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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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DAY FOR NIGHT -another great movie about movies

I'm not sure if I like it more than 8 1/2 or Singing in the Rain, but when the majestic trumpet music plays, it reminds me of why I love cinema in the first place. The actors are terrific in this film as well. However, nothing will top Topsy-Turvy for me about the mystery,repetition, and heartbreak of the artistic process.❞ -Lars


Beauty vs. Beast

Turner & Hooch - 25th anniversary!


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Q&A: Working Girls, Two-Time Winners, Generational Comedy

It's time to answer reader questions again! Roughly once a week I'll throw up an "Ask Nathaniel" post and then select the questions that trigger something in me. There are often great questions I don't answer because they'd require a whole book. Or a top ten list and we save the listing mostly for other features. Let's go.

CARLOS: I recently came across Working Girl (1988) on TV by chance. I think Griffith and, especially, Weaver are great and the costumes (unintentionally) hilarious when seen today, but what's YOUR opinion on the movie and Griffith? Do you think she could have a comeback? What would it take?

Working Girl is a total time machine for the late 80s. But truth: the costumes were intentionally funny. Or at least those worn by Griffith and the adorable Joan Cusack who were meant to be absurdly dressed. Most readers won't be aware of this because there's no reason to talk about her now, but Melanie Griffith was, for me in the 90s, the equivalent of Swank and the Zeéeeee in the 00s (i.e. actresses who I just can't with). My friends in college used to hide pictures of her in my dorm room to torture me with when I discovered them. Once, a huge poster of Melanie was staring at me from the ceiling when I jumped in bed!

I like the movie well enough but at the time it was wildly overawarded -- one of those AMPAS Christmas crushes that plays so well in the moment but is hardly better than earlier releases that it temporarily shoves out of favor during the crucial nomination period.  When I look back at 1988 I'm always pissed that Bull Durham (a summer hit 1 nomination), Running on Empty (a September critical darling, 2 nominations) and Who Framed Roger Rabbit (a June smash with 6 nominations and better than nearly every one of the Best Picture nominees) didn't get various big Oscar props that they deserved. I blame Working Girl because it's the easiest film to blame that year. And I especially blame Griffith because Susan Sarandon's "Annie Savoy", one of the greatest performances of the whole decade, was snubbed to include her!

JAMES: Many lament the onslaught of remakes/reboots/re-imaginings, but what film(s) would actually benefit from a remake? As an example, I ask you to consider Rosemary's Baby. While the acting stands up, much of the rest of the film is pretty creaky. What are your thoughts?


STEVE: What cinematic, television or literary character do you think should be revisited?

[Remakes, Chris Nolan, and Oscarables AFTER THE JUMP]

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Finding Nemo 2: Jumping the Shark

By now you've heard the news that Pixar is working on a Finding Nemo 2 with director Andrew Stanton (John Carter) returning to the fold. Someone really needs to give little Nemo a compass, poor thing. 

More distressing is the persistent rumor (not fact as far as I can tell) that Toy Story 4 is being developed. If they make it, I honestly believe that they should revoke all of Toy Story 3's reviews and its Best Picture nomination; its massive success and emotional wallop hinged on it being the finale, the moment you, like Andy, had to say a tearful final goodbye. If they make Toy Story 4 it was a lie. (It already was a fib given that the characters lived on in short films immediately thereafter.)

The Hollywood Reporter doesn't mention Toy Story 4 in their roundup of what's going on with Pixar but they do say this very very odd thing:

The move is also a safe one by Pixar, the company that once was praised for cranking out original film after original film, but now seems to trying to balance commercial prospects with unique creations.

What is there to balance?

Pixar IS the safe commercial prospect. Sequels are redundant since people go because the movies are Pixar. They don't go because they love the characters/singular franchise. Most of the time they haven't met the characters yet. All Pixar movies are already "safe commercial prospects" by virtue of the studio's reputation and marketability. So why not make original movies and keep the reputation intact, keep the legacy and critical sheen as The Greatest Movie Studio Ever?


Frankly I don't get it. Yes, Finding Nemo 2 will make more than Brave but why sacrifice your reputation and legacy for an extra ½ billion when everything you release makes at least that much? Brave, an original that was seen as a risk given its female protagonist, has earned $244 million globally and is still going strong and Merida herself will surely generate 100s of millions more in merchandising by virtue of that billion dollar Disney Princess branding. Ratatouille, an original that was seen as a risk due to its subject matter (ewww!), earned $623 million globally. Up, an original that was seen as a risk given its old man protagonist,  earned $731 million globally and a Best Picture nomination. WALL•E, which was seen as a risk given its nearly silent movieisms, earned $521 million globally along with an instant reputation as a masterpiece and did more than most Pixar pictures to cement their reputation as a commercially minded company that also indisputably produces great art.

Didn't Cars 2 do enough to sully their reputation, making them appear as Profits-First driven as every other studio?


Stripper of the Day: Gilda

[Editor's Note: While Magic Mike is in theaters we're revisiting memorable stripteases. Here's Jose to talk Gilda.]

When I was thirteen, I found Madonna's SEX on eBay and bought it. Upon its arrival I showed my new prized possession to everyone including my father who for a while seemed enthralled by the Queen. Upon finishing leafing through the book he came over to me and quoted something he'd said to me many times before and it was this:  "I'd rather have a fully clothed Rita Hayworth than a naked Madonna".

I dismissed him. But then a few years later I watched Gilda.

This sexy noir from 1946 has Glenn Ford playing a gambler who perpetuates the classic Hollywood curse that the more you want to run away from someone, the more you'll run into them. His life becomes a living hell when he runs into his ex-lover, the title femme fatale played by Hayworth. The movie mostly concentrates on having them despise and then love each other and along with evil Germans, fake deaths and shocking twists, makes this a truly unmissable event.

However the film is mostly remembered for being Hayworth's pièce de résistance and especially for her outstanding song numbers including her performance of "Put the Blame on Mame"


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Same Link Time Same Link Channel

Matt's Movies Harvey Weinstein is talking up movies he had nothing to do with and is not distributing. "Is this some sort of reverse psychology marketing strategy?"
Towleroad a filthy gay love song for Joseph Gordon-Levitt 
/Film Anthony Mackie could be up for the Falcon role in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. We could end up with two Hurt Locker guys in The Avengers 2

Press Play has a smart piece on the new Sigourney Weaver Clintonesque drama Political Animals.
Salon on the "adorable nihilism" of Bunheads with Sutton Foster. I keep wondering if I should write about this show. Are any of you watching? 
The Advocate on Bollywood's problem with gay characters
Cinema Styles warns us not to be alarmed by all the media pieces telling us that today's generation doesn't care about old movies.

It's Batman's World...
Interiors Film Journal analyzes the physical space of The Dark Knight's opening bank robbery. I love the concept behind this monthly journal.
Joblo compares the five actors who've put on the bat cowl to date
Hello Tailor isn't excited about The Dark Knight Rises for Catwoman-related reasons and here's why...  

Remember a few years ago when I just couldn't stomach the absolute blurb whore hysteria for The Dark Knight and posted things like this which pissed people off.

 I'm having a slightly easier time with The Dark Knight Rises (at least until I see it) partially because I'm too busy to contemplate and fully absorb the "Greatest! Movie!! Of !!! All!!!! Times!!!! [sic]" (yes, even the 'Of' gets exclamation points because... hysteria!). The huge undulating waves of excitement and attendant mob with pitchforks anger towards brave dissenters have already started again. Cheeky Eric D. Snider posted a fake negative satirical review, which was pulled before I could read it but it apparently ended by acknowledging that he hadn't seen the movie and that he was conducting a social experiment. The  fanboys aneurysms proved his shooting-fish-in-a-barrel point. RT freaked out and banned him from the site. Death threats for an authentic  negative review by Marshall Fine and both sane and über self-serious handwringing over the fake one ensued.

It's gonna get crazier. Especially once Awards Season rolls around. Steel yourself Gothamites.

The only thing I care about is Anne Hathaway's Catwoman. Bring it Hathaway. But perhaps you should steer clear of La Pfeiffer on your way to brought.

gifs via



Take Three: Vincent D'Onofrio

Craig here, back after a week away, with this week's Take Three. Today: Vincent D'Onofrio

Take One: Full Metal Jacket (1987)
The first thing I think about when I think about Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket is D’Onofrio’s face sunken into a foul grimace by deep hatred – of himself and everything and everyone around him – as he sits on a toilet in the starkly Kubrickian military ‘head’ in the dead of night, loaded rifle by his side. “Hi joker,” he says, in a decidedly creepy fashion, as Matthew Modine shines a torch on his face. Somethin’s up. He’s not quite... there

I AM... in a world... of shit!”

  This exchange draws us into one of the film’s most powerfully effective scenes, one that stays wedged in your mind. (Nothing in the film’s explosive second half is as powerful as thi) It’s D’Onofrio’s last scene in the film, his big, terrible, final moment. All the prolonged abuse and intense physical strain he’s endured up until this point is distilled into his words, his desperate and maniacal expression. Outside of R. Lee Ermy’s shouty Golden Globe-nominated grandstanding, D’Onofrio walks away with the acting honours. The physicality required (D’Onofrio added an extra 70lbs, beating DeNiro’s bulk-up for Raging Bull) is complemented by his proficiency in conveying the inner workings of a broken army soul.  D’Onofrio’s Leonard “Gomer Pyle” Lawrence (nicknamed after a Jim Nabors character on The Andy Griffith Show) is key to understanding what Kubrick was getting at with Jacket.  Full Metal Jacket’s best moments and Kubrick's most pointed statements about war and military endeavor are translated through his bold, grimly-evinced performance.

two more takes after the jump


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