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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, or by a member of our amazing team as noted.

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100 Best of the 21st Century?

"Carol >>>>>>>>>> most of these movies" - Clarence

"The more I see these snooty lists, the more I get turned off of by film critics. What about Lord of the Rings, The Hours, The Devil Wears Prada..." -Jono

"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - The movie you're hoping to see every time you go in the cinema" - Jeremy

 

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Thursday
Apr032014

Open Thread & Vacation Time

What's on your cinematic mind? I was worried you were all thinking about the exact same thing that we had neglected to write on until I realized the comments were malfunctioning. FIXED. So now that you can comment again, please fill it up the blog with your movie-addled thoughts. I'll be reading them and letting them marinate for inspiration as I soak up the sun... 

I'm always totally burnt out post-Oscar, so it's time for my annual off the grid rejuvenation. Only a long weekend but it'll help. I plan to be in the water as much as possible and when I come back I'll hit the ground running, tie up all loose ends (the smackdown I know I know) and get to those April Foolish Oscar Predictions so we can start all over again. In the meantime I know the team has some goodies planned for you.

xoxo - Nathaniel 

Thursday
Apr032014

The Boy From Hell Turns Ten

Amir here, to celebrate the tenth birthday of Guillermo Del Toro’s red devil child, Hellboy.

Writing a piece for the anniversary of a superhero film is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the rate at which we get new entries to the pantheon of the genre seems ever increasing to the point of complete satiation – this year alone, we have Captain America, Spider-man and X-Men films awaiting release. These films have become narrower in variety than films of any other genre, perhaps as a result of the culture and industry that cultivates them. Each film gets multiple sequels and reboots, with streamlined, thematically “universal” narratives that maximize profitability across the globe and minimize cinematic character. Hence, a mere ten-year distance from the release date doesn’t appear to warrant any sense of nostalgia.

On the other hand, the frequency of these superhero treats means that their place in the cultural landscape has dramatically changed since 2004. The range of filmmakers and actors who have tackled the superhero universe has expanded, so novelties like the involvement of a lesser known Del Toro and Ron Perlman, Hollywood’s unlikeliest superhero are rarities. [More...] 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr032014

Seasons of Bette: Jezebel (1938)

Editor's Note: A huge thank you to my trusted right hand woman in Old Hollywood love. Anne Marie is filling in for this particular edition of "Seasons of Bette" (a sidebar series to "A Year With Kate" as we investigate Bette's Oscar roles whenever they appear in Kate's timeline. I'll be back next week to talk "Dark Victory" - Nathaniel.

 

After an iconic film for Kate this week, we have an Oscar-winning, career-defining film for Bette Davis as well! Jezebel could have been easily dismissed as another Gone With The Wind wannabe, pining after a romanticized Antebellum New Orleans where the women were lace and steel and the men fought for honor instead of money. It would be high melodrama, except for the contributions of two people: Bette Davis and William Wyler. The subtle theme played beneath the movie is Honor: who has it and who insults it and whether a good action is defined by it motivations or its method. At the heart of the story is Julie Marsden, a Southern debutante whose actions, good and bad, are motivated by love and vanity.

Once again, Bette’s character is gossiped about before she even appears onscreen... [More]

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr032014

Technical Difficulties

There appears to be some sort of issue. Posts have not published and neither have comments. Working on it. 

UPDATE: The situation is resolved. Please continue your daily reading and commenting. xo

Wednesday
Apr022014

Thoughts I Had... While Watching The "Lucy" Trailer

Scarlett Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlet Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlet Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlet Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlet Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlet Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlet Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlet Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlet Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlet Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlet Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlet Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlet Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlet Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlet Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlet Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlet Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlet Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlet Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlet Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlet Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlet Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlet Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlet Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlett Johansson  

 

Maria Full of Grace if it had been a Luc Besson picture bankrolled by a major studio

That part with the eyeball is cool but I don't understand how increased brain capacity allows you to make your eyes change color and your hair grow super fast and change colors? These are brain functions of which I was not yet aware.

Wednesday
Apr022014

A Year With Kate: Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Episode 14 of 52 from Anne Marie's series screening Katharine Hepburn's films in chronological order.

In which there is a leopard on your roof and it’s my leopard and I have to get it down and to get it down I have to sing!

Bringing Up Baby is a movie I’m honestly a little afraid to discuss. This golden Howard Hawks comedy about a befuddled professor (Cary Grant), a ditzy socialite (Kate) and a leopard (Baby), rightly occupies many “best of” lists. But while we all know the legend behind the film--troubled production, loses money, critically panned, “box office poison,” etc--the reality is a little less dramatic. Well, except the critically panned part:

“In Bringing Up Baby Miss Hepburn has a role which calls for her to be breathless, senseless, and terribly, terribly fatiguing. She succeeds, and we can be callous enough to hint it is not entirely a matter of performance.”

In March of 1938, New York Times film critic Frank S. Nugent devoted not one but two columns to eviscerating Bringing Up Baby. Though he was only one voice - Bringing Up Baby received mixed reviews both negative and positive - his vitriol cast a pall over the film’s reputation. It hurts my sense of justice that Nugent was allowed to say such terrible things about Hepburn and Bringing Up Baby, yet Kate never responded. I refuse to let that stand.

What follows are quotes from Nugent’s March 4th and 13th reviews (best read in the voice of Addison de Witt) with rebuttals taken from the film. After 76 years, Kate should get the last word.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Apr022014

Link of All Media

big screen
Towleroad James Franco to plan an ex-gay activist in a new Gus Van Sant film
Guardian Russell Crowe meets with the Archbishop of Canterbury for Noah. The things people will do for movie promotion, I tell you
Empire Cake, a Jennifer Aniston movie about a pain support group, lines up a huge cast of acclaimed actors including Anna Kendrick (highly in demand lately... so many new projects)
AV Club talks to former child star Haley Joel Osment who is apparently in the next Kevin Smith picture

In Contention very minor new details emerge on Meryl Streep's Ricki & the Flash (which we were just discussing)
Empire Brad Pitt is doing yet another World War II movie after that upcoming tank drama. This will be his third in a handful of years.
THR reports on casting for Monster Truck, which is described as having a "Transformers meets Gremlins vibe". Yikes. One of those is pleasurable at least
Coming Soon Toby Kebbell wins the Doctor Doom role in the upcoming Fantastic Four
/bent rumors flying that producers of the upcoming Belushi biopic are panicking about Ellen Page's coming out. Dumb. Seriously people do not care about this. They don't. They only care in a think piece on the internet kind of way which is to say it's not going to affect anyone's ticket purchase.
Pajiba and Film School Rejects both have cute articles about body-swapping yesterday (I musta missed the memo that this was a thing connected to April Fools Day?) via Face/Off and Freaky Friday and more. Sadly there's no gif for Tom Hanks in Big but I do still remember his reaction to waking up in an adult body
Forbes on why Warner Bros/DC doesn't need to do like Disney/Marvel does with its superhero universe. This article is 4 times as long as it needs to be since you get literally all of its points in the first few hundred words (but it's good to fight against common wisdom) but maybe it's actually a satire about the repetitiveness of padded franchise culture?

no screen
Slate I don't know music theory (though, as previously noted, I can play the piano) but I thought this article about Lady Gaga's enduring "Bad Romance" was interesting. 
NME Courtney Love thinks a Kurt Cobain Broadway musical is very likely to happen
/Film Yes Wicked still wants to be a movie. Spring Awakening, too. An update.

⇐ Towleroad and can I say I'm thrilled that Harvey Milk finally got a stamp. "Forever" is right, US Postal Service! The gay rights pioneer and awesome subject of not one but two Oscar-winning films (The Times of Harvey Milk and Milk from 1984 and 2008, respectively, was super deserving thanks for asking)

small screen
i09 first commercial for Extant, Halle Berry's new TV project
Variety Peabody Award winners include Scandal, Orphan Black, and House of Cards
Sorta That Guy and The Wire and The Wrap and seemingly EVERYONE else online on the series finale of How I Met Your Mother. A lot more people in the universe seemed interested in that I could have ever imagined. I've seen only 6 or 7 episodes over the years from varying seasons and thought none were anywhere better than "okay"

Today's Must Love
This one took me a split second to get but it gave me such lol'ing joy. Hat tip to Rufus Mayhem and Hayden Wright...