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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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Entries in Holidays (95)

Wednesday
Nov262014

Nathaniel's Thanks, Given.

The world is a tough place and the movies are our collective great escape. For your host here at TFE there's an awful lot to be thankful for. So as I prepare to stuff my face tomorrow with my best friends I will be especially thankful...

For the orange tabby in Gone Girl
For Julianne Moore getting her groove back on yoga mats and at beach houses
For Ava DuVernay and Jennifer Kent's vivid reminders that women can and do direct movies and we need those fresh voices.
For David Fincher's consistency at turning mainstream audiences on while never pandering

For Shia Labeouf because every film decade needs its defining crazy
For the blooming of Keira Knightley, from an always memorable but uneven actress, to a completely confident movie star, relaxed, nuanced and magnetic in two fine performances
For that shot of the paratroopers in Godzilla
For Finn Wittrock's arrival, sympathetic (Masters of Sex) then terrorizing (Freakshow) outcast beauty
For every single march scene in Selma
For "the world is round, people!

This scene, people. This scene. It's everything.

For Melanie Lynskey onscreen (Instant-watch Happy Christmas now - it's delightful!) and off
For memorable physicality: Chastain's scolding fingers, Krysten Ritter's Big (Side)Eyes, Luke Pasqualino's battering-ram run, Ralph Fiennes cartoon dashes, and Billy Magnussen's horseback riding (or, rather, his mounting and dismounting)
For the single best crop of LGBT films in one calendar year that we've had in ages and ages (Love is Strange, Pride, The Way He Looks, Stranger by the LakeThe Circle, and so on)
For everything that happens in the elevator in Captain America: Winter Soldier
For "Bob's Burgers"... particularly Tina Belcher. I'm late to the party but that show makes me laugh harder than any show since 30 Rock. 

For Jonathan Glazer's return to the movie camera after 10 long years away - his gaze still deliciously alien
For that pop-up Babadook book I just ordered (my advanced thanks)
For the singing voices of almost the full cast of Into the Woods - but especially Streep & Kendrick
For a film year so good I'm already struggling (before screenings are even complete) with too many options for the Film Bitch Awards rosters. I could go on and on... but...

Finally, I'm hugely thankful to my Film Experience team (who delight me so frequently) and to all of you, the readers. Especially if you donate monthly, visit frequently, share articles, and otherwise really engage with what we do here. You help keep the fires burning as we try year in and year out -- against bigger odds than you'd think -- to approach each film year and awards season from  lightly different angles than you'll see elsewhere and with more genuine all-eras all-genres movie love.

Abundance to you all! xoxo,

Nathaniel

P.S. What are you thankful for this holiday weekend? Onscreen and off. 

 

Tuesday
Nov252014

Thanksgiving Break. Screener Madness. What's Left?

1/2 my screener stack. The ones that are coming with me for the holiday. Just in case. What do you still have to cram in before your film year is done? I imagine a lot given the Christmas release dates, damn these last-minute movies, amirite? This Thanksgiving, I am very thankful for screenings and screeners. I couldn't keep up without them given the writing and interviewing and blog prep and awards coverage necessary in December and January.

SCREENER SUGGESTIONS
Over at the Gurus of Gold, David Poland asked us to name three screeners we'd suggest that Academy / SAG / etcetera voters watch over the holiday break. The collective results aren't up yet but I went with:

  • Pride because it might end up topping the list of 'best movies of 2014 that people didn't watch or even hear about'
  • Nightcrawler because Jake Gyllenhaal did better work than some of the alleged frontrunners and I've been surprised to realize how few AMPAS voters have seen it from the anecdotal evidence I've collected at luncheons & parties. (Six more luncheons/dinners/parties to get through next week before they're not allowed to throw them anymore once voting begins)
  • Ida -Speaking of Jake. He showed up at his sister Maggie Gyllenhaal & Peter Sarsgard's FYC screening of the Polish hit I attended last week. I only included this one (which isn't exactly an underdog in its category) because I think Oscar voters should be thinking of it in other categories, too. 

How would you have answered that question? 

OSCAR BAIT MOVIES YOURS TRULY HAS LEFT SO SEE

  • Unbroken 
  • American Sniper
  • The Homesman

Otherwise I will try to rewatch a few that feel way fuzzy in memory (Grand Budapest for sure) and try to catch up with a handful or two of key films I missed this year before handing out the film bitch awards, like this sample pack...

  • Archaelogy of a Woman
  • Blue Ruin
  • Calvary
  • Fury
  • A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
  • Only Lovers Left Alive
  • Skeleton Twins

I'm heading to Vermont for a "Friendsgiving" starting tonight but some posting will still be headed your way this week. What are your big plans this week?

Next up today: The Spirit Award Nominations

 

Saturday
Nov152014

Important Dates. Beautiful Shoes.

There's nothing duller than a post consisting of dates culled from press releases so, as you read, please to enjoy this brand new photo of Michelle Pfeiffer.

Her fingernails won't match anything once she takes the shoes off!

She's one of many celebrities involved in the fifth annual Celebrity Shoe Auction. Proceeds go to the Small Steps Project. Since this very very recent photo is proof that she lives, we must again beg her to take another job. Geez, lady. Your kids must've just left for college. Get back to work!)

Important November Dates
19 - SAG Nomination Ballots Sent Out
25 - Spirit Award Nominations 
26 - Golden Globe Nomination Ballots Sent Out, Happy Thanksgiving

Important December Dates
1 - NYFCC Awards
2 - NBR Awards
7 - LAFCA Awards
8 -  OFCS Nominations, Globe & SAG Nomination Ballot Due Date, BFCA Ballots Sent Out
10 - SAG Nominations
11 - Golden Globe Nominations
12 - BFCA Nomination Ballot Due Date
15 - OFCS Winners
16 - Happy Hanukkah for the next week
25 - Merry Christmas, a million movies come out today
29 - Oscar Ballots go out
31 - Happy New Year, Have A Most Violent Year ... er...

I like his signature. Quick all you handwriting analysis experts: GO!

Important January Dates
5 - NYFCC Awards Gala
7 - Last day of Globe Voting, ASC Nominees Announced (Cinematographers)
8 - Oscar Ballot Due Date
9 - BAFTA Nominations
11 - Golden Globe Awards
13 - Last day of BFCA voting and DGA Nominations Announced
15 - Oscar Nomination Morning

15 - BFCA Awards ("Critics Choice")
23 - Last day of SAG voting
24 - PGA Awards (Producers) 
25 - SAG Awards (Actors)
30 - ACE Eddie Awards (Editors)
31 - ADG Awards (Art Directors)

Important February Dates
4 - VES Awards (Visual Effects)
6 - Final Oscar Balloting begins
7 - DGA Awards (Directors)
8 - BAFTA Awards
14 - Happy Valentines Day
15 - ASC Awards (Cinematographers), MPSE Awards (Sound Editors)
17 - CDG Awards (Costume Designers)
21 - Spirit Awards
22 - OSCAR NIGHT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Which dates do you most look forward to each year?

Tuesday
Nov042014

The Honoraries: Maureen O'Hara in Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

In "The Honoraries" we're looking at the careers of this year's Honorary Oscar recipients including Maureen O'Hara. Here's Andrew on a holiday favorite...  

A common criticism meted out against Maureen O’Hara is that she’s often in good films but hardly ever the reason the films are great. In this vein, it’s almost wicked that I chose to write on her work in Miracle on 34th Street, in our celebration. Maureen O’Hara is probably not the first image that comes to mind when you think of this immortal Christmas classic. Your mind probably went instantly to holiday charm, Macy’s consumerism, Natalie Wood's lovely child star turn or Edmund Gwenn’s Oscar-winning Kris Kringle performance.

Still, I find Maureen's place in the movie significant.

A little background: before shooting Miracle on 34th Street, O’Hara had recently moved to Ireland and was essentially forced into taking the role of Doris Walker, the mother who encourages her daughter not to believe in Santa Clause. The film was called The Big Heart at the time and she was not enthusiastic about returning to North America to shoot it. However, once she read the script her sentiments changed and she was immediately keen to co-star.  Just what it was about the role that made Maureen so immediately enthusiastic to be a part of the project? [More...]

Click to read more ...

Friday
Oct312014

Happy Halloween from The Film Experience! 

We didn't make October a big horror month at the blog like we've done in past years (gotta switch it up from time to time) but we'll be creepier and crawlier next year since we had a break in 2014... if the blog survives another Oscar season, that is. [cue: ominous music]

But for now, an OPEN THREAD. 

Which horror films have you seen the most in your lifetime? Do you always watch on on Halloween?

The only two horrors I've personally seen a ridiculous bunch of times (since I'm not a big rewatcher and it's hardly my favorite genre) are Psycho (1960) and Carrie (1976). I never tire of either. My third favorite is Rosemary's Baby (1968) though I've only see it thrice. Though several others are gold (Herzog's Nosferatu, Kubrick's The Shining, etcetera) those three just tower over all others casting creepy and unimproveable shadows. My teammates have a broader range of favorites as evidenced by our Top Ten Pre-Exorcist Horror Films and the Top Ten Post-Exorcist Horror films.

Happy Halloween !  

Be safe tonight. We only pretend that ghoulish fates await us on All Hallows' Eve.

Tuesday
Oct282014

Top Ten: 2014 Movie Characters For Halloween Costumes

Halloween hits on Friday. Are you prepared to see Elsa & Annas & Olafs everywhere you look for our first post-Frozen dress-up holiday? That billion dollar 2013 smash will surely dominate. As for 2014 movies it goes without saying that you'll see a lot of Guardians of the Galaxy  and sometimes full teams. Team costumes on Halloween are the best but the key to their worth will be in how they handle adorable memorable Groot. Groot costumes will range everywhere from the godawful to the 'how'd they do it' spectacular, depending on creativity and budget.

Here are the characters / movies that would be the neatest tricks to pull off that would make the biggest treats for The Film Experience if fully sewn or creatively cobbled together by overachievers.

(Say no to store bought costumes!)

TEN 2014 COSTUMES WE HOPE TO SEE ON HALLOWEEN

10 "Full Metal Bitch" 
The great takeaway of Edge of Tomorrow or Live. Die. Repeat. or All You Need is Kill or whatever they're calling it today is that Emily Blunt is a badass. Rita, the feared warrior within, practically begs for a life outside of that movie since she is so iconized within it. Good luck pulling off all the metal armor and weaponized accessorizies. And how to look exactly like Emily Blunt while doing it and not "Random Robot Girl"... that's your challenge.
How to win Halloween in this costume: Get a male sidekick in a similar outfit who is shorter than you. Or drag along weird alien carcasses behind you.

"The Shailene Woodley and eight more costumed curveballs after the jump

Click to read more ...