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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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The Guardian Ken Russell was nearly finished with a new screenplay adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, to be made as a risque musical. Will it still be made with a new director?
Nullco Preorder The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo soundtrack and download a sampler
Rope of Silicon first look at Sam Worthington in Wrath of the Titans and a curious plot synopsis
Thompson on Hollywood talks to one or our favorite craftsmen, production designer Jack Fisk (of Terrence Malick and Mr Sissy Spacek fame.)
24 Frames Hugo steps up as a powerful Oscar contender.

Empire wonders if paranormal romance Smoke and Bone about an angel and a demon that fall in love will be the next big movie franchise? Have any of you read it?
Inside Movies Deliverance actor Bill McKinney has passed away. 
Wipe Your Feet "Watching Melancholia is like..." I love the movie but this is totally LOL. 
Pop Watch tries to imagine Buffy alum Michelle Trachtenberg as Bella Swan. Supposedly, it could have happened.
Hollywood News talks to Will Reiser about 50/50 and the power of Anjelica Huston. 
IndieWire Mike Leigh will head the jury at February's Berlinale. (This year's jury picked Oscar buzzing Iranian film A Separation as the best of the fest. Good luck topping that one!)

Finally, EW has released the first photo of Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.

I don't want to be bitchy about it since we've seen so little -- the trailer hits next week -- but doesn't it seem like revisionist fairy tale revisions and dark leathery bad-ass costuming are getting a little, shall we say, generic these days? How will this distinguish itself?

And when will Jeremy Renner star in a drama again after all this time spent Bourne Avenging Impossible Missions With Witch Hunters ? Does he want to be Samuel L Jackson that badly? Seems like a waster after his dramatic brilliance in The Hurt Locker.


Open Thread

What's on your cinematic mind this Friday night / Saturday morning?



"even the orchestra is beautiful..."

♪ Leave your troubles outside.
So life is disappointing? forget it. 

In here life is beautiful...

The girls are beautiful...



Click to read more ...


Win a 50th Anniversary Blu-Ray of "West Side Story"

I've been meaning to celebrate the 50th anniversary of West Side Story (1961) for two months now. I've shirked my duties as a fan.

When you're a fan, you're a fan all the way, from your first sing-along to your last dying day. ♫

But no more! In addition to December being the kick off for our year in review festivities let's celebrate the greatest musical ever written here and there with posts about the 1961 multiple Oscar winner. 

I have two copies of the 50th anniversary Blu-Ray to give away. To enter simply send me an e-mail [filmexperience(at)gmail(dot)com] with "WSS" in the subject line by Sunday night, December 4th with the following information.

1. Your full name and mailing address 
(this will be kept private unless you win in which case the studio gets your info to send you the prize!)

2. An anecdote about your personal relationship to this movie, be it a favorite song, first time you saw it, moment you love, favorite character, line from a song you have used in public or WHATEVER...  (This second part may not be kept private. I might quote you in a future post!)

Enter the contest TONIGHT!

tonight, tonight
the world is wild and bright
going mad
shooting sparks into space



Golden Satellite Potluck Nomination Party!

Bring your own favorites! Oh wait, never mind. They already brought them. Any number of nominees will do!

The Golden Satellites are the craziest awards group that no one celebrates for their crazy. Mostly, we suspect, because their crazy is so eternally undefined. They change their rules. They change their number of nominees. It's impossible to follow their logic from year to year and even within a year. Moving targets are hard to hit but that's true not just for criticism but for love and interest. Do the Satellites even exist or are they figments of our imaginations each year right about this time?

Their possibly imaginary nominees have been announced and War Horse leads the pack with eight nominations. The full nomination list is hidden after the jump because the names are legion.  To make this more fun I've highlighted what did NOT get nominated since it seems like everything did but appearances can be deceiving.

Click to read more ...


President Linkin'

Oh look! via the Film Stage via Splash via Twitter or some such, it's Daniel Day-Lewis on the set of Steven Spielberg's Lincoln (written by the often genius Tony Kushner)

©Michael Phillips / Splash

According to Jeff Sneider he hasn't dropped the accent off camera since filming began. We are glad that Daniel Day-Lewis decided to be an actor again but we also hope they let him cobble his own shoes for these roles so he can indulge in all of his creative pursuits simultaneously.

The Awl Choire Sicha wonders why dudes can't have sex in movies anymore
The Onion "everyone giving up on John after latest movie recommendation."
Thompson on Hollywood Viola Davis to be honored at the Santa Barbara Fest... which is, as you know, a hotspot for Oscar campaigns. 
Madonnarama So it's true. Madonna will be singing on the soundtrack of W.E. (which I was suppose to see yesterday but oops. my schedule lately. blargh) on a song called Masterpiece. Before you get all hot and bothered about "Oscar nomination!" remember that no matter how genius the song -- and she's written some classics for the movies -- the Oscar music branch hateth her. (No, I can't fathom why.)

Ooooh, an animated tribute to Drive (I'm having ADD today. Can you tell?) It's vaguely spoilery except the chronology is kinda off.

tribute to drive from tom haugomat & bruno mangyoku on Vimeo.


[hat tip to First Showing]

Super Punch offers up the best comic book covers of the year and a running gag of Thor Goes Hollywood movie referencing wins "best marketing stunt". It is pretty fun. Don't you love this Loki as Mark Zuckerberg bit to your left? You know what's.
The Hairpin remembers Rita Hayworth, scandals and all. 
Animated Short Predictions 10 finalists have been announced so I reconfigured that particular Oscar chart. Boy was I way off base on that category. 
KTLA Speaking of short films, here's a video bit on African Chelsea, one of the buzziest contenders for Live Action Short. It's only 7 minutes long.  

Did I tell you that I was suppose to interview Jessica Chastain today but she had flight troubles or something? It didn't happen. Me sad.

Rope of Silicon Hi res photos from Ridley Scott's Prometheus
In Contention Guy Lodge makes a please for Kenneth Lonergan's Margaret. That's going around. There are even petitions. I stupidly didn't carve out time for it during its blink and you miss it NYC week and now there's no screener. Argh! 

Finally, I look forward to John Waters ArtForum "TOP TEN FILMS" list every year because John Waters has such an inimitable point of view. He writes and thinks fun eccentric things about movies and he used to make fun eccentric movies. True to form his list is eclectic and interesting and it's nice to see Pedro Almodóvar get props for a movie that's been weirdly underdiscussed. I giggled at Waters take on The Tree of Life.

You’d think I’d hate this film, and I almost did—until I realized it’s the best New Age, heterosexual, Christian movie of the year.

But then I had to gag, and not in the good way, when he honored Kaboom as "well written". Ugh. I hate that movie. I want Gregg Araki to grow up again. Mysterious Skin and then REGRESSION. No fair!


Distant Relatives: The Graduate and Fish Tank

Robert here w/ Distant Relatives, exploring the connections between one classic and one contemporary film.

Sedentary and Sex

So what do a rough and realistic look at poverty in London and a comedy set in the suburbs of California have in common? Well at first glance both are about the events that lead up to and follow an inappropriate relationship. For many reasons, the cinematic arts naturally drift toward stories of forbidden sex. They allow filmmakers to explore the human condition in areas that lend themselves to lack of control. They're filled with all kinds of drama and conflict. And of course sex gets people to sit and watch. But there's more to it. After all, with all of these films about forbidden sex out there, why these two that seem so different? In both The Graduate and Fish Tank, the inappropriate relationships aren't really the problem. Well, they are eventually, but initially they're just a symptom of something greater. Both films have protagonists filled with agitation, ennui, longing, and the desire to do something, anything greater than what they're doing now. And both films postulate that this puts them on the easiest possible path to seduction.

In 1967 The Graduate became a hit because as all we all know, it spoke to an entire generation. But it didn't speak to a generation because every young person in the 1960's was familiar with boinking their parent's friends. Ben Braddock, the titular character came back from school to a safe suburban existence where everyone had unique opinions on what he should be doing with his life. Yet all of these opinions came from people with lives to which he did not aspire. Benjamin's potential seemed endless yet all paths pointed to an undesirable future. Fish Tank's Mia (Katie Jarvis), although an ocean and a continent away and on the opposite spectrum of the class divide finds herself in a similar situation, however she doesn't have the benefit of unlimited prospects. At fifteen, Mia doesn't have much of a future at all. She doesn't like her mother and doesn't want to become her mother, but there doesn't seem to be too many other options. She's not one for academic pursuits and mostly dreams of being a dancer in a non-specific way.


No Someday. No Rainbow.

With Benjamin and Mia adrift, the idea of a promising future slipping further and further away, they turn their attention to the possibilities of the present. Enter someone older, desirable, representative of impulsiveness and rebellion. Both Benjamin and Mia have a need that requires filling. Love and affection? Maybe. But more so a desire to be distracted from their hopeless future, perhaps even a need to be destructive, to have some ownership over a future already in shambles by being careless and responsible for its destruction themselves.

Then there are the seducers. The Graduate's Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft) is the epitome of aggressiveness. Fish Tank's Connor (Michael Fassbender) is more subtle. Then again he has to be. A movie about a fifteen year old girl being seduced by an older man has to be handled differently than a film about a male college graduate being seduced by an older woman. An aggressive Connor would have immediately upped the suspense and diminished the realism. But in both films, it doesn't take much for the deed to be done. Yet once Benjamin and Mia realize that their older suitors are still representatives of their ugly futures, they realize that they can't be a part of them. Ambiguous endings abound, though there is the sense that our protagonists have learned something. Been used to be sure, but reset onto a better path? Or do they, in the words of The Graduate director Mike Nichols "become their parents?"

If you still think the comparisons are a bit trying, consider the title of our modern film: Fish Tank. It suggest being both submerged and imprisoned at the same time. It's a clear effective metaphor, and one that The Graduate would know something about too.


Other Cinematic Relatives: Lolita (1962), Beau Pere (1981), Fat Girl (2001), Notes on a Scandal (2006)