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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

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Best Supporting Actress - Predictions

"Not enough leading performances in your roundup. I mean a supporting actress lineup made up of only supporting roles? Now that's crazy talk!" - Sarah

Interviews

Betty Buckley (Split)
Michael O'Shea (The Transfiguration)
Filmmakers (Cézanne and I)
Melissa Leo (Most Hated Woman in America)
Ritesh Batra (Sense of an Ending)

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Tuesday
Feb032015

In One Month... Hit Me Baby One More Time

In exactly one month we'll spin on the mountaintop, run round gazebos, wear playclothes made of curtains, and hide from the Nazis together for the 50th anniversary of THE SOUND OF MUSIC. It began its record breaking run in March of 1965. If you adjust for inflation it's the third biggest hit of all time after Gone With the Wind and Star Wars. Fine company to be in.

Have you ever thought about what your favorite shot from it is? Or which shot best represents the movie as a whole? You know how to take a screen cap. You know where this is going right? We'll start with The Family Von Trapp but later we'll get colorful with Dick Tracy, funky over Magic Mike, and creepy via Repulsion, and lots more ... Dates TBA.

Break out the bubbly because "Hit Me With Your Best Shot", a ton of fun all spring and summer, returns March 3rd. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb032015

Thoughts I Had... While Staring at the Best Actress Luncheon Photo

They are my sunshine... my only sunshine... they make me happy when skies are gray ♪ ♫

Oscar did real good by Best Actress for once, huh?

It's almost like they color-coordinated their outfits and all agreed that Julianne should be the focal point. But will any of them actually vote for her or does everyone in the Academy vote for themselves?

Spice up your life [From left to right: Posh, Sporty, Ginger, Scary, and Baby]

Have you voted yet on who SHOULD win?

COMMENT FUN #1: Which clip should they use for each Actress at the ceremony?

COMMENT FUN #2: Quick --  trade roles for these actresses. If they had to play someone else's role who would it be? I'm betting Pike could do early onset Alzheimers since she has that ability to completely empty out her face. Enigma! We've already seen Marion in a differently abled wheelchair bound romance so it's easier to picture her as Mrs. Hawkings. Hmmm what else.

I'm the one standing in the background painted gold [/fantasy]

I've also added in the "how'd they get nominated?" percentages* on the chart for your pleasure

 

*for entertainment purposes only. No one can know the deepest hearts of Oscar voters. Perhaps not even Oscar voters themselves. 

 

Tuesday
Feb032015

In Conversation: Oscar's Documentary Class of 2014 (Part 2)

Welcome back to The Film Experience's look at this year's Oscar documentary nominees. Glenn Dunks is again joined by Daniel Walber of Nonfics in this second part looking at the once maligned and controversy-filled Best Documentary Feature category. If you missed part one then go read that first - our thoughts on Wim Wenders' The Salt of the Earth were not echoed by you, the readers, but that's what makes this all so fun. If you're a fan, check out discussion from last year about the 1989 winner, Common Threads.


Daniel: (cont'd) The way [Virunga director Orlando von Einsiedel] orchestrates it all, particularly in the thrilling climax, is what sets it apart. In a way that makes it not unlike Last Days in Vietnam (Glenn's review). Both films take a single sequence of events, in that case the 1975 evacuation of Saigon, and tell its story with several different perspectives. I’m not sure the strategy works quite as well for Last Days in Vietnam, which is also the only nominee this year made up primarily of archival footage. Do you think that has something to do with it?

Archival power, Roger Ebert and our own ballots after the jump

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb032015

Curio: Thrift Store Paintings Reimagined

Alexa here. I'm a self-professed lover of thrift store art: paint-by-numbers, portraits on velvet, Margaret Keane wannabe prints, Warner Sallman's Head of Christ, the cheesier the better. So illustrator David Irving's current project has me feeling a little "why didn't I think of that?" envy:  David collects old thrift store prints and paintings and, in his words, "re-directs" them by adding well-known characters or objects into the scene, many from the world of the movies.  The works operate as sly collages that conflate the two worlds (almost) seamlessly.

Here are some of my favorites... 

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb032015

Sundance: Don Hertzfeldt Peers Into The "World of Tomorrow"

Michael C. here. I couldn't wrap up my Sundance coverage without writing about this gem from one of my favorite filmmakers.

Fans of Don Hertzfeldt know there is little point in describing the plot of one of his films.  His animated shorts operate on the director's unique blend of absurdist humor, philosophical wonderings, and sophisticated visuals masquerading as crude scribblings, not on traditional story beats. So when I say his new short, World of Tomorrow, is spectacular, right up there with his best work, you just have to take my word for it, so difficult is it to capture its odd appeal in words.

Hertzfeldt took on World of Tomorrow as a quick project between two massively ambitious undertakings, the upcoming Antarctica, his first full length feature, and It's Such a Beautiful Day, his recent triptych of shorts which combined represent one of the new century's indisputable masterpieces. It's a testament to Hertzfeldt's artistry that a project the filmmaker dashed off, relatively speaking, is still such a marvel.

World of Tomorrow represents two notable firsts for Hertzfeldt. It is the first foray into computer animation for a filmmaker that has spent his career as a champion of practical in-camera effects, and fittingly, this expansion into digital also marks his first attempt at science fiction. This new short is of a piece with Hertzfeldt's It Such a Beautiful Day trilogy and before that his The Meaning of Life, all films fascinated by the idea of what it is to be human. World of Tomorrow focuses on four year old Emily (voiced adorably by the director's own niece) who is contacted by a clone of herself from the future that proceeds to whisk her away for a tour of the universe many centuries down the road. It's a dark picture the film paints, but as usual, Hertzfeldt maintains boundless amusement at what a strange species we are, with our refusal to acknowledge our smallness in the universe, and the way we deliberately create technology which robs us of our humanity. All of it is delivered with Hertzfeldt's distinct carnival of non-sequiturs, surreal tangents, and odd beauty that can make you laugh one second and bring you to the edge of tears the next.

Don Hertzfeldt. Image via Criterion CollectionWorld of Tomorrow defies its classification as short, packing in several feature length films worth of ideas into its trim twenty minutes, covering everything from the perils of discount time travel to the benefits of programming robots to fear death. It is a film that once seen is not easily forgotten. It is a must-watch for fans of Hertzfeldt's. It is also a must-watch for non-fans, so they can get on board with one of the most exciting voices in film.

Grade: A

 

Monday
Feb022015

Sundance: Oscar Hopeful "Brooklyn" is Beautifully Old-Fashioned

Nathaniel's final review from Sundance

Late last year while interviewing Yves Belanger on his lensing of Wild (2014) and his ongoing working relationship with Jean Marc Vallee I noticed he had a non-Vallee project on his forthcoming filmography called Brooklyn. He spoke highly of the experience, an about face from Wild's all natural light mandate. He said it was much more stylized lighting, an 'old fashioned romantic drama'. He hoped people still wanted to see that sort of thing.

If the reaction at Sundance is any indication (and a word of caution: Sundance fever is 50/50 for the real world at best) the people will welcome it with open arms... and tear ducts.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb022015

Beauty vs Beast: Winter Is (Still) Coming

Jason from MNPP here with another round of "Beauty vs Beast" -- this week we're headed to Gobbler's Knob (I still can't believe that's a real name of a real place) in the little town called Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, about an hour and a half outside of Pittsburgh, where the fate of our Winter lay in the balance. Well laid in the balance, that is - it's already been reported this morning that the world's furriest prognisicator this side of Sam Champion, the eternal Punxsutawney Phil, has seen his shadow and laid six more weeks of Winter upon us. Boo, Phil. Seeing as how I awoke to several fresh inches of slush this morning, I'm not terribly surprised by the forecast, but still. Boo, Phil.

Which brings me to what is maybe the greatest comedy ever made about the maybe dumbest holiday on the calendar: Harold Ramis' also-eternal 1993 Bill Murray comedy Groundhog Day, and this week's Battle of the Phils!

 

You've got one week - or one-sixth of the Winter that oh-so-wise woodchuck just dropped on us - to vote, so don't forget your booties it's cold outside and get to work.

PREVIOUSLY Two weeks back in the comments of the Blue Velvet contest TFE-reader Murtada pointed out that no actor had ever beaten an actress in any of these polls; well it's finally happened! It was close, but Paul Newman's Hud managed to shimmy his slim-hips to a six-percent win over Patricia Neal's Alma. Yeah he was a bastard, but... well, he was Paul Newman as a bastard, so it goes. Said San FranCinema:

"Newman, a great beauty no one took seriously until he surprised them all by becoming a great actor, always gets my vote."