HOT TOPICS


NOW PLAYING

in theaters



new on dvd


review index

 

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
Beauty vs. Beast

 

ALMA or HUD ? For you cynical hotties
 Beauty vs Beast 

Comment Fun

COMMENT DU JOUR
Sundance Sensation: THE WITCH

 "These stills look gorgeous! That dinner scene looks like it came straight out of a Caravaggio painting." - Ryan

"There's been this minor resurgence of intimate family horror in recent years and it makes me excited. Really excited for this one to get distribution." - Robert G

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 gender politics (94)

Wednesday
Dec172014

James Bond's Women, Frozen in Time?

TFE welcomes back its friend and resident 007 expert Deborah with a statistical investigation brought on that recent "Spectre" press conference. If you love Bond Girls or Bellucci, and who doesn't?, read on - Editor

With the announcement earlier this month that Monica Bellucci had been cast in the forthcoming Bond film, Spectre, the media has recently been replete with headlines like “James Bond finally falls for a woman his own age” It was the oft-repeated “finally” that put me in an analytic mood. Is this really the first time (“finally”) that Bond has been with a woman his own age? How often has there been a really large age disparity?

I decided to analyze each movie so I could derive some statistics. James Bond is almost always with two or more women per film, but we can generally identify the “main” and “secondary” woman. I decided, for the sake of my own sanity, to disregard however many other women there might be, with the following exceptions: You Only Live Twice has three women of almost equal importance. Meanwhile, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Spy Who Loved Me, and The Living Daylights give us only one important woman each. Sure, Bond made love to other women in each film, but they had little screen time and were strictly fly-by-night. Let’s not trouble ourselves.

First question first...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec162014

Makeup & Hairstyling: The Elephantine Origin Story (and this year's finalists since we must)

It's history time, kids! Gather round. Did you know that The Elephant Man, currently on Broadway with Bradley Cooper, is indirectly responsible for the Academy's makeup Oscar? No, not that kind of make up Oscar ... though the Academy gives those all the time, too (why, hello Ms. Julianne Moore "Ms. February 2015"!) and maybe Bradley Cooper will get one of those someday?

what's that? u think this intro was an excuse to post a photo of shirtless Bra---FINE! don't judge.

I digress. In the stage version of The Elephant Man the lead actor traditionally performs while wearing no special makeup; he merely acts deformity. But that stylization hasn't yet been tried on film. When it came time to make the film version in 1980, David Lynch, no stranger to depicting deformity without prosthetics -- deformity of the soul at least -- opted for makeup effects. People bitched about the lack of Oscar recognition since The Elephant Man was an Oscar hit (8 nominations) and the very next year we had our category! Unfortunately for the The Elephant Man's team Christopher Tucker and Wally Schneiderman and all, it was too late. Those makeup artists never won a Makeup Oscar or even the other kind of Make up Oscar for overdue peeps.

Once there was an official category a young pony-tailed prosthetics genius named Rick Baker immediately began his relentless reign, hogging 11 nominations and 7 statues starting with An American Werewolf in London. The Makeup prize continued on its weirdly lyncathropic, excruciatingly unstable number of nominee (0,2,3,4) effects-obsessed path for decades thereafter.

UNTIL...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec112014

Interview: Joan Chen and Zhu Zhu of "Marco Polo"

Reader for more binge-watching? The new Netflix event Marco Polo debuts tomorrow! Here's Jose to talk to its glamorous stars...

The most surprising thing about Netflix's new series Marco Polo may be how much attention it gives to its non-titular female characters. Keep in mind, that the show takes place during the 13th century, an era in which women had little say in politics and were ignored by the history books filled as they are with male explorers and conquistadors, including the title character played by the gorgeous Lorenzo Richelmy. In a show which could have treated its women like decorative supporting objects, series creator John Fusco, the writers, and the actresses make them the most fascinating people we meet. As the boys plan wars, train in kung fu and engage in sword fights of all varieties, the women show their power through intellect.

Two of the best characters in the show are Empress Chabi, played by international film and television goddess Joan Chen (Twin Peaks, Lust Caution), and Princess Kokochin, played by Zhu Zhu. Where the former is serene, to the point where her harshest decisions become chilling, the latter is more explosive. 

Other than its lead (Richelmy), who during the first season is mostly a vessel through which we see the clash of cultures, Marco Polo’s ensemble is completely non-white, something Chen highlighted during our conversation. In a time when Hollywood continues to practice whitewashing in casting, it's refreshing to see a show with people of so many different nationalities and races.

Chen and Zhu Zhu were gracious enough to discuss their process, their inspiration and the importance of history. Our talk is after the jump.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Nov262014

Podcast: An Interstellar Imitation Game

Travel with us into the black hole that is odd hit-and-miss reactions to the ambitious emotional Interstellar. We also discuss The Imitation Game and the controversy over its presentation of its gay protagonist. Starring: Nick Davis, Joe Reid, Katey Rich, and your host Nathaniel R.

33 minutes
00:01 Chris Nolan's Interstellar with asides to Inception and 2001: A Space Odyssey and Contact and the ways in which it does or doesn't stretch Nolan's 
20:30 How does The Imitation Game machine work? Does its trifurcated structure work? And what of its collective performances?

You can listen at the bottom of the post or download on iTunes. The Imitation Game opens this weekend. Continue the conversation in the comments! 

Interstellar / Imitation Game

Tuesday
Nov182014

P.T. Pinups

 


I'm not a fan of Inherent Vice much but it will inspire lots of fun fan art and/or official stuff... like this banner poster starring Katherine Waterston as "Shasta Fay". (Her hair is filled with secrets characters.)

I wish P.T. still wrote memorable female characters (sigh) even the kind of vacant bimbos like Rollergirl used to be awesome. With There Will Be Blood he basically left them behind altogether. Inherent Vice has a dozen or so female roles and only two of them are halfway interesting (Yay, Jena Malone and Jeannie Berlin cameos).

Uh-oh... I feel a list attack coming on. It can't be stopped 

Female Characters in P.T. Anderson films from Most Fascinating to Least
(not comprehensive but the major ones) 

 

  1. Amber Waves (Boogie Nights)
  2. Linda Partridge (Magnolia)
  3. Rollergirl (Boogie Nights)
  4. Gwenovier (Magnolia)
  5. Lena Leonard (Punch-Drunk Love)
  6. Peggy Dodd (The Master)
  7. Clementine (Hard Eight)
  8. Jessie St Vincent (Boogie Nights)
  9. Becky Barnett (Boogie Nights)
  10. Elizabeth Egan (Punch-Drunk Love)
  11. Claudia Wilson Gator (Magnolia)
  12. Hope Harlingen (Inherent Vice -cameo)
  13. Aunt Reet (Inherent Vice - cameo)
  14. Rose Gator (Magnolia)
  15. Xandra (Inherent Vice)
  16. Helen Sullivan (The Master)
  17. Petunia Leeway (Inherent Vice)
  18. Penny (Inherent Vice)
  19. Japonica Fenway (Inherent Vice)
  20. Sortilege (Inherent Vice - great voice that Joanna Newsom has, though)
  21. Shasta Fay Hepworth (Inherent Vice)

 

Friday
Nov142014

Oscar's Acting Categories Take Shape. Or Do They?

If you're an Oscar chart junkie, you'll see some key shifts on all four acting charts which are now updated. The biggest switcheroo is Jessica Chastain moving to Supporting Actress (the original prediction back in April) which shakes that field up more than it creates a vacuum with the Best Actress race and both Foxcatcher men dropping out of the predicted lead actor shortlist.

Papa, how can I be too high in rank to dine with the servants and too low to dine with my family?

Best Actress has been hard to suss out beyond two sure things: Julianne Moore as a professor with early on-set Alzheimers and Reese Witherspoon as a woman trying to forgive herself and start anew by hiking the PCT. Both of those films are major star vehicles in that they put their leading actress and her considerable gifts front and center without obstructed views. Gone Girl and The Theory of Everything also look somewhat likely to produce nominees but those are definitely two-lead films which Pike and Jones must share with their screen hubbies. On the podcast this weekend we'll talk more about this race because the field still seems wide open beyond those four names. And, if past years are any indication, one of them could surprisingly drop out. There are a lot of viable women hoping to unseat them, which makes "where are the best actress candidates?" articles in major outlets like THR and The Washington Post absolutely mystifying or ignorant or sexist or something. Something not right is the point. Particular maddening is that THR article which claims two dozen viable Best Actor candidates beyond the presumed frontrunners but will even list the most longshot of longshots like Eller Coltrane (Boyhood) and Al Pacino (The Humbling) and Kevin Costner (Black and White) -- none of which have any heat -- as "credible" contenders but can't think of ANY slightly under the radar women other than Jenny Slate (Obvious Child)? That's wearing some serious blinders to support your thesis. [more...]

Click to read more ...