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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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Dreamworks Animation Pt 2: The Fall

"I loved this article. It reads like vintage EW, back when they relished the behind-the-scenes stories of Hollywood and the studios." -John T

"Dreamworks should not have oversaturated the animation market. Home is Dreamworks 31st animated film. Do you know what is Walt Disney Animation's 31st film? Aladdin. It took Disney over 5 decades to get there." -Chinoiserie

Part 1 here if you missed it

 

 

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Tuesday
May222012

Tues Top Ten: Tennis in the Movies

The world's number one ranked male tennis player turns a quarter century today so in honor of Novak Djokovic why not celebrate with a list of best tennis moments in the movies?

Because... uh...

Are there any? When I first thought of doing this list I was like YES -- little known fact: I played tennis daily one summer in high school and still love the game  -- only to hit a brick wall rather than a low net. You may have heard this complaint before from tennis fans but given the abundance of sports movies of every other stripe it's almost like Hollywood hates the game. Those private tennis courts on celebrity acreage are all going to waste.

I've come up with ten things anyway.

BEST TENNIS SOMETHING OR OTHER IN THE MOVIES

You should know upfront that I've never seen the Chad Lowe boy-in-drag masterpiece Nobody's Perfect (1989) -- no decade ever loved cross-dressing comedies like the 80s -- so I shan't include it. 

10 Wimbledon (2004)
Nobody likes this movie but given the abrupt sharp decline in romantic comedy quality over the past ten years, I bet it'd look pretty good if it came out now. At the very least both Paul Bettany and Kirsten Dunst looked fresh and healthy and sun-kissed as the professional athletes in love.

09 The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
We'll be sure to celebrate this movie's 25th anniversary next month but for now, remember that tennis match? Temperatures are flaring as the three best friends Jane (Susan Sarandon) Sukie (Michelle Pfeiffer) and Alex (Cher) all compete for Devil Jack Nicholson's attention. In a game of doubles things get vindicative and then supernatural.

 

Funny girls and dangerous men after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
May222012

Twins: Montgomery & Ethel

While Gemini is ruling, we're celebrating twins: real, fictional, and other. Double the pleasure! If it's your birthday we'll celebrate both of you in the comments.


Did you know that legendary actor Montgomery Clift had a twin sister? That's him with his twin sister Roberta above. She was born first making Monty the youngest of the Clift's three children. Monty and the family called her "Ethel" which was their mother's name though there mother went by "Sunny". Confusing!

Monty and Ethel in 1933. They were thirteen years old.The kids had a strange upbringing, moving frequently both abroad and in the States and they were privately tutored and well bred as if they had far far more money than they did. Monty theorized without a ton of conviction that his drive toward acting may have had to do with competition with his sister (and older brother), neither of whom pursued acting. Both of his siblings were college educated while Monty never went to high school, beginning his professional acting career at 14 on stage.

In a 1957 profile in McCall's a friend of Monty's is quoted as saying:

He's almost in a state of amnesia about his childhood. He never speaks of it, and if he's asked questions he side-steps."

The Clift kids weren't Geminis but Libras but all twins are honorary Geminis and all Geminis are honorary twins if you ask us.

It's hard to find much info about Roberta/Ethel but she married in 1945 (Monty attended) at which point Monty was already a star on Broadway collecting fans also bound for immortal fame like Marlon Brando. The next year he filmed his first movie role Red River (released later in 1948). 

His life was short and tortured but his influential legacy as one of the original brooding mumbling male superstars is long.

Tuesday
May222012

Curio: Overlook Ephemera

Poster design by Matt HightowerAlexa here. 32 years ago this very week, Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of The Shining opened in theaters. Kubrick's masterpiece received mixed reviews and, at least initially, the audience was similarly befuddled.  (My parents love to tell me that when they saw it opening weekend the audience frequently erupted in laughter.)  

It was nominated for two Razzies and zero Oscars.

Despite Stephen King's continued distaste towards it, the film's intrigue continues to grow (for evidence, just watch Room 237). I thought it the perfect time to mention one of my favorite Tumblrs, The Overlook Hotel, a wonderful archive of ephemera, fan art, interviews, and video related to the film.

Like this Scatman Crothers portrait "Shine Baby Shine" 

“Shine Baby Shine” by artist Quyen Dinh.

Click for more Overlook treasures including caricatures and letterhead. 

Click to read more ...

Monday
May212012

Monologue: Annette Bening. Still on the Grift.

1990 was the year in which I saw the least amount of movies in theaters. I was overseas and when I returned I devoured everything. I don't recommend missing an entire year of cinema but I also can't deny that it's fun to catch up in massive marathons. My favorite shiny new  plaything that year turned out to be Annette Bening. She had appeared in two movies before her breakthrough (The Great Outdoors and Valmont, the latter of which was barely released) but I wasn't familiar with her. In 1990 she ascended. She swiped a scene wholesale from Meryl Streep in Postcards from the Edge (in a way we didn't see again for another 18 years when Viola Davis rationalized away her son in Doubt) and sparkled and teased as Myra Langtry in The Grifters. She deservedly won her first Oscar nomination but the bid was doomed. "You in danger, girl" Ghost was a juggernaut and Whoopi Goldberg was impossible to deny..

Myra, delighted and curious, realizes her boyfriend is "on the grift"

Director Stephen Frears, then at his creative peak hot off Dangerous Liaisons, handed Bening The Grifter's pivotal centerpiece. It's not one scene exactly nor an unbroken monologue but a shifting series of impressions and exchanges in which Myra reveals her past (in voiceover flashback) and begins to rope in her future, altering the game board on which mother and son con artists Roy and Lily Dillon play (John Cusack and Anjelica Huston, the latter giving a mammoth Oscar-worthy performance.)

After Myra witnesses her boyfriend Roy "working the tat on those sailor boys"  she drops enough strange lingo to choke a lesser actress in an effort to rustle his cautious feathers and reveal himself.

Oh come on, Roy. 'The tat,' what you do for a living.❞

More including new Bening films...

Click to read more ...

Monday
May212012

Review: "Dark Shadows"

This article was originally published at Towleroad in my weekly column

Chloë Grace Moretz is judging you!

With the world too busy seeing The Avengers (reviewed) for a second time last weekend, Dark Shadows premiered to considerably less fanfare and bank than Tim Burton and Johnny Depp collaborations are generally greeted with. So who will even notice that we're one week late to the ball? Young Carolyn Stoddard (Chloë Grace Moretz) will -- she's so smugly superior -- but she prefers the word "happening". She's quick to school her out-of-time vampire uncle Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) that no one throws "balls" anymore.  

Actually, Carolyn, Tim Burton does...

Click to read more ...

Monday
May212012

Twin Time! We ♥ Geminis

Happy birthday to all our fellow Geminis out there. I thought we'd celebrate -- and reenergize the blog a bit -- with a daily dose of twins. Sometimes it'll just be a photo, sometimes a full post... but we're serving up twins until the next star sign arrives every day at 2:22 PM. And by we I mean both of me. 

not actual twins. Hayley Mills²

Shout it out if you love Geminis and twins in the comments. And if it's your birthday star sign, make a request.

Sunday
May202012

Take Three: Grace Zabriskie

 Craig here with this week's Take Three. Today: Grace Zabriskie


It was Grace Zabriskie’s 71st birthday last week. She’s achieved a lot in her vast career over the 34 years she’s been acting: she had a daughter with oversized thumbs (Even Cowgirls Get the Blues); paid River Phoenix for sex (My Own Private Idaho); been killed by Chuckie (Child’s Play 2); ran on a brothel  (The Brothel); evangelized about vampires (Blood Ties); had a asteroid named after her (Armageddon); performed a voodoo sex-killing (Wild at Heart); fought for worker’s rights (Norma Rae); navigated b-movie space horrors (Galaxy of Terror); and turned mourning into a mad maternal art (Twin Peaks). And that's just ten of her 93+ screen roles.

Here are three performances that I feel deserve highlighting.

Click to read more ...