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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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"I didn't even notice the stars at first but that's why I like it. Tag line is clever. I hope Burton gone substance over style (while being stylish) with this one." - Jija

"The art is ugly creepy kitsch... that is, slightly above dogs playing pool and black-velvet Elvis. I have a hard time grasping why we should care who created it..." - Owen

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John Williams Heading Toward Oscar Nomination #46 

John Williams © Chad Batka, New York TimesIn the long history of the Academy Awards, only one man can claim more nominations than composer John Williams. And that man, long gone, is now less a man and rather more like a symbol, a legend, an industry, a way of life. 

John Williams never opened a theme park and his name is decidedly less distinctive that "Walt Disney" but he's also inextricably embedded in our popular culture. In a very literal way John Williams has scored our collective dreams and adventures for over a half century now. Though the movies of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas are hardly his only playground in terms of beloved movies, they're probably the scores that people think of first. (The fan tribute video below provides a thorough overview of just that.)

After an unusually long break from features the much celebrated composer is now back at work. He's got three new Spielberg movies on the way (The Adventures of Tintin, War Horse, Lincoln) and he could be celebrating his 80th birthday in February as a 46 or even 47 time Oscar nominee. Take that, Streep, with your piddly 16 nominations!

Tribute to John Williams, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas from whoispablo on Vimeo.

Do you think John Williams (45 nominations / 5 wins) will finally break his nomination tie with Oscar's other most awarded composer Alfred Newman (45 nominations / 9 wins) this January. Either War Horse or TinTin could do it. But will it be both? 

Oscar Predictions - Aural Categories
Recent New York Times Interview
Awards Daily posted pieces from the Tintin score


Kiki, the Runway Bride

Here comes the bride, all dressed depressed in white ♬

Should the Apocalypse ever need to take wife, it couldn't do better than to kneel before one Kirsten Dunst and beg for her hand in unholy matrimony. Isn't she aesthetically effective and spectacularly depressing in a wedding gown?! Two of her signature characters, Justine in Melancholia and Marie Antoinette in Marie Antoinette march toward certain doom in their white and ivory splendor. 

I was thinking about Dunst for four reasons today. 


  1. It's Marie Antoinette's 256th birthday today. Eat cake.
  2. I was just reading that she'll reteam with Orlando Bloom, her Elizabethtown co-star for, sort of in the Roger Donaldson's new interlocking stories thriller Cities. I believe she'll be involved with Clive Owen's character in the film, a NYC hedge fund manager. But the Elizabethtown connection is worrisome only in that that film seemed to lead to the sudden downward spiral of her career, Bloom's career, and director Cameron Crowe's career who disappeared thereafter. (But he'll be back soon with We Bought a Zoo.)
  3. That coincidentally nervous-making news aside, she's been making all the right moves career-wise lately and I couldn't be more pleased. She's such a fine actress.
  4. Melancholia opens on the 11th, expands on the 18th and I have something special planned for it that I think you'll enjoy. Something more interactive than you're accustomed to in movie reviews. My review will arrive late next week... and I hope you'll see the movie first chance you get. It's very very sticky.


So... Kirsten Dunst: Does she make you hear wedding bells? 


Open Thread

Today, I am off blog visiting an advanced ESL class -- i'm teaching interview skills -- and then it's on to a Tintin screening. In short: swamped but I'll write at you as soon as possible. What's on your mind cinematically speaking? Speak up. What movie be stuck in your head? (Today I've got T2 buzzing around for some reason).


Feinberg & Friends

Scott Feinberg started a podcast at the Hollywood Reporter a month back. Each week he has a different guest and it's yours truly this week. I haven't listened to it but, then, I was there during the recording so that should count. (I have the same mundane problem as most of the verbal world in that I hate hearing my own voice. Editing my own podcast --returning soon-- is enough torture in that department.)

We're discussing Best Picture, Costume Design, actresses who bare it all for the gold man, the double-supporting-actress nomination, and category placements for Carnage (everyone has officially gone supporting!) among other quick topics. Have a listen...

Thank you to Scott at the Hollywood Reporter for the conversation. We always love to talk Oscar.


"What kind of person marries someone they don't know?"

You did.

I want to win. All my life I've wanted to win.

Me too.


Dear Toni Collette,

I have loved you in everything I've seen you in. I can't think of an example where I didn't. You wowed in The Sixth Sense, in Little Miss Sunshine, in Japanese Story (oh my god so good in Japanese Story), in In Her Shoes, in three seasons of The United States of Tara, in your brief but better than everyone else scenes in The Hours... I could go on and on. I offer up this list as an apology for the fact that even though you've been so wonderful so many times over my first and last thought is always gonna be Muriel "Mariel Van Arckle" Heslop. I hope you don't mind. Have a happy birthday!

Sincerely, JA from MNPP

(PS - Here are some pictures of Daniel Lapaine in his speedo in case that hint of him above stirred your need for that like it did mine.)



How Long Has It Been Since You've Seen "Close Encounters"?

Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind turns 34 this month. On a whim recently we put in the 30th anniversary edition Blu-Ray* and gave it a spin. I hadn't seen the movie since I was a kid and my memory of it was hilariously incomplete and childlike.

a production sketch shown on the special edition DVD

I remembered, for example, the oft repeated five musical notes that always made me nostalgic for that old light-up Hasbro game "Simon Says" and I remembered all the glowing lights and alien children at the end. My third most vivid memory was Richard Dreyfuss's mashed potato replica of Devil's Tower in Wyoming (a shape to which all the characters are drawn). Strangely I had zero recall of the far more narratively pronounced massive sculpture he builds inside of his house of the exact same structure. Funny the things you remember. The mashed potatoes must have stuck in my child brain because little kids play with their food but they're fully aware that adults aren't supposed to.

To my great astonishment, given decades of familiarity with Spielberg films, the movie is miraculously open ended. It's also open sided and open fronted which is to say that there are dozens of emotional entry points and next to nothing in the way of force-feeding or exposition. You can feel whatever you want to feel about it all the way through without the director telling you how you should be feeling (aside from free-form "wonder" which he expects and earns) or explaining any of those feelings away. In short, were his filmography a bookshelf, this would a lonely inkblot nestled between dozens of how-to instructional textbooks. 

Oscar History and 70s Nostalgia after the jump

Click to read more ...


The Linkers Grimm

MUBI James Benning is experimenting with John Cassavettes Faces (1968) for a "remake" installation.
Antenna has valid thoughtful concerns about both of the new fantasy series on TV, Grimm and Once Upon a Time. Many good points are raised but I can't take them completely seriously since Once Upon a Time is one of the single gawdiest and most ham-fisted things mine eyes have ever witnessed whereas Grimm was surprisingly rich in potential and beautifully made (yummy production design) and they imply that Once has more potential? Yikes.

"greens greens and nothing but greens..." Grimm's are alive. Once but dead props.

Towleroad cutest thing Zac Efron has ever done? He did Halloween as a Reno 911 officer
Go Fug Yourself Heidi Klum went as a cadaver! Heidi Klum is the most awesome Halloween party ever. Every single year she turns it out.

Dark Eye Socket this is really cool: 5 Scary Movie Masks in Non-Scary Movies
Ultra Culture the shortest review you will ever read of Tower Heist and also probably the best one; it's a Venn Diagram!
Movie|Line Naomi Watts to star in the most depressing movie indie ever. I guess she didn't read our Red Carpet Convo with Guy Lodge when we worried for the perpetual worry lines of her career.

‪Nathaniel: Naomi most certainly needs to shake off all the dour miserabilism. People have been filming her with grimy 'THIS IS DEPRESSING!' lighting for so long that I have no idea what she'd look like if she was having fun‬!
‪Guy: Well, at least Watts is coming up in J. Edgar. A Clint Eastwood movie is just the kind of fun frisky change of pace she needs.

Socialite Life Leonardo DiCaprio looking dapper on the set of The Great Gatsby. This will possibly be just what he needs after all the aging prosthetics of J. Edgar.
Hollywood Reporter interviews Michael Fassbender about his very sexual year with Cronenberg and McQueen
Cinema Blend Hilary Swank has fired most of her management team over the scandal that erupted when she attended (paid) that birthday party for the Chechnyan President.
South Asian Film Festival, about to kick off here in New York, will open with the  Oscar submission Abu, Son of Adam.
Broadway World Julie Andrews honored tonight in NYC
Threadless "one cookie to rule them all" [see pic below] LOL. I had to share since we were just talking about The Lord of the Rings here.

"cookie ringwraith" © rnlynam

Oscar in Brief
Today is the due date for all Animated Feature contenders to submit their paperwork for the Academy. So soon we'll know just how many nominees we'll get in this category which can range anywhere from 2 to 5 nominees depending on the number of submission. Meanwhile, The Wrap and In Contention both have new pieces up on the Academy's Best Foreign Language Film category. More from us here soon as we screen more entries ourselves.

Finally...  This commerical for The Immortals which I've never seen --and I've seen plenty of advertising for it -- it can't be real can it?

If so, hats off. Tellin' it like it is. I agree with everything Rich at FourFour says "Fucking Poetry"