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Friday
Mar072014

Oscar Coverage. It's a Wrap!

Still so cold. Perhaps a tropical vacation post Oscar? Whew. We made it through another season (but for one last podcast - see below). Kisses. Hugs. No-Doz. Please stay with us throughout the year as 2014 WILL be our best yet.

2013 was a breakthrough year starting with a spot on CNNi, joining the Gurus of Gold, doing TIFF (and then Sundance) and the Critics Choice event officially, and the best year yet for ad sales. But a breakthrough is not, unfortunately, quite the same thing as 'making it'.

I recently made a tough life choice to make writing my sole income  -- yes, believe it or not, I've been juggling a second career for most of the 8 years that The Film Experience has been a daily endeavor (TFE existed before 2005 but that was before all sites needed daily content to stay competitive - the speed of content has increased exponentially all over the web). But now I'm just writing about the movies. Juggling the two became more and more difficult and right here is where the passion lies. To help me prove that it wasn't the worst decision of my life: read, share, link, tweet articles you like, donate, or best yet subscribe (see "Keep TFE Strong" in your right hand sidebar) and for the price of a cup of coffee each month (or more if you're flush) you can make sure a roof stays over my head. I feel enormous gratitude that people read at all much less so many of you. I'm particularly grateful to those who are already subscribing but just 300 hundred more of you and things get substantially easier (i.e. [cue Pet Shop Boys/Destiny's Child/] i love you you pay my rent ♫! / Can you pay my telephone bills? Do you pay my automo* bills? ♫ / )  

Complete Oscar Week Coverage 


PODCAST !? GOT ANY QUESTIONS FOR US? As an addendum to all of this and for the Season Finale, Katey, Nick, and Joe join Nathaniel for the final podcast of the season. (The podcast will be on hiatus until mid to late April but I think you'll love next season even more)

P.S. BRAD PITT HAS AN OSCAR NOW. xo

 

* I do not actually have automo' bills. I take the subway

Friday
Mar072014

Linksy

TV Blend Mad Men Season 7 key art features a famous graphic designer - April 13th, y'all
My New Plaid Pants first pic of Dane Dehaan as James Dean in yet another bio of the actor
/Film gross... the proposed reboot of Zorro is going to be Dark Knight-esque. Good god, Hollywood, be smarter. Anyone interested in Zorro, its own brand which is why you're rebooting it, is going to expect light swashbuckling FUN.  

New Now Next Teen Wolf adding a third gay character for season 4. (Weird that they haven't expanded the opening credits sequence to feature the other regulars from the ever expanding show.)
Towleroad RuPaul teaches his Pit Crew to "Sissy That Walk"
Guardian Idris Elba providing the voice of Shere Khan in the new live action/CGI Jungle Book
Fashionista costume designer extraordinaire Janie Bryant on what's next for her after Mad Men wraps
i09 on 30 cult movies everyone should see once. I love this type of list except for when they put something totally mainstream on it. It's mostly solid until Lost Boys? nope. try again. Saw it in theaters opening weekend, had a major release not cult at all but standard grab for teen audience. I think it was even a minor hit.
Gawker Lindsay Lohan already complaining about her reality show's portrait of her 
Attitude Jamie Lee Curtis, suddenly busy again, in addition that pilot she's shooting is producing a biopic film about a gay baseball player 
/bent has a handy list of all the LGBT filmmakers on twitter. Follow! 

This is what Glenn Close was wearing underneath her long dress! She wins.Oscar Crumbs
... the internet is still sweeping up the party
Confabulations Brian (StinkyLulu) and Aaron discuss the Oscars
Gothamist Poor Leo. Now his 1990s teen self is appearing all over Manhattan 
My Space you must read this hilarious Oscar report from Jennifer Lawrence's bestie. 

❝I am one of maybe two non-famous people there. I kind of just sit there and smile creepily when someone catches me staring—shout out to Penelope Cruz.❞

wimp a pretty amazing video of the control room during an acceptance speech (Cuba Gooding Jr's in this case)... and this reminds me how glad we are that they didn't play people off this year
Guardian oh, so that's why Andrew Garfield wasn't at the Oscars! 
Dissolve on social media and the Oscars 
Slate really fun conversation about sexism and actress backlashes that's focused on Gwynnie, Hathaway, and the recent success of Jennifer Lawrence and Lupita Nyong'o 

Today's Watch
This video from the Oscars official account is titled in such a way that you think it's going to be a history of Best Actress but it's just about Oscar with famous Actresses educating you on the history of AMPAS: Katharine Hepburn, Olivia de Havilland, a brunette Grace Kelly (!!!) and Anne Bancroft who wins with a little winking trivia about Oscar gaining weight. 

Friday
Mar072014

Monologue Special: Four Acceptance Speeches

In the Monologue series (usually on Mondays, oops) we opine on those rare onscreen moments when an actor gets a whole chunk of lines to run with. It's rarer than you'd think unless you're dealing with a stage adaptation that they haven't worried about "opening up".

Not so on Oscar night where each winner gets to speak without interruption unless the "stick man" grows impatient. Thankfully, at the 86th Oscars, they didn't play people off. The Academy producers rarely show common sense in this regard so this was a special treat. For years they've misunderstood the entire appeal of their broadcast. But think of it: What is an awards show without the spectacle of ego, wit, nerves, emotion, gratitude and body language of the acceptance speech? The acceptance speech is to awards shows, what setpieces are to action films, love scenes are to romantic drama, and what song & dance is to musicals. Without the speeches, you'd be left with haphazard montages celebrating random themes, context free fashion parades the likes of which we haven't seen since they stopped interjecting them into movies, and an Ellen DeGeneres comedy show. And nobody wants those things. Or, okay we do but maybe not together and definitely not without context!  So all praise the acceptance speech.

I would like to salute three people and chastise a fourth as quickly as I can -- which is not quickly, I know. shut up! -- after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Mar072014

Yes, No, Maybe So: "Grace of Monaco"

Approaching trailers for movies you're going to see no matter what (i.e. anything with your favorite actor in it) makes the Yes, No Maybe So™ question a strangely hypothetical one. Such is the case with Grace of Monaco which is currently scheduled to open on ____. No, we don't know the date yet but people will be talking about it in May after its Cannes premiere. Let's hope those of us who can't afford $1000 a night for a trip to France in the summer don't have to wait seven months* to form our own opinions; a bit of glam adult counterprogramming in the summer (look at the scenery!) would be a kind thing to do!

But where were we?

Oh yes, Princess Grace. At the beginning of the trailer we learn that she'd like to return to Hollywood -- Hitchcock wanted her for Marnie (1962) but...conflict! Her formerly charming prince won't allow for it; this is not a Disney musical and there will be no Happily Ever After...

the Yes No Maybe So breakdown is after the jump. Non-Spoiler Alert: I'm a "Yes"

Click to read more ...

Friday
Mar072014

Going way back with Mr. Peabody & Sherman

Tim here. This week, the latest attempt to kick off a new franchise through the magic of misplaced brand recognition finds DreamWorks Animation hoping to reverse their crawling economic slump of the past couple of years with Mr. Peabody & Sherman. Seriously, what nightmarishly mis-aimed board meeting thought that one up? Giving a coat of CGI paint to a ‘60s TV cartoon beloved in such a way that nobody within the target audience has ever heard of it, and nobody with pre-existing affection for it is going to have anything but open contempt for the basic idea.  If they were that hell-bent on “talking animal and kid travel through time”, they could have just, I don’t know, made it about a supercilious iguana and a little girl, and saved themselves the cost of getting the rights.

But here we are, with the latest in a long line of remakes that simultaneously gloss up, flatten, and embalm an old classic that needs none of those thing. I assume nobody can afford to still be upset over that sort of thing, or else how would you be able to get up in the morning?

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Mar062014

Liza at the Oscars. Then, Then, Then, and Now

Liza Minnelli's appearance at the Oscars this past weekend was the subject of much discussion and typical ageist snark ("old people are so ridiculous!") online which was... disappointing. Not that Liza didn't bring some of it upon herself particularly with her slow on the uptake reactions to Ellen's drag queen joke* and the selfies. But before we get into this year's particulars, CONTEXT.

I think it's worth remembering that this was not Liza's first time at the rodeo. Liza has lived her entire life in the unreality of showbiz so if she wants to wear a braless blue pant suit with matching hair stripe, to Hollywood's High Holy Night, she damn well should! After all, few people attending this weekend's ceremony can rival her for true icon status (Meryl, Bette, Poitier... and very few others)

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Mar062014

Yes, No, Maybe So: "Annie" and Kneejerk Musical Reactions

"How many 'Tomorrow's until Annie comes out?"
"293, kids!"

Quvenzhané Wallis stars as little orphan "Annie"

That means we just need to get through 294 days of internet hyperbole BEFORE ANYONE SEES IT about how the new Annie (the third filmed version after a 1982 feature and a 1999 telefilm) is the worst thing that ever existed and musicals suck and it's going to kill everyone's career... Give me strength! BUT in fairness to whatever social media hatred happened (I only saw a little but I'm assuming there was more since I wasn't online much last night) the new trailer which is embedded at the end of the post, does ring alarm bells.

Here's the thing. I realize that my own kneejerk defensiveness/love for any and all new musicals before I see them, is, in some ways exactly like the internet's kneejerk distrust/hatred of any and all new musicals before they see them. Both reactions have less basis in reality than in indoctrination. But the reason my indoctrination is superior (heh) is because its self-indoctrination - a connosieur's faith in his own taste and in the possibilites of the genre and not lazy long-since disproven cultural indoctrination that this genre is over or passé. I can blather about this peculiar problem for HOURS but I should probably spare you and we'll get back to "Annie".

After the jump we'll discuss the pros, cons, and "which column do I put this in" beats from the trailer. 

Click to read more ...