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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 Actressexuality (39)

Thursday
Dec112014

Interview: Joan Chen and Zhu Zhu of "Marco Polo"

Reader for more binge-watching? The new Netflix event Marco Polo debuts tomorrow! Here's Jose to talk to its glamorous stars...

The most surprising thing about Netflix's new series Marco Polo may be how much attention it gives to its non-titular female characters. Keep in mind, that the show takes place during the 13th century, an era in which women had little say in politics and were ignored by the history books filled as they are with male explorers and conquistadors, including the title character played by the gorgeous Lorenzo Richelmy. In a show which could have treated its women like decorative supporting objects, series creator John Fusco, the writers, and the actresses make them the most fascinating people we meet. As the boys plan wars, train in kung fu and engage in sword fights of all varieties, the women show their power through intellect.

Two of the best characters in the show are Empress Chabi, played by international film and television goddess Joan Chen (Twin Peaks, Lust Caution), and Princess Kokochin, played by Zhu Zhu. Where the former is serene, to the point where her harshest decisions become chilling, the latter is more explosive. 

Other than its lead (Richelmy), who during the first season is mostly a vessel through which we see the clash of cultures, Marco Polo’s ensemble is completely non-white, something Chen highlighted during our conversation. In a time when Hollywood continues to practice whitewashing in casting, it's refreshing to see a show with people of so many different nationalities and races.

Chen and Zhu Zhu were gracious enough to discuss their process, their inspiration and the importance of history. Our talk is after the jump.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Oct202014

The Year I Fell In Love with Kristen Stewart

Jose here. A couple of weeks ago, I went to the NYFF press screening of Clouds of Sils Maria. It was my second time seeing the film, and on that occasion I mostly showed up because I wanted to bask in the glory of its MVP ... Kristen Stewart.


As I sat there, observing the lithe actress, taking pictures of her and giggling and blushing at her responses - as if she was answering them just for me - I realized I had a crush. I swooned when Juliette Binoche called her "a genius". If you had told me I’d be feeling this way last month, I would have laughed in your face and explained I wasn’t a TwiFan. Or blind. After all, Stewart has made herself a reputation for being one of the worst young actresses, who does nothing but exploit her expression-less or annoyed looks that are meant to be interpreted as undying devotion to a glow-in-the-day vampire.


Then, in a little two-punch move, my entire perception of her changed forever. 

I went into Clouds of Sils Maria expecting Binoche to swallow K.Stew and Chloë Grace Moretz alive, Margo Channing-style. Instead, perhaps unsurprisingly, the great French actress turns in one of her most generous performances allowing the younger women to steal it.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Sep122014

"The Women" turns 75

Anne Marie here to celebrate a personal favorite. There are two ways to enjoy George Cukor’s sparkling comedy, The Women. The most obvious is to thrill in the delights of the best that a 1930s MGM comedy had to offer: an A-List, all-lady cast including Norma Shearer, Rosalind Russell, Joan Fontaine, Paulette Goddard and Joan Crawford; costumes designed by Adrian (with a Technicolor fashion show bonus), and lavish sets, from department stores to nightclubs to Reno, including a bizarrely beautiful bathtub courtesy of Cedric Gibbons. But strip the elegant frivolity away, and you see the true nature The Women: A claws out, teeth bared, no-holds-barred bitchfest.

The Women is social satire aimed squarely at the myth of love in marriage. Neither Clare Boothe Luce (original playwright) nor Anita Loos (who adapted the screenplay) was shy about uncovering the backbiting of upper class socialites. The fights get more vicious as the stakes rise for these rich women for whom marriage is as much a job as a happy accident of love.

The film centers on two knock-down, drag out fights.

ROUND ONE: Saintly Mother Mary Haines vs Perfume Counter Girl Crystal Allen in the dressing rooms of Saks Fifth Avenue. The barbed insults fly as Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford, MGM’s reigning royalty, face off.

WINNER: It seems to be a draw. Crystal doesn’t fight fair, but Mary gets a few blows in for motherly morality.

ROUND TWO: Old Wife Sylvia Fowler (Rosalind Russell) vs New Wife Miriam Aarons (Paulette Goddard) in the wilds of Reno, all pretenses of civility stripped:

WINNER: Miriam gets a scar, but she also gets Sylvia’s husband. Here’s where the film gets tricky: Sylvia’s presented as a comedic villain, but she’s also in the exact same position as Mary, losing her husband to a lower class woman. The fact that Miriam Aarons is the victor in the fight and in the audience’s sympathy makes The Women better than a simple divorce comedy.

Of course, these are just two scenes in a film with more insults and innuendo than a Hedda Hopper gossip column. So this weekend, paint your nails Jungle Red, open a bottle of wine, and watch the film while thanking heavens you don’t have friends like these.

Whom do you root for: Mary or Crystal or Miriam or Sylvia?  Post your favorite moments below!

Monday
Jul142014

Podcast: Katharine with a side of Bette!

In this special edition of the podcast, Nathaniel welcomes two Katharine Hepburn buffs Nick Davis and Anne Marie Kelly to talk about their (shared) first Actress Obsession. Naturally Kate the Great isn't the only diva that finds her way into the conversation. Expect supporting roles or cameos: Bette Davis, Cary Grant, Barbara Stanwyck, Tennessee Williams, Deborah Kerr, Spencer Tracy, Audrey Hepburn, George Cukor and more...

You can listen at the bottom of the post or download the conversation on iTunes. Continue the conversation in the comments.

00:00 Intro. Plus Middle School drama: Hilariously "intense" early obsessions
13:00 Types, Genres, and Suddenly Last Summer
17:00 Her autobiography and films she loathed like Dragon Seed
22:00 Chemistry and co-stars
33:00 Revisiting unsatisfying movies -- raise a cocktail to this peculiar cinephile habit
40:00 The Spinster & The Magic Penis
47:00 Bette Davis and why we compare them. Silliness before the sign off.

Further Reading
Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Summertime 
Nick's Hepburn Oscar Profile
A Year With Kate: Pat & Mike
A Year With Kate: Dragon Seed 
A Year With Kate: Christopher Strong
Me: Stories of My Life (Book)
The Making of the African Queen (Book)
Alex Von Tunzelmann & Self Styled Siren (Twitter) 

Kate with a side of Bette

Saturday
Mar082014

Beauty Break: Happy International Women's Day!

But, let's be honest: that's kinda every day here at the Film Experience. Therefore I have nothing special planned for it. Sorry bout it. I'd list my single favorite actress from every country but who got time for that? Instead a shout out to international readers and please enjoy these pictures of Anouk Aimée, Nicole Kidman, Maggie Cheung & Zhang Ziyi, Monica Vitti, Melanie Lynskey & Kate Winslet and more after the jump...

Tell us which actresses you'd like as cinematic ambassador from your country (or State)!

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar042014

Stage Door: Is Kelli O'Hara Obsessed with Best Actress Losers?

Here's Jose to talk about a currently odd Broadway trend.

People like to complain about the movies running out of ideas, with only remakes and sequels in production. But the stage is no different.

Here in New York, Times Square can fool you into thinking you've fallen in a time vortex which has dropped you back in the mid-90s. Billboards for Broadway shows adapted from 1990’s movies are all over the place (The Lion King, Aladdin, Kinky Boots) and two of the newest and biggest are for Bullets Over Broadway (which starts previews next week!) and The Bridges of Madison County. The latter makes me ponder the peculiar choices of its leading lady Kelli O'Hara. Is she secretly a cinephile or actressexual?  

More after the jump (help us guess what Kelli will star in next!?) 

Click to read more ...