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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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Entries in 10|25|50|75|100 (134)

Wednesday
Jan142015

10 years later: Elektra, the last female superhero

Tim here, with a palate cleanser. We’re all in hardcore Nominations Eve mode, of course, but the world of movies is broader than the couple dozen films that are about to be granted the right to put the words "Academy Award Nominated" on their DVD cases. Much, much broader. As broad as you can imagine. Nope, broader still.

About as far from Oscar worthiness as it gets – no matter how much or how little sarcasm you layer around the phrase "Oscar worthy" – we find a certain Elektra, which opened ten years ago on this very day. It's not the kind of movie that typically gets fêted on its birthday: it's very, very bad, but not so transfixingly bad that it developed a cult of ironic worship. [More...]

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Sunday
Jan112015

"Excuuuuuuuze me, will ya, I'm talking to him!"

Walter: Now, look Bruce. You persuade Hildy to do the story and you can write out a nice fat insurance policy for me. 

Today is the 75th Anniversary of the premiere of Howard Hawks classic His Girl Friday (1940). Here's a double sided bitchy moment to savor in which Walter Burns has dangled an insurance policy carrot for Bruce, who doesn't bite but Hildy does, eyeing the green while milking Walter for a bigger payday. Walter feigns objection, while egging Hildy on...

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Friday
Jan092015

Centennial Beauties: Anita & Fernando

Today marks the 100th birthday of two extremely beautiful screen stars of yore, Anita Louise and Fernando Lamas. Anita, born in New York City in 1915 played Titania, Queen of the Fairies in Midsummer Nights Dream (the film that brought Olivia de Havilland into our worlds), when she was just twenty, long before La Pfeiffer got around to shimmering in similarly gauzy long haired Titania fashion in 1999. [More...]

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Friday
Dec262014

'happy birthday mr co-star... happy birthday to you...'

don't bother to knock

Happy Centennial to Richard Widmark today, the noir star who won instant fame (and an Oscar nod) for his film debut as dangerous "Tommy Udo" in Kiss of Death (1947). He almost made it to his centennial too but passed away in 2008. Other highlights from his filmography include: Night and the City (1950), Don't Bother to Knock (1952), Pick Up on South Street (1952), and that late career trio of all-star-cast Oscar darlings: Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), How the West Was Won (1962), and Murder on the Orient Express (1974).

Any favorite Widmark performances? I have never seen (gulp) Kiss of Death. I suppose I should get on that given the Oscar nomination.

Thursday
Dec042014

50th Anniversary: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Tim here. December means two things: one of these is frantically trying to keep up with year-end awardage and last-minute qualifying releases, and we have that well-covered this month at the Film Experience. But it also means forcible nostalgia and hankering back to the traditions of childhood, and in this mode, we come to a very important anniversary this weekend. It was 50 years ago, on December 6, 1964, that NBC first aired the hourlong Rank/Bass special Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer, and thus created one of the most durable pop culture artifacts of the Christmas season.

Rudolph wasn't the first TV Christmas special, nor even the first one that was animated: Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol had beaten to the latter punch by two years. Its enormous success meant that follow-ups were inevitable, so Rudolph was merely at the forefront of quite a large number of animated tales of finding the true meaning of the holiday and this and the other thing. And yet out of that wave of productions, virtually nothing, including Quincy Magoo’s turn in Ebenezer Scrooge’s shoes, has had the lasting cultural currency of Rudolph, which has been aired somewhere on American television for every single one of the 50 years of its existence. The fledgling Rankin/Bass (then working under the name Videocraft) made a cottage industry out of Christmas specials in the years following, but none of its follow-ups have become institutions in the same way as their first attempt.

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Monday
Nov172014

The legacy of The Little Mermaid, 25 years later

Tim here, to celebrate the silver anniversary of one of the most important films in the annals of American animation. 25 years ago today – some of you are going to have to brace yourselves, because you’re about to feel very old – Walt Disney Pictures released The Little Mermaid, in one fell swoop rewriting the landscape for family entertainment and animation alike.

As hard as it is to believe now, once upon a time, Disney was an embarrassing underdog, whose theme parks were solely responsible for keeping its saggy movie division propped up. 1989 was only four years removed from the disastrous release of the pricey The Black Cauldron, and the takeover of the company by executives Michael Eisner and Frank Wells, who managed to stabilize the live action filmmaking division, while putting the animation studio under the command of Peter Schneider.

It was Schneider who managed an ambitious and terrifyingly foolhardy plan, concocted by Jeffrey Katzenberg  to restore the luster of Disney animation after a generation or more of mismanagement, by releasing a new animated feature on an annual basis. The first film produced on that model was 1988’s Oliver & Company, a rock-solid hit, but hardly the triumphant return of Disney animation that everyone was hoping for. That came with the second film in Schneider’s plan, The Little Mermaid, and the rest is history.

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