Oscar History

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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William Holden in Picnic

"I find Holden has a more earthy sex appeal in his early roles, you could kick your shoes off and put them on his lap and he wouldn't flinch." - Mark

"My mother's favorite actor. His dance with Kim Novak is an unforgettable movie moment." -Jaragon

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William Holden in "Picnic"

Our mini William Holden Centennial celebration continues with Eric Blume...

Picnic, the 1955 film version of William Inge’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, came two years after William Holden won his Best Actor Oscar for Stalag 17 and one year after his dashing role in Sabrina.  Holden was at the height of his stardom when this film released, and he’s smartly front and center through most of the picture...

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Ashley Judd, Pulp Queen

Wishing Ashley Judd a happy 50th birthday this week. Here's Chris Feil.

Ashley Judd deserves some credit that’s mostly only afforded to television actresses: she’s a pulp queen. It’s like a horror movie scream queen, except for midrange crime thrillers that your dad loves. But when the movie gods dealt her a standard genre exercise she could elevate it to something incredibly watchable, like a femme fatale without all the trappings of a leacherous male gaze.

Judd would eventually riff on the dingiest of pulp for her greatest performance in Bug, but mainstream audiences are more likely to remember her for her cinematic entanglements with the courtroom, espionage, and serial killers...

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50th Anniversary: Planet of the Apes (1968)

by Eric Blume

Half a century ago two ultimate sci-fi classics were released. We've just revisted 2001 but what of the other hit? 20th Century Fox released the original Planet of the Apes directed by Franklin J. Schaffner and starring Charlton Heston at essentially the same time.  Revisiting the original film after decades of sequels and reboots provides some fascinating reveals... 

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Soundtracking: "2001: A Space Odyssey"

Stanley Kubrick's space saga is 50 this week! Here's Chris on its iconic music...

bwaamm bwaaammm bwaamMMM...

It’s as memorable a music cue as any in film history. Out of darkness, Stanley Kubrick opens his abract space opus 2001: A Space Odyssey to the stirrings of Richard Strauss’s Also sprach Zarathustra (the “Sunrise” movement specifically) with the sonic weight of impending creation. Or is it destruction?

Strauss’s composition carries throughout the final, creating an a link that ties its ambitious, fractured narrative together. By repeating the track, Kubrick shows how innovation, exploration, and even violence come from the same lifeforce, like a spiritual Big Bang. The music is a key to understand how the film explores human instincts against the nature of the universe: can they be both at odds while also being the same? The sheer force of the sound, the kind of music you feel deeper than your bones, is its own impenetrable force. For a movie that creates iconography out of a literal monolith, its biggest monolith might be its omnipresent orchestral sound.

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Remember "Miss Pettigrew"?

by Nathaniel R

Remember Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day? It opened 10 years ago on this very day starring newly crowned (again) Best Actress Frances McDormand and Amy Adams. All I remember about it actually is Shirley Henderson's high pitched voice and Amy Adams flouncing around before breaking my heart by singing a duet with the scrumptious Lee Pace...

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