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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 Amélie (4)

Tuesday
Sep182012

Foreign Oscar Updates. Will France Finally Win Again?

With France's official announcement that the blockbuster The Intouchables will be their Official Oscar submission for Best Foreign Film, is the race already over? Its global tally currently rests at an astounding $364 million dollars, most of that from overseas bank. The film hasn't been ignored in American arthouse theaters exactly but it's $9 million gross and mainstream appeal (it's even in the IMDb top 100) qualifies it as a major arthouse hit but no crossover slam dunk; roughly speaking it's a hit the way last year's foreign film winner, the instant classic A Separation, was or the way Beasts of the Southern Wild is.

French cinema has had a complex intermittently passionate long-distance relationship with Hollywood since cinema began and that is reflected in their Oscar success over the years both in this category and others. France leads all countries in most Foreign Film nominations by a wide margin (36 nominees to Italy's 26) but surprisingly they have not won since the Catherine Deneuve drama Indochine rocked US arthouses twenty years ago. Will this Gallic sort-of variation on Driving Miss Daisy (is that too dismissive?) be a lock for Oscar love or will last year's swerve towards critically prestigious international cinema signal a sea change to new glory days for the category? (Yes, I still have impromptu ecstatic flashbacks to A Separation's win)

OFFICIAL SUBMISSION CHARTS 2012 -- everything in one place as we do: posters, trailers, info. Pass it on.

Current Predictions - Australia, Austria, Denmark, France and Romania 
Albania through Iran - 15 official submissions (thus far... updates in progress)
Italy through Venezuala - 16 official submissions (thus far... updates in progress)

Amelie netflix illustration by Tim Hodge (click for original source)A collection of France's biggest Oscar hits if you'd like to catch up with a movie marathon at home... after the jump

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Oct232011

The Unbearable Linkness of Being

The Hollywood Reporter Dianne Wiest to headline The Corrections. I know this will be old news to some but I can't believe I haven't mentioned it. A lead role for Our Miss Wiest, only one of the greatest living actresses in the world.
Tom Shone grades the movies. I love when critics explain their grading systems as it's always such a personal and inexact science. Only six "A+" ever.
Film Studies For Free looks back briefly at Brokeback Mountain, which happens to be one of Mr. Shone's six "A+" films.


Salon offers up a library of film criticism essentials
They Live by Night great piece on the super complicated editing challenges of The Tree of Life.

We had folders for Earth, Sky, Water, Animals, Miscellaneous, and then within those, bins that were more specific."

Guardian on Amélie's (2001) cultural endurance. The whimsical worldwide hit is now ten years old.
Laughing Squid "Teenage Mutant Ninja Noses"
Felix in Hollywood "can someone please explain this picture to me?"Tallulah Bankhead lol.
Awards Daily They aren't reading the Best Picture nominees in alphabetical order this year. Nor will the board show us how many titles will be announced. Suspense! 

Kaufman on the set of Quills (2000) with Kate WinsletFinally, a very happy 75th birthday to the writer/director Philip Kaufman, who people unfortunately rarely talk about these days. Why this is is surely a combo of his infrequency of working (only 12 features in a 47 year career), his lack of masterpieces, and his films being soundly of the adult persuasion in an era when the movies have become increasingly 'you know... for kids.' (I mean, even Scorsese is making family pictures now.)  My favorites from Kaufman's oeuvre are three: The Right Stuff (1983) which was nominated for 8 Oscars though Kaufman was oddly not one of them - they had to make room for Ingmar Bergman in Best Director which we shan't ever complain about but it's strange that the competition that wasn't dropped came mostly from what one might call "actor's films" which are usually the first to go when the lone wolf directorial nod comes-a-calling; The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988, Kaufman's sole nomination - Best Adapted Screenplay); and the NC-17 scandal that was Henry and June (1990). This trinity of "bests" is not-so-coincidentally composed of consecutive projects. When artists are on a roll, they're on a roll. It always seems to come in waves, doesn't it?

He's finally made another movie. His thirteenth film is Hemingway and Gelhorn (2012) which stars Nicole Kidman and Clive Owen. 

Have you seen any Philip Kaufman pictures?

 

Tuesday
Apr122011

Reader Spotlight: Ziyad

In this Reader Appreciation series we're getting to know the Film Experience community, one person at a time ;) Today's interviewee is Ziyad who was born in Barcelona and is currently in Tel Aviv. He's truly international.

So let's jump right in.

Nathaniel: Do you remember your first filmgoing experience?
ZIYAD: Beauty and the Beast, I was 5 years old, the whole family (my parents and 2 brothers) went to a late showing, I fell asleep after 5 minutes and I woke up after in the ending credits, I got so pissed they didn't wake me so I forced my parents to take me again the next day.

Dedication. I love it. When did you start reading?
Around September 2004, I was checking if Javier Bardem had a chance at getting nominated for The Sea Inside, I loved the "actressexuality", bookmarked it instantaneously and since then visited on a daily basis. My favorite part: Film Bitch Awards -- I owe you copyrights for doing my own with your extra categories as well, EVERY YEAR, the difference is that I do it for myself and have no place to share it.

3 favorite actresses. Go.

Julianne Moore, she is my goddess, my face glows by just seeing her, in anything;  Meryl Streep... "She could play Batman and be the right choice"; And a tie between Carmen Maura, Hiam Abbass, Susan Sarandon, Bette Davis, and Kate Winslet. SORRY! Right now Emma Stone is everything to me. Every time I watch Easy A I fall a little bit more in love with her.

Um this is less of a "tie" than an ensemble film!

I'm horrible at following orders.

Take one Oscar away from something and give it to something else.
I'm going to have to do two. I take Angelina Jolie's Oscar for Girl, Interrupted and give it to Julianne Moore for Magnolia (god, it HURTS physically that she wasn't even nominated). I think I could take every Oscar and give it to Julianne Moore.

All the Oscars Belong To Her.

The second one, is actually a movie... I would take A Beautiful Mind's and give it to Amelie. Best Movie Ever.

What's one movie you're super ashamed to say you haven't seen and why is it taking you so long?

The Godfather Trilogy. I'm just lazy.

Previous Reader Spotlights:
Andrew, Yonatan, Keir, Kyle, Jamie, Vinci, Victor, Bill, Hayden, Dominique, Murtada, Cory, Walter, Paolo, Leehee and BBats

 

Wednesday
Mar092011

Unsung Heroes: The Music of Amélie

Michael C. from Serious Film returning for a new season of Unsung Heroes and right off the bat I’m going to cheat a little. I went back and forth as to whether it was stretching to label this achievement “unsung” since I know many people who adore it. That said, I’ve never read a tribute to it, and it’s my column, right?

A memorable theme, an original song, a perfectly applied pop song. They stamp a film’s identity on the public consciousness like nothing else can. The Graduate is arguably one of the closest approaches to flawlessness in film history but would the genius of Mike Nichols be so readily apparent were it not for the contributions of Simon and Garfunkel? Would the image of Holly Golightly remain so iconic were it not inextricably wedded to the strains of "Moon River"? 

I would go so far as to say that in some cases the achievement of the composer outweighs that of the director. I don’t think it’s stretching to suggest Rocky might be just another underdog tale, well liked in its day but half-remembered now, were it not for the aural adrenaline that is Bill Conti’s fanfare. Scan the list of the all-time highest grossers and see how few lack a tune you can hum off the top of your head.

All this is a roundabout way of saying that I believe a huge portion of the credit for Amelie’s status as one of the most beloved films of the past decade belongs to the swirling calliope music of composer Yann Tiersen.

Amélie is one of those films like Singin’ in the Rain that its devotees love out of all proportion. Like that musical, Amélie touches a place of pure, undiluted joy that few movies come within miles of. When Amelie is so overwhelmed with love of life that she has to sweep through the streets describing every detail to the blind man the score sweeps us up right along with her. A lot of movies depict happiness. Amélie radiates it.

It is said that director Jean-Pierre Jeunet was considering The Piano composer Michael Nyman until he heard a production assistant pop in one of Tiersen’s albums. Jeunet must have realized instantly what a perfect match it was. Tiersen’s music with its accordions and harpsichords is unavoidably French, but like Amélie’s depiction of Montmarte, it’s a few fanciful degrees removed from reality, more a depiction of the unreachably romantic idea of France than of France as it is. On top of which, Tiersen’s love of found musical instruments like typewriters and bicycle wheels beautifully reflects the hand-made, nostalgic texture of the story.

The finished soundtrack contains both original compositions and previously recorded material, thus preventing Tiersen from receiving a richly deserved Oscar nomination for his work, and once again depriving that category of one of its year’s defining achievements. Shame. As delightful as Amélie’s script is I believe that ten years later the film still has such a firm a grip on the hearts of so many film lovers because of Tiersen's music. 

[Editors Note: Yann Tiersen is currently on tour for his latest CD "Dust Lane". Tonight he's in Santa Cruz, tomorrow at Belly Up in San Diego and the US portion of his tour closes Friday in Los Angeles.]