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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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Amy Adams for Janis Joplin

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Wednesday
Apr062011

"these strange links happen all the time"

Alt Film Guide reports on a fascinating-sounding Art Direction seminar coming to Hollywood later this month. It's $40 for the whole series / $30 for students. I'd sign up if I were in LA. Several Oscar nominees are speaking.
Towleroad Remember when Julianne Moore was supposed to play Hilary Clinton?
Time is taking your votes for their upcoming Time 100 list. The list is narrowed down to 200 now. Naturally some movie people are on the finalist list including but by no means limited to Lee Unkrich of Pixar fame, Angie & Brad, and to my delight, The Bening.
Gold Derby Speaking of Annette Bening. She's getting another honor this time from Women in Film in June. But weirdness. They've named Katie Holmes "the face of the future" Um... This isn't 1999.

Go Fug Yourself imagines a conversation between Nicole Kidman & Keith Urban. Comes with the requisite poll of course. Do you like this look?
Twitch, noticing all the underage killers in movies, does the only sane thing one can do: LIST.
Stale Popcorn posts his self proclaimed crowning moment: a top ten Renée Zellweger facial expressions in her Case 39 movie. Oh Zeéeeee you expressive loon.
Viktor Hertz Pictogram Movie Posters? Have I ever shared these before? I can't keep track. They're so fun. The best ones are for the horror movies like Psycho and Rosemary's Baby and Magnolia. Well, Magnolia is not technically a horror movie but I like that poster too. Horror of the soul perhaps?

I didn’t love him when we met and I did so many bad things to him that he doesn’t know. Things that I want to confess to him, but now I do. I love him…. This isn’t any fucking medication talking! This isn’t. I don’t know, I don’t know. Can you give me nothing? You have power of attorney! Can you go, can you go in the final fucking moments and change the will? I don’t want any money. I couldn’t live with myself with this thing that I’ve done. I’ve done so many bad things...

Wednesday
Apr062011

Happy Birthday, Celluloid!

JA from MNPP here, with your cinematic history lesson of the day. On this day one-hundred and forty-two years ago, the inventor John Wesley Hyatt patented a process of mixing together cellulose nitrote and camphor, which he'd meant as a means of producing cheap billiard balls (which had up til then been made strictly of ivory). They'd actually purchased the patent from a British inventor, Alexander Parkes, who'd gone bankrupt twice over trying to figure out a good use for his substance (including creating a line of waterproofed clothing) - lawsuits inevitably followed between them once the plastic began to take off, but it was Hyatt who's credited with calling it celluloid and figuring out its final composition.

Although the process began ten years later, it wasn't until another ten years after that, around 1888, that celluloid began being sliced down into sheets for photography (check out Hannibal Goodwin and his five million dollar winning lawsuit against Eastman Kodak over that), which by 1889 made their way into Thomas Edison's grubby hands and the rest is cinematic history.

Unfortunately celluloid had some disadvantages. It doesn't age well, and a lot of early films were ruined because of it. And it turned out to be highly flammable - the supposedly regal movie-house in my tiny upstate NY hometown actually burned to the ground back in the 1940s because of it - and it'd started being replaced by acetate and polyester by the 1950s (and now of course everything's digital). Still, even if the substance itself hasn't lasted, the word itself still carries weight.

This award is meaningful because it comes from my fellow dealers in celluloid."
-- Alfred Hitchcock in his AFI Lifetime Acheivement Award speech, March 1979 


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Wednesday
Apr062011

First and Last, All Things.

the first and last images from motion pictures.

 

Can you guess the movie?

Wednesday
Apr062011

New on DVD: Zeéeeee, Tron, Jack, and Swans Hangin' On

Just out on DVD: Casino Jack, Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I Love You Philip Morris, Little Fockers, The Tacqwacores, Tron Legacy and the final season of Friday Night Lights (yes! can't wait).

Which went on your queue immediately?

And finally, I kid you not, "The Renée Zellweger Collection" has hit stores. I always find these three-pack "collections" so bizarre as they're usually highly unrepresentative of someone's career. The films featured in this one are ME MYSELF AND IRENE, DOWN WITH LOVE, and MY ONE AND ONLY. I guess Down With Love is totally "a Renée Zelwegger picture" but the other two? Well, I haven't seen My One and Only so I shouldn't say that. Have you?

P.S. I like Down With Love. Fun movie. I like Peyton Reed so much but his career doesn't seem to be happening in the way I'd hoped post Bring It On (2000). Sigh.

Meanwhile, Black Swan which came out last week on DVD is still trying to hold on to our collective psyche by launching midnight screenings hosted by famous queens.

Shequida and Manila Luzon (one of my favorite girls on RuPaul's Drag Race) hosted the event which got the crowd dancing here in NYC.

Events were hosted at midnight in Los Angeles (there's the wonderful "Chloe" to your far left -- her YouTube videos sending up Chloë Sevigny as fashion hipster icon are a treat -- with "Rhea Litre"), Chicago (that's Frida Lay as the Black Swan and "Mercedes" as the White Swan) and San Francisco (Heklina and Sister Roma hosted).

Attendees were encouraged to dress up of course.

I totally considered going as my girl Winona in a silver X dress with a nail file protuding from my cheek but alas... my ideas are always bigger than time and my budget can account for.

 

Tuesday
Apr052011

April Showers: Shutter Island

waterworks weeknights at 11 as we turn on the cinematic shower.

For a movie I claim to have not liked at all, I really have been going back to Scorsese's Shutter Island (2010) repeatedly while blogging, haven't I? It just keeps coming up somehow. A lot of it is just too stiffly serious when it would have been a better sit had it swerved towards the archly horrific on occassion to offset its portentous Sturm und Drang.

But about those Sturms...

Pull yourself together Teddy. Pull yourself together. It's just water. It's a lot of water.

Teddy Daniels in Shutter Island is barely functional considering all the lakes, oceans and storms haunting him. So it's kind of pitiable that he also has to shower in the movie, too. Both times it's just so completely futile.

Two sorry showers after the jump.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Apr052011

Deja Vu: Oscar On Franchise Tides Pt. 2

Though I was about to pronounce 2011 unusually sequel-infested, it might not be much different than any other year. Perhaps it's just the Animated Feature category that has made it feel that way with so many high profile continuations. The difference might just be in how much it seems to be confusing the Oscar Prediction Process. Generally speaking in The Academy's 83 year history, they haven't been much for remakes and sequels and long running series. But times they are a-changing and have been since oh... Star Wars? You can't really stay totally immune to the repetitive charms of franchises if 65% of the movies released are series of some sort, as if the cinema were just one giant television and we all eagerly awaited the next episode of Fill in the Blank: The Further Adventures of That Pt.3.

 

Franchises have been part of Hollywood forever. From left to right: The Thin Man (7 films), James Bond (22+ films), Tarzan (80+ films), The Pink Panther (11 films), Star Wars (6 films), Batman (6+ features), Aliens (4+ features), The Godfather (3 films). But they haven't always been Oscar magnets

Steven Spielberg and George Lucas shook Hollywood up in the 70s, not just by creating "summer movie season" as we know it but also by opening the floodgates to repetitive Oscar charms. Previous long running franchises like Tarzan or James Bond hadn't managed much in the way of Oscar attention, perhaps viewed more as popcorn entertainments than quality filmmaking. The six-film Star Wars saga amassed 22 nominations and 10 statues, the four-film Indiana Jones adventures amassed 13 nominations and 7 statues. The most obvious ancestor and ultimate champion of this new form of long-form Oscar pull was The Lord of the Rings; over just three films it managed 30 nominations and 17 statues which was even more than The Godfather trilogy (29 nominations and 9 statues)

Two of the world's most popular franchises return this year. What will Oscar do with the Boy Wizard and Captain Jack this time around?

Jack Sparrow (3 films | 11 nominations | 1 win)

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
    5 nominations (Actor, Makeup, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Visual Effects) 
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)
    4 nominations (Art Direction, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Visual Effects*)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007)
    2 nominations (Makeup, Visual Effects)

The Academy has been quite generous with this series though they snubbed its quite awesome first film costumes by the strangely never nominated Penny Rose. But will they tire of it now that it seems like the series will never leave us? Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides can probably count on a Visual Effects nod since the series has never faltered there but maybe it'll pick up Sound Editing and Makeup too if they're not shouting "Enough already!!!" in unison.

Harry Potter (7 films | 9 nominations | 0 wins)

  • Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone (2001)
    3 nominations (Art Direction, Original Score, Costume Design)
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
    N/A
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
    2 nominations (Original Score, Visual Effects)
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
    1 nomination (Art Direction)
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix(2007)
    N/A
  • Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2009)
    1 nomination (Cinematography)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1 (2010)
    2 nominations (Art Direction, Visual Effects)

As you can see from the list, there's not much statistical basis to support the wishful thinking (in some quarters) that AMPAS is itching to reward the entire series this year as it finally closes in its eleventh year of hogging the world's money with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2.  The series best bet for a first (!) statue is obviously an Art Direction career-win for Stuart Craig who has done marvelous work on the series. Here's how much they love his work on the series: they even nominated him last year the year in which he arguably did the least. The most perplexing nomination in the series history in terms of 'why then and what does it mean?' would have to be the cinematography nomination for Half Blood Prince. A cinematography get is a big deal and that one does make you wonder how many sixth place finishes, just outside of nomination range, Potter has managed over the years. If the answer is MANY then we might see them rewarding the franchise with a series best showing.

We can probably save the discussion of the third Transformers films and the tech situation with all those superhero films for a later time though let it suffice to say for now that the credits for Thor and particularly Captain America: The First Avenger are stacked with former Oscar players in categories like Original Score, Art Direction, Costume Design, Makeup and Film Editing. Who knew? Marvel ain't playin' around.

VISUAL CATEGORY First Oscar Predictions of Year new
AURAL CATEGORY First Oscar Predictions of Year new
Previously: Animated Feature | Actor | Supporting Actor | Screenplay

Tuesday
Apr052011

First and Last, Our Great Nation.

The first image and the last line from a motion picture.

I present this in the hope that our great nations may learn to live in peace.

Can you guess the movie?

check your guess after the jump.

Click to read more ...