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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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Love Affair (1994) - as "A Year With Kate" nears its conclusion

A YEAR WITH KATE... 2 episodes left

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Entries in Coen Bros (20)

Thursday
Aug142014

An Epic Link Roundup

We haven't gathered links in a few days so we're way behind on news and such. Here's a few handfuls for ya...

Must Read
The Wire David Sims measures the cast of Expendables 3 by every conceivable metric
Decider Tyler Coates on Holly Hunter's polka dot dress in Broadcast News 
The Hairpin 'The only Throwback Thursday that matters.' Amen 

Other Goodies
Balder & Dash Teo Bugbee has a massive two part essay on the films of the Coen Bros for your reading pleasure
IndieWire interviews Michael Fassbender and gets him to say "size doesn't matter" -ha!


Comics Alliance "Thanos is really bad at being a supervillain" - I thought I was insane when GotG premiered and everyone was endlessly raving. How do you rave about a heroes movie when the villains suck? I've noticed more and more people are complaining about Marvel's shitty track record with the baddies. Hopefully they can course correct. People won't put up with bad villains forever
The Credits how do you film in torrential downpours and 100 mph winds? The cinematography of Into the Storm had to

Newsy
Empire Tom Hiddleston wanted for Ben-Hur remake
TMZ Reese Witherspoon dances to I Will Survive
Empire apparently Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is back on (here we go again) and trying to cast... Lily James & Jack Huston anyone?
Variety Michael Fassbender and Rachel Weisz will costar in The Light Between Oceans, a period drama from the director of Blue Valentine. Interesting pairing, right?
THR Patti LaBelle joining American Horror Story
E! Online by now you've heard Emma Stone is going to put on Sally Bowles garters on Broadway...
The Film Stage first stills for some hotly anticipated movies in the new Entertainment Weekly. Check out this great grabby alternate cover image...

And Still More...
The Dissolve Marvel is moving forward with The Inhumans. The only one of them I ever cared about was 'Medusa' but since this is Marvel I expect she'll be a minor character... and the only token 'girl' 
Gawker Anna Kendrick is dating Theon Greyjoy! UPDATE: This was a false alarm
THR Aquaman might happen as a standalone movie. Two screenplays are being written 

WTF
Boy Culture did you know that Teen Wolf Tyler Posey was JLo's son in Maid in Manhattan
MNPP I heart "especially random nonsense"
Buzzfeed Jason Statham once appeared in an Erasure video painted silver! Another thing I did not know but should have

Still Mourning
Guardian sassy smart Lauren Bacall's best quotes
Variety Lauren Bacall's greatest role: Herself
Variety The Academy's Robin Williams "Genie, you're free" has come under criticism from suicide prevention groups. I can actually see why. I found it a strange sentiment 
Sheila O'Malley on Robin Williams (RIP)
By Ken Levine remembers Robin Williams 
The Wrap a cast member of Hook remembers Robin Williams 
TV|Line Robin's wife reveals that he was in the early stages of Parkinson's disease which he had not yet disclosed publicly 

Wednesday
Jun112014

Linkenstein Monster

The Wire has a funny report on new Chris Martin / Gwyneth Paltrow rumors
i09 the greatest Bride of Frankenstein poster ever
/Film Andrew Stanton on the John Carter sequels that will never be 
My New Plaid Pants suggests that we all rewatch Alexander because Oliver Stone's new cut vastly improves it

Guardian Sigourney Weaver will appear in all three Avatar sequels continuing her fruitful collaboration with James Cameron 
CHUD on the Dumb and Dumber To poster
Guardian the trailer to the beautifully shot Lilting starring Ben Whishaw and one of the most handsome actors you've never heard of (I reviewed it at Sundance)
Antagony & Ecstasy one of our most loyal Best Shot supporters finally got around to Pocahontas!
The Dissolve sees a statue of Napoleon Dynamite
Vice's summer fiction issue features a short story about Lindsay Lohan by James Franco
Empire Josh Brolin will co-star with George Clooney in Hail Caesar!  a new comedy for the Coen brothers about 1950s Hollywood about scandal coverups of the stars
/Film David Fincher and Rooney Mara may reunite for Red Sparrow, a spy thriller 

Today's Watch
Though perhaps you saw it late last week (what? I can't be everywhere at once). Matt McGorry, the adorable confused soon-to-be father from Orange is the New Black "auditions" for Magic Mike 2

 

Tuesday
Feb182014

"Unbroken" Is it Middlebrow WW II Oscar Bait or Something More? 

Did you catch this preview of Angelina Jolie's Unbroken (2014) during the Olympics. The internet keeps calling it a "trailer" which it really isn't. I wish the internet would understand that words have meanings and the reason we often have multiple words for one type of thing is to illustrate the variations of meanings. Teaser, trailer, preview... these are different things. This paragraph you're reading is a "blog post" not "a blog" and so on) But I digress...

This early look at next year's Christmas movie Unbroken, which has slivers of the future trailer interspersed throughout, is like those very short historical reels meant to inspire you and tune you into some past Olympian story which illustrates the triumph of the human spirit / physical endurance right before you watch new Olympians reenact those ancient motifs again by trying to converts years of discipline, training, injuries, and personal struggles into medals for themselves and their countries.

I'm not really ready to talk 2014 Oscar race yet (geez, let's get through the 2013 festivities first!) but maybe Unbroken will be a biggie? I dunno, though. The Oscars are less susceptible to baldly straightforward 'Inspirational Triumph of the Human Spirit' narratives than they once were, right? Still, a screenplay by the Coen brothers suggests that it's maybe not as middlebrow World War II Oscar bait as it appears to be in this very traditional formula-friendly setting of Olympics coverage. Jolie isn't joking around on the below the line team either with Oscar regulars like Desplat (score), Sqyres (editing) and Deakins (cinematography) on board.

Regardless of whether it's an awards contender, though, it seems likely that this time next year it's relatively unknown stars Jack O'Connell (Skins, Eden Lake) in the lead role and Finn Witrock (the hustler on Masters of Sex) in support will be having some very happy holidays. (Domnhall Gleeson, Garrett Hedlund, and Jai Courtney are also in it but people already know who they are.)

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2014 Oscar predictions coming in April. Here's the current race.

Thursday
Jan022014

PGA (Barely) Adds Mystery to Best Picture Race

Just when you thought the Best Picture race was solidifying around eight or nine contenders, the Producer's Guild today went and threw a couple of curveballs. Don't get me wrong, their nominees are barely a surprise, but at this stage of the race (with still two months to go!) it's nice to have some mystery evolving in the fringes of the top category.

The nominees are:

  • American Hustle (Columbia Pictures)
    Producers: Megan Ellison, Jon Gordon, Charles Roven, Richard Suckle
  • Blue Jasmine (Sony Pictures Classics)
    Producers: Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum
  • Captain Phillips (Columbia Pictures)
    Producers: Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca, Scott Rudin
  • Dallas Buyers Club (Focus Features)
    Producers: Robbie Brenner, Rachel Winter
  • Gravity (Warner Bros. Pictures)
    Producers: Alfonso Cuarón, David Heyman
  • Her (Warner Bros. Pictures)
    Producers: Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze, Vincent Landay
  • Nebraska (Paramount Pictures)
    Producers: Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa
  • Saving Mr. Banks (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
    Producers: Ian Collie, Alison Owen, Philip Steuer
  • 12 Years a Slave (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
    Producers:  Anthony Katagas, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen, Brad Pitt & Dede Gardner
  • Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount Pictures)
    Producers: Riza Aziz, Emma Koskoff, Joey McFarland

Several of these were rather obvious, and if we still lived in a world of only five Best Picture nominees I have no doubt those five would be American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Gravity, Nebraska and 12 Years a Slave. Alas, we don't live in that world anymore, so here are nine thoughts I had in order of Oscar- relevance.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec032013

Inside Llewyn's Gotham Awards

It was a mix of oft rewarded icons (The Coens) and breakthrough leading movie roles from former awesome TV ensemble players (Jordan & Larson) for the Gotham Awards last night in NYC. 12 Years a Slave, which led nominations (not that that means much at the Gothams with so few categories), went home emptyhanded. No, not even for Lupita Nyong'o in Breakthrough! Bad luck or a sign that people respect but don't love the slavery drama? I don't personally understand this since it's a great film and great films are easy to love but though I'm a Gothamite, I'm not a Gotham voter. And full disclosure: I'm also cool on the Coen's chilly musical, apart from the music and the cat both of which are prize-worthy. 

guitar > fiddle at the Gothams

Feature: Inside Llewyn Davis
The 60s folk scene/character study from Joel and Ethan Coen conquered the uneven field of nominees which included  12 Years..., Upstream Color, Before Midnight (read our just published interview with Julie Delpy), and Aint Them Bodies Saints
Documentary: The Act of Killing
Breakthrough Director: Ryan Coogler, Fruitvale Station
Breakthrough Actor: Michael B. Jordan, Fruitvale Station
Will he take all the season's "Breakthrough" prizes or can Lupita rally to conquer?
Film Audience Award: Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings, Tadashi Nakamura
Spotlight on Women Filmmakers ‘Live the Dream’ Grant: Gita Pullapilly, director, Beneath the Harvest Sky

Brie Larson = Best Actress (Photo via Indiewire)

ActorMatthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
He won the Spirit Award last year for Magic Mike so this is another key indie acting prize for him. Can he convert all this into an Oscar acknowledgement that he's reinvented himself as an actor. That's what everyone was expecting but then the Best Actor race just got tighter and tighter.
Actress: Brie Larson, Short Term 12 (Interviewed)
This is quite a get since the Gothams didn't support Short Term 12 with nominations elsewhere. Larson beat Blanchett, Woodley, Scarjo, and busy indie darling Amy Seimetz

How do these prizes strike you this morning? Good, bad, indifferent?

Thursday
Oct032013

NYFF: Outside Llewyn Davis

TFE's coverage of the 2013 New York Film Festival (Sept. 27-Oct 14) continues. Here's JA taking on the Coen's latest, Inside Llweyn Davis.

I've for some reason still not seen Intolerable Cruelty so this statement's only ninety-seven-point-five percent factual, but Inside Llweyn Davis is the first Coens movie that I haven't loved in forever and a day, sad to say. What is it that left me cold? Is it because I am a dog person? Is it Justin Timberlake's smug facial hair that out-acts him? Or is it just that I think I might be incapable of ever really coming to appreciate Oscar Isaac on-screen? I'll openly admit he's an actor whose appeal, even after this showcase, remains elusive to me. Or maybe it's the fact that Carey Mulligan, an actress I actually really love, is given a fairly one-note joke of a role, shrewing it up under a sad damp hair-do. I don't know. I might just check off all of the above and call it a day.

It's not a movie that is trying to help me overcome any of these things, that's for sure - it's cold, from up on high with the beautiful icy blue-whites of the cinematography on all the way down. I usually happily admire actively off-putting protagonists - a world filled with characters that really couldn't give a damn if I like them or no. But the pleasures of being cinematically antagonized usually have that friction between loving to hate and just hating, and here I kept tipping towards the latter.

Oh hate is too strong an implication - I just never sparked to the story, I stayed aloof and indifferent at most every turn. There were passages I enjoyed - Isaac has a lovely voice and the songs were lovely, and that first dinner scene at the Gorfeins is classic Coens, jazzy and bizarre. Adam Driver turns out to be golden in the brother's hands - as always Joel and Ethan create a rich world that you feel like you could wander off in a million directions inside of... I just kept wanting to shoot off in the direction the movie wasn't taking me. Hey let's ride to the police station with Garrett Hedlund instead, eh? Eh? No? Okay then.

And so the film sputters along for chapters that I never quite found an in to. One look at what Michael Stuhlberg did in A Serious Man (a film and a performance I adore) with a similarly unsympathetic lead shuffling about in an icy Coen kingdom and the difference for me is immeasurable - that film had a pulse, a nervous stutter, a life to it. Llewyn just left me wanting to make like that darn cat and shoot out the closest window to freedom.