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

Doc Corner: McQueen

"It's an excellent film, very well balanced, full of fascinating talking heads, and beautifully put together." -Edward L

"This should be the fashion documentary that makes it through to the final 5." - Peggy Sue

"I saw this in the UK last week. I was fascinated --especially the relationship with Blow and reflections on his gender politics. Would recommend." - catbaskets

Keep TFE Strong

We're looking for 500... no 468 Patron SaintsIf you read us daily, please be one.  Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience

THANKS IN ADVANCE

What'cha Looking For?
Subscribe

Entries in interview (209)

Thursday
Dec202012

The Perks of Being Logan Lerman: Son of "Noah"

"Wallflower" is probably not the right word to define Logan Lerman. Though he describes himself as "quiet" and makes more than a few self-deprecating comments, he isn't exactly a bundle of shy neurosis. Instead the twenty-year old actor has the kind of chill demeanor that comes from unfussy professional confidence. Once you stop to do the math, you realize he's already in his twelfth year of professional acting (his first screen role was one of Mel Gibson's kids in The Patriot , 2000).

Twelfth year!


Logan Lerman, photographed for Flaunt Magazine

So it's something of a perfect coincidence that his "senior year" in the public eye, if you will, would so perfectly coincide with a starring role in one of the best high school movies in ages. "Wallflower" doesn't describe him but The Perks of Being a Wallflower is the best illustration yet of his gifts as an actor. His soulful turn as the troubled young writer at the heart of the film won Lerman fine reviews and a well deserved nomination for "Best Young Actor" at the Critic's Choice Awards. 

This, you might say, is graduating with top honors. 

Interview after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Dec152012

Interview: Michel Franco, Director of Mexico's Foreign Film Submission "After Lucia"

Amir here. This year’s foreign language film race at the Oscars is so unusually packed with auteur names and festival successes that the typically middle-brow branch will really have to try hard not to get things right. Among this wealth of possibilities, one of the titles we haven’t heard much about is Mexico’s submission, After Lucia. I recently had the chance to watch the film and I was blown away by it. So much so that it now sits at the number one spot on my favourites of 2012.

It’s a confidently directed, outrageously frank study of bullying in the schools of Mexico through the experience of a teenager named Alejandra (brilliantly played by newcomer Tessa Ia). The richly conceived film reveals much while saying very little. Economically filmed and sharply edited, After Lucia is a devastating experience but an absolutely vital one. Yet, it’s too easy to see why Oscar pundits haven’t given it much thought. The voters in this branch have often preferred their social commentary sugar-coated and this type of brutality can make them feel like they’re subjected to the Ludovico technique. But before we write off its chances, let’s remember that Greece’s Dogtooth, winner of the Un Certain Regard award at Cannes -- which After Lucia also won,  found its way to the ceremony. And After Lucia might benefit from its tender subject matter and the delicate story of Alejandra and her single father who are dealing with death of the family's mother (the titular Lucia).

On the occasion of the film’s submission to the Academy, I spoke with the film’s director, Michel Franco, who took time off from post-production work on his next film to chat about After Lucia, the issue of bullying and his cinematic influences.  

AMIR: What was the starting point of the project for you? The family angle or the bullying angle?

MICHEL FRANCO: The point of the project, at first, was to deal with a father and daughter coming to terms with the death of the family’s mother. It had nothing to do with violence or bullying. As the project developed the bullying story became more important. The thing is, in life you always deal with a lot of things at the same time. The way each of these characters dealt with grief led me to the violence that exists in our society on a daily basis. Those things combined, and that’s what I thought was worth making this film about. [MORE AFTER THE JUMP]

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Dec152012

Alan Cumming on Mutant Sequels, Drag Queens, Gay Rights

I recently had the opportunity to sit down for a chat with one of my favorite performers, Alan Cumming. I say "performer" rather than actor only because his career has been so diverse what with the albums, movies, tv, film, theatrical engagements, political activism, and all around celebrity eclecticism and experimentation. It's difficult to pin him down which is, I'm sure, something that would please him.

In my interview with Alan for Towleroad we talk about his new gay 70s drama Any Day Now (with the ever versatile Garret Dillahunt as his screen partner), The Good Wife, and his feelings about seeing himself in drag.

I look like a horse with a wig on. I'm not a pretty girl

I also spoke with him briefly about his time as Nightcrawler which I didn't include in the interview for space and context reasons. Though Cumming made a cloudy splash as the teleporting pointy-tailed mutant in X-2: X-Men United -- still the best of the X-Films -- they didn't exercize his option to bring him back for X-Men 3: The Last Stand. I told him he'd dodged a bullet missing the worst of the franchise though I wondered if he'd be up for reprising the role for the proposed Days of Future Past installment? Cumming reminded me that Nightcrawler isn't in that particular famous story arc but quickly acknowledged that utter fidelity wasn't exactly an expectation of blockbuster franchise adaptations. Though he described the X2 shoot as "arduous" he thinks he'd have an easier go of it now though he hadn't seen either of the later entries, referring to the recent X-Men First Class as only 'the Michael Fassbender'. Hey, that's how we think of it, too!

Do you watch Alan on The Good Wife? Would you love to see the return of Nightcrawler in the X-Franchise?

 

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 ...