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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 Blow-Up (6)

Monday
Jun092014

Curio: Czech Film Posters

Alexa here to share my latest movie poster obsession: Czech film poster design. Under the communist regime from 1948-1989, Czech films were distributed by the government without the use of Western advertising. Czech painters and designers were commissioned by the Central Film Distribution Center to create posters, often with little information on the films. In the 60s and 70s, designers such as Zdeněk Ziegler, Karel Vaca and Wolfgang A. Schlosser created a defining Czech style, distinct from other movie posters in Eastern Europe, with an emphasis on typography and photomontage (as it happens, two of my favorite things).  

Here are some highlights...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun022014

Hit Me With Your Best Shot. What's Next?

Only three more episodes of Best Shot left before a three week hiatus or an early wrap. You decide with your participation!

Thanks to those who participated in Michelangelo Antonioni's mod frameable Blow-Up (1967), Bryan Singer's template setting X-Men (2000), and John Ford's earnest tearjerker How Green Was My Valley (1941) -- my entry was late icymi.

Tuesday June 3rd - Zorba the Greek (1964)
Dance along with our 50th anniversary 1964-theme party for the month of June (we're going there for the Supporting Smackdown on the 30th and we're trying to be more conscious of time management). This smash hit with both the public and Oscar (3 Oscar wins including Cinematography) is strangely little discussed today despite seeping into pop culture. Plus, I've NEVER seen it. Don't judge. It's a huge gap in my '60s era Oscar knowledge.
[Amazon Instant]

Tuesday June 10th Orange is the New Black (2014) Season 2
A one-off experimental episode. Since the internet will be thinking of little else that week, I'm not even going to try to fight it. Choose your single "best shot" from any episode/episodes of Season 2 that you've watched and would like to discuss. The second season is available on Netflix starting June 6th as a special birthday gift to me
[Netflix]

Tuesday June 17th Goldfinger (1964)
The first half of the season will wrap up with a bang bang. I wanted something fun and kicky as the finale. We've never done a Bond film and this one is largely credited with perfecting the formula and regularly placed at the top (or close to it) of best Bond films ever. Sing along with us...

♩this heart is cold... he loves only gold ♫

[Amazon Instant | Netflix Instant]

Three Week Break
SUMMER "BEST SHOT" HIATUS
The 2nd half of the 5th Season -- we'll see how these three episodes go -- will begin on July 15th

The final 7 titles of the season, should we have enough participation in these three, will be announced in late June. I have a few ideas I'm really excited about.

Tuesday
May132014

Visual Index ~ Blow-Up's Best Shots

This week's Hit Me With Your Best Shot topic is Michelangelo Antonio's new wave classic Blow-Up (1966) and we're dedicating it to Vanessa: The Life of Vanessa Redgrave, the first biography written about her which is released this week from Pegasus Press. I read an advanced copy on my cruise last month. The author is Dan Callahan, who I know here in New York City and who is a tried and true Actressexual™ (and loved that word the moment Nick and I coined it). He's previously written a book on Barbara Stanwyck so you know he has good taste. Because he values actresses, the biography is more concerned with her gift onscreen and stage than her scandal-laden politics, though those details are there, too. (Dan also picked his favorite shot from the movie for our little weekly viewing party.)

Imagine my surprise when Vanessa Redgrave was barely in the movie! I had remembered the film quite differently but this movie is a slippery one, as you can tell from the write-ups. We had more dissenters than we usually get when we pull films directly from the canon.

Blow-Up's 7 Best Shots?
as determined by the brave cinephiles playing the Hit Me With Your Best Shot game
[Click on the images for the corresponding articles]

As critical an indictment of the camera eye as anyone who made his living on the backside of a camera could possible make." 
-Antagony & Ecstasy 

The photographer as minotaur in his own labyrinth...
- The Film Experience 


More than just a simple glamour shot..."
-The Film's The Thing 


 

We're just as paranoid as Thomas is...

- The Entertainment Junkie

 

 Redgrave makes you ask all of these questions and far more."
- Dan Callahan author of "Vanessa: The Life of Vanessa Redgrave" 

Creating his own story using still frames..."
- Intifada


The guy can’t decide what he should be doing, and I think that’s my problem with the movie..."
-Coco Hits NY

I took my cues from Antonioni and his lead and went for something that captivated me simply for the mood it conveys..."
- Film Actually 

 

NEXT ON HIT ME
Bryan Singer's X-Men (2000). This film was part of our first season of Best Shot so this one, like Mean Girls last month, is a reprise. But if you weren't with us in 2010, now's the time to join the cause before the Mutants Strike Back in X-Men Days of Future Past which opens on the 23rd.

Tuesday
May132014

Frames Within Frames in Labyrinthine "Blow-Up" 

This week's Hit Me With Your Best Shot topic is in honor of the release of the book Vanessa: The Life of Vanessa Redgrave.  Imagine my surprise, given that dedication, when I watched Blow-Up for the first time since I was maybe 17 or 18 and realized that Vanessa is barely in it! Oops. Her presence looms large and plays tricks with the memory. Is it because we are constantly staring at her photograph and she takes on mythic dimension. Or is it because the actress herself is adept at playing not quite a flesh and blood woman but a projection, a prism of Mysterious Woman? 

But, then, Vanessa aside. What isn't tricky about this enigmatic classic? The plot, as skeletal as it is, centers on a womanizing fashion photographer (David Hemmings) who sneakily follows a statuesque beauty (Redgrave) and her lover on their stroll through the park. He snaps away. Later he becomes convinced that while he was shooting them an actual shooting took place and he's inadvertently caught a murder in progress on the negatives. But has he? I love this noncommital bit of dialogue between the photographer and his friend late in the movie...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
May222012

Tues Top Ten: Tennis in the Movies

The world's number one ranked male tennis player turns a quarter century today so in honor of Novak Djokovic why not celebrate with a list of best tennis moments in the movies?

Because... uh...

Are there any? When I first thought of doing this list I was like YES -- little known fact: I played tennis daily one summer in high school and still love the game  -- only to hit a brick wall rather than a low net. You may have heard this complaint before from tennis fans but given the abundance of sports movies of every other stripe it's almost like Hollywood hates the game. Those private tennis courts on celebrity acreage are all going to waste.

I've come up with ten things anyway.

BEST TENNIS SOMETHING OR OTHER IN THE MOVIES

You should know upfront that I've never seen the Chad Lowe boy-in-drag masterpiece Nobody's Perfect (1989) -- no decade ever loved cross-dressing comedies like the 80s -- so I shan't include it. 

10 Wimbledon (2004)
Nobody likes this movie but given the abrupt sharp decline in romantic comedy quality over the past ten years, I bet it'd look pretty good if it came out now. At the very least both Paul Bettany and Kirsten Dunst looked fresh and healthy and sun-kissed as the professional athletes in love.

09 The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
We'll be sure to celebrate this movie's 25th anniversary next month but for now, remember that tennis match? Temperatures are flaring as the three best friends Jane (Susan Sarandon) Sukie (Michelle Pfeiffer) and Alex (Cher) all compete for Devil Jack Nicholson's attention. In a game of doubles things get vindicative and then supernatural.

 

Funny girls and dangerous men after the jump...

Click to read more ...