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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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Beauty vs. Beast

Nancy, what would the coven do to a reader who doesn't vote on Beauty vs. Beast?

they would kill her"

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Cannes Red Carpet 
Out of (literal) competition. Still competing

"The Best-Julianne (If for nothing else making that crimson work with her hair but her whole look is striking)" Joel6

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Thursday
Feb212013

Posterized: Oscar's Well Loved Losing Dozen

"And the Oscar DOESN'T Go To..." The following dozen films are historically the biggest losers in Oscar history. All of them had 8 or more nominations and won zip on Oscar night. But, please to note, "loser" is a tongue-in-cheek title here. If you're well regarded enough to win nearly two handfuls of nominations as "best of the year" you're already a winner, even if you "lose".

How many have you seen?

The Little Foxes (1941) 9 nominations
Quo Vadis (1951) 8 nominations
Peyton Place (1957) 9 nominations 

THE NUNS STORY (59) - 8 noms
THE SAND PEBBLES (66) - 8 noms
THE TURNING POINT (77) 11 noms *tied for most noms without any wins*

THE ELEPHANT MAN (1980) 8 noms
RAGTIME (1981) 8 noms
THE COLOR PURPLE (1985) 11 noms *tied for most noms without any wins*

REMAINS OF THE DAY (1993) 8 noms
GANGS OF NEW YORK (2002) 10 noms
TRUE GRIT (2010) 10 noms

Trivia Puzzle: It happened most often in the 50s (3 films) and 80s (3 films) though I couldn't tell you why!

SPIELBERG NOTE: You'll notice that Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple still shares the title for "biggest loser" (with The Turning Point). Unfortunately, though he has been enormously well rewarded over the years, this weird notion that Oscar doesn't like him continues in the rhetoric you hear online sometimes particular in regards to Saving Private Ryan's loss and Lincoln's probable loss on Oscar night. If you ask me if you are among the ten most nominated directors in history (tied for fifth) and you already have two directing Oscars and a possible third on its way (which would put you in tied for second place of all time with director wins!), there's no chance in hell that they don't like you. (The internet is such a sweaty hysteric sometimes!)

THIS YEAR: If Hathaway (Les Miz) and Day-Lewis (Lincoln) are mortal locks in their respective categories this year than the only films that might break into this top (bottom?) twelve this year are Silver Linings Playbook (8 noms) if Jennifer Lawrence mysteriously fumbles at the finish line for Best Actress which some people think is more possible than others (I personally think she's way out front unfortunately) or The Life of Pi (11 noms) if Lincoln and other films mysteriously dominate in all the technical races which is HIGHLY unlikely. So in other words: this list of 12 Oscar Favorites That Had No Hardware To Show For It is unlikely to change this year. Basically abundantly nominated films that win nothing are rare beautiful creatures. 

Thursday
Feb212013

The Best of Sci-Fi & Fantasy: Saturn & Nebula Awards

Though the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) isn't inordinately fan of the sci-fi, fantasy, and horror genres, those specialized types have enough devotees to generate their own Best of... discourse each year. Both the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFFWA) who give out the Nebula Awards and The Academy of Science Fiction and Fantasy Films (ASFFF), a fan-based group (since anyone can join) who hand out the Saturn Awards each year, just announced their nominees for the Best of 2012. 

Bet you didn't expect to see John Carter mentioned during Oscar week! It's up for the Nebula & on Saturn Award

The Nebula Awards have only one category that suits our topic of choice here at The Film Experience and it's called the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation. [Nominees, Book Recommendations, and Oscar connections are after the jump.]

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb212013

Submit Yourself to Processing. Win "The Master" on Blu-Ray

One of the creepiest and most clever FYC items I received this winter was a proselytizing newspaper "The Cause Footpath" for Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master, featuring mostly articles and reviews praising the film but peppered with ads and items from Lancaster Dodd and The Cause.

So I've used that to guide me in this new Blu-Ray contest. The Blu-Ray comes out on Tuesday just after the Oscars and includes a WWII veterans documentary from 1946 called Let There Be Light by the legendary John Huston. And your normal mix of outtakes and additional scenes, a short called "Unguided Message" and so on.

I have two copies to give away. Do you want it?

To enter the contest you must submit yourself to processing...

You can answer those questions by Monday February 25th either by e-mail or by sharing your responses on facebook, twitter, your blog or whatever (so long as you link back here & comment so I know you've done so). You can answer as yourself or in character or with simple text, photos, videos, however you want to answer it. The point is just do it somehow. Submit yourself to processing! Without blinking.

I'll announced the winners by Wednesday next week. I'll choose two winners based on the responses I most feel compelled to share with the group ;) 

 

Thursday
Feb212013

I Linked a Link

Yahoo Movies Best Actress Roundtable - I chime in with Thelma, Peter Knegt and others
Buzzfeed Julianne Moore in Elizabeth Taylor's jewels. I'm glad she chose green
Playbill Shia Labeouf departs his intended Broadway debut. Apparently there were issues between him and Alec Baldwin. Drama!
Coming Soon the X-Men set is rebuilt for X-Men: Days of Future Past
LA Times Nominee Herbert Kretzmer on writing the Original Song nominee "Suddenly" 

The Guardian talks to director Joe Wright. "I go nuts if I'm idle." Oh if only some other directors felt this way (*cough Lynch/Luhrmann/Anderson)
Film.com Joe Reid picks the best Oscar acceptance speeches of all time. 
/Film Mark Hamill probably coming back to Star Wars. 
Movies Now that best director race sure is confusing
Pajiba shares their favorite casting notices from new pilots: Kyle Chandler, Tricia Helfer and more... 
Rebecca Rolfe has been studying body language of Oscar winners - huge chart! Everyone is into the art of acceptance speeches this year. I started a trend last year, I did.

Watch It
Gollum sings everyone's favorite precious song this year "I Dreamed a Dream"... but he changes up the words a bit.

 

Speaking of things I hold precious...

Have y'all heard that the glorious but not exactly movie-ish Kristin Chenoweth will be closing the Oscar ceremony with the host. Wild, right? I wouldn't have expected that but we loveses the Cheno.

Wednesday
Feb202013

Smash: The Dramaturg

previously on Smash

My hopes for Smash's precarious sophomore season were dashed the split second the third episode began as Katharine McPhee sang a poprock song in a halfshirt on a platform for a throng of admirers and capped it off with a little crowd surfing. I thought this was a show about making a Broadway musical... not about creating a pop star?! The new character Jimmy (Jeremy Jordan), prepping for a pitch to powerful director Derek, announces just before the opening titles that "one shot is all we need".  Unfortunately for Smash, it's had several of them and still isn't hitting its mark.

Julia (Debra Messing) hates dramaturg Peter (guest star Daniel Sunjata) at first sight which, in showbiz cliché, surely means a romance is brewing.

2.3 "The Dramaturg"
This week's episode, which felt mostly like connective filler to get us to the new season plotlines after the debut's efforts to tie off last season's storylines, mostly involved auditions though the writers didn't find a way to make that a thematic core. It played like a coincidence across multiple stories: Ivy auditioned for the Cecile role (the Uma Thurman role) in some sort of revival of Dangerous Liaisons; Jimmy and Kyle pitched their embryonic musical "Hit List" to Derek, Derek intended to re-audition for The Wiz producers who fired him in the last episode but was side-tracked by Julia's book changes. She was basically auditioning to keep her job by adding "heat" to the show (i.e. more focus on Marilyn Monroe's upwardly mobile sexuality; enter JFK). The changes were suggested by new dramaturg Peter (impossibly handsome Daniel Sunjata) who is no stranger to Broadway himself, having cut a very fine figure in the Tony winning baseball drama Take Me Out some years ago.

In my very limited experience with theater and theater people I understand dramaturgy to be a respected craft that functions like great editing, fine tuning and sculpting pre-existing material and jettisoning stuff that doesn't work. (A good dramaturg is EXACTLY what Smash needs.) Smash implies (at least for now) that it's more like vicious ghost-writing / script-doctoring so naturally this new character Peter is an asshole. Just like all the men on Smash. I do not need characters to be "likeable" to enjoy a show (hello Mad Men) but if they are all going to be hateful they need to be complex enough to fascinate me. There is no one on this show to root for beyond Ivy (whose self-pity is wearying). We're supposed to root for Karen but she literally complains and sighs and rolls her eyes every time we see her in a rehearsal scene which suggests that she DOES NOT WANT TO WORK TO CREATE A SHOW... so why should we root for her to star in a series about the making of a show? 

Set List: (Originals) "Party" (McPhee), "Our Little Secret" (Ovenden), "Moving the Line" briefly (McPhee/Hilty); Jukebox: "Dancing on My Own" sung as a dirge (Hilty); Showtunes: "Soon as I Get Home" (Hudson).
B♡BBY: Wesley Taylor was not in this episode. Hmmmm. Coincidence that it was a terrible episode? I think not!
Best Moment: Ivy finally wakes up and speaks the truth before walking away from a Derek landmine "You're doubting yourself. You don't do that remember? And neither should I."  
Worst Moment:  God, take your pick? This episode was all over the place. But I have to go with the weird cagey subplot about some sort of violent dude in Jimmy & Kyle's past. Zzzz. Don't care about this. Want more Ivy, Derek, Tom & Julia with a little piece of B♡bby (and okay he can bring Karen along) on the side.
Grade: D 

WHAT CAN BE DONE TO SAVE THIS SHOW? (Artistically, I mean. It's doomed ratings-wise.) 

Wednesday
Feb202013

Costume Designers Honor Princess Hathaway & Anna Karenina

The last (I think?) guild has spoken. And they have announced the movies (and tv) that were 'CLOTHED IN IMMENSE POWER'  for 2012. Apologies to Lincoln for stealing their line ...but at least they were nominated!

The evening included Career Achievement Awards to Eduardo Castro a frequent Emmy nominee with shows like "Ugly Betty" and "Once Upon a Time" under his belt and Judianna Makovsky who made waves this past spring with Hunger Games and costumed films as diverse as the original Harry Potter, Seabiscuit, and Reversal of Fortune. There was also a special award, the LACOSTE Spotlight Award to Anne Hathaway because Guilds generally find a way to honor a movie star or famous director during their ceremonies.

Her award seems to be a crystal alligator of some sort and it looks like she's inviting it to eat Russell Crowe's diaphragm in the photos. Hey, anything to stop him from singing at the Oscars on Sunday!

TV WINNERS:

Television Movie/Mini-Series Lou Eyrich for "American Horror Story: Asylum"
Commercial Costume Design Judianna Makovsky for "Captain Morgan Black"

Contemporary Television Molly Maginnis for "Smash
Period/Fantasy Television Carolina McCall for "Downton Abbey"
Their series awards are hard to argue with, right? Although "Smash" has an unfair advantage over other contemporary shows in that it can also work in period and fantasy wear without stretching the boundaries of the show.

AND THE FILM PRIZES... 

Contemporary Film Jany Temine for Skyfall
Period Film Jacqueline Durran for Anna Karenina 
Fantasy Film Eiko Ishioka for Mirror Mirror 

...which sets up the Oscar contest in brief.

I've said for some time that I think that Anna Karenina will be winning this statue (the other nominations for the film show some cross-branch interest and, no small matter, the costumes are also beyond gorgeous and memorable). But Mirror Mirror does pose a formidable threat if the Academy is feeling silly and adventurous  (bunny ears on top hats, stilt legs, supersized bows, etcetera) or merely feeling misty about the passing of the great Eiko Ishioka.

Which way do you think it will go? Are you happy with the CDG winners?