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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 | instagram | letterboxd 

 

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Entries in Emmy (91)

Sunday
Jun212015

FYC: Melanie Lynskey for Best Supporting Actress, Comedy

Team Experience continues to share their individual dream picks for Emmy nominations. Here's abstew on TFE favorite Melanie Lynskey...

With this year's rule-change that half hour shows will be automatically placed in the comedy categories and hour-long ones in drama, we worry about the shows that don't necessarily fit so easily into either category, regardless of their running times. But then again, Melanie Lynskey currently giving one of the year's best comedic and dramatic performances in HBO's Togetherness, has always been an actress undefined by categorization. Equally at home in traditional sitcoms (playing kooky neighbor Rose on Two and a Half Men) as she is in dramatic film work (her film debut in Heavenly Creatures is still a haunting revelation), Lynskey utilizes her skills from both (along with a sure hand at improv, recently seen in Happy Christmas) to play Michelle, the unhappily married wife and mother on the Duplass Brother's relationship dramedy. [More...]

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Saturday
Jun202015

Emmy FYC: "The Leftovers" for Best Drama Series

A lot has been made of so-called “watercooler TV”, or what in today’s world we might call “hashtag-worthy TV”. But I’ve never really understood it. Discussions of “watercooler TV” mostly revolve around plot: “OMG did you SEE what happened on show X last night?” “LOL how freaking hilarious was that one moment on show Z?!?” But those watercooler or hashtag conversations rarely go much deeper than “What do you think is going to happen next?” TV shows typically prioritize this kind of storytelling over the much more interesting, engaging kind of storytelling - the kind that asks

What do you think this means?”

By that measure, The Leftovers, created by the formerly Lost Damon Lindelof and author Tom Perrotta, based on the latter’s novel of the same name, is the most deeply engaging show of the new millennium.

The show tells the story of the residents of Mapleton, NY in the aftermath of a terrifying event: The “Sudden Disappearance” of 2% of the world’s population. What exactly happened, no one is sure, and no answers are forthcoming. But what happened, how, and why, isn’t what’s important. What’s important is what people are doing in the present, how they are grappling with that event, and why.

Often ambiguous, deeply symbolic, and allegorical in its storytelling, The Leftovers is one of the most difficult shows to watch that any network has dared to air in quite some time. It also makes for one hell of a hypnotic viewing experience. The show isn’t afraid to barrage you with difficult questions. Not questions of plot or character, but of subtext and theme. Not what a certain action means for the narrative, but what it means to the viewer. This is a television show that invites deep discussion on a weekly basis - discussion that will reach far beyond the show and the (incredibly real) world it creates. And that is something we should be honoring.

previous Emmy FYCs

Friday
Jun192015

FYC: Tituss Burgess for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy

Team Experience is sharing their dream picks for the Emmys each day at Noon. Here's Margaret...

Tituss Burgess' performance as Titus Andromedon on Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is nothing short of genius. (Before we get any further into this, it should be established that Tituss with two S's is the actor, and Titus with one S is the character. Confusing, yes, but blame Tina Fey and Robert Carlock.)

His vocal control is exquisite, and we see it tested time and again as the writers work up excuses for Titus to belt whenever possible. His grip on his comedy is similarly iron-clad. Every gesture, every line reading, is laser-precise. He never fails to deliver the biggest laugh of whatever scene he's in--he's a dexterous physical comic and quite nimble with Fey & Carlock's twisty punchlines-- but he also lends a distinct pathos to the performance that makes it more than just funny. 

And he's tremendously gif-able. Sweet mercy, how gif-able.



Though often ridiculous, Burgess makes damn well sure we know that Titus is the one telling the joke. Even the most absurd lines fly out of his mouth with self-awareness and complete conviction. (In lieu of apologizing for putting his foot in his mouth, he shrugs: "I am as God made me.") One of the things that makes Kimmy Schmidt so special is its improbable sense of melancholy. Hints about Titus' past point to frustration and pain, and that's present in his performance even as he lives confidently and without contrition.

But most of all, he's just purely and entirely funny. He makes me laugh more than any other TV character, certainly today, maybe ever. To deny him would be like denying Jane Krakowski's Jenna Maroney, which...  well... please don't make that mistake again, Emmys.

Previously: Ann Dowd talks The Leftovers and Nathaniel fusses over the Emmy ballot

Thursday
Jun182015

Ann Dowd: Quick Notes on Six Roles

The Film Experience is proud to turn today over to the great actress Ann Dowd. Enjoy... 

The cast of "Garden State"

- by Ann Dowd

Nathaniel tells me these are his favorite characters from my filmography and since I've taken over The Film Experience for the day, here are quick notes on each.

"Olivia" in Garden State (2004)
Loved. Zach Braff really had it together- wrote, directed, starred in. He was very clear about what he wanted which is always a pleasure.

"Cookie Kelly" in Freaks and Geeks (2000)
Hysterical. Writers, actors, everybody was talented and young and funny. I love that role - she was delicious and twisted.



 

"Sister Maureen 'Mo' Brody" in Nothing Sacred (1997)
Sister Maureen was a wonderful role, so well written, a lovely cast. I have two aunts who are Catholic Ursuline sisters so I know something about that world – how educated they are, how generous and caring and complicated they are. The way the role was conceived by Bill Cain reflected the truth about that world and it was a pleasure to work on it. 

"Sandra" in Compliance (2012)
Another beautifully written role. I have tremendous empathy for that character, not having a guidance system of her own. How derailed her life became. Great director Craig Zobel.


"Estabrooks Masters" in Masters of Sex (2013)
Oh my gosh, what I remember most about the first season is just the feeling of hitting that ground running. Michelle Ashford's writing is great. A really terrific cast - Michael Sheen, Lizzy Caplan, Caitlin FitzGerald. The stories were very strong and I love the character of Estabrooks. She's clear and unfaltering and also able to admit her mistakes, apologize and then move forward. Loved her.

 

"Patti" in The Leftovers (2014)
We already spoke at length about this role but there was a lot of camarederie on set with Amy, Liv, and Justin. The atmosphere was so surreal -- keep in mind that sometimes we were shooting in the middle of the night in the cul-de-sac somewhere 45 minutes out of the city -- no sense of time or space. On one of the first days of shooting the first A.D. Vebe Borge didn't speak in solidary with the Guilty Remnant. How's that for commitment?

Thursday
Jun182015

Ann Dowd: Playing Patti on "The Leftovers"

The Film Experience is proud to turn the site over to Ann Dowd for the day. Enjoy...

As Patti Levin on "The Leftovers"


-by Ann Dowd

Finding the character of Patti on The Leftovers was a fascinating experience. I remember having a lot of questions about her when I first read the script. It was scary at first, it was daunting the not speaking. “What is this about? How are you going to play this?” There are always so many questions for an actor. You think “Where is this person? How am I going to find her?” And then the thought came, "Take a breath, settle down, The information will present itself." And sure enough it did.

There are always clues when you’re searching for a character. Not speaking actually turned out to be an incredibly powerful position to be in and here's a clue: make sure you know what the character wants because you are not going to be able to tell anybody with words so it has to be in your whole being. Other clues turned up each time, episode by episode: what she responded to, what she didn’t respond to, her intense aggression toward Kevin, trying to understand why.

It’s a process and in those first episodes, I had just enough to do to slowly put that picture together. [More after the jump...]

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Wednesday
Jun172015

Emmy Balloting Obsessiveness

As you're no doubt aware, given our ongoing Emmy FYCs, the Television Academy is voting this week on the nominations for the 67th annual Primetime Emmy Awards (Sept 20th, 2015). Apologies to the small screen averse among you but as the lines blur between all the performing arts, so must we! We'll be back to a heavier movie focus in July but you know how June is: Tony Season climaxes and then Emmy voting happens. Consider Elisabeth Moss your new bridge mascot since she was just a nominee at the Tonys and she's in an Oscar-hopeful movies this year (Truth with Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett) and could be up for a final Emmy for her signature role Peggy Olson (Mad Men).

Ack!

It's so easy to get distracted when awards of any kind are the topic. Here are a few observations about the ballots after the jump but first...  please to enjoy this NEW CATEGORY PROPOSAL (We need 2 more nominees for this category so that's your job in the comments)

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