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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 TV (226)

Saturday
Dec072013

American Horror Story: Sound of Music

This thing on my DVR was the 4th season pilot, right?  

I kid I kid. But horrified I was. If you miss live "events" it's difficult (one might say pointless) to write about them later so I promise to be quick about this. What I enjoyed far more than the show, which I caught a day later, was catching up on the articles and tweets about the show wherein people either hilariously skewered it or contorted themselves memorably to find nice things to say or excuse its Carrie Underwoodedness. Her acting was far far worse than I'd been told, recalling Julianne Moore's dead on approximation of porn star acting in Boogie Nights only dumber and with less of a nose drip to help with the dead eyes. I initially was surprised that Carrie wasn't oversinging it but the surprise soon faded because after the hills came alive with the sound of music she decided to shout-sing the rest. Not a wise choice when the poor girl couldnt even make it up and down the Von Trapp family staircase without breathing heavily. It was absolutely mean to pair her with musical performers as gifted as Laura Benanti and Audra McDonald, two of Broadway's richest voices... neither of whom ever need this silly oxygen thing to get through a long-ass musical phrase. Vampire Bill was a better match for Carrie (albeit not chemistry-wise) with his shaky voice bringing him down to her shaky-acting level (somewhat). 

I should say that I was less surprised than most people seemed to be that the stage musical is so different from the film. I've seen it performed live before and though critics are generally unkind to the film version it's one of those rare adaptations that improves on virtually everything from its source material structurally in terms of song order and character arcs and even in pacing though it's longer. Plus it's got Julie Andrews who you know, owns all when it comes to twirling around on mountaintops or believably portraying both sexual longing and religious piety in equally wholesome and relatable ways as Maria. I know it's uncool among cinephile's to consider it great cinema or whatever. But I do. Full stop. The Sound of Music became its best self in the translation to the big screen. 

we must've done something good to deserve the 1965 classic

The gargantuan ratings suggest that more "live" musical events are on the way. It has to be family friendly so why not Oliver! which could use the legacy resuscitation? Since giving the stuff away never seems to hurt actual sales of entertainment (weird, that) they could even do something that's about to be a movie like Annie or Into the Woods. Or why not something more contemporary that not everyone can afford to see on Broadway. Why not The Lion King or Wicked even since that movie is clearly never going to happen. I'm thinking about Wicked constantly these days because of its doppelganger Frozen and "Defying Gravity"'s doppelganger "Let it Go" , and because of these drawings by Oscar nominated animator Minkyu Lee, and the rumored Idina & Taye breakup (sniffle. is that true? they were so adorbs together) and the possibility that Idina might perform on Oscar night. I'd rather think about Wicked right now, okay?!  My beloved Sound of Music is in a hospital in Austria somewhere recuperating. It's a survivor. I have confidence it will live to spin on mountain tops once more.

Monday
Nov252013

Why Michelle Pfeiffer Probably Won't and Probably Shouldn't Do "American Horror Story"

I've mentioned this topic in the comments but enough people are interested that I should sound off in a more official capacity. Recently, given that most people know that Jessica Lange plans to depart after Season 4, Ryan Murphy has started dropping casting wishlists for future seasons of American Horror Story. He name-checked both Reese Witherspoon (errr...okay?) and Michelle Pfeiffer (duh!). Pfeiffer is, of course, the most logical choice with which to fill the imposing vacuum that will be Lange's absence as the anthology's resident grande dame guignol. Like Lange, she's a huge respected talent from the 80s (formative years for Murphy) who can really tear it up onscreen but who today's younger TV-watching legions might still feel a certain "discovery" mania about since she hasn't been properly utilized in years.

There's only three problems.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Nov212013

Happy Birthday, Goldie!

She definitely doesn't look it, but Goldie Hawn is turning 68 today! She has many roles worth celebrating - The First Wives Club, Death Becomes Her, Private Benjamin, this jazzy Beatles cover - but today I'd like to shine a light on that zany show where she first got her start, the short-lived but always incredible Laugh In.


Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In Clip #6 Goldie... by RetroCafe

Like Judy Holliday before her, Goldie Hawn turned Blonde Ditz into an artform. Happy Birthday, Goldie, no matter what time zone you're in!

Saturday
Oct192013

All is Link

Village Voice great piece on BAM's retrospective of Karen Black (happening right now!) by Stephanie Zacharek
Vulture All is Lost, Robert Redford and taking stardom for granted
AV Club "100 Episodes" takes on Homestar Runner - great piece about the evolution of Web TV. 
Guardian talks to Chris Hemsworth about Thor consuming his life and what he learns from film to film

 

My New Plaid Pants begins "The 13 Snakes of Halloween" festivities with The Witches and Anaconda. Oooh, what comes next? 
Coming Soon Avatar sequels start filming in one year's time. Happy Halloween so don't throw away your blue body paint just yet.
i09 on 11 misanthropic horror movies from Cabin in the Woods to Frankenstein
LA Times Scarlett Johansson, winning fresh raves for her voice work in Her, is mystified by the awards process.

I don't even know how it works. And I'm an Academy member!" 

Exit Image
Here's our first image of Reese Witherspoon from Wild which she tweeted herself...

 

 

Her very own less grim Into the 127 Hours sorta one-man kinda show about a actress who hiked 1000 miles after losing her mojo. No I kid I kid, it's the true story of a woman who did that after her divorce and her mother's death. It started filming last week. I sincerely hope Reese packed her Oscar in that napsack just to remind herself about ACTING. It's unwise to share the screen with Laura Dern if you haven't reminded yourself of that.

Yes, in the oddest casting news for this movie Laura Dern who is but 9 years older than Reese will be playing her mother. 

Thursday
Oct172013

American Horror Story Coven: "Bitchcraft" & "Boy Parts"

So Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy have finally done it. After years of wooing me with meaty roles for actresses of a certain age (meat served bloody raw) in their American Horror Story anthology series, I am down for watching it as it airs. It's been clear for some time that the creative team's orientation is fully aligned with the Actressexuality™ named and promoted by TFE for several years now. Thus, a natural kinship exists even if yours truly is squeamish about horror. I have been mostly agnostic when it comes to Jessica Lange my whole life (though I thought her "Sister Jude" on Asylum was easily her best work since the 80s) but when it comes to two-time Oscar winner Lange paired with Sarah Paulson, Oscar winner Kathy Bates, Oscar nominee Gabby Sidibe, Lily Rabe, AND Oscar nominee Angela Awesome Basset? Uncle! I surrender to your casting voodoo. 

Kathy Bates in "Coven"

Please to Note: I did try to watch the first two seasons but in both cases, I eventually bailed after a few episodes from the gore and the, how to put this, unwatchable epileptic fits of lensing and editing and framing. Listen, I can live with frenetic editing (you kind of have to since the late 80s) knowing that when I need a fix of long takes that let me enjoy great acting, I can always seek out auteur films. (Odd that it would be auteurs, who so thoroughly OWN their pictures, that would be the only ones to just hand said pictures to the actors on occasion). But it's not just the genre or the typical short attention span in cutting that has previously made AHS unpalatable for me.

The show, or at least the first handful of episodes of its previous seasons, often appeared to have been shot and edited and framed by a group of wild, bug-eyed, A.D.D. addled 12 year old boys... albeit uniquely pervy pre-teens who were raised in asylums and jacked off to photos of grande dame actresses while horror movies were projected on continual loop on the grey walls of their prison. The only break in horror programming was obviously the complete filmography of Jessica Lange.

...or at least the lobotomy scenes from Frances (1982).

It wasn't just quick cutting but canted cameras, baroque flash cuts, inebriated camera swerves, you name it. But let's put that behind us and move on to Season 3's first two eppys after the jump. Spoilers ahead obviously.

Click to read more ...