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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 | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 

 

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Entries in interview (106)

Saturday
Jan032015

Interview: Michael Wilkinson. Before 'Batman vs Superman', Came 'Noah'

With Oscar voting in progress, let's talk costume design. With Best Picture contenders hogging all the conversation, we remain ever hopeful that the guilds remember to look beyond the films as a whole to the specifics of their particular craft when they scribble down their nominations. One of the most influential costume designers working today is Michael Wilkinson who regularly pushes the envelope in terms of costume technology (see Tron Legacy) and I'm not talking about the miraculous cleavage feats of American Hustle which won Wilkinson a well-deserved Oscar nomination last year. This year you can even see the influence of his 300 costumes in those Maze Runner harnesses (Fun fact: Christine Bieselin Clark, one of the costume designers on that film, was once Wilkinson's assistant!)

Prior to American Hustle he was best known for the films of Zach Snyder (Watchmen, Man of Steel) and the costume designer and I spoke  between fittings on day 104 of the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice shoot (he'd just finished the final fitting of our new Amazon Princess Gal Gadot). This superhero epic has occupied him for well over a year but he says "happily so" but Noah was no easy task either. He built an entire film's worth of costumes for Noah ...from scratch. 

No matter what genre or film he's working on, be it prestige dramas like Babel, indies like Friends with Money or huge superhero fantasies like Watchmen he's always look for ways to illuminate character. In his own words

Costume design is a subtle art but immensely satisfying.

We couldn't agree more. Excerpts from our conversation follow

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Dec312014

A Scene With Finn Wittrock

INT. RESPLENDENT PARTY - HOTEL - EARLY DECEMBER.

Medium Shot on BREATHROUGH SENSATION (thirty) in expensive light suit, jet black hair, perfect skin, perfectest face, leaving an Academy schmoozing party. His co-stars in "Unbroken" are still mingling as the party wraps up but the young actor is heading out. People congratulate him on his recent marriage on his way.

Determined NOT USUALLY AGGRESSIVE SEMI WELL KNOWN OSCAR BLOGGER (forties), approaches, looking frantic, lumpy, bedraggled in comparison despite also wearing a suit and tie. The actor is having his moment. So too shall this blogger. The actor's handlers surprisingly give the blogger the thumbs up, everyone en route to the elevator bank.

NATHANIEL 

(Nervous) I guess on the go?

FINN WITTROCK

Let's do it!

NATHANIEL

Impressive year: Masters of Sex, Freakshow and now Unbroken. And you're so different in all. Is your life completely crazy all of a sudden?

FINN WITTROCK

It's been gradual -- at this moment it feels very different than a year ago when I was starving on a raft. Maybe in some ways because I haven’t gotten insane notoriety before this I've been able to do many different things without people putting in a box for any one thing?

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec302014

Interview: Oscar Isaac on "A Most Violent Year" And His Alien Future

Oscar Isaac was not an overnight success. He made sporadic appearances in movies from the mid 90s onward and the roles and films grew, slowly but surely. Moviegoers have discovered him piece by brilliant piece each time. There wasn't even one particular year that made him a star though Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) is to date "the signature role". In contrast, his new character Abel Morales' rise to power isn't half as slow and steady. It's all compressed into one dramatic make-or-break year in J.C. Chandor's moody gripping 1981-set drama A Most Violent Year

I spoke to Oscar about burrowing inside this guarded businessman, working with his schoolmate Jessica Chastain, what casting directors think of him, and his obsession with the mutant supervillain he'll be playing in X-Men: Apocalypse (2016). Our conversation is after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec292014

Interview: Yves Belanger on Shooting Reese's Face as Landscape in "Wild"

I didn't come up with this analogy but it's a good one: Yves Belanger is like Ginger Rogers to Reese Witherspoon's Fred Astaire in Wild. He does it backwards. While in heels. While carrying tons of camera equipment! 

One of the most beautiful film experiences you can have this year is taking a cathartic hike with Wild. The adaptation of Cheryl Strayed's popular memoir has been praised extensively for its heartfelt actressing but less attention has been paid to the indelible contributions of the men recording and dramatizing the journey. In addition to a fantastic sound mix and accomplished editing, the cinematography by Yves Belanger contributes greatly to this film's evocative journey.

Wild is Belanger's second film with Jean Marc-Vallée and I talked to him about his director, his rapport with Reese and capturing the human face as landscape.

NATHANIEL R: I understand you've known Jean-Marc Vallée for a long time so why did it take so long to work togther? It must be going well since you've at work on your third consecutive feature together.

YVES BELANGER: I met Jean-Marc in 1991. He was starting as a young director in commercials. They matched us together but when he did his first feature, I don't know why, he took someone else. With C.R.A.Z.Y. it was like bad timing - we spoke about it but the money comes very fast and when he was ready to do it I couldn’t. Since Dallas Buyer's Club we are back together. 

Both of your films together have major movie stars. Do you feel you've gone 'full Hollywood' ?

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec292014

Interview: James Marsh on (True) Storytelling from "Man on Wire" to "The Theory of Everything"

It's rare for acclaimed documentarians to make a dramatically successful leap into narrative features but with The Theory of Everything, a marital drama about Stephen and Jane Hawking, the 51 year old British filmmaker James Marsh (of Man on Wire and Project Nim fame) is finally doing just that. Man on Wire was one of the most successful documentaries of the past decade but his new affecting biopic, which is actually Marsh's fourth narrative feature, is already his most successful film having racked up an impressive $26 million and counting worldwide to date.

It's also been collecting plentiful Oscar buzz.  The Film Experience had a chance to chart with this articulate thoughtful Oscar winner so we jumped right in. Here's our conversation:

Nathaniel R: Given your filmography, both documentaries and features, The Theory of Everything is...

JAMES MARSH: Go ahead. You can say it.

Nathaniel R: Ha. Well, it's a much different direction for you. It's romantic drama and it's also old school biography. What prompted your interest?

JAMES MARSH: You’re right in terms of its scale for sure and perhaps its emotional spectrum. But it’s a true story and that’s my background in films I’ve done. It’s a story of a marriage as much as a biopic. That felt like an interesting challenge: to try and examine a relationship that evolves and changes over time given all the impediments and unusual and very difficult circumstances. It felt also that I could go somewhere that a documentary could not go in terms of the intimacy of the relationship. 

You're right that it's different but it does have curious connections with Man on Wire. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec252014

Interview: Anna Kendrick at the Palace and Summering in Ohio.

A holiday gift to you, an interview with the internet's collective girlfriend Anna Kendrick, our new Cinderella in Into the Woods which hits theaters today. Merry Christmas!

Kendrick lets me know right away that she isn't entirely comfortable with all the online fawning. When I compare her very modern kind of stardom to that of Benedict Cumberbatch she freezes "Oh god, don't say that!... It gives me anxiety. He probably can't leave his house!" Kendrick and I have both been herded into a chilly hotel suite after some scheduling confusion and me with my notes out for someone else entirely, someone far less Princess-like. It's a surprise switch but a welcome one, like expecting to remain in your pot scrubbing dress and suddenly you're at the ball in magic slippers. Excuse the analogy but I'm the one playing Cinderella this time since I've traded up. Kendrick wraps herself in the throw blanket on the couch and we immediately start taking musicals.  

Where else would we start? She's the unofficial face of the modern movie musical and the Film Experience has been waiting for someone to frame there.

NATHANIEL R: You’ve been musicals back to back to back. I imagine most managers would be like “don’t do that!” 

[more...]

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec112014

ICYMI. Play Catch-Up!

December and January are always the busiest months in these parts so even if you're clicking over regularly your bound to miss something. Tragedy! 

[Quieting the inner drama queen now.] Perhaps it's not tragic, in the standard definition, but it's sad. Why miss a post you might love just because you overslept one day, partied one night, or (gasp) went offline for a full 24 hours (pull yourself together, reader, never do that again -- that's what April and August are for!). Herewith a handful of recent key posts you may have missed but shouldn't have! And the unending swath of awards news in list form.

Five Musts
Jake's Southpaw... would you rather?
Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer is going gray; he just hit 50
Monty smells Cake. Will Oscar? 
Podcast goes behind the Critics Awards curtain. How do those votes happen?
Amy vs. Nick. Where's your vote gone, girl?  

Awards Updates Golden Globe Nods | OFCS Mommy issues | SAG Nominees |  AFI conservativeness | Grammy detour | Help me with my "Critics Choice" ballot

Interview Jamboree
We've really been hitting the 1:1 circuit hard this year so we hope we're not overwhelming you with information so much as spoiling you with pleasure and making 2015 even more difficult for ourselves by way of 'how to top this?'. Before we move into yet more interviews (18 still to transcribe. whew) and the Year in Review Madness which begins tonight and lasts forever [insert nefarious laugh] you really should play catch up with these highlights: the inimitable actress who loves to play wild women; the legend who turned down Sex & the City; the iconoclast who won't option her own life story to the movies; the perfect specimen who plays with the superheroes; and the visionary who made that crazy convincing ape village; and last, but by no means least, the one and only shockingly versatile Carrie Coon, that newbie who humanized Ben Affleck onscreen just after wowing everyone on stage in Woolf and killing it on TV in The Leftovers.

Will all the statues one day belong to her? 

All of that and you still haven't liked us on Facebook or followed us on Twitter or donated (see sidebar) or told all your friends and relatives about us ?! What more do you want from us - Blood!?