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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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Friday
Apr172015

Revisiting Rebecca (Pt 4) the Original Gone Girl

Previously on Revisiting Rebecca -  Nathaniel introduced us to our nameless heroine whose youthful, clumsy charm lands her the brooding Maxim de Winter. Abstew attended their nuptials and the first of the second Mrs. de Winter's trials at Manderley. Then Anne Marie ventured into Rebecca's room to see how deep Mrs. Danvers obsession goes. Will our mousy leading lady ever find the peace and love she desires at Manderley or will the ghost of Rebecca prove too great an obstacle?

Part 4 by Angelica Jade Bastién

We begin where Anne Marie left off, with #2 (aka The Second and Less Fabulous Mrs. de Winter) getting her wish for a costume ball. After failing to come up with a costume to her liking Mrs. Danvers offers to help. But, #2 soon learns that Mrs. Danvers version of help is quite dangerous. 

1:16:06 Costume balls, much like Halloween, allow people to become what they deeply want to be even if it’s just for an evening. For #2 this is especially true as she takes Mrs. Danvers advice and dresses up as Lady Caroline de Winter based on one of the many family portraits that punctuate the walls of Manderley. Lady Caroline represents everything #2 is not: poised, beautiful, disarming. 

While some of our team hasn't warmed to Joan Fontaine in this nameless role, I agree with Anne Marie's estimations. Fontaine perfectly embodies her. When we first see #2 in her costume she is nervous with desire, unsure of her decision. She carries herself with a sort of clumsiness I remember from my high school years; trying to have some sort of grace but instead bristling against the confines of early womanhood. Which makes me wonder how old is #2 supposed to be exactly? [More...]

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Thursday
Apr162015

Revisiting Rebecca (Pt 3): Don't Go Into Rebecca's Room

Previously on Revisiting Rebecca - Nathaniel introduced us to a mousy girl with no name and no money, whose awkward charms land her Maxim de Winter. Abstew guided us through their nuptials and the introduction of Manderley, Maxim’s humble family castle. Turns out it’s filled with Maxim’s dead wife’s things, including a creepy servant named Mrs. Danvers. Just how much sway does Rebecca still hold over Manderley?

Part 3 by Anne Marie

We begin where abstew left off, with #2 (aka Mrs. de Winter the Second, aka Mrs. de W2 - with about as much personality as a tax form) asking Crawley to describe Rebecca’s character. Crawley answers back with a vague, glowing physical description that makes #2 twitch and me roll my eyes. Yes, yes. Rebecca was beautiful. Maybe the moral of this movie is not to judge a woman's moral character solely by her good looks.

55:55 There’s a quick montage of a fashion magazine and crossfade to #2 dressed uncomfortably in a black dress with pearls. Eagle eyed observers may remember that this is the same outfit she promised Maxim she’d never wear.  [More]

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Wednesday
Apr152015

Revisiting Rebecca (Pt 2): Introducing Mrs. Danvers

For its 75th Anniversary, we continue our baton-passing recap of Alfred Hitchcock's only Best Picture winner Rebecca.

Previously on Revisiting Rebecca: Nathaniel introduced us to our No Name heroine (Joan Fontaine). While travelling as a companion to a wealthy older chocaholic named Mrs. Van Hopper, she meets a mysterious stranger with a name that drips of money, Maximilian de Winter (Sir Laurence Olivier). When her employer falls ill, Maxim and No Name take the opportunity to get to know each other better. Until one day...

Part 2 by abstew

27:00 Despite Mrs. Van Hopper's skepticism over Maxim and um...Joan Fontaine's marriage (we can't officially refer to her as "The Second Mrs. de Winter" just yet since ol' Maxxie hasn't put a ring on it), the two are off for a quickie nuptial: Monte Carlo-style. Which apparently means wearing your travel clothes, almost forgetting the official papers (Freudian slip, Maxim?), and having the ceremony performed by a member of ZZ Top. More...

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Tuesday
Apr142015

Revisiting Rebecca (Pt 1) Off to Manderley

A 75th Anniversary Special
Alfred Hitchcock's Best Picture winner Rebecca (1940), based on the novel by Daphne Du Maurier, is 75 years old this month. To celebrate, Team Experience is experimenting with something entirely new: a baton pass viewing of sorts. We don't even know how it will turn out so we hope you'll stick with it and enjoy. Five of us will be watching Rebecca in shifts. So we each get about 26 minutes of it to write about. As your host, Nathaniel, it's my duty to start running when the gun goes off. In this case perhaps lighting an Olympic flame and starting to jog is a more fitting analogy?

Flames... Breathing.... on the side of Mrs Danvers face...

Part 1. By Nathaniel 

00:01 How I do love the MGM Lion roar. First some loud David O. Selznick fanfare in the form of a title card and then a Selznick pictures tag and later another Selznick credit. Guess who's paying the bills? And then a silhouette of trees, which hey, Isn't that how GWTW's title cards begin, too? Bragging much, Selznick?

Opening credits in old movies are always over so quickly. This one names only 35 people, and 5 of them are the writers. Can you imagine?

35 names wouldn't even cover the visual effects department credits on a remake of Rebecca from the fire sequence alone (this sentence was not intended to give Hollywood any ideas). Once Pandora's Box of Credits was unlocked, credits got longer and longer.

02:00 We begin on wrought-iron gates with one of the most famous of opening movie lines. 

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. 

(Something no one ever said about Lars von Trier's Manderlay.)

In her dream state opening monologue our protagonist (Joan Fontaine's Mrs de Winter) mentions the supernatural. She drifts like a spirit through those gates, winding through fog and trees until she conjures up a silhouette of Manderley, "secretive and silent," which is just as well because the lies begin immediately thereafter. She tells us that "Time could not mar the perfect symmetry of those walls" but that's the end of any notion of immortality. More...

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Tuesday
Apr072015

Curio: Cry Baby, 25 Years Later

Alexa here with your weekly film curio cabinet. 25 years ago this week John Waters' Cry Baby was released to the sound of a collective box office yawn.  But of course the whole pageant was engineered by Waters to become a cult favorite of the future. All the pieces were there: Johnny Depp licked his way out of the teen heartthrob hole he dug himself on 21 Jump Street, Traci Lords made getting vaccinations sexy, Iggy Pop took a bath, and Kim McGuire bravely put on her Hatchetface after Divine left this word for a better one.  In honor of its anniversary, here are some handmade goods celebrating the film that launched a thousand lonely tear drops.

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Monday
Mar232015

Pretty Woman at 25: An Ode to Julia’s Laugh

Manuel here to share my love for Julia Roberts on the 25th anniversary of that 1990 blockbuster, the movie that netted the star her second consecutive Oscar nomination.

Roberts is the first movie star I ever obsessed over. She was my American sweetheart even though I was nowhere near America and didn’t quite understand what being a “sweetheart” meant. All I knew was that her laugh was infectious, her smile gargantuan and her charm inescapable. This was most (if not all) in part to Pretty Woman. I cannot recall where or how I got to watch the film that made her a megawatt star (I was barely 4 when it came out so I was obviously a late convert) but years of cable reruns made Julia a staple of what here at the TFE would dub my budding actressexuality.

She would later win me over completely with My Best Friend’s Wedding and Erin Brockovich (not to mention my probably unhealthy obsession with Mike Nichol’s Closer) but Julia’s Vivian Ward is a thing of beauty. Yes, it’s a movie star turn in that Roberts’s charm papers over the dark undertones of film and character alike, but she’s so damn watchable. And has been ever since.

More...

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Friday
Mar202015

10th Anniversary: Joan Allen, Family Struggles, and 'The Upside of Anger'

a special anniversary tribute from Adam Armstrong


Are you close with your father?”

This was asked of me recently at a social gathering for a graduate school program I may attend in the fall. Not knowing how to respond, or rather, unwilling to respond honestly, I answered by saying, “Yes, you could say so.”

This is the scenario people who come from a family in which the dynamic has been disrupted from a parent abandoning the unit loathe, yet know all too well its inevitability in conversation.

So does The Upside of Anger, which is celebrating its tenth year in release. The film chronicles the means by which a family copes and moves forward with their lives after the patriarch has left them, presumptuously thought to have run off with his younger secretary to live in Sweden. The family, one all too relatable in this modern familial climate of increasing divorce rates, is comprised of a bitter mother and her brood of children, all of whom in some way fail to meet her and each other’s expectations. [more...]

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