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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 | instagram | letterboxd 

 

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"I'm a huge Jean Simmons fan, and I think she legitimately takes the prize here" - Matt

"Pauline Kael called Claire Trevor's a great bad performance or something in an aside for a review in the seventies, and I agree. She's auditioning for the Carol Burnett parody of herself." - Alfred

"People really should see Raw Deal because it's absolutely spectacular." - Cal


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Tuesday
Apr092013

Podcast: The Place Beyond the Desiring Images of the 90s

Surprise Podcast Attack!

For this impromptu conversation, Nick Davis, Joe Reid and Nathaniel R (c'est moi) travel back in time to the 1990s to talk VHS, Jurassic Park, Box Office vs. Lasting Power, Charactor Actors, and Desired Images (on account of Nick's book!) like Brad Pitt or Velvet Goldmine.

In addition to the time travelling we check in with new movies like the documentary Leviathan, the Ryan Gosling/Bradley Cooper drama The Place Beyond the Pines and Tyler Perry's Temptation

You can download the podcast on iTunes or listen right here at the end of the post. 

Beyond the Desiring Image

Tuesday
Apr092013

Top Ten 1990s

I promised longtime TFE super fan Ryan that I would one day write up a big top ten of the 90s piece although THIS IS NOT IT. This is like those tossed back "shots" of past decades wherein we tell each other our favorites. I'll tell you my ten favorites which are wildly unstable and could be replaced by anything in the "with apologies to" list if I'd ranked on another day. Well, not the top three. I mean... let's not get crazy.

  1. The Piano (Jane Campion)
  2. Boogie Nights (Paul Thomas Anderson)
  3. Thelma & Louise (Ridley Scott)
  4. Heavenly Creatures (Peter Jackson)
  5. Beauty & The Beast (Trousdale & Wise)
  6. All About My Mother (Pedro Almodóvar)
  7. Trois Coleurs Trilogy (Krystof Kzielowski)
  8. T2: Judgment Day (James Cameron)
  9. Fargo (The Coen Bros)
  10. Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino)

Most of them weren't even nominated for Best Picture. (Sigh). Oscar is so...

With apologies to 15 more. Let's call it a top 25: 
Being John Malkovich, Titanic, [safe], Howards End, The Thin Red Line, Se7en, The Truman Show, Schindler's List, The Silence of the Lambs, Postcards from the Edge, Edward Scissorhands, The Grifters, Waiting for Guffman, Husbands and Wives, and Election.

other "favs" if not all of them as 'respectable':
Death Becomes Her, Babe, Ed Wood, Dead Man Walking, Strictly Ballroom, Tie Me Up Tie Me Down, A League of Their Own, Addams Family Values, Bullets Over Broadway, Reality Bites, Queen Margot, Clueless, Romeo + Juliet, My Best Friend's Wedding, Wings of the Dove, Celebration, The Idiots, High Art, Velvet Goldmine, Run Lola Run, My Own Private Idaho, Priest, The Fisher King, Leaving Las Vegas and The Last of the Mohicans.

P.S. After Jurassic Park (best shot tomorrow night!), I promise we'll leave the 90s behind and come back to the now. So get it all out of your system in the comments!

Previous Top Ten Quickies
1930s | 1950s1970s | 1980s

Tuesday
Apr092013

Hot Docs '13

Hi everyone! Amir here, to bring you exciting festival news at month's end. Nathaniel is heading to the Nashville Film Festival as a jury member and for the first time at The Film Experience, we’re also going to cover the Hot Docs Festival, North America’s largest documentary fest, which is held in Toronto. It’s a record breaking year for their ever-expanding programme: there are 205 documentaries screening, 44 of which are world premieres.

The Manor, Hot Docs' opening film

Hot Docs hits two important milestones this year. First, the festival turns 20: “It’s not a teenager anymore” as the director announced at the press conference; it's a major triumph for a niche festival to become a mainstay. Second, Bloor Cinema, the theatre that hosts most of the screenings turns 100! It’s one of Canada’s oldest and most nostalgia inducing cinemas. Had it not been for their incredibly cheap memberships and close proximity to my university, I’d never have seen masterpieces like The 400 Blows, A Space Odyssey, Talk to Her, Rear Window and many, many others on the big screen, so I personally hold it very dear. Hot Docs’ ownership of the theatre, however, means that in recent years the screenings have been mostly limited to documentary films, but I’m certain the festival will acknowledge the theatre’s long history.

For the Oscar-inclined, I should note that Hot Docs' relationship with the awards season isn’t a consistent one, which is understandable given the low exposure many documentaries receive outside the festival circuit. However there are films like The Cove and Hell and Back Again that premiere here and go on to march towards Oscar's red carpet. 

The festival runs from April 25th to May 5th and will open with a Canadian film called The Manor, directed by Shawney Cohen, about his personal experience of growing up in a Jewish family that run a famous strip club in Suburban Ontario.  

Tuesday
Apr092013

Reader Spotlight: Douglas Reese

Douglas gets into the Spring Breakers spiritReader Spotlights continue as we get to know The Film Experience community. This time we're talking to filmmaker Douglas Reese. 

Hi Douglas! We started talking because of Spring Breakers for which you wrote a really impassioned review. What other movies do you think are misunderstood or underappreciated? 

DOUGLAS: I find myself defending panned movies all the time. Even when I actively dislike a movie, I can't bring myself to not at least value one aspect of it - whether it be technical or on the level of camp. The horror genre is largely looked down upon unless a respected auteur is behind the movie or if it's more connected with drama. I can't for the life of me see how the ambitiousness of Rob Zombie's films goes unnoticed. His stuff just has a strong sense of style and ownership. His Halloween II film may be one of the trippiest slasher flicks ever made. I also like HellBent because of its engaging wit and then there's I Know Who Killed Me which is, like, the best Dario Argento movie that guy didn't direct. I feel Freddy Got Fingered is misunderstood - it's got a very sick sense-of-humor, but I find myself laughing and feeling disgusted with every comedic setpiece in it. It's just so bizarre and there's never been anything like it before. Southland Tales is a movie I also feel should be focused on a bit more. Even if the movie is a bloated, messy, weird piece of work - I can't think of a more biting satire of American tropes since Showgirls up until Spring Breakers came along. Also, speaking of foursome female leads with one of them being Vanessa Hudgens, Sucker Punch was wildly inventive so I'm naturally perplexed by the strong hate it gets. It's not often a Hollywood-funded blockbuster can also be consider arthouse.

Why do you read TFE?

The Film Experience was always easily one of my favorite Oscar sites (along with the now deseased StinkyLulu) not only because of my strong love for Nicole Kidman but, you were never afraid to admit that there are good camp films out there to enjoy. I always appreciate those who don't feel like the most technically impressive films are necessarily the greatest ever made. And I also enjoy how connected you have always been with your readers.

Thanks and yesssss Nicole Kidman. 
No other actress, for me, defines the physical beauty that the camera can contain within a frame and still invoke work that is as stylistically different and well-rounded as hers. My absolute favorite.


Anyone else?
Behind her it's easily Shelley Duvall and her quirky, highly original work in the films of Robert Altman throughout the 70s and her undervalued brilliance that was Wendy Torrence in 
The Shining. Behind them I'd go with Anna Karina - who, without a doubt, brought a sincerity to her character work in Godard's films; even when he obviously intended to just create his typical ciphers. 

What's your first movie memory?

I recall quite vividly watching Disney's Pinnocchio in my diapers early in the morning at my grandma's farmhouse and finding it amusing and frightening. I'm grateful that movie still stands up for me today, because even now it's a totally wonderful experience to endure. Other than that, can I have another rewatch of Hocus Pocus, please? I don't think I've seen that enough.

You make films but your IMDb page is all mixed up with someone else's. What are we going to do about that?

Douglas filming Douglas

I'm not sure why my stuff is on IMDb in the first place. Almost everything on there is experimental no-budget work I've done since 2008. I think they may have assumed I was this Douglas Reese guy who was on "The Dating Game" in the 1980s and just added my work to his credit. Over on MUBI, I offered them to add my work to their catalog and they happily did - and thus born quite a lot of positive (and negative) feedback for some of my stuff, so maybe I really should get the IMDb fiasco fixed? I just don't like to think of myself as a total professional filmmaker, because that's not why I make my films in the first place. My filmmaking aesthetic would definitely be that I'm not really wanting to make technically polished work, but films that capture how I'm feeling about certain things; social or personal. My film Cleaners, for example, was me wanting to capture a kind of American lifestyle currently going on that most people don't want to realize, so it was more social - but something like my movie Snake is otherwise interested in capturing this feeling of dread and depression that I was going through at that time in my life. I just love, more or less than anything, the concept of human suffering and want to showcase how incredible misery can be.

Cheers! Thanks for chatting Douglas.

Previous Spotlights

Tuesday
Apr092013

First & Last: Come on, Silly

first and last puzzles
the first and last images and lines of dialogue from a motion picture.

First: When you're finished, see the director.
Last: We're getting along fine. Come on, silly. 

Can you guess the movie?
If you're stumped the answer is after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Apr092013

Curio: Mitch Frey's Film Typologies

Alexa here. The German photographers Bernard and Hilla Becher pioneered the art of the typology: grids of images of various examples of a single type of object. The technique was to photograph a series of similar objects, usually industrial structures, from similar vantage points to highlight what their differences were. Illustrator Mitch Frey has used this technique to create grids of types from the world of film, including these 70s movie men. He's turned the typology into a fun guessing game of "Name That Movie!"

We'll continue the guessing games after the jump, with 70s ladies, and typologies of Clint Eastwood through the years...

Click to read more ...