Advertisement
Oscar History
Welcome

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

Powered by Squarespace
Don't Miss This!
Comment Fun

Comment(s) Du Jour
Saoirse Ronan as Mary, Queen of Scots

"With only a few scenes at her disposal, Samantha Morton was an amazing, amazing Mary Queen of Scots in "Elizabeth: The Golden Age". Don't expect that portrayal of the lady will ever be topped." -Ken

"Saoirse Ronan is an inspired choice for Mary. But... Who signed off on Margot Robbie as Elizabeth I? What is this madness." - BillyBob

What'cha Looking For?
Interviews

 

Jerome Reybaud Director
(4 Days in France)
Emmanuelle Devos Actress
(Retrospective)
Nicholas Galitzine Actor
(Handsome Devil)
James Ivory Director
(Maurice Restoraton)
Betty Buckley Actress
(Split)

Keep TFE Strong

We're looking for 500 Patron Saints!

IF YOU READ THE SITE DAILY, PLEASE BE ONE BY DONATING. 
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

Subscribe

Entries in interview (194)

Friday
Dec072012

Interview: Ann Dowd on "Compliance" and Oscar Buzz

Ann Dowd loves the word "delicious". She describes her children this way and actors she admires, too ("Annette Bening! She's delicious and such a good actress"). And what word could possibly be a better fit to fully convey the joy of this moment in her career?

When the tiny indie Compliance debuted to surprisingly robust critical conversation this past August, Ann Dowd won the kind of reviews that Oscar dreams are made of... even from critics who didn't like the film. Her superbly layered work as "Sandra", the prickly overwhelmed fast food manager at the center of the ethically disturbing drama lingers in the memory. Proof of that is a recent well deserved nomination at the Spirit Awards. I spoke to her a few hours after the announcement of her biggest prize yet, The Best Supporting Actress Award from the National Board of Review.

NATHANIEL: Congratulations on winning the NBR Prize!

ANN DOWD: Thank you so much. I have to say I'm beside myself. Really happy.

Have you seen Ann Dowd's riveting work in Compliance yet?

NATHANIEL: Does all of this attention feel like "It's about time!"?

[Oscar buzz, Freaks and Geeks, and red carpet panic after the jump...]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov202012

Jodie Foster at 17

Our Jodie Foster 50th Anniversary Celebration continues...

Her answer is priceless

Michael C here to pass along this clip I discovered while researching the estimable Ms. Foster. Nowadays child stardom is commonly seen as the first stage in an inevitable downward trajectory of substance abuse and self-destruction so it's a bit jarring to watch this footage of Jodie Foster interviewed at age seventeen.

It's a rare thing to hear a movie star – or a politician for that matter – of any age speak with such poise and thoughtfulness. To listen to it after having lived through the E! News and TMZ takeover of celebrity reporting makes it seem positively alien. I love the way she keeps gently steering fluff questions toward substantive answers, like when she responds to a question about a potential boyfriend with an observation about the phoniness of fawning celebrity praise.

I imagine many young stars that meet with similar success so early in life receive a shock when they discover the world is not going to unroll at their feet in all their future endeavors.


Yet here we find the young Jodie Foster already tempering her big ambitions with the knowledge that there will be surely be failures along the way. Agents of up and coming celebrities should play clips like this for their clients to study. 

Sunday
Nov112012

Interview: On 'Head Games' and Reshaping Oscar's Doc Branch with Steve James

Amir here. With an unusually large number of high profile contenders and a recent overhaul in the branch’s voting system, the documentary category is sure to be one of the exciting races at the Oscars this year. There are a few films firmly in the conversation already, but I recently caught up with a contender that has curiously slipped under the radar despite the talent involved.

Head Games, the newest from Steve James (Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters) is based on a book by former WWE wrestler Chris Nowinski and takes on the issue of concussion in contact sports, a topic that is increasingly discussed among Football and Hockey enthusiasts in particular. James goes back to a more traditional structure in setting up his film with many talking head interviews and archival footage, but the end result is unexpectedly moving. Given the prevalence of these injuries in athletes, from kids who play Football or Soccer on a regular basis at school to the professionals of NFL and NHL, it’s a film that will be emotionally involving for a lot of people. I choked up a few times.

James’s history with the Oscars is well-known: despite universal critical acclaim, both aforementioned titles were snubbed by the Academy, not to mention his other powerful films. He was nominated in the editing category for Hoop Dreams, but it will be a big moment whenever he finally scores his first nomination for best documentary. On the occasion of the film’s qualifying release, I had the opportunity to chat with him about the film, his passion for sports, the Oscars, and the documentary branch’s new voting system.

 Steve James, the director of Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters and now Head GamesINTERVIEW, OSCARS & EBERT AFTER THE JUMP

Click to read more ...

Friday
Oct192012

Interview: On Casting and Politics of Sex with the Director of "The Sessions"

Amir here. TIFF has been over for more than a month but I still have one interview left to share with you. With The Sessions opening in theaters today, it was the perfect time to share my chat with Ben Lewin, the film's director. We touched upon everything from the politics of sex and nudity in Hollywood to the influence of his own experience with polio on building the character of Mark O'Brien. It's a film I encourage everyone to see because it's surprisingly funny and incredibly heartfelt, and features two of the strongest lead performances of the year. (In case you missed these back in September, here's my review of the film and my interview with one of its stars, William H. Macy.)

 

Amir for TFE: I can’t think of a better place to start the interview than nudity.

Ben Lewin: Neither can I!

Amir: Because, in general I’ve been accustomed to seeing certain types of people have sex on screen in Hollywood films and everyone else’s sex life is barely ever shown, as if, you know, people in their 40s or black people don’t have sex. It’s unbelievable and I really appreciate that we get to see something very different here. Was the film always so explicit since the idea was conceived in your head?

Ben: I think if you read Mark O’Brien’s article, there’s no other way. The essence of it was that he was learning the ABCs, what goes where, what do you do, and I think the explicitness is part of revealing his naiveté and how childlike he was when it came to sex. I was only keeping faithful to his original work, which was really what inspired me. Every time I felt like I was losing my way in the script, I’d go back to his text and rediscover what turned me on in the first place. The first thing that struck me when I read it was the frankness. The explicitness doesn’t make it sexier, it just makes it more ordinary.

My point exactly! Everybody at every age does it. You don’t have to look like a star.

I’d never imagined myself going there though...[MORE]

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Oct142012

Good Laughs in "Gayby"

Because of time constraints and interview availability I ended up having to watch the new comedy Gayby, which opened this weekend in NYC, alone a week or so ago. Though comedies are much funnier with crowds, I still laughed out loud. So it was a joy to interview the writer/director Jonathan Lisecki for Towleroad. He also co-stars in the movie as one of the central couple's best friends, "Nelson". He was smart enough to keep some of the best lines for himself.

Here's two bits about his actors that I couldn't fit into the published interview. 

NATHANIEL R: I noticed you're cross-pollinating with HBO's Girls with your casting. 

JONATHAN LISECKI: Some people ask if I cast Alex Karpovsky and Adam Driver because they’re both in Girls – there was no Girls last year. I love Lena. She’s awesome. My short played with Tiny Furniture on the festival circuit. Once upon a time when we were out to lunch she said 'You should be in your own movie you’re so funny.' I was like 'Well, I’m going to take your advice Lena Dunham!'  

She was shooting Girls the same time I was shooting the movie.

NR: I just saw Jenn Harris, your lead, in Silence! the Musical Off Broadway as Clarice Starling.

JL: Oh god she' s amazing in that, isn’t she?

Jenn Harris as Clarice Starling in "Silence! The Musical" and Jenn Harris as Jenn in "Gayby"

NR: Just hilarious. She wasn't just spoofing the movie and Jodie. I swear to god she was also totally sending up actors who are tired of being in the shows they're in. 

JL: I saw it two weeks ago and she really was! [Laughter] She’s so funny. She's such a gifted comedic actor. Especially on stage. One of the reasons why I wanted her to be the lead of the movie is that I’ve been onstage with her and she's one of the few people in the world who has ever made me crack up onstage and lose character. She'll do anything in the moment. Comedy is important to her and it’s an art. She'll go that extra mile which not everyone will do and she's willing to look goofy to get a laugh.

Read the Full Interview @ Towleroad

P.S. I'd love to send you to see "Silence! the Musical" but Jenn recently left the show after a long run so I can't vouch for the new cast members. But I can send you to see 'Gayby'! It's in NYC now and Los Angeles in a couple of weeks. 

 

Thursday
Sep132012

Interview: William H. Macy On "Free Passes" and Trying Too Hard

Amir reporting from Toronto.

One of the films that has played to really strong audience reception on the festival circuit so far is Ben Lewin's The Sessions (opening November 8th). I enjoyed the film quite a lot myself and as I said in my review, it has the potential to go far in this awards season. For the ocassion of the film's premiere at TIFF, I interviewed William H. Macy who plays Father Brendan, an open-minded priest who consults Mark O'Brien (John Hawkes) about his sex life.

William H Macy at the Sessions premiere at TIFF © Kara Dillon [src]

AMIR: I wanted to tell you a quick story. When I was a teenager I had a self-made poster of you pointing the gun to your face from your last frame in Boogie Nights. I guess it was my weird way of expressing my teenage angst. I’m understandably really nervous and excited to meet you in person.

WILLIAM H MACY: [Laughing] Interesting. I’ve had the same experiences as I go through my career, sitting in a room with these people that I’ve just idolized my whole life.

I can’t imagine you’re still fazed by it.

No, I meet some amazing actors. I really don’t know how to handle myself in those situations.

You’re newest film, The Sessions, it’s a really heartfelt and genuine film, but were you aware of Mark O’Brien prior to this? At what stage did you get involved in the project?

No. I wasn’t, and I think Helen and John were both set before I read the script. My agent sent me the script. Many years ago I did a film called Door to Door where I played a fellow with cerebral palsy and I got involved with a wonderful organization called United Cerebral Palsy. I think I was predisposed to like the script that way. I read it and I just thought it was a great tale. Well told, simple. It was the perfect timing for me. I’m doing a TV series and I was on hiatus. It was just a no-brainer. I tend to make decisions really quickly. If it’s good I just say yes right away.

AMIR: Did you have any reservations about playing this character? I don’t know how religious you are in your personal life, but playing religious figures is always tricky... [MORE AFTER THE JUMP]

Click to read more ...