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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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"Looking"'s Final Episode *sniffle*

"I'm crushed over this news but it appears "Looking" has been cancelled (confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter). But at least HBO will be giving it a special movie to wrap up the storylines." -Stan

We're also crushed. But thanks to Manuel for recapping this beautiful second season.

 

 

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Entries in Helen Mirren (20)

Sunday
Mar082015

I Really Really Really Really Really Really Link You

Vanity Fair documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles (Grey Gardens) has died at 88
MNPP Have you ever noticed that a skull flashes in Gaston's eyes when he falls to his death? Jason on Beauty & The Beast (1991)
Theater Mania Helen Mirren returns to Broadway in her Oscar winning role... albeit for a different property, a play called "The Audience"
Comics Alliance AMC is offering a $65 Marvel movie marathon to celebrate the opening of The Avengers: Age of Ultron. It's  29 hours of movie in one sitting from Iron Man (2008) through Ultron (2015). This sounds exhausting. Thing of all the floating objects in skies you'll see exploding every couple of hours as climax


Interview talks to Oscar winner John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) on his new project American Crime
Jared Leto cut his hair, shaved his eyebrows, and dyed the rest platinum blonde -- it's very return to Fight Club all told
Coming Soon looks back at the actresses originally considered for the new Cinderella from Emma Watson to Alicia Vikander and everywhere in between. (Lily James from Downton Abbey eventually landed the role)
Variety - see! TFE isn't the only place still handing out awards for the 2014 film year. The Location Managers Guild of America just gave Wild & The Grand Budapest Hotel prizes 
The Cut the milliner who gave us Indiana Jones's fedora and other movie hats is going bankrupt 
Kenneth in the (212) an update on that petition to pardon 49,000 men who were victimized by the same laws as The Imitation Game's Alan Turing
MNPP [NSFW] the marketing department went to the expense of computer generating underwear for naked Dave Franco for the Unfinished Business trailer.
Boy Culture centerfold turned director Dirk Shafer (Man of the Year, Circuit) found dead at 52 

Today's Must Watch
Tom Hanks lip synchs for his life with Carly Rae Jepsen's "I Really Like You". Adorable.

Wednesday
Feb112015

Most Eligible Links List

Gurus of Gold rank the Best Pictures and possible surprises with a handful of days of voting left
Playbill At Roundabout Theater's Spring Gala "There is Nothing Like a Dame" a who's who of awesome Broadway stars will honor Helen Mirren
Playlist filmmakers who disowned their movies. I didn't know the hilarious Screenplay Oscar trivia situation with Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984) , a movie I really loved as a kid
New York Times America's Sweetheart Tom Hanks writes an ode to the value of community colleges.

 

Henry Cavill's Site interviews the actor's stunt man Alainn Moussi who is getting his own lead role in the Kickboxer remake
AV Club HBO's brilliant comedy about nurses in an elderly care ward Getting On is getting one more very short season and then its bye-bye. 
Towleroad Laverne Cox cast in a CBS legal drama pilot Doubt as a trans lawyer. Too bad its not the lead role. That'd really be something.
Cinesnark has a good review of the most recent episode of Agent Carter which has proven itself as a fast, kicky, well acted and really fine TV show. I kinda love it. Agents of SHIELD has improved over its run but Carter's short run has only emphasized how weak it still is; I'm sad it's coming back because that mean Carter is over!

This Week's Must Read
Tilda Swinton gave a glorious wise speech about art and cinema and inspiration at the Rothko Chapel. Here's the full transcript  and I really urge you to read it.

It occurs to me on a regular basis that the cinema carries the potential to be perhaps the most human of all gestures in art: the invitation to place ourselves, under the intimate cover of darkness, into another person's shoes, behind another set of eyes, into another's consciousness. The ultimate compassion machine, the empathy enging.

Here is the darkness.

Here comes the light.

Beautiful. Just beautiful, don't you think?

 

Andrew Scott (Sherlock, Pride) one of our best out actors. Today's 'What Does This Word Mean?' Curiousity
Out revealed their 100 Most Eligible Bachelors list and it's wonderful to swipe through it realizing how many out actors we have now (I knew that once we had a few brave ones people would calm down about it and the floodgates would open) though the list is hardly actors-only. Thankfully the list has plentiful ethnic, age, and national diversity.

But the list is not without controversy because not all of the men are "Out" as it were like Ronan Farrow for example or the actor Jussie Smollett (who plays the gay son on Empire and is the brother of Jurnee Smollett from Friday Night Lights & True Blood). There might be other examples. I hadn't heard that the model Jon Kortajarena was gay either but maybe I just missed that somewhere. Most hilarious is their inclusion of famously NOT out Hobbit actors Luke Evans (Dracula Untold) who has a long history of being back in the closet which My New Plaid Pants lampoons constantly and Lee Pace who has a long history of not being out and recently denying the everyone-assumes Elf-Dwarf love affair with co-star Richard Armitage.

Wednesday
Feb112015

Where My Girls At? Taraji, Helen, Geena

Did you catch that insane Fox news thing (I realize that sounds redundant) about Hollywood emasculating men by making women the heroes of all movies. Haha. They're so dumb. And also: WE WISH. A new study suggests that we're reaching record lows with only 12% of Hollywood films having female leads and a gross drop in percentages of roles when women pass the age of 40. So I figure it's time for a very brief Where My Girls At roundup of women who are currently wowing. Only 3 this time.

Taraji
Check out the gorgeous new photos and interview with Empire's Taraji P Henson from Uptown Magazine. I want to rename that show EMPIRE or (The Unexpected Ghetto Fabulousness of Cookie) because she just owns that show. (Lee Daniels, one of TFE's favorite actressexual filmmakers, is such a blessing to women of a certain age. I'd personally argue way moreso than Ryan Murphy because they get to do work just as crazy and show-offy but the results are often better and they don't have to play second fiddle to Jessica Lange.) Anyway,  I like that Taraji is particularly frank in this inteview and has interesting "employ tunnel vision" advice on careers. Hers has had its ups & downs, including in awards buzz. Take this bit for example:

While celebrating the variety of black talent currently on-screen, becoming distracted by her peers’ success, however, is not on Henson’s to-do list. With a tightknit, mega-watt circle that includes Gabrielle Union, Regina Hall and Sanaa Lathan, tunnel vision is imperative. “If you don’t stay in your lane and you start looking around, you’ll go crazy,” she says. “I use to have this crazy thing with Amy Adams, and I love Amy Adams. You see her [consistently] getting nominated, as she should, because Amy does good work. But, it’s like, ‘Well, I did good work too.’ But if you choose to stay in that place then you become miserable. It’s a pity party and nobody cares. I’m human, so I’ve done it. But I check that because it’s ego and it’s the devil.” 

Helen
Helen Mirren, the world's sexiest 69 year old, continues flaunting it because she's got it. Here's her cheeky new ad for L'Oreal...

 

Geena
Geena Davis's reign as an A List actress gives good nostalgia now considering how many good movies she made in her heyday. She debuted in a small role in the Best Picture nominated classic Tootsie (1982) and her roles rapidly increased in size in the 80s in classics like The Fly (1986) and Beetlejuice (1988) culminating in an oscar win for another Best Picture nominee The Accidental Tourist (1988). By the time the 90s hit she was a major star (see big hits and feminist classics A League of Their Own and Thelma & Louise). But her reign was short and her career died a still kind of inexplicably swift death in 1996 after two high profile action flops. It was literally the year in which she turned 40. She didn't show up on the big screen again until 3 years later when she was suddenly reduced to the sidebar mom role in the children's hit Stuart Little. But she's become a very vocal activist and gender equality warrior since then. Her latest move is the creation of the Bentonville Film Festival which debuts this May which will showcase female roles, diversity, and family friendly movies. As a moviegoer with a deep love for Ms Davis, I seriously looked into going for The Film Experience but just don't have the funds for it so I'll be reading reports in early May with enthusiasm. Just sad that I won't be one of the lucky film journalists that get to write them. *sniffle*

Wednesday
Dec242014

Yes No Maybe So: Woman in Gold

Manuel here trying to fend off urgings to unwrap all my (cinematic) presents today ahead of schedule (why must so many good films come out on Christmas Day?) Thus, while I have to wait until tomorrow at least to catch Selma, A Most Violent Year, Two Days One Night and Into the Woods, I’ll have to settle for some christmas stocking stuffers in the form of a new trailer featuring the one and only Tatiana Maslany.

Oh, and some Oscar-winning Dame as well.

The Woman in Gold follows Maria Altman (Helen Mirren), a Jewish refugee hoping to get back the family possessions taken from her by the Nazis, with the aid of a young lawyer (Ryan Reynolds). Among these possessions is the Klimt painting "The Lady in Gold" which gives the film its title.

Let’s break it down with the TFE-patented approach of YES/NO/MAYBE SO, shall we?

YES

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Oct222014

Meryl Streep's Set to Sing Off-Key (& Other News)

Manuel here with some Streeptastic news.

Meryl Streep has just signed on to play Florence Foster Jenkins in an upcoming Stephen Frears film. Florence will follow the eponymous protagonist, a New York heiress whose lack of musical talent didn’t stop her from pursuing a career in opera in the early twentieth century. This should be good news for us Streep fans because it means we may get three back-to-back-to-back musically-centered Meryl films in a row. Remember she’s set to play Maria Callas for Mike Nichols’ HBO adaptation of Terence McNally’s Master Class while she’s currently filming Ricky and the Flash, the Diablo Cody-penned Jonathan Demme film about an aging rock-star. More thrillingly, the Frears/Demme/Nichols triple punch is the closest we’ve gotten in a while to Streep committing to working with top-tier directing talent (no offense to David Frankel, Philippa Lloyd and Philip Noyce).

It’s as if she’s been secretly reading TFE where Nat has constantly pointed out Streep’s aversion to working with high calibre directors (give or take a Jonze or an Anderson detour). It’s thrilling stuff even if it’ll continue the “Meryl gets all the roles” narrative that’s both inescapable and inevitable; she is a bankable actress after all.

I didn’t want to just share Meryl’s news (lest we faulted for playing favorites), so let’s play a game of Six Degrees and offer some more news tidbits in the process:

Frears directed Mrs Henderson Presents which is being turned into a musical at the Theatre Royal Bath next summer. That film starred Judi Dench, who is currently filming the Sam Mendes produced The Hollow Crown, a BBC drama that’s been adapting Shakespeare’s history plays. Her co-stars for this concluding entry include Benedict Cumberbatch, Sophie Okonedo (!!) and Sally Hawkins.

Dench starred in another Shakespeare property back in 1968 (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) with the Queen herself, Helen Mirren. It has just been announced that Mirren's Stephen Daldry-directed play The Audience, a sequel of sorts to her Oscar-winning role, is making its way to Broadway next Spring.

Daldry directed not only Streep but Julianne Moore in The Hours; Moore is currently filming Freeheld alongside Ellen Page. The film, focused as it is on a lesbian couple's struggle to apply for domestic partnership, just found itself frozen out of a filming location (a Catholic school), presumably because of its subject matter.

Moore starred with in Crazy, Stupid, Love with Ryan Gosling, whose new 1970s thriller, The Nice Guys, directed by Shane Black, just added Kim Basinger to its cast. Basinger, who we haven’t seen a while, starred in Robert Altman’s Prêt-à-Porter in 1994 with none other than Julia Roberts. Once the reigning queen of romantic comedies, Roberts famously starred in Notting Hill opposite Hugh Grant... who’ll be Meryl’s co-star in Florence.

Phew! That was slightly harder than I thought.

What other renowned film directors would you like to see Streep work with? What other connections between Streep, Mirren, Dench, Moore and Basinger did I miss as I attempted to thread them all together? Are you hoping that in a couple of month’s time we’ll be able to group these women together because they’re all Oscar winners?

Sunday
Aug102014

Green For Green: Weekend Box Office

Amir here, with the weekend’s box office report. Forecasts were uncertain whether Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles still had the appeal to take the multiplex by storm. The turtles are as popular as ever, apparently, crushing Guardians of the Galaxy in its second week. I have no doubt that you’re all sick of me bitch and moan about Michael Bay and Marvel week after week – but see? I have a point; we do have to talk about them every week; there’s no escape. So we’ll skip them for the good news: Boyhood passed 10 million and is still expanding. 

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
01 TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES $65 *NEW*
02 GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY $41.5 (cum. $175.9)  Review
03 INTO THE STORM $18 *NEW*
04 HUNDRED FOOT JOURNEY $11.1 *NEW*
05 LUCY $9.3 (cum. $97.3)  
06 STEP UP ALL IN $6.5 *NEW*
07 HERCULES $10.7 (cum. $52.3)
08 GET ON UP $5 (cum. $22.9) Review
09 DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES $6.4 (cum. $47.5) Reviewish & Podcast 
10 PLANES FIRE & RESCUE  $5.5 (cum. $62.9)
11 THE PURGE: ANARCHY $2.2 (cum. $68.5) 
12 A MOST WANTED MAN $2.2 (cum. $10.4) Review
13 BOYHOOD $2 (cum. $10.6) Review

There were other wide releases this weekend. Helen Mirren returned with The Hundred-Foot Journey. One would assume a film that thinks of only a hundred feet as a journey would also be about turtles, but it is not. It’s some sort of inspirational, we-are-the-world, all-races-holding-hands story about a white woman who learns to love Indians without bothering with the whole Maggie Smith/Judi Dench shtick of actually travelling to India. Lasse Hallstrom, purveyor of mushy Euro-pudding directed. Finally, Step Up All In also opened to a top ten spot, but at 26, I feel too old to write about it.

On the limited end of things, What If starring Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan opened on 20 screens to mild reception. When this film played TIFF last year under the title The F Word, its target demographic seemed pretty happy with what they’d seen, and given the presence of a genuine star, I’m surprised CBS Films opted for such a low key release and the incredibly bland title. Meanwhile, the best film of the week didn’t even register on the charts, presumably because no one saw it, but the tiny little documentary called Fifi Howls From Happiness is funny, outrageous, clever and a beautiful dialogue between two artists, one behind the camera and one in front of it, that deserves a far bigger audience. I hope my review convinces you to see it.

What did you watch this weekend?

Friday
Aug082014

Her Royal Majesty, The Queen of Link

This collection was meant to publish some 24 hours ago. Enjoy these links you might well have seen already!

Decider tracks Channing Tatum's expanding neck 
MNPP Jason calls a Happy Hobbit Ending for Lee Pace within six months. I think this is optimistic. 
Pajiba thoughtfully creates an anti-superhero-movie-diversity Bingo board. Love it!
AV Club Jeff Goldblum participated in a Jurassic Park themed wedding photo. It's great
The Dissolve Epix is airing a color version of Alexander Payne's Nebraska. What the hell?


Arts Beat Helen Mirren to play the Queen again on Broadway. Will the third time be the charm for a first Tony? If she wins she will have won the Oscar, Emmy and Tony all for playing Queen Elizabeths I & II. Quite a specific niche, eh?
The Wire a very bad day for the creator of True Detective Nic Pizzolatto who doesn't handle criticism very well and is now accused of plagiarism as the Emmys approach
The Film Stage shares Akira Kurosawa's 100 favorite films list (originally published in a book from 1999 apparently). Like me his favorite Scorsese is King of Comedy!
The Wrap DC has adjusted its Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice schedule to avoid Captain America 3. That sentence would have unthinkable years ago but Marvel has really made it work.
MNPP "Gratuitous Teddy Sears" I 100% approve and I would like to point out that I raved about him all the way back during his very tiny role on Dollhouse and so glad he got such a plum gig on Masters of Sex 

Ooh look, Jeff Bridges and Beau Bridges (Emmy nominated for Masters of Sex) talking about their acting process at an event in LA. (There's also a clip of them talking about The Fabulous Baker Boys but it's not about Michelle Pfeiffer at all - sacrilege - so I lost interest)

There's no point in even linking to a story about this but how terrible is it that they've opted to call the next Terminator film, a needless reboot when time-travel narratives can reboot themselves while also not stupidly pretending that other films didn't exist, Terminator Genisys. That's the actual title, people, purposeful mispelling and all. 

Finally, i09 shares ten lessons we can learn from the surprising success of Guardians of the Galaxy. Even though I think the movie has really pulled off a conjob on critics (it's winning rapturous ignore-the-obvious-flaws praise I think because it gets a couple of important things very right), most of these are bullet points are true. But I have to shake my head and roll my eyes hard at this bit about its cross-gender appeal at the box office:

How can a movie appeal to both of these groups? Because they both want the same thing, more or less — fun adventures in which both the male and female characters are fully realized.

Oy. If Gamora is our new standard for "fully realized female characters" in blockbuster cinema our standards have hit rock bottom and the future is going to be BLEAK. The ongoing gender problems in mainstream cinema have really taken a toll on people's expectations.