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 | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 


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"Thank you to all the contributors & commentors for teaching me about movies!" - Andrew

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May Flowers in "Bright Star"

Andrew here using May Flowers celebrations to talk about one of my favourite 21st century films.

If you asked me to pick a single image to represent movies from 2000 onwards chances are that I’d choose this specific image from Jane Campion’s Bright Star. It’s still one of those movie images seared into my brain, four years after I first saw it. Campion’s 2009 film has so many things going for it, and Greg Fraiser’s peerless cinematography is somewhere towards the top. It’s not quite my favourite film of its year but it is, easily, my choice for “most beautiful” and that’s not just because it has the prettiest couple heading its romance. [more...]

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Stage Door: Showgirls with Kinky Boots

I'll be out of the country for the Tony Awards this year on a much needed vacation but before they arrive I thought I'd share with you my final theatrical experiences of the season, the first of which is way Off Broadway (though close to Broadway geographically)  and the second is one of your major Tony contenders.

Both of them adapted from movies because that is what gets financed these days!

Elizabeth Berkeley (Nomi Malone) and Rena Riffel (Penny/Hope) in Showgirls (1995)

Showgirls: The Musical is playing Wednesdays and Saturday nights at XL Nightclub. I raced to see it with friends since I love the movie so much. Plus I was fascinated that "Penny" herself, excuse me, "Hope" ("no one wants to fuck a Penny!"), the actress Rena Riffel, is reprising her role for the stage. She's self-aware enough to embrace Showgirls infamy as a career (she's also the star of the straight to DVD Showgirls 2: Penny's Revenge) the way C list stars of certain sci-fi programs end up as geek convention regulars hawking their wares. It's a honest living! I totally wanted to hug her or at least let her sign my ass or something. What a good sport! [more on Showgirls and "Kinky Boots" after the jump]

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"Tell me about it, stud."


Curio: A Gallery of Paul

Alexa here, getting some art going for Paul Newman week - we're celebrating Hud (1963) tomorrow for "best shot". One of my favorite images from Cannes this year was seeing the venue christened with the hanging of the enormous image of Paul kissing Joanne. Martha Stewart may have avoided eye contact, but here are some distinct visions of the owner of those famous blues, by artists famous and unknown.

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R.I.P. "Smash"

Smash, age 2, passed away on Sunday May 26th, 2013 at an undisclosed location at NBC after airing its final two-part episode "The Nominations" and "The Tony Awards". Few were there to mark its passing due to its long and quite unamusing terminal illness. Smash's difficult short life was plagued by self-sabotage, and two unfortunately common showbiz ailments: Actress Dysmorphia Disorder, in which everyone pretends that a gifted actress is NOT awesome so as to place another lesser being on a pedestal, and the no less deadly Audience Prosopagnosia in which a piece of showbiz believes it is performing for a different audience entirely than the one it's got.

Smash, television's first and now only Broadway musical series, was born on February 6th, 2012 to stubborn scarf-aficionado Theresa Rebeck but wrestled away from her and placed in the care of foster parents who, from all filmed evidence, had never set foot inside a Broadway theater, never witnessed a Tony Awards telecast and prefer American Idol Results Shows to Broadway Musicals. 

In its final death rattle on Sunday night, Smash continued to exhibit all of its usual signs of self-loathing and  mental illness: oh look another "Cute" moment about leaving your cel phone on during live theater!; oh look a lame subplot suggesting the show's best actress should chuck aside her showbiz career the second she's earned it; oh look, more encouraging of absolutely unprofessional behavior to get your way in your profession as if everyone working in musical theater is a complete sociopath and everyone else is okay with this!). In its final two hours of life Smash drifted in and out of consciousness and lucidity forgetting it was a musical and then remembering and even breaking the fourth wall (during one bizarre gay flirtation) on the way to its "Big Finish", a cute reminder that McPhee & Hilty did always sound good singing together, despite all the rest.

In the tradition of all self-immolating entertainments, Smash will be buried with the careers of several of its participants though these names are as yet undisclosed and mourners are asked to withhold petitions calling for Katharine McPhee, Jeremy Jordan, and Joshua Safran's entombment. Smash is survived by Megan Hilty (aka "Ivy Lynn"), actress, Christian Borle & Debra Messing (aka "Will & Grace" "Tom & Julia"), actors, and presumably by Anjelica Huston, diva, who survived Jack Nicholson and is rumored to be indestructible.


Maggie Cheung & The 50th Anniversary of The Golden Horse Awards

For those of you who still miss Maggie Cheung (i.e. all people with good taste who've seen anything she's done) you should know that she's been named the Ambassador for the 50th anniversary of the Golden Horse Awards (one of three major Oscar-like awards for Chinese language films). She's a good choice since she's won five (!) of them (from six nominations, only losing for Dragon Inn from 1992), the most of any actor. Nominations are announced in October with a November 23rd ceremony in Taipei.

Since it's the 50th anniversary they're pulling out all the stops and famous actors and directors are talking about what the awards meant to your career. In this promo video you can see TFE favorite Tony Leung Chiu Wai (only one of the great living movie stars) as well as other recognizable faces like director Ang Lee and hotties like Aaron Kwok and Shu Qi (which...where's she been lately?)

The best news is that elusive Maggie has shot a one minute commercial (though we hope it's more like an abstract short film) with the acclaimed director Hou Hsiao-Hsien and cinematographer Lee Ping Bing (the cinematographer of In the Mood for Love!). It's not available yet but stay tuned...


Linking Spirit

Nostalgia Critic wonders if the film parody is dead. From Young Frankenstein to the Scary Movie movies it is a free fall plummet rather than a steady decline. Lots of clips to illustrate.
Cinema Blend The Muppet Movie is coming to BluRay for the first time
Marvel Thor The Dark World's official site is up 
Fast Design movie posters that reduce your favorite films to geometric shapes - some of these are awesome. Others I dont quite get.
"Fighting Spirits" check out this 5 minute animated short, a semifinalist for the 2012 Student Oscar, about rival ballerinas

Slate great magazine articles that inspired movies from Bling Ring to Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Coming Soon The Weinstein Co's buying spree continues unabated: Jane Got a Gun, Carol, Passengers, Suite Francaise, and The Young and Prodigious Spivet 

Off Cinema
Salon how "You are My Sunshine" became a children's classic 
i09 Joss Whedon's commencement address at Wesleyan "you are all going to die" 
Advocate an interview with Katee Sackhoff. I love her but unfortunately never see her in anything because of the very limited types of shows she appears on.
Slate engaging piece on how technology hindered Arrested Development's popularity in its first three seasons, a show ahead of its time

More Cannes?
Awards Daily two clips from the Cannes champ Blue is the Warmest Color
Ultra Culture excellent piece on the issue of "real sex" in filmmaking and how fake it all still is
Film Comment interesting discussion of the competition films at Cannes from several critics. I love the harsh discussion of Only God Forgives  or at least the parts of it I read (too many spoilers) and the notion that Ryan Gosling should never speak to Refn again. This makes me want to see the movie even more!

TM: It’s very fetishistic about all those aspects—the martial arts aspects, the Asian aspects, the notion of framing. It’s just a big wank frankly. And looking at it from a career point of view, he can get all the big actors he wants at this point because he’s famous and has this free rein. I think he needs to be careful about doing films like this. He needs to be smarter about his career and his script writing. 

JR: It does seem now that there’s a group of filmmakers, and Gaspar Noé is one of them, who are sort of writing fan letters to each other. Noé making films for Refn, etc. This little group of the “wild boys.”