Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Oscar History
Welcome

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.

Like The Film Experience on Facebook

Powered by Squarespace
What'cha Looking For?
Don't Miss This!
Comment Fun

Comment Du Jour
Visual Effects Oscar Semi-Finals 

"All I know is that if I had worked on A Monster Calls, I'd be pretty pissed that I didn't get in but Sully did." -The Jack

Keep TFE Strong

Love the Site? DONATE 

Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience

THANKS IN ADVANCE

INTERVIEWS

Maria Schrader (Stefan Zweig...)
Boo Junfeng (The Apprentice
Gianfranco Rosi (Fire At Sea)
Chris Kelly (Other People)
NWR (Neon Demon)

Previous Interview Index

 

Subscribe
Thursday
Apr232015

A.I. "WALL•E"

Dancin' Dan here to continue TFE's Artificial Intelligence Week with a little something on my favorite dancing robots.

If there’s a common thread in stories of artificial intelligence, it’s that we can think that we, the programmers/creators, can control it all we like, but if we’re truly successful - if we succeed in creating actual artificial intelligence - we can’t do a damn thing to control it. It will grow and learn and eventually decide things for itself.

In Pixar’s masterpiece WALL•E, we don’t know exactly how our hero gained what for lack of a better word we have to call a “personality,” but we can imagine. Human ingenuity can do a lot of things, but one thing it is notoriously terrible at, on the whole, is predicting the future correctly. Which, coincidentally, is one of the ideas at the heart of Pixar’s masterpiece. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr232015

Drama Desk Nominations, Tony's More Inclusive Cousin

Lin-Manuel Miranda as "Hamilton"The Drama Desk Nominations for the 2014/2015 theater season have been announced and the Tony Awards follow suit in a week's tim (theater seasons run summer to spring). The chief difference, besides the level of fame, is that the Drama Desk categories have more nominees but also more eligible contenders since Off Broadway productions (and there are lots more of those) are also considered for the top prizes. Hamilton, the new hip-hop Off Broadway musical about the founding fathers from Lin-Manuel Miranda of "The Heights" fame dominated with 13 nominations but it's not eligible for the Tonys.

It's also impossible to get tickets to and popular with celebrities (Madonna famously was barred from going backstage after using her cel phone -ugh - but everyone's been to it including Michelle Pfeiffer). In the reverse situation, "Fun Home," which is an absolute must see and could lead the Tony nominations, is not eligible for the Drama Desk nominations since it was already eligible in its Off Broadway run last season. "Hamilton" is moving to Broadway in the summer which means it'll be eligible for the 2016 Tony Awards.

The full nominee list, which also included a lot of nominations for screen-to-stage transfer "Let the Right One In" is after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr232015

Tribeca: A Good Kill To Backtrack

Further reporting from the festival in Tribeca, here's Jason on a pair of disparate flicks about Sad-Eyed Men Doing Bad Things.

Good Kill -- If you've seen Andrew Niccol's modern sci-fi classic Gattaca (and I hope you have; do you think it will make the second half of TFE's sci-fi countdown?) then you can no doubt summon up that indelible image of Ethan & Uma wandering amid a field of shimmering solar panels at sunrise, a mirrored oasis in the desert. There's nothing that beautiful in Niccol's new film Good Kill, nor should there be - it's about the dirty science reality of the here and now, not a gleaming future vision - but it nonetheless occupies the same kind of space; removed, floating off the sand like morning evaporation. 

But the light is different now; harder - consider us then a vulture mid-flight, or more practically that of a military drone, lasering in on its target. Hawke (whose real-world surname reads as ironic now that I write it out in this context) is a pilot not allowed to fly anymore; whose military career's found itself confined to a metal crate in the Las Vegas desert marked "You Are Now Leaving The United States" where he plays life and death WarGames half a world away, incinerating "enemy combatants" (a term the movie purposefully broadens beyond any meaning) with the flick of his trigger finger.

The hardness that's settled around Ethan Hawke's eyes in the eighteen years since Gattaca comes in handy in this respect too - repetition and weariness are our subject now; the sunlight itself is diffused by death and destruction, the only thing raining down. A globe covered in sand, with one small sad patch of grass (a repeated shot of Hawke's backyard from above - one square in a patchwork of otherwise dusty browns) feeling more like a blight, an aberration, than either home or comfort.

Backtrack -- When I wrote up my take-down of the killer-bee move Stung yesterday I talked a bit about where Horror Movies stand these days; how a certain school of low-budget film-making (that Stung does not belong to) has found a nifty off-kilter vibe of dread to riff upon. Well Backtrack doesn't belong to that school either, but for other reasons - Backtrack, whatever it cost, feels costly, bloated, crammed with screaming CG ghosties that pop out at the screen screaming when the director needs to goose us. 

It also feels immediately dated - the specter of The Sixth Sense (the leather of psychiatry couches ripe spaces for afterlife confessionals) looms large, but it also feels like it was made ten years ago amid the J-Horror remake boom. It fits nicely right in alongside Jennifer Connelly's immediately forgettable Dark Water, for example. Needless to say what all that adds up to is a bunch of exposition endlessly reaching backwards for back-story under back-story under back-story, only intermittently remembering to throw some wild-eyed spook our way as it strains for purpose and/or substance.

And what a shame that this is how we're using the terrific Robin McLeavy! If you've never seen 2009's deeply darkly twisted Aussie romance The Loved Ones do yourself a favor; she's a real spark-plug. Robin shows up about halfway into Backtrack with her big dark eyes and the movie doesn't have anything for her to do - it actually goes out of its way to neuter her - and that's its scariest accomplishment of all.

Thursday
Apr232015

Women's Pictures - Jane Campion's In the Cut

Anne Marie's Women's Pictures continues with her month-long look at the films of Jane Campion.

Before you look at me askance for choosing the 2003 film In the Cut for this week’s Jane Campion movie, let me share a smattering of the comments people have made at TFE and on Facebook about it:

“if you're going to cover 5 of her 7 films anyway, why not tackle the absolute worst of the lot?”

“fyi don't listen to anyone who says IN THE CUT is a bad movie. it's fantastic & worth finding.”

“I don't like In the Cut but as far as failures go, it's definitely one of the more interesting/intriguing ones.”

“IN THE CUT is one of my very very very very favorites of ever in everdom.”

With such wildly varied responses, my interest was piqued. And now, having watched In the Cut twice, I must say: everyone is right. It’s a terrible thriller. It’s also a fascinating meditation on the complicated, kinky relationship between sex and violence, told from a woman’s perspective. It is the simultaneously the most and least Campion-like film we’ve watched this month. In The Cut is a messy, ugly, beautiful contradiction.

It also has naked Mark Ruffalo. You're welcome.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr232015

Link-sync for your life!

Silver Screen
Pajiba on the way the media is handling Kristen Stewart's current love life. Somehow I had missed this story (cuz I don't care about celebrity dating) but this is a joy to read.
MNPP Apparently this new movie Beyond the Reach features Jeremy Irvine in states of undress for basically the whole movie but all I can think watching him run barefooted in the desert is what I felt watching Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner sprinting across ice in the nude: OUCH
Grantland Mark Harris on all the Wonder Woman  movie creative shuffling, director and script(s):

I use the word “movie” reluctantly because right now, Wonder Woman is certainly not one: It is a release date (June 23, 2017), and it is a promise to stockholders (as the third of 10 upcoming connected DC Universe films that are meant, between 2016 and 2020, to show that DC can play on Marvel’s field), and it is a recognizable — albeit dusty — title. Right now, that’s all it is. It’s certainly not a movie in the sense of being an entertainment product that starts with an idea and then results in a script that is good enough to attract a director and stars.

MNPP has a great costume design suggestion for Ewan McGregor now that he's been cast as Lumiere in Beauty & The Beast
Shadowplay revisits Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977) on Bluray. I loved those Harryhausen movies when I was a wee bairn
Cartoon Brew here's a new contender for Best Animated Feature this year - The Boy and the Beast. Kidding - they don't really like anime and there's no US plans just yet
In Contention reports from Cinema Con with breathless response to a clip of Johnny Depp in Black Mass 

The Rock with a little TayTayOther Screens & Surfaces
The Snap talks Lip-Synch Battle which is fun if you ask me: the complete Hathaway vs Blunt episode is glorious and The Rock doing Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" --what has been seen cannot be unseen. Louis Virtel compares it to RuPaul's Drag Race and finds it considerably lacking. I myself find their goals and souls as shows so different as to only see comparison in the extreme basics (i.e. people move their mouth to other people's recordings)
IndieWire TV's obsession with remakes, revival-sequels (Hello, Fuller House) may well end the Golden Age
Playbill Lily Tomlin wants to do a new one woman show. Yes please.
Boy Culture remember these Raoul Bova kisses Madonna commercials? I didn't! So cute
EW Daredevil renewed for season 2 with a slight change in show runners (basically an exit and a promotion)
Comics Alliance Adrianne Palicki and Nick Blood, who play former lovers and badass SHIELD agents may lead the Agents of SHIELD spin-off. Two-part question. 1) Since they're the best part of the existing show this side of Ming Na Wen, you sure you wanna hobble your still creatively struggling original? 2) You already have a spin off of sorts (Agent Carter) which is better than the original show. Why not pour resources into that?

Amy Schumer is back
...and it is a glorious thing. Here are two sketches getting attention right now, "Football Town Lights" a Friday Night Lights spoof as hilarious indictment of rape culture and "Last F**kable Day" guest starring Tina Fey, Patricia Arquette and Julia Louis-Dreyfus on Hollywood sexism and ageism. Cue the think pieces en masse -- never mind they're already all over the place.

Finally...
The Eisner Award Nominations (basically the Oscars of comic books) have been announced and it's a great year for female driven series especially the celebrated title Ms. Marvel. I find it strange that they don't have a superhero specific category since comic books have changed so much to include so many types of stories but if you're looking for traditional superheroes Hawkeye, Batman, Daredevil. Elektra, and Silver Surfer were represented in some way or another with a nomination or two.

a page from "The Last Mechanical Monster"Sadly, it's really hard to find solid info about the Eisner Awards. Many webpages are out of date and they don't have their own as far as I can tell so it's difficult to know which series have been nominated previously. Obviously they aren't followes as rapturously as other awards! I'm always personally most curious about the webcomic prize because I always want to do one and I rarely get anywhere (sigh). Those nominations are as follows -- I'm only familiar with Nimona but it's pretty great, so I'll be sampling these others.