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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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Thursday
Nov172011

The Adventures of Linklink

You may have heard that Ricky Gervais will be hosting the Golden Globes again. I don't have the stomach to give this its own post but let it suffice to say what I already said on twitter... Gervais smug superiority is so offputting. You have to back that shit up and was Gervais the funniest best awards show host ever? No. 

Link Time
Tom the Dancing Bug
on Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin
The Advocate fun interview with Dylan McDermott on American Horror Story, nude scenes and sexuality and Steel Magnolias
Ad Age wowee but those Oscar ads are expensive. $1.6 million for 30 second of air time please. 
The Playlist the competing Linda Lovelace porn star biopics. It's Amanda Seyfried vs. Malin Akerman. You'd think that was an easy call but for the news that Sharon Stone will play Mama Lovelace in the Akerman version. Sharon Stone!
Empire Will Amy Adams sign on to co-star with Clint Eastwood in The Curve, a father/daughter drama? He plays an aging baseball scout. We're betting that he won't be portrayed as indelicately as the "they're fossils!" approach in Moneyball. (A film we love, don't misunderstand. It's just hard on the old scouts.)
BuzzFeed 63 Reasons why Bradley Cooper is not the "Sexiest Man Alive". No matter what People magazine says. 
Speaking of Bradley Cooper...

In Ye Olden Times when I used to watch Inside the Actors Studio I couldn't help but make immediate "you'll never make it!" assumptions about many of the audience members seeking professional advice. So it's totally crazy to see an actual future star asking one. 

Puppet Mania
Flickr Muppet illustrations covering the whole alphabet
YouTube Clever Inglourious Basterds/Fantastic Mr Fox mashup

Finally, Drew McWeeney at HitFix had his son Toshi interview Kermit and Miss Piggy on the eve of the release of The Muppets. So cute...

It's a great angle for an interview since The Muppets biggest marketing muscle might well be partents taking their kids who missed out on the Muppet phenomenon to "meet" them on the big screen.

Thursday
Nov172011

This Happened on Tuesday. Miraculously The Earth Continues Spinning.

How is it possible that the entire universe did not implode from Too Much of A Good Awesome Thingness when planets as magical as Tilda and Pedro collided right here in NYC? Also present - photographic evidence at Paper Mag: Rossy de Palma, Courtney Love, Bruce Weber, Sarah Jessica Parker, John Waters... and so on. The WOW Report shows you what Emma Stone, Elizabeth Olsen, Cindy Sherman and other luminaries were wearing to the same event.

Not present: me. Which is perhaps for the best since I would have imploded.

Thursday
Nov172011

Distant Relatives: Five Easy Pieces & Greenberg

Robert here with Distant Relatives, which explores the connections between one classic and one contemporary film.

Growing up is Hard to Do
Hollywood has always been interested in man-children, and they've gone through a variety of manifestations through the years. During the silent era they were innocent clowns filled with the insecurities and curiosities of children. During the age of the screwball comedy they were flailing baffoons unable to compete with their strong professional female counterparts. In the 1950's they were dark brooding rebels looking for causes and that lead the way to the serious sixties, where young men were similarly angry (though lighter on the melodrama, heaver on the realism) painted as victims of a combination of social indifference and their own unambitions. Though if you called them "victims" to their faces, they'd probably punch yours. This contingent was fronted from Britian by the likes of Finney and Harris but soon found plenty of eager representatives in the US, not the least of whom was snide, sarcastic, and so-damn-cool Jack Nicholson. In Five Easy Pieces, Nicholson plays Bobby Dupea, a man meandering through life, trailed by the shadow of his lost potential, trying to understand who he is as adulthood passes him by.

 Almost forty years later, Ben Stiller, a man who has made his living playing the goofiest kind of man-child plays the dark and cynical Roger Greenberg, a man also trying to figure out his life in the face of shattered potential. He has a lot in common with Bobby Dupea. In both cases, the impetus for our characters' confrontations with their immaturities comes in the form of a move. But while they're both going west, they're actually heading in two different directions. Bobby is going to his family's house in Seattle, where his person will be juxtaposed against their culture and civility. Even if we want Bobby to get his act together and take his place in the world of his family, we feel as out of place there as he does. Roger meanwhile has just moved to Los Angeles where his cynicism is juxtaposed against an even greater immaturity; immaturity as an accepted state of Nirvana. He asks while at a child's birthday party "Why are all the grown men dressed like kids and all the kids dressed like super heroes?" It's a beautiful symbol for a world in which dreaming for great power and great responsibility evolveds into longing for no power and no responsibility.

 


As much as a misanthrope as Greenberg is, we feel for him at times, if only because we get to experience the horrors of L.A. through him. [more after the jump]

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Nov162011

Yes, No, Maybe So: "Mirror Mirror"

We've never really imagined visually acclaimed director Tarsem Singh as the Evil Queen type but the release of the trailer to his next flick Mirror Mirror (included at the bottom of this post) so quickly on the heels of Rupert Sanders Snow White and the Huntsmen trailer (previously discussed) changes that immediately. Suddenly it's remarkably easy -- nay required! -- to imagine Tarsem all fussy, bejewelled and panicky with sweat in front of his own magic mirror when it declares Snow White and the Hunstman the fairest of all new Snow White projects. That's admittedly a small 50/50 type achievement, but still... 

Breathe deeply and put The Fall on loop in your home theater, Tarsem! Movie magic is temperamental even for the most skilled visual magicians.

But it's time for our Yes, No, Maybe So breakdown. As we do in this series, let's start positive...

YES...

 

  • As in The Social Network, Armie Hammer seems more than perfectly cast as upper crust... in this case upper upper crust as in the royal family, as in Prince Charming.
  • Birch trees are pretty and there seem to be a lot of them in this movie.
  • Lily C... Ju... the se... the cos...vi... oh fuck it, let's move on. 

NO...

"Snap!" to quote Thor on Nurse Jacket. 'We don't say that anymore."

 

  • Julia Roberts used to be so great at comedy. But it might just be true that if you rest, you rust.
  • That "I believe I believe I believe in love" musical number is strangely off putting. Was it the smug way Snow White already thinks she's the fairest of them all with her dance move? Was it the Bollywood influence without really committing to Bollywood?
  • Why does the whole thing look lower budget than even the cheeztacular Once Upon a Time on television?
  • Why does the sound drop out for each Julia Roberts moment like an awkward silent laugh track?
  • Being banished to the woods isn't very scary when the woods look like the soundstage adjacent to the soundstage you were just banished from.
  • Why is Nathan Lane in this?
  • Why did they release a trailer when the images aren't color corrected and they didn't even fix the green screen backdrop in the "you're not as pathetic as I thought" scene?
  • Why is the dialogue so anachronistically modern?
  • Why is Julia shouting all of her lines. Wouldn't the highlighting and underlining of 50% of each sentence be enough for a line delivery?
  • "Snow White? Snow Who? Snow Way" 
  • I think instead of Seven Dwarves they've given us Seven Jar Jar Binkses. *shudder*
  • No, Julia... I don't think there's a happy ending coming your way here.
  • "Say Hello to My Little Friend" ... seriously? SERIOUSLY?!? What is this Shrek only without animation and with hoarier lame pop culture jokes? 

 

MAYBE SO...

 

  • If you're going to risk being laughed at, by all means wear swan dresses! Really go for it. Should your swan be pooping out your leading lady instead of casually draped around her a la Björk? WHY NOT!? Go for it Eiko Ishioka! Your cuckoo bravery is inspiring. We love you
  • The Fall is awesome and maybe it looked like shit at some point during production? 

 

The atrocity in full is embedded below... Are you a No, No or Maybe No? Sound off in the comments.

 

Wednesday
Nov162011

Can Documentaries Break Free From Their Own Category?

Amir here.  When it comes to the Oscars, one of the things I love to complain about each year is the Foreign Language category. That’s hardly a surprise since the category gets so much flak from everyone, but my concern this time is about something more specific than the usual “shocking” snubs.

Looking over past lists of nominees, you'll notice that the Foreign Language Film category has failed to showcase a documentary before. Like... EVER! (Unless you count Waltz With Bashir, which some do and some don't). The reverse has happened many times: the documentary branch has nominated and awarded foreign documentaries.

To be fair to the Academy, not many documentaries are submitted to begin with in foreign film. But even when they are submitted and happen to be as deserving as say, Finland’s Steam of Life in 2010, they still get ignored. So I did a little research and came to the conclusion that this problem is not really limited to the foreign category. Documentaries have always had a hard time breaking out of their box. Admittedly, the voters’ hands are tied when it comes to some categories (acting, costume design, etcetera.) but there’s no reasonable explanation for the absence of documentaries in editing, cinematography and even the sound categories.

Which brings me to my main point: the Academy has at least four shots at righting this wrong come January. It’s highly unlikely that any of these nominations will come to fruition but staying silent about them won’t help the cause, so here we go: these are my suggestions for documentary nominations in non-documentary categories. From my mouth to cinema god’s ears.   

 

Pina (Foreign Film Category)
Several pundits (including Nathaniel) think the German entry has what it takes to make it to the top five. I’m not as high on the film as some critics seem to be, but considering what a delightful and remarkably unique nomination this would be should it happen, I can fully get behind it.

Jose & Pilar (Foreign Film Category)
Not quite as buzzy but even more deserving than the German submission is this Portuguese gem. This documentary is about one of my personal favourite writers, the Nobel Prize winning Jose Saramago, in the last years of his life with his wife Pilar. The film is rooted in Saramago’s ideology but also steps away to observe him from an external perspective. It succeeds both as an intimate portrayal of love between an older couple, and as a compelling character study of a man whose life is an endless source of fascinating political and literary ideas. I’ve only seen 12 of the submissions so far, but I have a hard time believing there are five better films among the rest. Nevertheless, I won’t get my hopes up. When there are films about children and WWII available to Oscar voters, what are Saramago’s chances?

Cave of Forgotten Dreams (Cinematography)
Herzog’s film and Pina are the only two films I've seen recently that had me thinking “I’m glad I saw that in 3D” when exiting the theatre. In Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Peter Zeitlinger’s cinematography brings Chauvet Cave to the big screen without losing any of its magic. Zeitlinger’s poetic vision conveys the experience of visiting the cave and etches an array of mesmerizing images in our minds. 

Senna (Editing)
Is there a chance of this happening? If Senna is nominated in the best documentary category, that will be a beautiful achievement, but Chris King SO deserves a nomination all his one. Snubbed just last year for his intricate work on Exit through the Gift Shop, he’s back with an explosive blend of F1 action and personal drama. Transitioning between racing footage, family videos and adding only sound clips (without the talking heads) Senna is an eclectic mix that gets our adrenaline going but leaves us in tears at the end. It owes so much to King’s editing. It’s been 17 years since the Editor's branch nominated Hoop Dreams and it’s about time they embraced another documentary film.

Your turn! Which documentaries would you like to see nominated? Do you believe in miracles that it could happen for any of them in an extra category?

Wednesday
Nov162011

Mama Bening Baby Wiig

JA from MNPP here. Have you heard about Imogene? Out next year, it's Kristen Wiig's follow-up to Bridesmaids - actually it's a project she'd been trying to get off the ground for ages that the super duper success of Bridesmaids made possible. It's directed by the duo of Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini who made the splendidly sour American Splendor, and is similarly dark in comic tone. Wiig plays the title character whose plan of using a suicide attempt to win back an extra boyfriend somehow, weirdly, backfires, and she's forced to move home and live with her... let's say difficult mother played by Annette Bening.

Bening! So surely you guys have heard about this movie already. Well there are some pictures and a poster online today, which you can see here. There's something reminiscent of Bening's Mars Attacks! character to the look of her character, isn't there? I say that with awe and admiration - that's one of my very favorite Bening performances.

Also in the cast are Matt Dillon and the chipmunk-cheeked croooner Darren Criss from Glee, the latter apparently playing a love interest for Wiig. Cue everybody gaping sack-jawed at the age difference - she's 38 while he's 24 - which hardly merits a mention when its say Methuselah Steve Martin pawing at Toddler Heather Graham or the like.

This is one of my most anticipated movies for 2012. While I love the ridiculous over-the-top characters Wiig hammers away at on SNL she's proven herself really smooth at how she's branching out into a movie career, playing identifiably human characters (so good in Whip It), complicating things when she could just go for an easy bug-eyed laugh.

Wednesday
Nov162011

Complete the Oscary Sentence... 

"If I could talk to ______________ about the Oscars, I would tell [him/her/them/it] that _______________________ ."


P.S.
If you were interviewing Mike Mills (Beginners), actors Ben Foster and Olivia Colman, and The Artist team, what would you be inclined to ask them? Hypothetically speaking. It's not like I'm about to... ;)