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 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 Dog Day Afternoon (6)

Sunday
Oct062013

NYFF: A Dog Day of a Documentary in 'The Dog'

NYFF moves into its final week Here's Glenn on The Dog.


Whether you watched Dog Day Afternoon for the first time or the tenth when The Film Experience’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” series featured it one year ago, you can surely attest to it being one helluva movie. I recently caught it on the big screen and, boy, does it slay audiences. It’s always refreshing to see a film go over so well from a genre that looks comparatively tame compared to modern day equivalents. Shots remain unedited for minutes and yet the action and the tension are palpable.

Now, even if you’ve never seen Sidney Lumet’s 1975 masterpiece then it’s still hard to deny that the true life story was seemingly made for movies...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Dec262012

RIP Charles Durning (1923-2012)

2012 has been, so definitively, the year for huge teeming male casts (Argo, Lincoln, Zero Dark, Magic Mike) of stars and character actors playing anxious determined men that I felt an extra pang of sadness to hear about the passing of Charles Durning on Christmas Eve. He was 89 years-old. 

Charles Durning at the SAG ceremony in 2008 accepting his lifetime achievement award

Had any of those movies (well, not, Magic Mike) been made in the 1980s, he would with certainty have popped up --  100% -- growling great lines in a suit or stove pipe hat.

Since the seeds of my movie mania were planted in the early 1980s, Charles Durning was one of the very first actors that embodied and defined the term "Character Actor" for me. I absolutely loved him in Tootsie (1982), one of the all time great movie comedies, as Jessica Lange's widower dad who took an unfortunate shine to Dorothy (Dustin Hoffman in drag). I remember experiencing early onset Oscar confusion when I realized (a couple of years after the fact) that he had been nominated for an extended cameo in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas instead. So I rented that one in 1985 of 1986, I think, on the sly -- my parents did not approve of "raunchy movies" -- and just delighted in his "little sidestep ♫ "

Other roles I have slightly less vivid memories of from that decade were his Oscar nominated turn in Mel Brooks comedy To Be Or Not To Be (1983) and his monsignor in the gay drama Mass Appeal (1985). The Golden Globes got to him before the Academy -- as they so often do -- nominating him for Best Supporting Actor for his hostage negotiator in Dog Day Afternoon (1975) which we recently discussed. Durning won a Tony Award in 1990 for playing "Big Daddy" in a revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof opposite Kathleen Turner (who he worked with onscreen immediately thereafter in the failed would be franchise launch VI Warshawski) but sadly he never won any major competitive acting award for his onscreen work despite Globe, Emmy, and Oscar nominations. His most recent Emmy honors were for a stint as Denis Leary's father on "Rescue Me".

What's your favorite Charles Durning role?
Have you ever seen his Oscar nominated roles?

Sunday
Sep092012

Podcast: Summer (Part 2) and Forward Into Fall

Part 1 -best films, moldy releases, nervous mormons, and summer crushes

For the second half of this Summer Jamboree Joe Reid, Nick Davis, and Nathaniel R (c'est moi) wrap up our summers at the movies and dream of the fall ~ Forward not back! 

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Alex Pettyfer in Magic Mike
  • Princess Merida, Hawkeye or Katniss? Choose your favorite archer of 2012
  • Jeremy Renner in The Avengers
  • Movies We Hated
  • Sleeping through Snow White and the Huntsman despite Charlize Theron!
  • Adapting Cosmopolis
  • Did The Dark Knight Rises get away from Chris Nolan?
  • Movie Characters We'd Like To Introduce
  • Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present
  • Nick's newfound love of comedy: Ted, Wanderlust, 21 Jump Street
  • Retro Screenings This Summer: Sorcerer, Dog Day Afternoon, and Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte
  • Fall Film Madness: Django Unchained, Life of Pi, Zero Dark Thirty, Zero Dark Thirty, Skyfall, The Hobbit, Flight, Amour and More...

You can download the podcast on iTunes or listen right here. Join the conversation in the comments. What's the best old movie you screened this summer? Which fall film are you most looking forward to and which two movie characters would you like to introduce?

I Know What You Saw... Part 2

Wednesday
Aug292012

Melanie Lynskey: DVDs I Had To Own

[Editor's Note: The Film Experience is very pleased to announce that  the lovely actress Melanie Lynskey is our super extra special duper final guest blogger this week. Take it away, Melanie - Nathaniel R]

Hello everyone!

I could not be more honoured that Nathaniel asked me to do this little guest spot on my beloved Film Experience. I read this blog so much and it's always thoughtful, funny, and enlightening. I hope I do a good job guest blogging and I desperately wish I could use a word other than blogging, because ugh it is a horrible word. Okay. Remember, I'm a college dropout, so please forgive bad grammar and clunky sentences. (Dearest Nathaniel I hope you're having a great time with your mom.)

"picture of myself drinking a scotch as I blogged to go with your banner xo"

 

Somebody wrote to me on twitter and suggested that I write a piece about the movies I consider to be the ten best movies of all time. They said they'd be interested to see how the movies stacked up against the Sight and Sound poll. Well, the truth is, I honestly feel like I haven't seen enough movies to be able to compile a list of The Best Movies. My knowledge of pre-70s cinema is embarrassingly limited. I'm also super indecisive. So, I thought that instead, I could take a picture of a bunch of random DVDs from my collection and give a brief explanation of why I love these particular movies.

I don't buy a lot of DVDs so every one of these picks is because I said to myself "Yes. I must own this. It's important."

 

in photo order...

1) Terms Of Endearment- I remember one summer this was on TV when we were on a family vacation. I watched it with my mother and my grandmother (!!) I think I was nine or ten. I already knew, at that point, that I loved acting, I loved becoming a different person. But this was the first time I remember thinking, "oh, you can make people cry their eyes out from acting?" I couldn't believe how the performances made me feel, and I understood that even though the story was so moving, the thing that was making my heart ache was what these actors were doing. I knew it was magical. Shirley MacLaine, man. Wow.

2) The Piano- Oh Jane Campion I love you so much. I love the women in her movies. I love the sexuality. I love the light and the composition. I feel like I can smell the earth under the character's feet and feel the air around them watching a Jane Campion movie.

3) Gigli- yes. Gigli. [More Melanie Picks after the jump]

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Aug222012

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: "Dog Day Afternoon"

Forty years ago today, Sonny Wortzik held up a bank on a hot Brooklyn day. It did not go well. Dog Day Afternoon (1975) was nominated for six Oscars -- the kind of nominations that go to well liked contemporary pictures that aren't thought of as particularly "visual" achievements -- winning only for Best Original Screenplay, but it's actually quite beautiful to look at. Credit, then, to director Sidney Lumet who understood the frantic extremes of humanity better than most auteurs, the casting director and the fine actors who are riveting yet absolutely recognizable as people who might actually be bank tellers, cops or pizza delivery boys  and the cinematography by Victor J Kemper whose camerawork and lighting ably capture the flickering nuances on faces and add considerably to the film's sweaty moody desperation. 

Consider these two shots: the first is Carol Kane as a bank hostage and Lance Henriksen as an FBI man.


They're shots that define what "Character Actor" means or at least what it should -- God, what faces!

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Aug222012

"What you are about to see is true..."

 

40 years ago at this very moment the events dramatized in Dog Day Afternoon began in Brooklyn. Tonight, we'll look at the 70s classic for Hit Me With Your Best Shot. Join us! 

early "best shot" arrivals
Antagony & Ecstacy 
Film Actually