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Entries in Hit Me With Your Best Shot (145)

Tuesday
Mar252014

Visual Index ~ L.A. Confidential's Best Shot(s)

It's Tuesday night, time for another Hit Me With Your Best Shot. This week we're looking at Curtis Hanson's 1997 Best Picture nominee L.A. Confidential, which was nominated for 9 Oscars including Best Picture and Best Cinematography (Dante Spinotti) both of which it lost to the 52,000 ton Titanic. But it's a lot of people's idea of a modern masterpiece so I was fascinated to read what others had to say about the movie.

See it through multiple sets of eyeballs, in this case 17 of them by clicking on any of the thirteen shots selected ... and please do comment if you like something you read. The series only works properly when people participate. 

BEST SHOT(s)
Arranged in rough chronological order

Making news just like they make movies...
-Coco Hits NY 

Opened up and unnervingly close at one and the same time...
-Timothy Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

At its heart, Curtis Hanson's stylish exercise in film noir tropes is a reflection on manhood and masculinity...
-RJ, Home Film Schooled 

A clever tip of the hand, although not an overly obvious one...
-Allison Tooey 


A turning point for the character...
- Andy Hall, Three Pounds Lost 


The birth of Shotgun Ed reveals a confident directorial eye...
-CineMunch 

Just as I became disillusioned, my shot would reflect the disillusionment of Ed Exley...
-abstew, The Film's The Thing 

Is it possible to pinpoint the exact moment when a performance wins an Oscar?...
-Michael Cusumano, Serious Film 


Despite the cool dusky warmth, Bud still walks in haunted noir shadows... 
-Nathaniel R, The Film Experience


One of my favorite moments in Kevin Spacey’s career...
 - Robert Hamer, Awards Circuit 


The rain pours as Bud’s hard-boiled mask crumbles... 
-Derreck Johnson 

That's how you die when you're in close-up...
-Cal Roth 


I'm just the guy they bring in..."
-Intifada 


A live wire, always ready to brawl when necessary...
-Shane Slater, Film Actually 


At any given point, any of them could be on either side...
-Jason Henson, The Entertainment Junkie

After all his moralizing, Exley has rolled in the dirt...
-Margaret, We Recycle Movies 


One of the reasons I love this shot is that it really fleshes out the character of Bud White...
-A Fistful of Films 

 

 

NEXT THREE FILMS - THE SCHEDULE

Tuesday
Mar182014

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"

How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.

I am Joel Barish.

Or I was while rewatching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I hadn't seen the film in about 8 years and it rushed at me which such full force it felt like the first time again... or at least like the most vivid Déjà Vu ever. The experience is disorienting in its speed (20 minutes in and you're already portal'ed into Being Joel Barrish, without quite realizing it) moving in performance (career best work from Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey and a pitch-perfect supporting cast) and fascinating in its premise, looping structure and mirrored ideas (Charlie Kauffman's ingenious screenplay justly won the Oscar). But it's in the realm of the visuals where Michel Gondry and DP Ellen Kuras bring it all together with imagination, verve and an entirely bold and unusual use of light and focus.

The "Best Shot" task suddenly seemed unthinkable. "Can I choose 'every'?" I ask myself in a whimper, like Joel begging to keep just this one intimate moment with Clementine in bed. What kind of a sadistic game is this series of ours? I wanted to throw my hands up and cry out... or at least type out in blog form: 

Do you hear me? I want to call it off!"

For anyone who has ever loved and lost painfully, the premise of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is cruelly precise, both tempting and unthinkable. The most literal representation of that is surely the iconic shot of beautiful bright Clementine pulled from the ice beside Joel into inky blackness, forever out of reach. That and the blurry iconic "Meet me in Montauk" closeup which feels exactly like the irreversible imprint that its meant to be, are the two images that I think of immediately whenever my memories flutter back toward the movie.

Neither have lost their power.  

But as a movie that's unfolding before you and not as you remember it, the most powerful shots are those in perpetual motion (see photo above). This is Eternal Sunshine at its most alive and dangerous, as Joel tries to outrun and escape his foolish decision to have Clementine erased from his mind. This image, Joel running  through ever-shifting but somehow circular hallways, pulling his beloved along (she is never as fully visible but for that unmistakable tangerine hair) is repeated twice in the movie. It's broken up with a third variation that is horizontal as a spotlight keeps catching them as they run through Clem's bookstore.  Kuras' choice of bright spotlights which lend each frame both blinding beauty and empty darkness, feels almost like lucid dreaming and definitely like love gone hopelessly wrong; you're experiencing it, you think you can control it, but it's perpetually slippery, sliding at the edges into a nightmare. Which is not unlike the futile experience of trying to avoid grief or pretending the love wasn't there. 

There is no escape from the past. And if there were some soothing ill-advised oblivion to choose instead, gone goes all the beauty with it.

"Okay?" "Okay."

The Collection of 33 Best Shots  from participating cinephiles... Or just click around on these blogs and be surprised: The Examiner, I Want to Believe, Manuel Betancourt, Mario Arratia, Lam Chop ChopStranger than Most, Victim of the Time, Awards Circuit, Entertainment Junkie, Antagony & Ecstasy, (Home) Film Schooled, We Recyle Movies , Martin Fernando, Amiresque , Film Actually, Ben's Talking Pictures, Coco Hits NY, A Blogwork Orange, Best Shot in the Dark, Cinemunch, Intifada , Cinema Romantico, Dancin' Dan on Film, Sorta That Guy, Film Misery, Encore's World, Three Pounds Lost, The Film's The Thing, Musings and Stuff, Cinema Pop, My New Plaid Pants, and... Yours?

Next Tuesday: L.A. Confidential (1997) starring Noah himself, Russell Crowe 

Tuesday
Mar182014

Visual Index ~ Eternal Sunshine's Best Shots

In the "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" series we ask participants (all are welcome) to post a single shot that they think is the chosen movie's best and tell us why. "Best" is open to interpretation of course and often highly personal... and subject to change, just like memories. Memories are the environment and subject of this week's film, Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). The film celebrates its 10th anniversary on March 19th and feels as essential as ever. 

Though we usually list the Hit Me With Your Best Shot collective choices in chronological order, memories aren't linear. Instead we're sharing the best shots in rough reverse chronological order of when we received them. Read them all for the opportunity to see the movie with new eyes: someone else's.

Meet us in Montauk... 33 images after the jump

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Mar092014

If you've ever danced around in your underwear...

If you've ever danced around in your underwear...
If you've ever wanted to forget a love affair...
If you've ever loved digging into a movie with other movie geeks...

Than you owe it to yourself to revisit Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) with us for it's tenth anniversary when "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" returns on Tuesday March 18th. 

But how? why?...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar042014

Eternal Screencaps from the Blogging Mind

Guess what unforgettable movie about people wanting to forget is about to celebrate its 10th anniversary?

Have you ever thought about what your favorite shot from it is? Or which shot best represents the movie as a whole? Have you ever wondered how it can possibly be that the cinematographer Ellen Kuras has only done 4 narrative features in the ten years since?

You know where this is going right?!

Break out the bubbly because "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" returns on March 18th (We're moving it to Tuesdays at 9 PM to give people the weekend to screen the movies and be ready!). If you're new to the blog or haven't yet experimented with actually participating, I guarantee a good time. Everyone who has participating religiously has said that they've gotten a ton out of it. Plus it proves the point 'the more the merrier' because the best episodes offer new ways of looking at a movie through multiple sets of eyes!

HOW TO PLAY? 1) Watch the movie 2) post your single favorite shot (i.e. what you deem "best" for whatever reason) on your blog/tumblr/youtube/instagram/twitter/pinterest whatever and tell us why you chose it!

03/18 ETERNAL SUNSHINE (2004, *10th anniversary*)
03/26 L.A. CONFIDENTIAL (1997)

... and more to come!

Some of our best episodes from your suggestions, so here's what we've already covered...

1920s Sherlock Jr (24), The Circus (28), Pandora's Box (29)  

1930s
 Tarzan the Ape Man (32), Snow White (37), Wizard of Oz (39) 

1940s
Fantasia (41), Shadow of a Doubt (43), The Woman in the Window (44), Double Indemnity (44), Black Narcissus (47), Possessed (47), Easter Parade (48) 

1950s 
A Streetcar Named Desire (51), Singin' in the Rain (52), The Bad and the Beautiful (52), Forbidden Games (52), How to Marry a Millionaire (53), Night of the Hunter (55), Rebel Without a Cause (55), Picnic (55), Summertime (55), A Face in the Crowd (57) 

1960s 
Rocco and His Brothers (60), Psycho (60), La Dolce Vita (60), Hud (63), Mary Poppins (64), Bonnie & Clyde (67), Barbarbella (68), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (69) 

1970s
 Pink Narcisuss (71), The Exorcist (73), American Graffiti (73), Dog Day Afternoon (75), Story of Adele H (75), Eraserhead (77) 

1980s
 Ladyhawke (85), The Color Purple (85), Aliens (86), Law of Desire and/or Matador (86/87), Peggy Sue Got Married (86), Dead Ringers (88) 

1990s
Edward Scissorhands (90), Beauty & the Beast (91), Raise the Red Lantern (91), Jurassic Park (93),  Heavenly Creatures (94), Se7en (95), Showgirls (95), Jackie Brown (97), The Talented Mr Ripley (99)

2000s
 Bring it On (00), Requiem for a Dream (00), X-Men (00), Moulin Rouge! (01), Memento (01), The Royal Tenenbaums (01), Road to Perdition (02), Angels in America (03), Mean Girls (04), Serenity (05) 

2010s
Pariah (11)

Sunday
Mar022014

"YOU LIKE ME!" (this is not an Oscar post)

3 Notes. Oh don't click away you have time to read them. And yes I'll be live tweeting and a little light blogging tonight

01. Like The Film Experience on Facebook. Follow Nathaniel on Twitter, Pinterest? Why am I so needy? It's like this: Once Oscar night wraps up I experience something like a free fall; help me pull that parachute string.

02. We're here all year -- it's not just an Oscar site so don't abandon us if you're exhausted by Oscar shenanigans. There's only one more week of it, recapping this year's Oscars, filmbitching, and we'll close out the annual festivities with that Supporting Actress Smackdown we promised (yes, the one I flubbed that you've been impatient for). After that one eye returns to brand new movies and pinch of tv and the other to occasional trips back to favored oldies in A Year With Kate, Seasons of Bette, and Hit Me... oh, yeah...

03. Break out the bubbly! "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" returns on March 18th (We're moving it to Tuesdays at 9 PM to give people the weekend to screen the movies and be ready!). If you're new to the blog or haven't yet experimented with actually participating, I guarantee a good time and it proves the point the more the merrier! You simply watch the movie, post your single favorite shot on your blog/ tumblr/ youtube/ instagram/ twitter/pinterest whatever and tell us why you chose it!

03/18 ETERNAL SUNSHINE (2004, *10th anniversary*)
04/01 TBA - what fun but terrible movie should we together for april fools day?

... and more to come in April

These are all the previous episodes in chronological order of the films (though not the episodes) since we experiment with all eras and all genres. Join our group viewing party!  1920s Sherlock Jr (24), The Circus (28), Pandora's Box (29)  1930s Tarzan the Ape Man (32), Snow White (37), Wizard of Oz (39) 1940s Fantasia (41), Shadow of a Doubt (43), The Woman in the Window (44), Double Indemnity (44), Black Narcissus (47), Possessed (47), Easter Parade (48);  1950s A Streetcar Named Desire (51), Singin' in the Rain (52), The Bad and the Beautiful (52), Forbidden Games (52), How to Marry a Millionaire (53), Night of the Hunter (55), Rebel Without a Cause (55), Picnic (55), Summertime (55), A Face in the Crowd (57) 1960s Rocco and His Brothers (60), Psycho (60), La Dolce Vita (60), Hud (63), Mary Poppins (64), Bonnie & Clyde (67), Barbarbella (68), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (69) 1970s Pink Narcisuss (71), The Exorcist (73), American Graffiti (73), Dog Day Afternoon (75), Story of Adele H (75), Eraserhead (77) 1980s Ladyhawke (85), The Color Purple (85), Aliens (86), Law of Desire and/or Matador (86/87), Peggy Sue Got Married (86), Dead Ringers (88) 1990s Edward Scissorhands (90), Beauty & the Beast (91), Raise the Red Lantern (91), Heavenly Creatures (94), Se7en (95), Showgirls (95), Jackie Brown (97), The Talented Mr Ripley (99) 2000s Bring it On (00), Requiem for a Dream (00), X-Men (00), Moulin Rouge! (01), Memento (01), The Royal Tenenbaums (01), Road to Perdition (02), Angels in America (03), Mean Girls (04), Serenity (05) 2010s Pariah (11)

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