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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 cow on the roof of the house in O Brother Where Art Thou-tombeet

"There is a snake in The Thin Red Line that is both surreal and real. It just suddenly appears on screen, this angry, probably poisonous snake during a battle and jolts you out of the fear of bullets into a fear of nature..........then it's back to bullets." -henry

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Divas, Heroes, Sexpots, Villains

I've been neglecting the Film Bitch Awards for far too long so here is another page to enjoy ~ the character prizes in our four fun character categories: Diva, Hero, Sexpot and Villain of the Year. I should note that many of 2011's most memorable protagonists didn't fit neatly into these slots: a lot of 'heroes' were actually anti-heroes like "Date Rape Brown" in Rampart, the driver in Drive or "Mavis Gary" in Young Adult; there were potential divas who missed the point and didn't even want to be worshipped or even looked at like "Lisbeth Salander"... but she sure is a memorable character anyway. 

It's amazing how many movies can't hit the mark on delivering memorable heroes or villains. You don't even need to be especially complex in those categories but you have to be memorable... and what's memorable about the characters in that movie about the ringed intergalactic police corp or the one about the boy and his dog searching for a pirate ship and even the one about the ragtag group getting back together to defeat a maniacally laughing tycoon which hands so much of its screen time to a self-doubting newbie.

In short there wasn't a lot to applaud or boo-hiss at. So a big big thank you to our nominees who livened up this past film year with highly watchable fabulousity, heroics, eroticism and evildoing.

Who will thrill us this much in the new film year? There's a lot to live up to collected right here from films like Melancholia, We Need To Talk About Kevin, Crazy Stupid Love, Captain America, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Bridesmaids and more. Who gets your vote?



Curio: Happy Birthday Quentin

Alexa here. Today Quentin Tarantino turns 49; somehow I thought he was older, if only because he has been in our consciousness for so long. It feels like forever ago that we heard Mr. Brown give his thesis on "Like a Virgin." His Madonna connection got some further milage this week with word that Madge wants him to direct the video for her new single "Gang Bang." ("All he has to do is show up with a camera.") Considering that he lent Gaga his Pussy Wagon, it just might happen.  

Here are a few creations celebrating the prince of palaver.

Quentin's bloody ear, by Gregg Gordon of Gigart.Tribute posters by Ibraheem Youssef

Click for more posters including Django Unchained. Plus: Vincent and Jules as mice...

Click to read more ...


Mad Men at the Movies: Gillian Hills and 'Zou Bisou Bisou'

It's been so long since the best series on television was airing (17 months!) that this new version of The Film Experience has never seen an episode of "Mad Men at the Movies". Last night the miserable sexy funny smart complex men and women of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce returned to take us all back to the sixties once again. In this series we document the show's love affair with the cinema. Don Draper (Jon Hamm) is a movie buff and references tend to be sprinkled in for vintage flavor, character detailing and thematic resonance. Unfortunately this two hour premiere had no movie references. Damn!

5.1 "A Little Kiss, Part 1"
5.2 "A Little Kiss, Part 2"
The episode opened oddly with none of the familiar characters and a confrontation between African American picketers and immature men at an ad agency (not SCDP). By the time the episode ended, a small plot detail in the middle brought it all full circle with the unfamiliar site of the SCDP lobby filled with black applicants applying for jobs.Between the sobering bookends we were treated to a very strong premiere full of humor and potential for the season ahead. The talking point beyond the closing scene was surely the "zou bisou bisou" scene where Don's new wife Megan sang to him seductively in front of all his friends at a surprise birthday party. But the single most brilliant scene involved Joan (the great Christina Hendricks) bringing her baby to the office for a visit. We're talking perfect character farce  The choreography of the scene was so brilliant they should teach it film school... er television school... since it practically defines what this particular medium can do. Very little of what was going on emotionally and inside the character's head was actually spoken but if you've been following all the characters for years all their child-rearing issues and past romances and conflicts just made the scene hilarious and nimbly so. Perfection. A

Megan performing "Zou Bisou Bisou". 

Slate has the translated lyrics and some theories about why this song.

The hit song was originally sung by Gillian Hills who was also an actress. In 1966, the year this new season takes place, Gillian was on screens as "The Brunette" in Michelangelo Antonioni's classic Blow-Up (highly recommended) which is about a fashion photographer who believes he's accidentally photographed a murder. Blow-Up wasn't the only classic to feature her. She also has a role in A Clockwork Orange

Jane Birkin and Gillian Hills in BLOW UP (1966)

Mad Links
Flavorwire a pop culture guide to 1966 when the season takes place
AMC Janie Bryant on the costume designs for Season 5
Technabob Mad Men as an 8 bit game
IndieWire beginnings: each season's opening scene
Pajiba 10 of January Jones' bitch faces to celebrate the show's return 
NPR Eleanor Clift remembers what it was like to be in secretarial shoes as a typist in the 60s 


Beauty Break: New Pfeiffer Photoshoot!

Thanks to TFE reader and fellow Pfan Michael for alerting me to this new Michelle Pfeiffer spread in California Style* The Golden State's Lifestyle Magazine. I couldn't find the article on line but here are the beautiful pfotos. More for the altar** !!!


* Someone please send me this actual magazine. I deserve it!

** You won't believe me but I don't actually have an altar. The worship is within. 


Adorable Acceptance Speech: Andy & Eugene

Remember last week when we were talking about the Asian Film Awards? Here is Eugene Domingo's acceptance speech for People's Choice Favorite Actress for the Philippines Oscar Submission Woman in a Septic Tank. She and Favorite Actor winner, the Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau really ham it up.

Yes. I am very famous."

Fun. Thanks to TFE devotee Reign for sending my way.

In other adorability news from Asian cinema, apparently this candid drunken photo of our favorite Asian movie star Tony Leung Chiu Wai was widely circulated on the net. My guess is he's drinking to forget that Wong Kar Wai, the auteur who bolstered Tony's international reputation, is still working on The Grand Masters. Will we ever see it?

They haven't worked together since 2046 (2004) and at the rate Wong Kar Wai is working they'll probably never work together again since Tony turns 50 in June. We'll totally celebrate.


May the Links Be Ever In Your Favor

The House Next Door Poster Lab: Cosmopolis "a tame puppy to the preview's rabid dog"
The Mary Sue a Captain America surprise for soldier and son. Awwww 
24 Frames the Genesis Awards, honoring animal friendly media, were handed out. Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Born to be Wild won best feature and best documentary respectively.
The Hairpin why 1995 was the best year for movies

The Wrap Frank Langella's new memoir dishes about other famous actors, including affairs with Rita Hayworth and La Liz.
The Sheila Variations anatomy of two pratfalls by physical actors Elvis Presley and Cary Grant.
The Wrap interesting. The great X-Men writer Chris Claremont also wanted Angela Bassett to play Storm when he first imagined his team on movie screens. And he wanted Kathryn Bigelow to direct. 

Hunger Links
Serious Film Michael's review of The Hunger Games 
Cinema Blend 10 differences between The Hunger Games books and movies. 
The Wrap the breakdown of the audience for this massive opening. Not the usual kind.