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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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Christina vs. Joan

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Entries in Anna Paquin (11)


April Showers: The Piano

The evening waterworks continue. Here's Andrew on a particularly gloomy shower.

The Piano is a moody movie. Moody as in unpredictable and volatile, and moody as in suggesting melancholy and mystery. Even before the story really gets underway the film's atmosphere is one of unease. And it's because it's not just the story that's moody but visually, too. As Stuart Dryburgh's camera observes the rough, muddy ranches of New Zealand the harsh exteremities of the terrain seem to be not just incidental but direct representations of the similarly implacable characters.

This is but one of the numerous ways in which the Gothic influence on The Piano shines through, where landscape informs elements of plot and characters. The Piano checks off a number of the prerequisites for Gothic drama: impulsive, sometimes tyrannical men, women in distress, heightened emotion, a mysterious atmosphere, a somewhat isolated locale, stormy weather and muddy terrains. 

Of the influence of the Gothic in the film, Jane confesses...

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20 Days Til Oscar (1993 Flashback)

Today's magic number is... 20! I couldn't find a statistic from this year's race involving the number 20 so what were Oscar fanatics like me (and you if you're weren't an infant) obsessing about 20 years ago in the Oscar race? 1993 was a fairly astonishing film year but there wasn't much drama in the Oscar race. Everyone knew that Tom Hanks and Holly Hunter would win the lead Oscars and the night would be all about Steven Spielberg with multiple wins for both Jurassic Park (recently revisted right here) and Schindler's List. Even Supporting Actor, in what one could argue was its best shortlist ever, didn't contain much drama. Though Ralph Fiennes (Schindler's List)  and Leonardo DiCaprio (What's Eating Gilbert Grape?) were giving major star-is-born performances, it was pretty clear that the industry wanted to honor Tommy Lee Jones for his whole career and for co-starring in a huge hit (The Fugitive).

So was there any drama at all? Why, yes, I'm so glad you asked.

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Best Moments: "True Blood" Season 5

Jose here. Are you all getting excited about the True Blood season finale? This season got off to a very slow start but episode after episode it escalated towards the campy, outrageousness we have come to know and love in Alan Ball's show. After seeming like it would deal more with vampire politics and religious fanatics (something that became eerily prescient of what was to come in American politics) the show didn't forget to throw in a couple of truly batshit crazy elements (an ifrit! Salome! Bloody Lilith!) fortunately during the past couple of episodes all the insane peripherical stories have been solved and we come down once again to Sookie being the only one who can fix everyone. To prepare for tonight's episode, let's take a look at some of the best moments of this past season.

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True Blood Finale (Plus: Season 4 Awards!)

The final episode of True Blood's witchy season four had a cleft heart, one half beating only for past glories (i.e. Season 4 ... or even earlier seasons if their name is "Bill") and the other half beating for an imagined future (Season 5 if you'd like to get cynical about it). You could just about divide the sprawling cast down the center as to which half they belonged to, some characters hanging on to the past either tearfully, fearfully or violently (Marnie, Eric, Bill, Debbie, Hoyt, Arlene, Pam), others ready to forge ahead and move on with varying degrees of optimism, fear, and willpower (Sookie, Jessica, Jason, Tara, Sam, Holly & Andy). It's the very drama that infuses the episode's opening conversation with Jesus & Lafayette. Isn't that always the drama of the heart? 

Jesus and Lafayette (who is actually Marnie!) over breakfast eggs.

4.12 "And When I Die"
Not that True Blood thrives on "the universal". Most of us don't have to worry about malevolent spirits possessing our lovers, stabbing our hands over breakfast, duct-taping us to our chairs, and stealing our demon-headed magic while thrusting a butcher knife into our heart. But maybe Jesus, familiar with both violence-prone spirits and demon-headed Crazy, should've worried himself towards protection spells or some such! Goodbye Jesus (2010-2011) we hardly knew you. Goodbye Kevin Alejandro, go-to guy for "regular cast" killings (see also: Southland).

True Blood's season finale had a cleft heart but its body was divvied up into smaller pieces, drawn and quartered one might say.

If that sounds torturous, it definitely was... at least for the characters. And maybe some audiences members who wanted a more cohesive finale. More after the jump, plus best & worst of the season.

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Two Ladies: Margaret and Catwoman


Margaret. Last night I was having a conversation with a reader and he asked me if I thought that Margaret, that long-delayed Kenneth Lonergan film about a traumatized young Manhattanite (Anna Paquin) was going to have any impact on the Oscar Race. I told him I'd been answering that question annually for the past five years. Each year the question feels weirder and weirder. If you're new to movie fanaticism, here's a good rundown of the timeline and the things that went wrong in getting the movie into theaters. 

Here's Matt Damon and Anna Paquin on set... in... wait for it... 2005. Matt was still a thirtysomething and Anna wasn't yet SOOKIIIIIIEEE

on the set of Margaret

As to the Oscar question, truthfully I care not a smidgeon. I just want to see it. It's been drifting, transparent, like a ghost in our peripheral vision for years. I don't even what to see a critic's screening. I want to buy a ticket, sit in the theater holding it, come home and frame it with the inscription:


The press release I received yesterday morning said September 30th but until the day I'm holding that ticket stub it will remain an ectoplasmic dream.

Catwoman. The Dark Knight Rises has released its second official character image (the first was of Tom Hardy's hunched back) and it's Our Miss Hathaway as Cyclops Catwoman riding a very Nolan-esque wild hog. He sure likes those dunebuggy big wheels. 

I love Hathaway. I love Catwoman. But my inner child is not okay with either of them stealing Batgirl's motorycle mojo, you know?

I had...uh... this friend... yeah, a friend... who used to pretend to be Batgirl while riding on the back of his dad's motorcycle. This...uh... friend was smart enough to not share this fantasy out loud with my dad his dad but it was a pretty regular occurence. Like, every time he hopped on the motorcycle!

Don't judge.


und i'm the only man. ja ♬


True Blood 4.4 "I'm Alive and On Fire"

What we have here is what I like to call a soft tissue episode. It's no mere place holder filler episode but it's not the real muscle of the season either. We are moving along at a nice clip though, advancing all of the plots and raising the stakes.

Marnie watches a witch being burned alive. So that's why her eyes go alight?

I'm Alive and On Fire
In this episode we learn that fairy blood is no joke. If a vamp drains the whole fairy (see last week), he gets drunk and he can spend hours in the sun. Turns out that Alexxander Skarsgård's drunk Eric is just as much fun as his childlike Eric. He flirts shamelessly with Sookie, and he goes skinny dipping in the sunlight (in an episode that's veritably bursting with beefcake). Speaking of which, most of the skin show is far less icky than the past two episodes of Jason Stackhouse's rape at the hands of the werepanther women. Jason finally gets vertical again (thank God) and escapes, though it's probably safe to say that trouble will follow him. In other storylines that evil baby gets a writing on the walll moment "BABY NOT YOURS" and there's more potential trouble for the Merlotte boys as the people they turn to emotionally are less than safe havens.

Something smells fishy. Well, yeah, he's been to the lake.

The strongest element of the episode was its fluid reflectiveness as scenes from disconnected storylines seems to comment on each other. The reveal that Bill's latest conquest is actually his great great great great great granddaughter bounces off all of that sick "brotherhusband" talk in Jason's storyline. And then there's the crazy girlfriends. Take, for instance, Alcides's relationship with his girlfriend Debbie.

Surprisingly it's not his rock-hard body that's made her nuts...

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It's sounds pornographic when Bill & Eric say it, right?

Are you watching tomorrow night? If so make sure to chime in when we get to Monday's review. Previously on True Blood recaps "She's Not There" and "You Smell Like Dinner"