

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Monday
Jan262015

Beauty vs Beast: Legend In Blue Jeans

Jason from MNPP here, eyeing the white-out weather outside the window of my office as I write this to you from New York City - everybody stay safe on the East Coast over the next couple of days! It's apparantly gonna be a biggun, this storm. I know, here, I'll give you something to keep you warm - Paul Newman!

It's the 90th anniversary of Paul Newman's birth today. A few years back I'd have wagered he'd still be around to celebrate this one with us - he retained his youthful glimmer right up til the end - but it wasn't to be. His death was one that hit me hard -- he was "The Legend" of my youth, still going strong, still beautiful and affecting. But hey his lifetime love the great Joanne Woodward is still around, so let's all send our happy movie memory vibes her way. And so today's "Beauty vs Beast" is for Paul, and my favorite performance of his...

 

 

Paul Newman is totally a beast in this movie - drunken, boorish, and an attempted rapist to boot - but all that said it's still a major struggle slapping him with anything but "Beauty. Beauty. BEAUTY." Ya know? Ya know. (See the episode of TFE's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" series devoted to this movie right here.)

PREVIOUSLY Last week we got lost in the picket-fence nightmare of David Lynch's Blue Velvet, pitting Dennis Hopper's PBR lover against Isabella Rossellini's dewy-lipped songstress - well turns out y'all love the sultry way Dorothy suffers, as she sauntered away with 70% of the vote. Said Mike in Canada:

"Team Dorothy all the way. I'm always looking for her in my closet."

Monday
Jan262015

Sundance: 'Entertainment' is a Twisted Misfire

Michael C here reporting from Park City

 

The failing comedian at the center of Rick Alverson's Entertainment performs as if he loathes the very idea of humor. He flings his hackneyed one-liners at disinterested barflies with a disdain that aims to wound, not amuse. His appearance mocks the very idea of a comic, a slouched caricature of failure who takes the stage in a cheap tuxedo with a microphone and a vodka in one hand and three more vodkas cradled in his other arm. His desperate combover is pasted to his head giving the appearance of permanent flop sweat. It would be surprising to learn that he has genuinely laughed in years...

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Sunday
Jan252015

SAG Open Thread

I wish I had the energy and window of time to live-blog the SAG Awards but I'm not really catching the full thing, peeking at them inbetween Sundance stuff. I apologize for not planning properly to get you live blogged coverage in my absence but did you enjoy the show?

Feature Films
Lifetime Achievement The Unsinkable Debbie Reynolds  
Supporting Actress Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Supporting Actor J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Lead Actress Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Lead Actor Eddie Redmayne, Theory of Everything
Ensemble Birdman


Television
Actress in a Movie or Miniseries Frances McDormand, Olive Kitteridge 
Actress in a Drama Series Viola Davis, How To Get Away With Murder 
Actor in a Drama Series Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
Ensemble in a Drama Series Downton Abbey  
Actor in a Comedy Series William H Macy, Shameless
Actress in a Comedy Series Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black
Ensemble in a Comedy Series Orange is the New Black 

 

Sunday
Jan252015

SAG Predictions. Got any crazy ones?

I'm betting it continues to be a big weekend for Birdman on account of actors playing actors in a movie about acting (not to mention that the ensemble IS truly worthy) but I could be wrong. The temptation to wield your guild's top award as a defacto Best Picture prize -- even though none of the guilds are meant to be awarding that but their own craft instead -- has often proven a strong lure. Boyhood is easier to love so perhaps they'll hand the prize to just four people: Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Ellar Coltrane and Lorelei Linklater. Otherwise I feel little fear in predicting Keaton, Moore, Arquette and Simmons as the winners. Same as it ever was. That said if Eddie Redmayne is the viable Oscar threat I think he is, things could shift here in Best Actor to put him firmly in first place. After all SAG did go really above and beyond for Theory nominating this three-hander (for all intents and purposes) for the Ensemble prize.

It's worth noting that nominating committees are different than general voting bodies. They are much smaller and more peculiar and they vote much earlier. The conversation about Redmayne's movie has been drowned out recently by discussions about every other Best Picture nominee outside of maybe Whiplash

Sunday
Jan252015

The Linking Point

Write Out of LA on underappreciated directors of 2014's awards season
Playbill Into the Woods cast members sang to Rob Marshall at the Artios Awards
xkcd The Star Wars tipping point
Script Notes talks about the "default male" problem in screenwriting
Empire Warner Bros still wants to make a feature adaptation of The Jetsons
Jason Robert Brown, the great composer of The Last Five Years shares a new live concert online with Tony winner and movie Dreamgirl Anika Noni Rose. It's $5

Vulture cable programmings explosion over the past 15 years. This is why no one can keep up. 
Awards Daily the Oscar bump is helping the indies. Even the long since faded Whiplash was up 114% this past weekend 
Dissolve Martin Scorsese finally approaching production of the long-gestatingSilence about Jesuit missionaries in 17th-century Japan


Comics Alliance casting young versions of the X-Men for X-Men: Apocalypse. Tye Sheridan is a fine young actor so no qualms there but I didn't enjoy Sophie Turner's work on Game of Thrones (I only watched the first season - did she improve?) so I worry about her Jean Grey 
Carpetbagger The Witch still hasn't technically premiered at Sundance (just press screenings) but reviews are so good it's not helping the attempt at a mysterious low profile

Sunday
Jan252015

Good Morning! "Teen Girl" & Sales Notes from Sundance

Sundance is keeping me mighty occupied though I promise that more reviews are coming. Yesterday I caught Glassland (reviewed), and two gay films, one of which I loved (Tangerine - not to be confused with the Estonian picture nominated for an Oscar right now) and the other that I'm trying to parse my feelings for still (I Am Michael) but both reviews are in the queue.

 

Inbetween every movie I keep hearing people enthusing about The End of the Tour starring Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Segel (the latter winning dream reviews). If it wasn't that it was people bitching about being shut out of additional screenings added to keep up with demand for The Witch. The two of those seem to be the fest's buzziest title (thus far) so of course I didn't schedule either! It's always a crapshoot when you work out a schedule... or don't work one out early enough which tends to be my problem. There was no warning on the success of The Witch at all as it's a period piece (set before the Salem witch trials) from a first time director without any stars in the cast. Fresh voices as festival breakouts? Yes please. Sundance always hopes to be about that, actually, but quite often the buzziest titles are less unfamiliar.

My final film yesterday was one of Sundance's other hot titles, The Diary of a Teenage Girl. The film stars a very young looking 22 year old British actress named Bel Powley as a precocious 15 year old who is experimenting with and embracing her burgeoning sexuality in 1970s San Francisco. The film opens with a line that goes something like 'Today I had sex for the first time. Holy shit!' Her bohemian mother (Kristen Wiig, excellent again) is rather oblivious to her daughter's horniness and doesn't realize that her own boyfriend Monroe (Alexander Skarsgard) is sleeping with Minnie. Writer/director Marielle Heller (as well as, presumably, the novelist Phoebe Gloekner who provided the source material) daringly shows Minnie initiating the sex in Lolita-esque fashion....

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Sunday
Jan252015

Birdman Surprises at PGA. Is it a Three Way Best Picture Race?

The Film Experience has never loved the complacency of locked up Oscar races, so it is with great pleasure that I share the news (though you probably didn't miss it) that Birdman won the Producers Guild Award tonight. Do we have an actual race for Best Picture? Have you voted as to who should win yet?

This doesn't mean that Boyhood is in trouble, necessarily, but it's a fascinating curveball, especially given that Boyhood was such a feat of producing; Imagine bankrolling and shepherding a small scale but dozen yaer experiment when you had no idea how it would turn out or if it would work at all?!

As you know from my top ten list I do slightly prefer Birdman to Boyhood but let's forget about Oscar's unfortunate "side-taking" for a minute and face facts: either of those films would make thrilling, atypical and totally deserving Best Picture winners.

More...

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