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Alicia Vikander cast as Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
Only supporting actress winners are allowed to play this role!

"What on earth can Alicia bring to this role, and why bother? Good luck." - Tom F

"How long must we wait for Dianne Wiest as Lara Croft!?" - Mike

 

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Entries in dogs (50)

Friday
Apr222016

Every Dog Has Its Day: Iñárritu, 16 Years and 2 Directing Oscars Later

Eric here to discuss cinema’s currently-most-celebrated director, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. As Nathaniel has noted previously, all six of Inarritu’s feature films have gotten Oscar attention in one way or another, and of course much has been written about his being the first filmmaker since 1950 to win the Best Director Oscar two years in a row. He's also just been named to the Time 100 "Icons" List.  So there’s no better time than to look back to Inarritu’s first feature, 2000’s Amores Perros, to see where he started and where he’s landed.  

Watching Amores Perros (2000) for the first time since its initial release, I was struck by how even at the start of his career, Inarritu picked extraordinarily difficult environments to shoot in.  The logistics for Amores Perros can’t have practically been much easier than the ones we are all sick of hearing about with The Revenant.  His debut feature has him shooting all over Mexico City (inarguably one of the world’s most chaotic cities), with a colossally large group of actors, and constructing a large-scale and crucially precise car wreck sequence that pays off to all three of the film’s narratives in different ways.  Plus throw in a lot of very difficult (and legally tricky) scenes with huge groups of dogs fighting, bleeding, and getting shot.  Inarritu’s self-masochism was alive and well from the very start. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb222016

Q&A: Iconic Couples, Vote Counts, Favorite Kurosawas

There were so many good questions this week for the Q&A that we had to do this twice. Here are more questions asked of your host Nathaniel, and now answered. Thanks for being engaged readers!

Nicole & Ewan at MTV Movie Awards 2002Since there's been talk of how sweet it would be to see Leo and Kate both win Oscars this year, I've been thinking about recent screen couples that have captured audiences' imaginations in that way, that people would love to see win Oscars at the same time and I couldn't think of any quite on that level. Are there any post-Titanic screen couples you think of as legendary pop culture pairings? -EDWIN

Had Nicole Kidman & Ewan McGregor ever reteamed post Moulin Rouge! I think they might have become a screen couple like that. The fact that they haven't is a tragedy since we will love them until their dying day. You could argue that Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling (The Notebook) qualify. I think if Heath Ledger were still alive this might have happened with him and Jake Gyllenhaal since they're both such tremendous actors and liked each other quite a lot. It would have been fascinating to see them co-star in a second film in a totally different genre. 

The Film Experience is 1000% behind today's Hollywood realizing that reteaming stars who had insane chemistry is one of the best traditions of Old Hollywood. It's not only fun for fans, it's also marketable! Wouldn't you be so excited if Kate & Leo made a comedy together in 2018?

What's your favorite performance given by an animal actor? -TYLER

Asta as "Mr Smith" from The Awful Truth (1937) which is my first or second or third* favorite screwball comedy of all time. (It's hard to decide because they're so many great ones)

If it was up to you to decide, would you release the official vote counts from old Oscar ceremonies? Or would that take away the fun of endless speculating? is there a particular race you would want to know the official tally? - MARCELO

The answer and more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan222016

What's on your mind... besides Oscar Isaac?

Look at that cutie. No, not that one. Scroll down -- that doggie is so cute it almost pulls focus from Oscar Isaac, the web's current boyfriend. Apparently he plays a serial killer in his new film Mojave (opening in limited release) this weekend. I'm so over serial killers in movies. According to tv & movies serial killers must make up about 15% of the world's population and the one job market that's always booming is for Trained Assassins. By 2018 we'll all be dead!  

This is a long way of saying I'm probably not going to the movies this weekend (January is the one month I take a break aside from rescreenings of Oscar nominees for writing purposes) but maybe you are? The 5th Wave? The Boy? Dirty Grandpa? The Romanian Oscar submission Aferim! (when is Romania going to catch a break with the Oscars?)?

What are your cinematic plans this weekend? What's on your movie mind?

Wednesday
Dec232015

Menagerie '15: Best Animals in the Movies

Personality Assessment. Go...

• Do you feel guilty (like me) about missing White God, Hungary's acclaimed drama about a pack of wild dogs?

• Were you puzzled when Susan Cooper was embarrassed by her crazy cat lady disguise in Spy?

• Would you put on a bee suit to hang with Mr Holmes

• Would you adopt Paddington after he defiled your toothbrushes? 

If you answered yes to any of those questions you might be an animal person or a crazy cat lady like your host Nathaniel. This list (updated from a halfwaymark celebration) is for you!

TOP 15 ANIMALS FROM 2015 MOVIES
after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec072015

News: BIFA, Carrie Fisher, Creed

Gothamist Good Morning America tries to interview Carrie Fisher. She is not as cooperative as they're used to. Hilarious. She mostly wants to talk about her dog Gary. Also...
Carrie Fisher's Dog is on twitter
/Film best and worst of Ryan Gosling on SNL
Variety
Shailene Woodley, to whom I am mostly allergic, will unfortunately co-star with Nicole Kidman in Big Little Lies
Boy Culture
Warhol superstar Holly Woodlawn has died at 69
i09 in case you can't wait until Christmas, they've released 8 clips from The Hateful Eight to tide you over
Pajiba 8 sets of celebrity dopplegangers

Today's Watch
Director Ryan Coogler talks about Creed's amazing continuous shot boxing match. So gutsy that this bravura bit comes so early in the movie and he still manages to top it later on.

List Mania
Vulture David Edelstein's top ten list is quite adventurous as it zigzags from Room to Chi-Raq but his top 10 and best performances list is.... Steve Carell The Big Short as #2 of the year (say whaaaa?)

Saoirse Ronan has arrived. Finally...
The Moet British Independent Film Awards ceremony happened yesterday during all the critics award madness stateside. The winner by a significant margin was Alex Garland's haunting sci-fi triangle Ex Machina. The prizes...

British Independent Film: Ex Machina
Director: Alex Garland, Ex Machina
Actress: Saiorse Ronan, Brooklyn
Actor: Tom Hardy, Legend
Supporting Actress: Olivia Colman, The Lobster
Supporting Actor: Brendan Gleeson, Suffragette
Screenplay: Alex Garland, Ex Machina
Documentary: Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story of Dream Alliance
International Independent Film: Room
Debut Director: Stephen Fingleton, The Survivalist
Producer of the Year: Paul Katis & Andrew De Lotbiniere, Kajaki: The True Story
Discovery Award: Orion: The Man Who Would Be King
Achievement in Craft: Andrew Whitehurst for VFX, Ex Machina
Short Film: Edmond
Promising Newcomer: Abigail Hardingham, Nina Forever

Kind of a surprise to see Ex Machina dominate so thoroughly though we do love it here at The Film Experience

Monday
Oct122015

Wes Anderson Returns to Animation

Tim here, with exciting news for those of us who regard Fantastic Mr. Fox as a high water mark in the career of Wes Anderson. The Playlist reported on Friday that the director will be returning to the realm of stop-motion animals with his next feature, currently in pre-production. There are no plot details nor a title nor really anything, which I don't think should prevent us from going hog-wild with random speculation in comments. 

My guess: an exact replica of the Vietnam War play from Rushmore, only with fussy animal puppets.

We actually do know one thing: the film will be about dogs. Anderson, of course, is noted for his tendency to kill or otherwise abuse dogs in his movies: The Royal Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Moonrise Kingdom all feature terrible things happening to their various pooches. It remains to be seen whether the new film represents his attempt to apologize to the noble species of Canis lupus familiaris, giving man's best friend a feature film to thrive and triumph. Or maybe it will just be his first movie in which every cast member dies at the end in a hideous Tarantinoesque bloodbath. But, y'know, set to Alexandre Desplat music.

Tuesday
Sep222015

TIFF: Two More Foreign Language Oscar Submissions

2015's TIFF has concluded and we tried to catch a few of the Foreign Language Oscar submissions while we were there. We've already written about Colombia's Embrace of the Serpent so here are two more official entries from Norway and Portugal

Oscar Trivia Notes: Portugal holds the sad statistic of being the country with the most annual submissions (32 in total) to have never been nominated. This category was established as an annual competitive event back in 1956 and Portugal began submitting in 1980 - they've missed only a few years of the competition since. Norway has fared better. Though Israel, Mexico, and Belgium, lead this particular statistic, Norway is stuck in a tie for fourth place with Greece for "the most nominated country that has yet to win the foreign film Oscar." Norway has been nominated five times. More fun stats here. I'd suggest that The Wave didn't have a prayer of being nominated except that the last time Oscar went for a Norwegian film it was a similarly conventional mainstream adventure (Kon-Tiki) so who knows.

The Wave (Norway, Roar Uthaug)
The best thing one can and should say about this disaster epic from Norway is that it's just as good as your average American entry in this crowded genre and it does that with a significantly lower budget while sticking closer to plausible science in its action sequences. It keeps things more intimate, keeping a tight focus on one family and a group of coworkers, and building slowly to the money shot disaster. The tsunami doesn't happen until well into the running time but The Wave keeps you interested regardless.  It's no surprise that Norway submitted it since it is a massive blockbuster there. According to the director's intro at the public screening over half a million people at home had already bought tickets to it in less than a month. (Can you imagine 10% of the US population going to any single movie in a month's time frame? It just doesn't happen. I think American Sniper could argue it got there but not in one month's time!) Still The Wave has the same ugly problem of valuing one blond family's welfare over everyone else's entire existence that got The Impossible into trouble with critics. Although The Wave has a better excuse for its total whiteness since it's Norway (which is very white) not Thailand! But The Wave is even more ruthless about placing the sanctity of this one family's unity and love and survival above anyone else, though I shan't spoil why that is. Nevertheless the movie is exciting to watch, the three principal actors are charming (including Ane Dahl Torp who also starred in Norway's submission last year 1001 Grams) and Norwegian movies can always be counted on for sublime scenery -- even when that scenery turns malevolent -- but boy is this thing cliche-ridden and predictable! B-

Arabian Nights Volume 2: The Desolate One (Portugal, Miguel Gomes)
I attended the middle feature of this trilogy, the one that was Oscar submitted because the director claims you needn't see the three films in order, with Nick and Amir as my final film of TIFF. They both emerged from the screenings with missionary zeal about its brilliance. Nick considers the trilogy the movie event of the year. I'm not as gaga for it though I admit that part of that may well be that I a) didn't get it and b) I have a well known lack of tolerance for artists that can't self-edit and long running times and a 7 hour three part movie in which every sequence (that I've seen) has dead space pushes these buttons for me in a big way. I'll let Amir review the trilogy proper since he's a true fan but I will say despite my reservations on the length of the project as a whole and even this third of it (which is itself over 2 hours long) it is often quite funny and provocative in its pile-up of politics, storytelling idiosyncracies, and nonsensical events (as an example of the latter at one point a character turns invisible and seems to teleport with a muscle flexing grunt and this has nothing at all to do with the story or the scene or the narration or the political content as far as I can gather) 

Dixie is a born starMiguel Gomes, who previous directed the whatsit Tabu (that critics were also besotted with), is in his own way as weird and singular an auteur as Thailand's Apichatpong Weerathasakul. His movies could not be accidentally mistaken for anyone else's and that, should you be in doubt, is a huge compliment. This trilogy is NOT an adaptation of the classic Arabian Nights but just borrows its structure with this version of Scheherazade telling us fables about poverty, politics, and social justice that are drawn from / comment on the Austerity period in Portugal that impoverished many of its citizens.

To make this trilogy project even more confusing, each volume has multiple stories within it. Volume 2 has three plus separate stories: the first is about "a man without bowels" who is being hunted by the police; the second, my preference, is about a Judge trying a case in what looks like an ancient greek theater which becomes more and more absurd and abstract and continually finds new people to blame as it progresses; the last is the story of an raggedy poodle named "Dixie" and her rotating people who have to keep giving her up. Dixie is a total cutie and won "the Palme Dog" at Cannes.

To make this volume even more confusing, the story of Dixie has several nested stories within it about the residents of a particular apartment building which have nothing at all to do with Dixie though other pets come into play (Gomes movies seem fascinated by animals be they dogs, alligators, parrots, cats, or whatnot). Describing the abundant oddity is nearly impossible: people turn invisible, cows speak at trials, naked ladies bake cakes. Real Oscar Bait, people! WTF


Related: There are now 61 official submission titles so make sure to check out the updated foreign film charts.

• Current Predictions plus all time stats/trivia
• Afghanistan through Estonia  15 official 
• Ethiopia through The Netherlands 25 official
• Norway through Vietnam 21 official 

The full official submission list will be published around October 1st with probably about 10 more titles joining this current lineup. Generally speaking at least one of the previously announced titles mysteriously vanishes or is replaced when the official list is published.