HOT TOPICS


NOW PLAYING

in theaters


all reviews

new on dvd


 

 

Welcome

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

 

Powered by Squarespace
Comment Fun

COMMENT(s) DU JOUR
Remember when Samuel L Jackson used to ACT?

"If there were any justice, he would've been nominated and won for Jungle Fever. Still towers above everything he's done, including Pulp Fiction." -New Moon Sun

 

Beauty vs. Beast

 

Remember CORALINE ? 
VOTE ON THE POLL 

Keep TFE Strong

Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience

THANKS IN ADVANCE

For those who can't commit to a dime a day, consider a one time donation for an article or a series you are glad you didn't have to live without.

Subscribe
What'cha Looking For?

Entries in Directors (134)

Tuesday
Apr092013

Reader Spotlight: Douglas Reese

Douglas gets into the Spring Breakers spiritReader Spotlights continue as we get to know The Film Experience community. This time we're talking to filmmaker Douglas Reese. 

Hi Douglas! We started talking because of Spring Breakers for which you wrote a really impassioned review. What other movies do you think are misunderstood or underappreciated? 

DOUGLAS: I find myself defending panned movies all the time. Even when I actively dislike a movie, I can't bring myself to not at least value one aspect of it - whether it be technical or on the level of camp. The horror genre is largely looked down upon unless a respected auteur is behind the movie or if it's more connected with drama. I can't for the life of me see how the ambitiousness of Rob Zombie's films goes unnoticed. His stuff just has a strong sense of style and ownership. His Halloween II film may be one of the trippiest slasher flicks ever made. I also like HellBent because of its engaging wit and then there's I Know Who Killed Me which is, like, the best Dario Argento movie that guy didn't direct. I feel Freddy Got Fingered is misunderstood - it's got a very sick sense-of-humor, but I find myself laughing and feeling disgusted with every comedic setpiece in it. It's just so bizarre and there's never been anything like it before. Southland Tales is a movie I also feel should be focused on a bit more. Even if the movie is a bloated, messy, weird piece of work - I can't think of a more biting satire of American tropes since Showgirls up until Spring Breakers came along. Also, speaking of foursome female leads with one of them being Vanessa Hudgens, Sucker Punch was wildly inventive so I'm naturally perplexed by the strong hate it gets. It's not often a Hollywood-funded blockbuster can also be consider arthouse.

Why do you read TFE?

The Film Experience was always easily one of my favorite Oscar sites (along with the now deseased StinkyLulu) not only because of my strong love for Nicole Kidman but, you were never afraid to admit that there are good camp films out there to enjoy. I always appreciate those who don't feel like the most technically impressive films are necessarily the greatest ever made. And I also enjoy how connected you have always been with your readers.

Thanks and yesssss Nicole Kidman. 
No other actress, for me, defines the physical beauty that the camera can contain within a frame and still invoke work that is as stylistically different and well-rounded as hers. My absolute favorite.


Anyone else?
Behind her it's easily Shelley Duvall and her quirky, highly original work in the films of Robert Altman throughout the 70s and her undervalued brilliance that was Wendy Torrence in 
The Shining. Behind them I'd go with Anna Karina - who, without a doubt, brought a sincerity to her character work in Godard's films; even when he obviously intended to just create his typical ciphers. 

What's your first movie memory?

I recall quite vividly watching Disney's Pinnocchio in my diapers early in the morning at my grandma's farmhouse and finding it amusing and frightening. I'm grateful that movie still stands up for me today, because even now it's a totally wonderful experience to endure. Other than that, can I have another rewatch of Hocus Pocus, please? I don't think I've seen that enough.

You make films but your IMDb page is all mixed up with someone else's. What are we going to do about that?

Douglas filming Douglas

I'm not sure why my stuff is on IMDb in the first place. Almost everything on there is experimental no-budget work I've done since 2008. I think they may have assumed I was this Douglas Reese guy who was on "The Dating Game" in the 1980s and just added my work to his credit. Over on MUBI, I offered them to add my work to their catalog and they happily did - and thus born quite a lot of positive (and negative) feedback for some of my stuff, so maybe I really should get the IMDb fiasco fixed? I just don't like to think of myself as a total professional filmmaker, because that's not why I make my films in the first place. My filmmaking aesthetic would definitely be that I'm not really wanting to make technically polished work, but films that capture how I'm feeling about certain things; social or personal. My film Cleaners, for example, was me wanting to capture a kind of American lifestyle currently going on that most people don't want to realize, so it was more social - but something like my movie Snake is otherwise interested in capturing this feeling of dread and depression that I was going through at that time in my life. I just love, more or less than anything, the concept of human suffering and want to showcase how incredible misery can be.

Cheers! Thanks for chatting Douglas.

Previous Spotlights

Tuesday
Mar192013

Curio: David Collier's Squiggles

Alexa here. David Collier is a Canadian artist who makes, amongst other things, interesting portraits in ink and watercolor. His lines and squiggles form fractured likenesses of the famous that are pretty fascinating. Most look to be single line drawings, or close to single line drawings, a technique that works well for all those expressive lines and crevices.  Check out his website for drawings of everyone from Dylan to Dostoevsky. 

 

Al Pacino

You can buy prints and mugs at his etsy shop. Here are some of the actors and directors he's captured. Meryl, Hitchcock, Woody and more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb282013

Ang Lee at 28. Ang Lee Now

Here is the two-time Oscar winner working on a Spike Lee documentary all the way back in 1982 when he was 28 years old!!! 

(The woman he's with there is painter Ann Yen who posted the photo recently on a social network site, prompting some coverage in the Asian press. Yen and Lee are still friends - I hear that she played one of the Mahjong women in Lust, Caution (2007).

His whole life and career was (way) ahead of him. Ang was one year away from getting married to his charming wife who got a little air time this weekend at the Oscars. He was still ten years away from making his first feature as a director (Pushing Hands), still eleven years away from his first Oscar nomination (Best Foreign Film, The Wedding Banquet) and basically a whole lifetime away from becoming the legendary two-time Best Director Oscar winner (Brokeback Mountain and Life of Pi) that he is today.

Well done, Ang Lee. Have a hamburger. You deserve it!

 

 

Sunday
Feb242013

Oscar Day: The Key Nail-Biter Categories

I filed my final Oscar predictions on Friday and I'm just horrified looking at them now, certain I'll be wrong. Surveying the landscape of my predictions in chart format (I changed the photo above each category to those final predictions) I realized I was predicting a night that has very little in the way of dominance with 4 Oscars to Life of Pi and 3 each for Lincoln, Les Miz, and Argo. The problem with this prediction is that it doesn't account for the year long Bond Mania (which did end up breaking through AMPAS's historic disinterest in the franchise; they gave Skyfall 5 nominations more than doubling the franchise's previous 49 year tally of nominations) and it doesn't account for the Weinstein factor. Only one Oscar for Silver Linings Playbook feels improbable and foolish as predictions go, given how hard they pushed this last month. And yet the one Oscar I did predict for it (Best Actress) is the one that a lot of other pundits have abandoned in favor of Emmanuelle Riva's late surge for Amour

Here's the categories I change my mind about every five minutes and the ones I think will reveal themselves as "keys" to how the general membership really felt this year once the dust settles. 

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Three Way Race. Though I felt fairly confident predicting this one for Argo, it's not inconceivable that Lincoln could still take it considering the "deserved" factor and Kushner's Pulitzer prestige. But then the current Silver Linings Playbook mania suggests that it's also a likely winner... unless Oscar voters decide that Director is as good a place as any to reward David O. Russell who they finally came around to with The Fighter (2010). The perverse trivia-mad side of me is actually hoping that Argo ONLY wins Best Picture because it would be such a fun statistic to obsess over and reference in future years, don't you think?
Oscars Nominees | My Choices  

PRODUCTION DESIGN
Three Way Race. I predicted Anna Karenina with Life of Pi as a probably spoiler. Now I absolutely wish I had reversed that. My prediction was wishful thinking in that I've become quite uncomfortable with the cinematography & production design categories being so fused so consistently with visual effects. Visual Effects is its own form and ought not to be confused with others. Anyway, they've retitled the category to "Production Design" instead of "Art Direction" and though it's the exact same category it's not unthinkable that the title shift also affects perception for those who aren't well versed in the specifics putting Anna at a disadvantage since it reads more "art" than "design" if that makes sense. And yet... if voters like Lincoln as much as the nomination tally suggests rather than as little as the internet keeps insisting, here's where it picks up its sole statue outside the big eight. A final note on Lincoln: The constant groupthink noise of the internet -- a different pool of thought and a different demographic than the Academy -- makes predicting much harder than it once was rather than easier. If you trusted the internet NO ONE in the Academy would ever dream of voting for "tries hard" Hathaway or "boring" Lincoln. And yet obviously this is not the case. It can be hard to keep your head clear of the noise or at least keep your ears discerning. For, embedded in all the internet noise, is both buzzy truths and bored conjecture falsehoods ... but how to tell the difference?
Oscars Nominees | My Choices  

DIRECTOR
Three Way Race. Whoever wins this, it'll show (I think) that that was the runner-up film for Best Picture... unless it's a shock win for Michael Haneke or Benh Zeitlin in which case the voters felt that Spielberg (Lincoln) & Lee (Pi) had been awarded enough in previous years and they weren't quite ready to hand the once "difficult" Russell (Playbook) the top prize. I thought about changing my prediction to a shock win for Michael Haneke until I remembered that no director of a foreign language film has ever won this prize -- no not even Federico Fellini or Ingmar Bergman, Oscar's indisputable favorites as foreign auteurs go. Neither of them ever won for direction or writing despite multiple nominations in each category. They never took home a competitive Oscar outside of Foreign Film which, semantically speaking, belongs to the country rather than the director.  (Though surely the director keeps the trophy?)
Oscars Nominees | My Choices 

You votin' for me? You votin' for me? Then who else you votin' for?

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Five Way Race. The internet seems to believe that this is now Robert DeNiro's to lose given the Playbook mania, the lack of "narrative" in giving any of them the prize (weak year), and the hard hard push to get the acting legend a third Oscar. I stuck with Tommy Lee Jones on account of I do still think anyone could win and the numbers separating them all will be razor thin. Is it too much to hope for an historic tie? Nevertheless I have trouble imagining that that "hasn't won an Oscar in 30 years" narrative for De Niro will really pay off. Sure, it worked for Streep last year but that was only after several attempts (aka lots of momentum) and a year-long build up with tributes and genuflection. De Niro had no such festive built up and literally zero momentum (outside of this last month) given that he has done nothing Oscar worthy in those 30 years. I think if Jones loses, it'll be Christoph Waltz at the podium. But if Jones loses, I think it's clear that the Lincoln fans in the room weren't very committed to the film despite the hefty nomination tally. 
Oscars Nominees | My Choices  

Which categories are giving you the strongest last-minute anxiety?

Friday
Feb222013

Final Oscar Predictions

This article has been cross-posted at Towleroad

Yesterday on Kathy Griffin's new show she began with an Oscar monologue and brought out a gold trunks-clad model with his hair cropped tight and his body sprayed gold. I'll let it slide that he wasn't actually bald but he stood with his legs spread far apart and his hands behind his back. 

Had he never seen an Oscar statue before?

UR DOING IT WRONG! 

As you may have guessed I hold the Oscars sacred. You might call it my religion. I've been watching them since I was a little kid and as an adult I have spend an inordinate amount of time obsessing over them and even made something of a career out of it. [A struggle!]  But never before in my life have I had such a hard time predicting the winners.

Oh sure, Argo will win Best Picture and Daniel Day-Lewis who many of us first fell in love with as a blonde gay punk working in that Beautiful Laundrette will win for becoming President Lincoln but elsewhere in Oscar's 24 Categories there's an awful lot of room for pundits to embarrass themselves this year!

Best Director, for one, is baffling. The tech prizes look like a very bloody battle between at least three pictures (Anna Karenina, Skyfall & Life of Pi). And so on. AFTER THE JUMP my Oscar predictions. If I get everything wrong please forget we ever spoke of this! 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb212013

Dear Ingmar...

Hi lovelies, Beau here with something that plastered a big smile across my face today:

It's a fan letter from Stanley Kubrick to Ingmar Berman. Text after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb142013

Podcast: Side Effects & Oscar Symptoms

Have you ever sleepwalked? Joe, Katey, and I (Nathaniel) discuss this creepy phenom and a wide variety of other things that Steven Sodebergh's Side Effects brings to mind in this spoilery discussion including 'best in show' acting honors and which thrillers it reminds us of.

For those who'd like to see the movie fresh, the Side Effects discussion takes up the last half of the podcast. The podcast begins with very brief words on A Good Day To Die Hard (which just opened for Valentine's Day Weekend) before we move on to Oscar theories like "which Oscars can Lincoln and Amour win?" and "Who the hell will win Best Director?" as well as pressing Oscar-Obsessive-Only Worries like "will winning the Oscar kill Jennifer Lawrence's drive as a young actress?"

You can download the podcast on iTunes or listen right here at the end of the post. 

 

Side Effects & Oscar Symptoms