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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

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SAG Ensemble Predictions

"How is no one talking about the kids from IT????? They were amazing" - David

"I think Girls Trip makes it. Or st least Tiffany Haddish gets a nod. Right now, I’m thinking both?" - Roger

"In terms of crazy nominations that will never happen in a million years, I'd be elated to see something like The Beguiled or mother! nominated." - Film Junkie

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(Denmark's Oscar Submission)
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(Croatia's Oscar Submission)

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Thursday
Jun182015

Falling in Love with Acting (and Advice for Young Actors)

The Film Experience is enormously proud to hand the site over to Ann Dowd (The Leftovers, Masters of Sex). She will be guest blogging all day. - Editor.

As Patti on "The Leftovers"

-by Ann Dowd

The awareness, the love story, for me began in high school. Acknowledging it came later. I’m talking about falling in love with acting and committing to the life with all its ups and downs.

You know, you do a play in high school and you think “Wow, this is kind of great.” For me it was playing Adelaide from Guys & Dolls -- it just about did me in with joy. But it never occurred to me, and I’m sure this is true for many others who didn’t grow up in a theater environment, that you could choose to be an actor.  It just wasn’t an option. 

I was in premed for four years in college. But I also took acting classes each year and that's where I found peace and some sense of fufillment. There it was, that feeling again, a deep love. The role that changed my perspective on whether or not I could really be an actress as a life choice was Sonya in Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya. It was that quiet voice again which said, "I want to live in her life."

It’s a simple thing, from my perspective now years later, about knowing whether you want to do this and whether you can commit for life.  And that’s in this question: 

Can I step into the life of another human being in an open and truthful way without judgment?

There’s a connection that happens when you’re acting that transcends just about anything. When that happens — and it doesn’t always —  but if it’s deep and it happens enough there’s an awareness that you could really live this life with all its ups and downs. So I made the change in senior year of college, auditioned for an acting school, got in, and essentially never looked back. It was very hard, many ups and downs. But there was never a question of “can I do it?” It was that I had to do it. Plain and simple — it was the only thing that made sense to me. 

Returning to Chekhov years later on Broadway in "The Seagull" with Kristin Scott Thomas and company

For Those Starting Out
Many young actors starting out want advice — “how do I get an agent?” is usually the question — and I'm afraid I don't have much advice on that issue.  When I look back now 30 years, when I think of what a young actor needs to be successful in this business, for me it comes down to the following: a fierce energy, a single mindedness, a refusal to consider failure or giving up as an option, and an unshakable belief that you have a rightful place in this work. Youth has that in it's favor. 

And I can offer this: stay deeply connected to your love of acting. Put your head down and keep going, even if there aren’t roles, or if they go well or don’t go well. In the moments when you’re alone, slow it all down. Step away from technology as much as you can, observe and listen to life as it unfolds. Live your life. Work on your relationships. You will need all of those things as actors. You need perspective. If you have personal issues, seek the help you need to get through them — you need an understanding of suffering and pain but you do not need to spend your life doing that to make the work good! 

Attend to your life in other words. Know and believe that it’s going to work out. If you love what you’re going to do and you do the work to get better as an actor,then you’re going to get the support you need.  

I know that sounds naive but I honestly believe it’s true.

Next: The Leftovers

 

Wednesday
Jun172015

Tim's Toons: The Many Tears of Pixar

Tim here. We're just a couple of days from the release of Inside Out, the 15th feature produced by Pixar Animation Studios, and by virtually unanimous consent, a return to the glory days of a company that has spent the last few years in search of its artistic mojo.

It’s a movie about emotions, the personification of Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear present in the mind of an 11-year-old girl. As befits its topic, virtually unanimous consent is also that it will make you feel lots. And it will make you cry. Lots.

more...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jun172015

HMYBS: Magic Mike (Part One)

Channing Tatum, Joe Mangianello and Matt Bomer have been hitting the campaign trail hard (no pun intended) to build excitement for Magic Mike XXL (2015) and for our little corner of the world, we'll "help" by revisiting the original with the less hilarious title of Magic Mike (2012). I love the title Magic Mike XXL but it's a relief that XXL is not a true Roman Numeral because think of all the sequels we would have missed between 2012 and 2015 if it were?

Among the campaign efforts from the beefcake cast thus far, are online vines, marching in LA's pride parade, and Channing Tatum's highly enjoyable Reddit AMA today, which included these two moments which just delighted me (as well as a stealth dig on Jupiter Ascending).

But I digress. Due to our very complicated schedule this week (I've been busy corralling future guests as well as talking with Ann Dowd who has the whole day tomorrow to talk to you about the love of acting and The Leftovers) this is only Part One of the Magic Mike celebration and if you want to play along we'll do another roundup on Friday. But for now please to enjoy these articles from the early bird Best Shot Participants.

Magic Mike (2012)
Directed by: Steven Soderbergh; Cinematography by: Steven Soderbergh as "Peter Andrews"; Written by: Reid Carolin; Starring: Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Olivia Munn, Alex Pettyfer, Matt Bomer, Adam Rodriguez, Kevin Nash, and Joe Mangianello

MAGIC MIKE BEST SHOT(s) - PART ONE 
Click on any of the 7 photos to read the corresponding blogpost

Pre-2012, Tatum was one of my least favorite actors. But in Magic Mike he finally had a vehicle that showed off his natural easy charisma...
-Sorta That Guy

Not only is it incredibly amusing, it reflects on the movie’s views on using bodies, sexuality, and images as commodities...
-Coco Hits NY


It was here that the McConaissance peaked...
- The Entertainment Junkie 

True Story:  In the summer of 2012, I saw Magic Mike with my sister in a movie theater in Anderson, South Carolina... 
- Drink Your Juice, Shelby

 

There's something very Lynch-ian about this particular frame... the haunting, mysterious lightning and the positioning of Ken in a doll package...
-Hofverberg *first submission* 

While the film is very much focused on its male characters, I found myself appreciating Cody Horn's seemingly maligned performance much more on a re-watch... 
-Film Actually 

 

Are they checking each others' moves or lost in a reverie of their own reflections?
-Me Says 


CONTINUE ON TO PART TWO - NINE MORE SHOTS (Some NSFW)

Wednesday
Jun172015

Emmy Balloting Obsessiveness

As you're no doubt aware, given our ongoing Emmy FYCs, the Television Academy is voting this week on the nominations for the 67th annual Primetime Emmy Awards (Sept 20th, 2015). Apologies to the small screen averse among you but as the lines blur between all the performing arts, so must we! We'll be back to a heavier movie focus in July but you know how June is: Tony Season climaxes and then Emmy voting happens. Consider Elisabeth Moss your new bridge mascot since she was just a nominee at the Tonys and she's in an Oscar-hopeful movies this year (Truth with Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett) and could be up for a final Emmy for her signature role Peggy Olson (Mad Men).

Ack!

It's so easy to get distracted when awards of any kind are the topic. Here are a few observations about the ballots after the jump but first...  please to enjoy this NEW CATEGORY PROPOSAL (We need 2 more nominees for this category so that's your job in the comments)

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jun172015

The Year of the Month is... 1948

Lest you forget, we have two Smackdowns this month. The first, already published, was for 1979 and for the second half of the month our retrospective love will be devoted to 1948 when these five women were nominated for Best Supporting Actress

 

  • Barbarba Bell Geddes, I Remember Mama
  • Ellen Corby, I Remember Mama
  • Agnes Moorhead, Johnny Belinda
  • Jean Simmons, Hamlet
  • Claire Trevor, Key Largo [winner]

Readers are the final panelist and your votes count (collectively) so between now and June 25th get your votes in with 1 (ouch) to 5 (total perfection) hearts for each. Please only vote on the performances you've seen (points are proportional so it doesn't affect the widely seen or the underseen).

To give you some context for the year, let's go over some high points of 1948...

Montgomery Clift becomes a superstar right out of the gate with his first two films: The Search and Red River

Great Big Box Office Hits: 1) The Red Shoes, 2) The Three Musketeers, 3) Red River, 4) The Treasure of the Sierra Madre 5) When My Baby Smiles at Me 6) Easter Parade 7) Johnny Belinda 8) The Snake Pit 9) Ingrid Bergman as Joan of Arc and 10) Erroll Flynn in The Adventures of Don Juan

Oscar's Best Pictures: Johnny Belinda (12 noms / 1 win), Hamlet (7 noms/4 wins), The Snake Pit (6 noms / 1 win), The Red Shoes (5 noms / 2 wins), and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (4 noms / 3 wins). The Search starring Montgomery Clift probably just missed the cut-off with 4 major nominations, 1 win and a special Juvenile Oscar. Johnny Belinda and Sierra Madre shared the Golden Globe honors while Hamlet won Oscar's top prize

Happenings: Hollywood is still under the thumb of the HUAC hearings and many valuable players have already been blacklisted and/or jailed at this point; Post World War II anti-semitism is a mainstream topic which results in a Best Picture win early in the year for Gentleman's Agreement and then the banning of another film, David Lean's Oliver Twist, due to perceptions of anti-semitism in the character of Fagin (Alec Guiness); The US Supreme Court rules against religious instruction in public schools; Alfred Kinsey publishes "Sexual Behavior in the US Male"; Mahatma Gandhi is assassinated; a subway fare hike in Manhattan kicks it up to a whole dime.

Other Arts: Truman Capote's "Other Voices, Other Rooms" and Norman Mailer's "The Naked and the Dead" are published, Pulitzer winners include James Michenere's "Tales of the South Pacific," Tennessee Williams "A Streetcar Named Desire", and W.H. Auden for "The Age of Anxiety," Ed Sullivan and Milton Berle both begin their historical television superstardom this year with the variety shows "Toast of the Town" and "Texaco Star Theater" both of which will be retitled to reflect their star's name; "Mister Roberts" wins the first Tony Award for Best Play and "Kiss Me Kate" premieres on Broadway and will win the next year's inaugural Best Musical category. 

Some Magazine Covers for Context
Various movie queens, a reference to Shirley Temple's baby (her first child was born in January of '48), hot topics like Alfred Kinsey and Mahatma Gandhi, and more... 

Mix Tape (Born in '48)
Olivia Newton-John, Stevie Nicks, Grace Jones, Kenny Loggins, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Donna Summer, Jackson Browe, and Steve Winwood 

Actors We  ♥♥  Hard at TFE that were born in '48
Bernadette Peters, Dianne Wiest, Barbara Hershey, Kathy Bates and Christopher Guest 

Other Key Showbiz Figures From '48's Fine Vintage
Joe Dallesandro, Samuel L Jackson, John Carpenter, Gérard Depardieu, Bonnie Bedelia, Margot Kidder, Bud Cort, Kate Jackson, Mercedes Reuhl, Phylicia Rashad, Linsday Crouse, Mimi Kennedy, Nathalie Baye, Nell Carter, George RR Martin (author), Ben Burtt (sound genius), Colleen Atwood (costume designer), Javier Aguierresarobe (cinematographer), Edward Lachman (cinematographer), Lindy Hemming (costume designer)

Showtune to Go: Nat King Cole's "Nature Boy" is released which will later play a key role in one our mutual favorite films of all time Moulin Rouge! (2001) 

Wednesday
Jun172015

FYC: Michael Sheen for Best Actor, Drama

Team Experience continues to share their picks for this year's Emmy nominations. Here's David on Michael Sheen.

If Lizzy Caplan's Virginia Johnson is the heart of Masters of Sex, Michael Sheen's Bill Masters is its head - its proud, dedicated, fearful psychosis, driving the narrative into a quagmire of sexual and social confusion. Virginia's emotion flows easily from her, but Bill's is buried beneath acres of childhood trauma built into cracked defences. He is akin to the other current TV icon of past American masculinity, Don Draper – and one episode even leaves him in the dark glow of a deserted office in a shot that could have come straight from Mad Men.

Sheen’s brilliance in the part is in how he retains the audience’s sympathy and investment despite his frequently frustrating episodes of stubbornness, anger, hypocrisy and cruelty. As Bill repeatedly contends, he "never meant to hurt anyone" - a clichéd excuse that is beautifully grounded in the reality of Sheen’s performance. Ironically, Bill is only really able to pull off an emotional façade in his most vulnerable moments, whether spitting cruel barbs back at his brother Frank or trying to shut out Virginia’s inquisitive gaze as she delves into his childhood (in the masterful third episode, ‘Fight’, set almost entirely in their hotel room).

Sheen and Lizzy Caplan in 'Fight'

Tasked with portraying such an intricate mind, it would have been easy for Sheen to make him inscrutable, shutting the audience out as spectators of Bill’s great intellect. Instead, Sheen delineates almost endless contradictions and conflicts while humanising a man who insistently refuses emotionality. As Bill discovers that his first patient needs to be himself, and as he opens up to Virginia, Sheen is careful not to abandon the inherent resistance of Bill’s nature to both of these developments, crafting a compelling and detailed story of a man more fascinating than his work. The defining moment of Sheen’s second season might be when Virginia orders him to strip before her – rarely do we see any man so controlled and exposed, but especially this one. 

Previously:
The Americans | Jane the Virgin | Cara Seymour, The Knick | Lisa Kudrow, The Comeback | Jon Hamm, Mad Men | Ruth Wilson, The Affair | Matt Czuchry, The Good Wife | Gwendolyn Christie, Game of Thrones | Lauren Weedman, Looking