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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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Podcast - 1996 Cannes Competition Revisit

"Never forget Madonna (!!) beating Frances McDormand for the Golden Globe that year" - David

 "Watson/McDormand/Blethyn? I couldn't even choose. All so perfect - my favorite kind of Oscar category." -Mike

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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 ...

Monday
Apr082013

Mad Men @ the Movies: From Here To Eternity & A Star is Born

In Mad Men at the Movies we explore the cinematic references of television's finest drama. So good to have the SCDP gang back on our small screen dreaming about their big screens. Naturally mild spoilers follow...

6.1 "The Doorway"
Vague Synopsis: The sixth season of Mad Men begins just before New Year's 1968 (?). A client has paid for the Drapers to vacation in Hawaii assuming that the trip will inspire Don to come up with a brilliant ad campaign to sell their hotel. They don't quite get what they were expecting since Don Draper is perpetually gloomy and unknowable even to himself -- 'The Inferno? just a little light reading on the beach!' Later both Peggy & Don run into trouble with their latest individual ad concepts due to uncomfortable associations - Peggy's ad rubs up against the world's worsening Vietnam problems, Don's ad reminds his clients of suicide. Meanwhile, perpetual child Betty Draper Francis obsesses over her daughter's friend (this isn't the first time!) and continues to need more therapy even more frequently than lost playboy Roger Sterling is getting it.

As ever not all of the movie references on Mad Men are spelled out with movie titles. more...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Apr082013

Winter Soldier + Black Widow ? 

I keep tricking myself into believing that this is a superhero free year but that's only because Iron Man, Supes and Thor haven't hit yet. Captain America, on the other hand, won't be back until 2014. Production commenced today on Captain America: Winter Soldier and here's the first photo.

Chris Evans is feeling shy, I guess.

What I didn't know, presumably only because I don't follow these things closely, is that he's bringing the Black Widow with him. Scarlett Johansson is his co-star in the sequel which makes good business and universe sense since she's the only Avenger (thus far) that they're never going to give a solo movie, too. They might as well indulge in teamsploitation post the behemoth success of The Avengers.

I stopped reading comic books regularly in college so I still primarily associate The Black Widow with Daredevil (with whom she was sexually entwined) rather than The Avengers. But it turns out she also had a fling with the titular character here.

No, not the good Captain but The Winter Soldier (aka James "Bucky" Barnes aka New Captain... played by Sebastian Stan). So are they setting up Natasha as the woman who comes between the former best friends and now enemies? Marvel Superheroes are largely sexless on the big screen (if not in the comic books) but since Chris Evan's Captain America is still a virgin just out of 1940s deep-thaw can't Sebastian Stan Scarlett Johansson do something about that?

 

Monday
Apr082013

Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks

Variety recently reported that Rita Moreno had joined the cast of the comedy Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks. It's not uncommon for famous plays to be made into movies but this one affords us the rare opportunity to see three famous actresses we just don't see anymore strutting their stuff . In addition to Oscar winning Moreno, the one and only Ann-Margret will appear and acting icon and still Oscarless Gena Rowlands has the lead role of a retiree who hires a dance instructor (Cheyenne Jackson) to teach her. Cheyenne's been tweeting from Hungary where they start filming today!

Regarding the plot: As you may have guessed this pair's relationship starts out thorny but deepens. Dancing Miss Daisy

The play has been performed across the Globe (you can see a past gallery of pairings here). It'll be interesting to see if Cheyenne & Gena have the kind of big screen chemistry you'd need to pull something like this off or if it'll turn out to have more or a made-for-television filler programming feel. But I'm all in with this cast even if when I first heard of it I thought suddenly of that forgotten Liza Minnelli film Stepping Out when she teaches a bunch of Hopeless Students to tap dance so that they could each overcome their screenplay problem and everyone could live have a happy character arc. Good luck everyone!

Sunday
Apr072013

Open Thread

I'm hard at work on the new Oscar charts hence the lack of new posts. Do you like the new color scheme? Banner? Do you have anything to add to that huge list of upcoming movies I posted yesterday. That's the list I'm working from for the new Oscar charts though I'll have to take a two hour break when my beloved Mad Men returns tonight. What's going on in your cinematic world? What did you see this weekend? I caught Jurassic Park (in 3D) with a friend earlier today to prep for Hit Me With Your Best Shot on Wednesday. Are you joining us for that episode?