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Yes No Maybe So: MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN

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Entries in biopics (97)

Monday
Mar242014

Women's History Month: Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke as Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller

Our coverage of Women's History Month continues with abstew on "The Miracle Worker" (1962)

Born: Helen Adams Keller was actually born with the ability to see and hear on the day of her birth in June 27, 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama. It wasn't until she contracted an illness, most likely scarlet fever or meningitis, at the age of 19 months that she became both blind and deaf.

Johanna Mansfield Sullivan (she would always be known as Anne or Annie) was born April 14, 1866 in Massachusetts. After the death of her mother in 1874, Annie and her brother Jimmy were sent to an almshouse where she lived for 7 years. It was there, in 1880 (the year Helen was born) that she became blind after an untreated bacterial eye infection called trachoma.

Oscar winning performances after the jump...

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Thursday
Mar202014

Ryan Gosling as Busby Berkeley? We're In.

We can breathe easy now. Ryan Gosling isn't actually going to retire from acting. His next project is of course behind the camera (How To Catch a Monster starring Christina Hendricks) but sometime after that we could well see him choreographing up a virtual storm of beautiful shapes made from shapely beauties. He's (possibly) attached to a Busby Berkeley biopic. The film will be based on Buzz: The Life and Art of Busby Berkeley by Jeffrey Spivak

Gosling & Busby

It's not the type of project we imagined him for him as musicals went. In fact it's easier to picture him as one of those handsome singing hosts in tuxes in the musical numbers who present the parade of beautiful girls, but this isn't actually all that far off. Busby Berkeley was a driven visionary, always out to top himself, and messing with the boundary of the stage and the possibility of the camera long before Rob Marshall kept throwing his hands up and just filming dance numbers on a stage. Though Berkeley is best remembered for this massive dance numbers with relatively anonymous legions of chorus girls, he frequently worked with big stars like Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, Eleanor Powell  and Gene Kelly (good luck finding people to play them!) and was married six times so there's lots of temperamental drama possibilities here.  

I'm always surprised when Hollywood greenlights movies about themselves. Though Oscar is often drawn to movies about movies they are rarely anything more than modest hits with the public if they're that.

And yet, if his reminds Hollywood of the virtues of choreography that you can actually see (stop with the constant closeups during dance numbers, already!) and of the virtues of Ryan Gosling gifts outside of strong and silent anti-heroes, than we all win.

Monday
Mar172014

Women's History Month: Greer Garson as Marie Curie

Our celebration of Women's History Month continues with abstew's look at English Rose Greer Garson in a nearly-forgotten classic about one of the most important women in science. 

Marie Curie

Born: She was born Maria Sklodowska on November 7, 1867 in Warsaw, Poland. She was the youngest of five children and her father was a professor in the fields Marie would later study, mathematics and physics. 

Death: After years of being exposed to the radioactivity from her experiments (no Silkwood showers for Curie) and the X-ray carts she created and worked in during WWI, her life's work would ultimately bring about her own end. Curie died on July 4, 1934 of aplastic anemia, a disease that damages the bone marrow and blood stem cells caused by exposure to chemicals and radiation. In 1995, her remains were moved to the Panthéon in Paris. She is the only woman to be buried in the prestigious monument because of her own achievements.

Greer Garson's Madame Curie (1943) is after the jump

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Friday
Mar142014

Yes, No, Maybe So: "Get On Up"

You is kind. You is smart. You is important."

I love The Help (2011). I don't care who knows it. So I'm immediately curious about Get On Up, Tate Taylor's follow up which reunites Minny & Aibileen though they both take a back seat since this time it's the story of rock legend James Brown (Chadwick Boseman). This trailer also starts with an affirmative.

You special. And your momma's a no account fool. But you ain't gonna be. One day everybody gonna know your name"

JAMES BROWN [*makes applause sound*]

Okay so that's not as universal an affirmation but... wait. oh. That makes Viola Davis the 'no account fool'? Do over! Not sure I'm okay with this. Time for a Yes No Maybe So™ 

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Monday
Mar102014

Women's History Month: Ingrid Bergman's Joan of Arc

For Women's History Month ocassional portraits of actresses portraying iconic real women. Here is abstew with Ingrid Bergman as film's favorite saintly female warrior. 

Born: January 6, 1412 (the exact date of her birth is not exactly known, but she stated she was 19 at the time of her trial)

Death: May 30, 1431. After being captured by the English, she was imprisoned and a trial before an ecclesiastic court condemned her with heresy for which she was burned at the stake. Legend has it that her executioner begged for mercy on his soul because he had just killed a saint. 

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