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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


Christina vs. Joan

also don't forget that tomorrow night on April Fools Day we'll celebrate Mommie Dearest with a "Best Shot" party

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Film Bitch Awards

"Not gonna lie, I re-read most of the nominations while perusing the winners. It is appreciated and enjoyed!" -Rebecca

"I must be the only one who completely disliked Under the Skin..." -Benji



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What'cha Looking For?

Yes, No, Maybe So: Anna Karenina

Hello Happy Peppy Cineastes. Beau here again (I recently wrote about The Exorcist) at the request of Nathaniel to discuss the delicious new trailer of Joe Wright's Anna Karenina starring pretty British people in fur coats.

I like Joe Wright. With the exception of The Soloist, which didn't grab me, he has delivered a fairly fascinating filmography. Pride and Prejudice sauntered across the screen, lackadaisically, in love with the prospect of love. A true achievement, it managed the rare feat of cinematic adaptations of beloved novels by satisfying the devoted Austinphiles, while causing those of us less inclined to 19th century romantic literature to swoon in spite of ourselves. Atonement, a much more problematic feature, still holds in my memory thanks to its exquisite craftsmanship (that emerald dress!) and the sweltering chemistry between McAvoy and Knightley. Even Hanna proved to be a fascinating film... [more after the jump]

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What's Your Number One Nicole?



.JA from MNPP here, daring to tackle one of Nathaniel's sacred cows on her 45th birthday - the lovely and not at all cow-like yet entirely sacred, the very very talented Nicole Kidman. Earlier today I was reading through this fine list by the fine folks at The Playlist of what they deem her five greatest performances (all lists will be null and void once she pees on Zac Efron) and they're all choices that are pretty darn hard to argue with (my own personal favorite is easily To Die For)... and yet, yet! I still feel nagged at by the absence of Alice in Eyes Wide Shut...

... and Grace in The Others...
...and what the heck about Satine?!?!?
But then this is Kidman, and the riches run very deep.
So what's your favorite Nicole Kidman performance?
Quick, just one!

True Blood 5.2... Or, Nahhh,... TEEN WOLF Top Ten!

previously on True Blood

After a disappointing return to Bon Temps I was all primed for something closer to satisfying from the second episode of this storied show's fifth season but instead of excitement the True Blood team offered more set-up as if this were part two of the season opener rather than a stand-alone episode or a compelling stakes-raiser. When will this season actually begin? Any movie that hadn't begun after 1 hour and 30 minutes would be universally shunned but unfortunately TV series can get away with doing nothing for hours on end, everyone assuming (generously) that "something will happen next time." 

In a complete dereliction of duty, and a complete absence of self-awareness, True Blood refuses to de-clothe Chris Meloni in "Authority Always Wins"

As far I can tell there are 5 major story threads going on...

  • The Authority vs. Russell (Denis O'Hare) who they thought was dead. Starring Bill & Eric.
  • Tara is now a Vampire after we thought her dead. Starring Tara, Sookie, Pam & Lafayette. 
  • Werewolf PackPower Struggle once their pack leader is found dead. Starring Sam, Luna, & Alcides.
  • The love between Jessica ♥ Jason has died and now everyone in Bon Temps is lovelorn and lonely... particularly the plain ol' human characters and solo girl vamps who used to always hang with their makers. Starring Jason & Jessica & Hoyt & Reverend Newlend & Sheriff Andy & Holly & Pam.
  • War vet buddies are haunted by a dangerous loose cannon among them. Starring Terry & Arlene.   

Within these five general stories are (presumably) little minor stories starring only one or two of the characters bringing us to the very obvious conclusion that there are too many characters is not enough of a show-running directive / understanding that "ensemble" actually means 'a large group of characters' rather than 'abundant solo acts.' Frankly, I'm losing interest. It's like a very mild (hopefully tentative) version of that time a few months back when Glee returned from hiatus and I suddenly and violently knew I simply Could Not anymore with that show. Ugh.

the only emotionally engaging thread in "Authority Always Wins" took place a century ago!

Draining the Episode Dry
Body Count: 2 (Humans in Pam/Eric flashbacks); Sex Scenes: 0; Fresh Meat: The sickeningly sexy Chris Meloni joins the cast of the most naked show on television... completely clothed. Which tells you everything you need to know about the catastrophe that season 5 is threa... you know what? I CAN'T. I CAN'T.

Today I'd much rather talk about Teen Wolf.

Ten Best Things About Season 2 Teen Wolf (thus far)

10 Even when the relationships make you groan/giggle  -- almost always --  you can still care about them. Maybe because they're teenagers and you can forgive teenagers a lot. Maybe because it's only been 1 Season and they aren't replaying the same drama for years on end (yet). Maybe because the show doesn't take itself too seriously but genuinely seems to be fond of its characters.

09 Season 2's supposed edict "more emotions, less clothing" is so far totally true.

eight more bests after the jump

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Maleficent is Coming

Production began on Maleficent (2014) today. A movie we're both totally in for and dreading for very different reasons simultaneously. Of course pre-production has long been afoot as this new photo of the incomparable Angelina Jolie as Disney's best villainess attests. Oscar nominated costume designer Anna B Sheppard (Schindler's List) has been hard at work (obviously) along with the makeup department in replicating the dangerously sharp cheekboned, horned devil look.

Angelina "Maleficent" Joliedglksg

The film will star Angelina as Maleficent and Fanning the Younger as Sleeping Beauty along with Sharlto Copley (District 9), Sam Riley (Control), some Mike Leigh regulars and Juno Temple. Most intriguing is the slightly unexpected production team which boasts Sheppard (best known for WW II era prestige dramas rather than fantasies) Dean Semler on cinematography (better known for westerns like Young Guns and Dances with Wolves than fantasies). Screenwriter Linda Woolverton who helped pen two Disney classics The Lion King and Beauty & The Beast has the script duties though we might have to worry about yet another "backstory" retelling. Doesn't anyone love the inherent mystery of iconic characters anymore? I know I do.




Curio: Seeing Silhouettes

Alexa here. Although they were an 18th Century craze,  silhouettes are a familiar sight in our collective film memory (James Bond openers, Elliott and E.T., even Mystery Science Theater 3000).  Cut paper silhouettes that harken back to the history of the medium are making a crafty comeback, so it seems silhouette designs are popping up everywhere from posters to porcelain. Here are some particularly nice backlit movie icons that follow the trend.

Jack and Rose, Jack and Sally, Hiccup and Toothless, handcut by Isabel Talsma.

A little Alfred Hitchcock, Jean Luc Godard and All About Eve after the jump...

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Twins: Luke & Leia

twins daily at 2:22 pm (while we're in Gemini)

Like most people of my generation I grew up with the Star Wars franchise (1977-1983. It ends there, right?) as the single most defining pop culture event of youth. I did not, however, feel any particular need to have it as a continuing Force (heh) in my life, afterwards. By the time I was a teenager I had already moved on to the collected works of dramatic actresses as The Single Most Satisfying Form of Entertainment. So I'm kind of amazed still that in any given month on the internet you can find dozens of new articles or tumblr items or deviant art sketches or nsfw riffs or ANYTHING at all about the franchise. It just doesn't stop... even after George Lucas tried to kill it cluttering up the beautifully sparse frames of the originals with merciless revisionism and CGI accessorizing.

Yet despite my lack of continued love for the franchise to end all franchises (or, more accurately, the franchise to start all franchises -- that's all we get now!) I will admit that Luke & Leia still have a very special place in my adult heart. 

More on Padmé & Darth's twins after the jump...

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Take Three: Cécile De France

Craig here with this week's Take Three. Today: Cécile De France

Take One: Haute tension/Switchblade Romance (2004)
De France brings an entirely new meaning to the term ‘Final Girl’ in Alexandre Aja’s Haute tension (or, to give it its more exploitation-happy title, Switchblade Romance). Spoiler Alert: Although we see Philippe Nahon doing the relentless butchering throughout the film, it emerges toward the end that he’s merely a projection of De France’s Marie’s imagination; he’s the product of pent-up sexual urge in Marie to create a marauding male monster in her mind. It all gets very muddy before becoming incredibly bloody. We witness the farmhouse massacre (the central setting for the film) alongside Marie, and place misguided hopes onto De France to ‘save the day’. With close-cropped hair and slightly (deliberately?) awkward mannerisms suggesting ambiguous duplicity, she's a a striking presence. Some careful direction and judicious editing make the film’s ruse work and ably assist De France to communicate the exact amount of required fear. Her peril is entirely believable when she’s tucked away in a closet ostensibly watching Nahon murder the mother of the house. This high (barbed) wire is even more remarkable after the fact in retrospect. She conveys the final act slide into libido-charged maniacal force with just the right amount of desperate, perplexed kinkiness. Her’s is a three-tiered act in one: she’s victim, saviour and perpetrator. De France physically and emotionally wrenched turn works hard to cautiously hint to one aspect whilst juggling the other two. How many men in horror movies have had to spin those kinds of performance plates? 

two more takes after the jump

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