Film Bitch History
Oscar History

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.


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"I have never seen a film that mixes laugh-out-loud comedy so intimately with dead serious philosophical questioning. It packs so much into its short runtime. " - Dr strange

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Directors (For Sama)
Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

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Entries in It Happened One Night (5)


4 days until Oscars. More trivia fun.

Four is today's magic number so let's share some Oscar trivia.

Makeup prosthetics for Christian Bale as Dick Cheney (photo from Aida Dombr instagram)

Why yes, we're so glad you asked. In addition to the previously discussed costume designer Sandy Powell (The Favourite might make it four for that genius), Makeup artist Greg Cannom, who previously won Oscars for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Mrs Doubtfire and Bram Stoker's Dracula, might well win his fourth for giving Christian Bale that realistic looking Cheney bald cap and thick neck in Vice. If Cannom wins he becomes the second most awarded makeup artist of all time (after category king Rick Baker -- who appears to have retired? -- who took the Oscar an incredible 7 times). Now, technically, Cannom is already the second most awarded makeup artist but he's currently holding that honor in a tie with another three time winner Ve Neill (she won for Beetlejuice and Ed Wood, as well as Mrs Doubtfire alongside Cannom). Interestingly enough both Cannom and Ve Neill each won Makeup Guild awards this past weekend for Vice and A Star is Born respectively. 

Katharine Hepburn is the only person to ever win 4 acting Oscars... 

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7 Days Until Oscar. Best Actress & Best Actor as a Package Deal

We're but one week from Hollywood's High Holy Night! With the magic number 7 today let's look at the 7 films which produced matching his & hers Oscars. This is, as you can surmise from the low number, an uncommon occurence! This rare feat requires so many perfect elements to be in place. Just being an iconic movie couple doesn't remotely cut it (notice how Gone With the Wind, Bonnie & Clyde, and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf don't appear to cite three quick examples) as it almost always requires two narratives beyond 'loving the film' as well as the absence of a formidable opponent without their own powerhouse narrative in not one but two separate categories.

Here are the 7 films which managed to win both lead acting Oscars... 

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It's National Donut Day!

On this crucial day, as you scarf down a delicious free pastry at various places offering them, remember the great Tangerine (2015) and share your donut, bitch.

Which of the following celebrities, all pictured with donuts (because The Film Experience is nothing if not committed), would you most want to share a donut with?


Reese Witherspoon

More pastries (and also celebrities) after the jump...

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12 Days Til Oscar: Best Picture Nominations by the Dozen

Tim here, with your daily dose of Oscar numerology. We’re now in the third year of the Academy’s undoubtedly well-intentioned "some random number that always turns out to be nine" approach to selecting Best Picture nominees, and for some of us, this is irritatingly arbitrary. But it could be so much worse. Think of how awful it must have been to been a rabid Oscar fanatic in the first decade of the award’s existence: depending on the year, there were anywhere from three to twelve Best Picture nominees, until it was finally nailed down at a nice, round ten at the 9th Academy Awards, for the year 1936.

The magic number of the day being 12, I'd like you to join me, for a closer look at 1934, the first of two years with 12 nominated films (for space reasons, I am alas compelled to leave 1935 to fend for itself) - the first year, as well, that the awards corresponded to a single calendar year. What can we learn about the Academy’s tastes and habits down the decades from each of these?

BEST PICTURE It Happened One Night (released by Columbia)
What It Is: One of the greatest of all screwball comedies, in which the sexily odd-looking pair of Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable cross country and banter.
The Slot It Fills:
The long-abandoned "comedies are a valid form of artistic expression like anything else" spot. But, of course, the period in which the film came out was unusually good at producing top-notch comedies starring the best movie stars of the day.

Only 11 more slots to fill after the jump

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Mix Tape: "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze" in It Happened One Night


Andreas from Pussy Goes Grrr here, to talk about an impromptu musical number that doubles as a historical document. Frank Capra’s Oscar-sweeping screwball comedy It Happened One Night is naturally best remembered for the cute love story that unfolds (over the course of several nights) between stars Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert.

However, it’s also something of a postapocalyptic travelogue, since the odd couple’s odyssey by bus up the East Coast gives them a panoramic view of a nation debilitated by the Depression. They run into purse snatchers, con men, starving children, and crowds of poor families forced together by poverty. For Colbert’s spoiled heiress, it’s a shocking glimpse of how the other half lives. But the world she discovers is not all negative: the bus’s passengers comprise a makeshift community, and it’s one that loves to sing.

So while the bus chugs along, a band suddenly forms in the back—complete with fiddle, guitar, and vocalist—and, apropos nothing, starts playing the decades-old standard “The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze.” Soon the whole bus joins in on the chorus, and individual passengers stand up to sing the verses alone. Out of nowhere, a form of communal vaudeville springs up, a show-within-a-show that Gable and Colbert watch with delight.

Everyone gets a chance to shine, including a mincing sailor who gives a lurid emphasis to the line “His eyes would undress every girl in the house!” (It’s a surprisingly bawdy song for such a public performance, but no one seems to notice or care.) The film’s main plot continues during the song courtesy of clever editing, as close-ups on the sleazy Shapely and the distracted bus driver appear alongside wide shots of all the other passengers with the band as their focal point. But this is decidedly a detour, albeit a spectacular one, from the fugitive couple’s episodic progress; it’s a sequence more about setting and the nature of Depression-era bus travel than about plot.

This spell of utter mirth ends, of course, with a minor tragedy, as the bus careens into a muddy ditch. Soon thereafter, Gable and Colbert lose the rest of their money and have to leave the bus for good due to Shapely’s half-baked scheming. But that spur-of-the-moment musical number is still a chance for bonding, as the sheer cuteness of the passengers’ singing cuts through the main characters’ lingering cynicism and world-weariness. (Gable even gets in on the act, passing a flask around to some dancing fellow travelers.)

Maybe it’s an American instinct to respond to times of crisis by putting on a show. Or maybe this is just a manifestation of the cliché that poor people are happier and have an easier time cutting loose—the same one witnessed in Titanic when Rose goes below decks to dance a polka away from her stultifying society friends. (Or in My Man Godfrey, or Holiday, or any number of other Depression-era comedies.) Cliché or not, though, the scene in It Happened One Night feels so alive and strangely naturalistic despite its improbability, because the sailor and all the other participants bring such enthusiasm to their performances. For these few minutes, money and class are meaningless: all that matters is the music.

(Trivia time: the guitarist in this scene is Ken Carson, who would later join the band Sons of the Pioneers. With them, he helped record the theme song for The Searchers and the song “Tumbling Tumbleweeds,” later used in the opening of The Big Lebowski.)