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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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what did you see this weekend?

"Well, I saw MOMMY on Saturday, and it kind of spoiled my Sunday movie-going, it was so good. " - Bill

"THE SKELETON TWINS. Darker than advertised." -Charlie G

"MAPS TO THE STARS at the cinema. It's certainly very "Cronenberg", satyrical and darkly funny...and Julianne Moore is absolute dynamite. It must have been so much fun for her! - Carlos

how about you, dear reader?

Beauty vs. Beast


 drink your milkshake and... 


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Entries in Emma Watson (13)


All That Link

It's been so long since we had a link roundup! You were all partying over the long weekend anyway. But we're back to normal. Please to enjoy these fine, discussable or just fun posts around the web...

Antagony & Ecstasy looks back at Thelma & Louise now that Susan Sarandon is on the road in Tammy's crime spree
VF Jennifer Lawrence meets Emma Watson
Leigh Alexander on internet sexism - the dos and don'ts 
BuzzFeed Matt McGorry and Samira Wiley from Orange is the New Black recreate Matthew McConaughey movie posters. Love.
WSJ Taylor Swift fancies herself a journalist suddenly and writes about the future of fandom, music careers and record sales 
AV Club on that potato salad kickstarter 
Deadline on new controversial strict rules for documentary eligibility at the Oscars. I understand the arguments against the new ruling but I would also like to caution documentarians to think about what they're asking for. The Oscars are larger than your particular craft and they really are supposed to be about CINEMA (i.e. things that play in theaters) so shush. These kinds of rulings may hurt at first but there should be a difference between television and movies. Television has its own awards for you to win if your film is great. Don't be greedy. I do agree with one complaint though: what's fair for docs should also be fair for features so Oscar needs to tighten up its eligibility rules across the board.

Hey, Look

It's the first image of Don Cheadle as Miles Davis in a forthcoming biopic. Filming has just begun. I guess Cheadle hasn't moved to TV for good (i *really* hate House of Lies) but at this point he seems far more likely to win an Emmy than an Oscar. The movie is apparently more about his marriage than his music. The best news about the project by far is that it gives Emayatzy Corinealdi a follow up leading role to her great work in Middle of Nowhere. She plays Miles first wife Francis Taylor.

Bob Fosse and Roy Scheider at Cannes for "All That Jazz"Fosse Fosse Fosse
Sound on Sight has an excellent retrospective of Bob Fosse's astounding but weirdly forgotten cinematic career from Mynt Marsellus. I wish Marsellus hadn't hedged on his ending - Fosse absolutely is equal to the other far more famous auteurs cited (Coppola, Scorsese, Spielberg, etcetera). They are only better remembered / respected I'd argue because they:

a) have comparatively gigantic filmographies
b) are still alive and working twenty-seven years after Fosse's death (Fosse was older than all the other crucial 70s breakout auteurs save Robert Altman and Fosse also died relatively young at only 60)
c) made their best films in genres that are more typically male than the film musical and thus escaped the pervasive destructive sexism that tends to devalue all rich work in more traditionally "feminine" fields like musicals, romances, and melodramas. We see this all the time in film criticism. Still.


Say What, Emma & Ethan?

The first still from a movie called Regression starring Ethan Hawke and Emma Watson. You captioned it and dialogued it. It's time to name the winner, who chooses the new banner theme.

"I'm sorry it has to come to this, but......five points WILL be taken from Gryffindor."
-Jake D 

Choose your banner theme, Jake!


The Linkettes

Wonkette crazed religious rightwing preacher says that Frozen will make you gay. And a witch!
Pajiba saves me the trouble of doing a Yes No Maybe So on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) traiser
24 Frames Per Second Mynt Marsellus follows up on that "screenplays you must read" article we were discussing the other day with 5 screenplays by women or people of color to add diversity to it. Fine choices
People Emma Watson looks great in menswear

In Contention on the final James Gandolfini film The Drop from the director of Bullhead
The Exploding Kinetoscope demands that you take Summer Stock (1950) more seriously. There's more to that Judy Garland film than "Get Happy"
Los Angeles Magazine James Franco on his poetry and being on that "leaked" list of Lindsay's lovers...
TFE ...icymi we discussed that list here
Gilt City if you have $175-$235 to spare you can see Cate Blanchett, Isabelle Huppert and Elizabeth Debicki in The Maids on stage here in NY. Good goddess, what a trio. That's above my pay grade but if you see it, do tell me how magical it was. (Cheaper worse tickets go on sale and will surely sell out instantly) on Monday. 
MNPP [nsfw] JA's off to Italy but first a bath and a Mr Ripley reminder
AV Club... whoa. OCD VHS recordings are being put to good use in San Francisco 
Film School Rejects "are you hating movies properly?"

Today's Must See
Oooh, I don't know how I missed this yesterday but Just Jared posted set pics from Suffragette the new Carey Mulligan/Meryl Streep political period piece. FWIW, because no site ever gives credit on these things when they post set pics, the costumes are by Jane Petrie, a relatively new Costume Designer whose previous credits include genre pictures like An American Haunting, Moon and 28 Days Later. But she's moving straight into prestige films. She's got Suffragette as well as the Stephen Frears Lance Armstrong biopic if that one stays on track. 

Meryl in "Suffragette"

Today's Must Read
Ester Bloom, who wrote a couple of pieces here at TFE a few years ago, has a terrific essay up on Flavorwire about the sexuality (or lack thereof) in Wes Anderson's films and how Grand Budapest Hotel is and isn't a significant departure in this regard. Consider this bit.

Anderson is famous for fawning over his symmetrical landscapes the way other directors dote on their female stars; if he is turned on by anything, it seems to be dioramas. The people who fall in love in Anderson’s universes are either actual children, like the awkward tweens of Moonrise Kingdom, or metaphorical ones, like the emotionally stunted Herman Blume of Rushmore and Richie Tenenbaum of The Royal Tenenbaums. And all hearts break in the end.

It's a really good read so click on over


Reader Spotlight: Michael Bina

In the reader spotlight series we celebrate YOU, the reason The Film Experience keeps chugging along. Today we're talking to Michael Bina who just produced a well received short film! Let's meet him.

Nathaniel R: We met a couple years back at a guild screening for Coriolanus's tiny Oscar-qualifying run I believe? 

MICHAEL BINA: Yes, that’s right! I remember you... loved it?

Well, Vanessa Redgrave in it! Otherwise not so much. How long have you been reading the site?

I’ve probably been reading The Film Experience for a little less than a decade. I was a huge fan of the Academy Awards growing up, so I began reading Oscar blogs. I stumbled upon yours and loved your insight on films, and just the way you wrote about them. The site's great at showcasing all aspects of the industry (film, theatre, television).

I understand you recently produced a film that was honored by the Producers Guild ? I'm fuzzy on details. Fill us in!

Every year the Producers Guild of America has a Weekend Short Competition. So over the course of one weekend you have to write, shoot, edit, compose and complete a film no longer than 5-minutes. This year the theme was Romantic Comedy in honor of Laura Ziskin. The film I made was called ‘The Squeeze’, inspired by my little cousin who has a Lemonade stand every summer.

That sounds fun. Let's watch it!


MICHAEL BINA: I used my cousin in the film, and made him a mafia-loving kingpin who runs all these lemonade stands in Beverly Hills. One day, this cute little girl opens an opposing stand, basically killing his business. So he tries to take her down, but falls in love with her. We ended up as one of the Top 10 Finalists, winning Honorable Mention. James Franco and Tom Cruise’s producing partner Paula Wager were two of the judges, so it was surreal knowing that they watched a film I wrote and produced.

Nathaniel: Congratulations so much. Okay, name 3 movies you've seen a bajillion times.

MICHAEL Movies are always playing in the background while I write, so this is easy.

X2:X-Men United
Moulin Rouge!
... and lastly (I know it’s cheating) but the four Disney Renaissance films: The Little Mermaid, Beauty & The Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King.

Take an Oscar away. Regift it.

  I want to say The Artist’s Best Picture win to A Separation, which is my favorite movie of all time. But, instead I’m going to make one choice that affects three outcomes. Take Hilary Swank’s 2nd Oscar and give it to Kate Winslet for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. This way Kate would lose for her work in The Reader, meaning the Oscar would have gone to Streep. Thus, Streep would have lost for The Iron Lady, meaning Viola Davis wouldn’t be Oscar-less! (And even if Streep didn’t win, it probably would have gone to a very, very, very deserving Hathaway for Rachel Getting Married).

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. So to wrap up, do like we did on sunday's podcast. Name your favorite turkey, succulent ham, and something you're sweet on for dessert.

Turkey: Independence Day
Ham: Jim Carrey
Dessert: Emma Watson

Thanks, Michael, Happy Thanksgiving!

Previous Reader Spotlights

P.S. If you'd like to be a reader spotlight, stay engaged! Like us on facebook and follow Nathaniel on Twitter. Don't be shy.


Yes No Maybe So - Noah

JA from MNPP here, taking a look at the first trailer for Darren Aronofsky's bible-epic Noah, giving us the titular tale of one man, one god, two of every animal, and a whole bunch of water. There have been whispers of a battle between the studio and the director over the film's tone - they want it to play straight for the church crowds and that Passion of the Christ money, while Darren Aronofsky, well, is Darren Aronofsky, and I think he probably doesn't have a lot of interest in not complicating Ye Olde Tale a little bit. Well now we've got an inkling, two and a half minutes of inkling, what's what.
So let's break that sucker down into Nat's patented three-tiered system.


-- Darren Aronofsky, of course - I might be more pro-Aronofsky than a lot of you, so perhaps you should take my opinion on this knowing that fact; I've loved deep in my bones every single film he's made (yes including The Fountain). His last film Black Swan might be my favorite even, but it was shamelessly playing right to my wheel-house so I could hardly help myself.

-- Emma Watson and Logan Lerman reunited! Let's hope they stick their heads out of the sunroof of the Ark while a David Bowie song plays.

-- You can already see the magic touch of Matthew Libatique all over it - some of that quick flashing nature photography is stunning. Speaking of...

-- Whatever this guy is! He's a big creepy plus. Do you think he's supposed to be Satan in the Garden? There's also a flash of an apple being picked, so I think I might be onto something. Anyway I hope there are all kinds of fanciful creatures mixed in with the usual elephants and giraffes and zebras we see in Noah stories.

-- The flaming sword scorching the Earth is kick ass!


-- The CG animal stampede is kind of cheesy here in our first glimpse of it. Of course I don't know how you play that without it coming off cheesy. Hopefully by the time the movie's out in March they'll have made the CG a little bit more convincing, at least.

-- Similarly that shot of the Ark rocking in the waves at the end is some 2012 slash The Perfect Storm cheese. And way to give away the ending!

-- The fight scenes all look really monochromatic and good god we've seen that enough by now haven't we?

-- I never thought I'd be sick of Anthony Hopkins, but I'm sick of Anthony Hopkins.


-- Jennifer Connolly hasn't worked with Aronofsky since she gave that wonderful performance in Requiem For a Dream, which kind of kicked off her serious career. (Hey I love Labyrinth as much as the next guy.) - let's hope that the role of Noah's Wife is more than just the noble suffering "I'm With Stupid tee-shirt" role and she's got something to play. I've missed her lately.

-- I'm not the world's biggest Russell Crowe fan, and it's obvious that the studio wants us to think this is Gladiator 2: God's On His Side Now, but he looks pretty commanding with that shaved head and beard inside a tasteful yet butch rough-hewn cotton ensemble, and I'll admit, he's pretty perfect for the part.

So what say you people? Will you be boarding the ship with Darren and company on March 28th 2014, or are you feeling agnostic about this storm?

Our Coven: Hermione

Team Experience is building its own coven of favorite screen witches. Happy Halloween! Here's JA on that know-it-all from Hogwarts. 

It's only been two years since the Harry Potter saga ended film-wise and for awhile I felt the need to take a break from it, it having eaten up a good decade of pop-culture and all, but I've got to admit I'm feeling some nostalgia for it these days all the same. And nowhere moreso than with Hermione, always my favorite character (I never stand a chance with the bookish ones, they always win) - what's she up to these days anyway, in between when the Battle of Hogwarts was won and that kid-laden flash-forward? Did she momentarily move to LA to take up robbing the rich and famous? More...

Click to read more ...


Five Easy Linkses

Viola Davis is sad because her daughter when missing. I'm sad because Hollywood keeps underusing her!Cinema Blend on the giving-too-much-away promotion of crime thriller Prisoners. I must add that one thing they're not giving away is Viola Davis. She's barely in the trailers, despite the fact that her daughter -- not just Hugh Jackman's -- also goes missing!
The Dissolve on racial profiling at screenings of Lee Daniels' The Butler
eOnline Jennifer Lawrence & Hugh Jackman & other assorted X-Men go to see The Butler together with Hugh leading the way (also: since when is JLaw back with Nicholas Hoult? I somehow missed that)

blog buddies
Joe &  Nick talking about Supporting Actor (thus far this year) with notes on the men of The Place Beyond the Pines (have you heard they're all going supporting in Oscar campaigns?) and James Franco in Spring Breaker
Joe & Nick talking about Supporting Actress (thus far this year) with lots of mutual enthusiasm for Emma Watson in Bling Ring and a nifty little cameo that I'm also jazzed about in Side Effects. Also discussed: Melonie Diaz and Alison Janney. I should note since people have asked in various comments sections that I am less enthused about Emma Watson in Bling Ring than Joe & Nick seem to be.

It's not that I don't think she's funny in it. I very much do. I think she's really good in it. It's just that, for me, she's cribbing too much from Nicole Kidman's Suzanne Stone (To Die For) for me to fully feel like it's a creation of Emma's. That and it seems a touch ACTED when seen next to the beautifully unaffected real-person quality of Israel Broussard and Katie Chang and Taissa Farmiga who are all quite good as well. But still... I'm super glad that Emma is improving so much and so quickly (see also: The Perks of Being a Wallflower) since her beloved yet ghastly acting in those Harry Potter flicks. She was going to get a ton or roles whether or not she did so more power to her for committing to her craft.