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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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Yes No Maybe So - Big Eyes

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1) "Lady art doesn't sell".
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- Adri

"A Tim Burton movie with the title Big Eyes that features neither Ricci, Ryder, Keaton nor Bonham Carter just doesn't seem right..." -Paul

 

 

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Tuesday
Oct252011

Top Ten: Actress Centerfolds

Given the recent cancellation of The Playboy Club which we mourned mainly because Laura Benanti deserves to be famous.... Given James Franco's Flaunting and pants-dropping... Given the waves the oft-naked Shame has been causing at festivals ... Given disgraced actress Lindsay Lohan's newly announced decision to pose for "Playboy" for a million bucks (only a million? I hope she realizes she used to make more than that for acting) today feels like the unofficial Mandatory Day of Nude Celebrity Appreciation. [Disclaimer: I type this fully clothed.]

So let's celebrate the movie actresses who have gone before Lindsay!

Oh sure, sure. The common wisdom is that this is La Lohan's new rock bottom and we shouldn't be celebrating but -- please -- actresses take off their clothes all the time for totally worthwhile purposes (Acting!) and the only thing that's shameful about the human body is that we're ashamed of it. Plus, it's worth noting that actresses have won Oscars AFTER doing this so this isn't rock bottom so much as a lame opportunity to have just said "Lindsay Lohan" and "Oscars" in the same sentence!

If anything this might be her first smart move in years. But only time and Lindsay herself will be able to confirm that.

TOP TEN PLAYBOY ACTRESS PICTORIALS

#10 MARILYN MONROE 1953
#09 SANDRA BERNHARD 1992
I thought I'd kick off with this perverse double bill, and I have a reason. Marilyn Monroe was on the first cover of Playboy in 1953 the year of her definitive ascent (Niagara, How To Marry A Millionaire) but she didn't actually pose for the magazine. The famous nude was shot years prior to her stardom, in 1949 to be exact. Sandra, one of Hollywood's most consistent provocateurs, posed purposefully for reasons of her own 40 years later. We won't deign to speak for her as to why but it did carry a certain exegetic charge as an imagined passive/aggressive (aggressive/aggresive?) response to ex-friend Madonna's "Sex" book which also debuted that year. All of which is to say these are the two poles between which the general truth of nude photospreads lies: first what Playboy imagined itself to be with women as commodity specifically for male pleasure (again, Marilyn wasn't actually involved) and second what Playboy pictorials often become with women as entrepeneurs of their own career/bodies and the pleasure of men of secondary, tertiary, or even no concern at all.

Not to get all fancy about T&A. 

NSFW Beauties after the jump: Julie, Charlize, Drew, Kim and more...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct252011

Jack-O-Linkin'

<-- Ooh look The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo poster. There are so many posters for every movie nowadays that I think the word "official" has lost all meaning. But I like it. The tag line sounds artier than most

"what is hidden in snow comes forth in the thaw"

Slant has a strong piece on the 25 best horror films of the Aughts. Some truly surprising but gratifying inclusions.
Film Buff On Demand has a fun post about Halloween treats you can make for your party like brain cupcakes and such. 
The Movie 411 has a nomination round in which you can submit your favorite blog articles or movies blogs in various categories. 
IndieWire considers the many way's this year's Oscar race might mirror 1998's: Brothers Weinsteins comedy vs. Steven Spielberg war epic with a little Terrence Malick on the side. And that's not all.
The Movie 411 has a nomination round in which you can submit your favorite blog articles or movies blogs in various categories. 
Michael Musto's choice of the two best lines in The Descendants 

I hadn't seen this so maybe you haven't either but delicious devil Colin Farrel presented Robert Downey Jr with the "Hero" award at the recent Scream Awards. Like so...

That is one gawdy-ass awards show!

Grantland Mark Harris on the writers branch of the Academy. Which causes will they take up this year?
Movie|Line speaks with Sean Durkin, the writer/director of Martha Marca May Marlene
IndieWire speaking of... how about a double feature with a previously disturbing cult movie The Rapture. Let's call it Martha Marcy Mimi Michael
Boy Culture shares an awesome Elizabeth Taylor photo and Richard Burton poem. I can never get enough of Liz & Dick.
Towleroad Gareth Thomas, who came out of the closet two years ago, is retiring from rugby. I wonder if his biopic is still on... it's SO weird that Mickey Rourke is supposed to play him because they look nothing alike and Jason Statham would be so so perfect. 

 

Pajiba "the superhot women of old timey westerns"
HitFix Eddie Murphy speaks about his Oscar hosting gig. 

Tuesday
Oct252011

Curio: Horror Movie Posters by Stephanie and Mark Welser

Alexa here. One of my favorite ways to decorate for Halloween is by throwing up a few great horror movie posters. I'm no longer goth enough to have them up all year long (although things were a bit different in the 90s). I've been looking to invest in a few by indie designers, and I'll probably start with Stephanie and Mark Welser.  They make great Saul Bass-inspired designs for some horror classics (and some not-so-classics). You can buy prints here, at a totally reasonable $20 each!

 

Click for more, including Phantasm and Zombieland...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct252011

James Franco Cracks Me Up

Just when you think you've seen it all when it comes to James Franco's uncanny ability to keep himself embedded in the popular conversation, even when he doesn't have a movie out (an increasing rarity given the speed at which he throws himself at cameras or behind them), the old dog comes up with a new trick.

In the profile inside he says

I don't want to be confined."

We didn't realize he meant it quite so literally... the other alternate Flaunt cover [NSFW] after the jump.

 

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct252011

Oscar Horrors: Carrie White Burns In Hell

In the daily Oscar Horrors series we're looking at those rare Oscar nominations for horror movies. Happy Halloween from Team Film Experience.

Here lies… Sissy Spacek’s Oscar for Best Actress in Carrie (1976). Carrie White may burn in hell (along with her ill-fated off-Broadway musical), but Sissy Spacek’s nomination remains a shining beacon of hope that genre fare from little-known actors don’t have to be relegated to, ahem, the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films Awards.

Can you conceive of it today? A 26-year-old actress, in one of her first major roles, portraying an introverted teenage high schooler with supernatural powers who kills the students at her senior prom. Sounds like fairly standard genre stuff, especially when coming from the minds of an up-and-coming writer (Stephen King was paid $2,500 for the book rights) and director (Brian De Palma). Yet somehow, it became one of the few horror titles to earn prestigious acting nominations at the Academy Awards. Can you picture this happening today?

Didn’t think so.

Spacek’s performance as the titular Carrie White was only her fourth major film role after Prime Cut (1972), Terrence Malick’s Badlands (1973), and Ginger in the Morning (1974). Spacek would go on to win the statue just four years later for a musical biopic about Loretta “the Coal Miner’s Daughter” Lynn, which makes this breakthrough Oscar nomination all the crazier. Did the Academy see something in her that broke through the conventions of the genre, or was this merely one of those rare moments when they were able to look past all the barriers and recognise the defining, film-changing performance within? Her only other nomination and win of that awards season came from the National Society of Film Critics. High praise, sure, but tell that to Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Yolande Moreau, Sally Hawkins, Naomi Watts, Reese Witherspoon, Ally Sheedy… well, the list goes on (presumably...the strike rate was so high going back just 10 years that I figure there must be plenty more without spending the time to research.)

Somewhere behind the smooth as honey tracking shots, blood-splattered prom dresses and John Travolta (“in his first motion picture role!”) smashing a pig on the head with a mallet (I couldn’t quite stomach Carrie as a younger man due to this very scene), Spacek emerged. It probably helped that the young actress had the gloriously villainous Piper Laurie in her back pocket to help shine a light on her. Laurie, a previous nominee in 1962 for The Hustler, received a Best Supporting Actress nomination for being a mother that would make even Mary Jones shake in her boots. As mother/daughter combos go, the Whites are a doozy of a pair.

A quick look at the original trailer and you’d be hard-pressed to believe this was the sort of thing that would be to the Academy’s taste and yet Spacek’s repertoire of jutting sideward glances, shy upwards looks from behind flattened hair and high-pitched whelps of demonic terror makes for one of the greatest horror movie performances of all time. At a glance Carrie looks like little more a schlocky teen horror title; would Academy members even watch a film like that today? That Spacek lost the Oscar to Faye Dunaway in Network is hard to quibble with, but the miracle of the nomination is enough to keep me happy. 

 

Related
Oscar Horrors Rosemary's Baby, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, The Fly and more..
Top 100 Best Actress "Characters"
Sissy Gets Her "Star" 

Tuesday
Oct252011

London: W.E., Oslo and Japan

David here, reporting from the final week of the London Film Festival. If there's one name guaranteed to grab my attention, it's...

The sight of Madonna's name heading up movie credits is a slightly surreal one, and it's difficult to imagine the icon standing behind a camera, and so W.E.'s worst foible is an understandable one from such a deified person. Re-edited after a poor reception at previous festivals, there is a fair deal to admire here, but all those flashbulbs must have gone to her head, because the photography is stuffed with dramatically posed shots, as if its being filmed with a still camera. Yet it's in the camera work that the film digs up shards of emotional truth amongst the narrative cliches, suggesting that Madonna might prove a worthwhile director. When the camera moves, it does so with a defiant tactility, a visual sense alive with feeling and clarity. This story of a late-'90s neglected wife (Abbie Cornish) in New York turning to the story of Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough, superbly poised) for comfort and reflection is the stuff of clunky parallels with little sense of historical ambiguity. The soundtrack is alarmingly overloaded. But the immediate, reactive sense of the photography delves through the physical to the emotional roots, scoring unpredictable truths. (C) more articles on W.E.

Oslo, August 31st is like two pages ripped from a diary; one covered with words, the second blank and sodden with tears. After his first feature, the textured novelistic Reprise, director Joachim Trier follows in Louis Malle's footsteps by adapting Pierre Drieu La Rochelle's Le feu follet, a melancholy tale of a man debating suicide. Anders Danielsen Lie, one of the two leads of Reprise, is given the luxury of a film to himself ...only his character, Anders, isn't one to luxuriate. The film's first half is full of words. Anders attempts to spread his wings, testing the waters of the outside world as he breaks from a spell in rehab. A discussion with his friend Thomas (Hans Olav Brenner) stretches imperceptibly to twenty minutes, dense with completely natural musings, arguments, and agonising admissions that absorb both characters and viewers. As Anders spirals into the night, and into August 31st, the film shifts into sensory expression, the lens focus shifting lucidly, the soundtrack slowly emptying to mournful desolation. Far from easy to watch, and tearfully inconclusive, this is nonetheless another quiet triumph from Trier. (A-) more articles on Oslo August 31st

two brothers in "I Wish"

Two brothers on a quest to repair their family. It's a story out of 1980s Hollywood cinema, and I Wish does ring with the cliches of quest narratives like Stand By Me or The Goonies. Hirokazu Kore-eda, a festival favourite thanks to films like Nobody Knows and After Life, directs this bright tale which centres around the supposed miracle that occurs when two bullet trains pass each other. Koichi and Ryu, each stuck with a parent on opposite sides of Kyushu, plot a voyage to witness the miracle and wish their family back together. Where Kore-eda betters his Stateside influences, though, is in his generous characterizations of the adult characters, who lack the intimacy we're granted with the vibrant kids but feel alive with both warmth and foibles. Inevitably, the film cycles through familiar ideas, but the wheels are so smooth it scarcely matters. The achievement of the quest isn't the thing, but the journey, and you're unlikely to find a more heartwarming, vibrant trip all year. (B+)

Tuesday
Oct252011

"New Year's Eve" Countdown...

In 45 days Gary Marshall's all star New Year's Eve opens. We haven't talked about it at all. So now a quick correction. A spontaneous train-of-thought light reading of the film's poster, left-to-right / top-to-bottom

"from the director of Pretty Woman" uh, not so much a selling point with me but ooooh pictures...


Hey Halle. Are you wearing scrubs?... Mr. Demi...  "The Jessicas" all seem to be fading career-wise right? Weren't there three of them?... ♫ ohhwhooaaa we're ½way there-ere ooohwhoa livin' on a prayer ♪... STOP MAKING BAD MOVIES. JESUS [related]...

Carrie Bradshaw Back in The City.... who? ohright. Little Miss Sunshine ... Ugh, why must I be reminded me of the existence of Crash?... isn't it weird how people wanted her to win the Emmy so bad back when Sue Sylvester was unstoppable but then only 12 months later it was all about Claire Dunphy?... YES but why this movie, 'chelle, whyyyyyyyyyyyy?...

NO... Remember when he played whatshername's gay fiance in Spring Break? That movie is so fun-derrated.... Hector Elizondo [a.k.a Garry Marshall's fav' actor. Seriously he's in, like, all of them] ... SEXY GERMAN ALERT ... zzz...

<--- No thanks. It gives me a headache...
<--- Also gives me a headache...
omg I didn't recognize her. Who photoshopped these headshots? But they'll be no mistaking it's her once she's singing. Yay!... the luckiest boy in the world as he gets the movie's best co-star all to himself. Also I have such a hard time spelling his name. I don't know why but I'm always typing Ephron or Epfron or Zach Efron ...  which two is this? *smooch* 

... "Let the Countdown Begin". No, we're not going to be counting down, Garry. But yeah, we'll see your movie. You tricked us into it like so:

 Michelle Pfeiffer Til Schweiger Hilary Swank Robert DeNiro Sarah Jessica Parker Sofia Vergara