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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 John Cusack (8)

Friday
Sep262014

NYFF: Maps to the Stars, Or: Julianne Moore is God, Again

The New York Film Festival has begun. Here's Nathaniel on the latest from David Cronenberg which won Julianne Moore the Best Actress prize at Cannes earlier this year.

Let's not bury the lede. At a key moment in Maps to the Stars when the actress Havana Segrand (Julianne Moore) gets some bad news that she's more or less been expecting/dreading, she is in a Buddha pose in yoga pants. Her eyes struggle to hold back tears and her body struggles to pretend it's relaxing when she lets out a sudden wail. You think the wail will descend into Julianne Moore's familiar crying jag (You know how she loves to do). Instead the wail abruptly stops. Fans of Julianne Moore won't be able to silence their own screaming so quickly. I, for one, felt euphoric watching her. For those of us whom we have famously dubbed "actressexuals" - the word originated at this blog though it's now escaped our small pfeiff fiefdom and entered the greater internet -- major achievements from our favorite stars can feel, however absurdly, like personal triumphs. Or at least like just rewards for enduring loyalty. Especially if you've worried that the magic has dissipated with familiarity, poor career decisions, lesser roles and/or medicore films.

This year, with Maps to the Stars and Still Alice (previously reviewed), the Julianne Moore I first fell for, the actress who inspired my whole career path (newbies might not know that this site emerged from a zine I started in the 1990s with issue #1 dubbed "Julianne Moore is God," pictured left) came roaring back into full power.

Pity, then, that the movie can't quite keep up with her or harness her brilliant satirical embodiment of all that is self-absorbed, self-loathing, self-medicated, and self-serving in modern Hollywood celebrity. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Apr162014

Yes No Maybe So: "Maps to the Stars"

Yesterday two new trailers appeared for David Cronenberg's Maps to the StarsI'm not embedding them specifically because I can't find sharp images (the main one floating around seems like a bad stolen print of a trailer - very underlit) and the international one (NSFW) has too many auto-play ads and works less well as a coherent snapshot of the movie.

I'm hoping Maps skirts the usual trends of public reaction to Cronenberg films. It often follows this pattern:

1. Healthy amount of media coverage and excitement before their films premiere (remember all the A Dangerous Method hoopla?)
2. A curiously muted release (sometimes only limited) with a tiny bit of coverage focused on whichever big star is doing whichever genuinely weird thing they're asked to do in the movie. Think Robert Pattinson getting an enema in the limo in Cosmopolis
3. Almost no follow up conversation online or lines at the box office despite the movies always being genuinely strong conversation pieces...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr182013

Moore Maps The Stars For Cronenberg

JA from MNPP here, checking in with some movie news while Nathaniel heads off to fair Nashville - have you been following the progress of David Cronenberg's next film, the one called Map to the Stars? He's been speaking of making this movie, apparently a Hollywood satire of some sort, since way back in 2006. His then-muse Viggo Mortensen was going to star; as time passed it looked like it would be Viggo alongside Cronenberg's now-muse Robert Pattinson, with Rachel Weisz as the female lead. About a month ago Weisz dropped out and we were worried that the movie might not be happening (especially since Cronenberg's trying acting again in Luca Guadagnino's next flick)...

... but fear no more! Deadline's got word that the goddess Julianne Moore and the, uh, not-goddess John Cusack have now joined the film, and that it will be filming in July (in Toronto, of course). Julianne Moore in a David Cronenberg movie just about makes me wanna click my heels together and perform a dance routine down the street, and is plenty to overcome my, uh, apathy, regarding Cusack. And yes, it does seem that Cusack is replacing Viggo in the picture, so it will be Robert Pattinson and John Cusack as the male leads. I'm sure some of you will not take kindly to that; I personally thought Pattinson was fantastic in Cosmopolis, though.

Also on board is Sarah Gadon - if you've seen anything made with the name "Cronenberg" on it in the past three years, you have seen her. She played Michael Fassbender's wife in A Dangerous Method, and Robert Pattinson's wife in Cosmopolis, and she was the virus-stricken celebrity at the center of David's son Brandon Cronenberg's body-horror piece Antiviral (which I just reviewed the other day). These fellas sure do love them some Sarah Gadon, it seems.

Sunday
Dec232012

Lump of Coal, Anyone? Cinematic Shame (Pt 1)

YEAR IN REVIEW

I plan to get all joyously positive from Christmas Eve through January 9th as I share my take on the Best of the Film Year That Was. But I make no promise about my mood come January 10th...  That's the fateful morning when 6,000 Academy voters play puppet master and yank my fragile psyche about with abandon. But until then... And before the Year End Best of hits, we purge.

MOST "OVERRATED" ANYTHING

I know that people quibble with this word and wish it dead and buried. But that's only because they take it far too seriously. It's a silly adjective but silly is fun. One should always take things for what they're worth. No matter who is using the word "overrated" it only ever means:

Other people are under the mistaken impression that this thing I think is merely okay is really great! They are quite wrong."

Unsatisfying performances, miscasting, bad moves in good films and more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Oct082012

Don't You (Forget About Link)

Glory of the 80s (and 90s)
Stale Popcorn on the recent trend of movies referencing the heyday of teen cinema like Pitch Perfect's obsession with The Breakfast Club
Scott C details his process in creating his Back to the Future illustration for "The Great Showdowns"
Gawker on Tori Amos and Tim Burton's new projects (Gold Dust & Frankenweenie) which are essentially recreations of past projects
Mondo Musicals sees the directors cut of Little Shop of Horrors and lives to tell about it.

More Linkage 
Gold Derby thinks the Oscar race is over and it's a 'monster sweep' for Les Misérables.  So, essentially we're right back to our initial April predictions :) 
John August, famous screenwriter, is answering fan questions online about Frankenweenie
MNPP Daniel Radcliffe gets horny 
Cinematic Corner reminds us that it's Autumn and we couldn't be happier about that. Beautiful screencaps
Playbill Congrats to Broadway divas Audra McDonald and Will Swenson who were married yesterday
Pajiba 10 Actors You Probably Didn't Know Could Dance. I did know most of these as a musical actors obsessive but Chris Hemsworth's hips took me by surprise

Finally... and taking us full circle back to famous movies of the 80s, did you hear that Peter Gabriel had a surprise for audiences in California this weekend? He brought John Cusack out on stage for "In Your Eyes"!


But it was only for a delivery. It was Gabriel and not Cusack who lifted the boombox up high to echo the actor's famous Say Anything pose.

Tuesday
Aug072012

Burning Questions: Who Is Your Cinematic Avatar? 

Hey everybody. Michael C. here. Recently I told my girlfriend she reminds me of Holly Hunter's character in Broadcast News. The comparison was meant as a compliment. To my mind Jane Craig embodies the same qualities of intelligence and moxie that I admire in her. Hopefully, when we she finally watches the movie she will keep that in my mind during the scenes where Hunter's self-described "basket case" is sobbing for no reason and generally making a shambles of her personal life.

In any case it got me to thinking. It doesn't happen often, but every once in a while you meet a film character that makes you think, my God, the filmmakers must have had me in mind when they made this movie. Now in any quality film we can relate to characters with which we have nothing in common, at least on the surface. I couldn't be further away from the charcter of Clarice Starling, for example, but I relate to her every step of the way. But beyond that level, sometimes we meet fictional creations that reflect ourselves back at us in ways that reverberate and linger.

Characters like this could remind us of ourselves physically or in their jobs or in personality tics we frequently find ourselves guilty of. These may even be characters we catch ourselves consciously – or unconsciously – trying to emulate. Like the way a generation of young romantics set out to mimic the laid back, jaded cool of Marcello Mastroianni in La Dolce Vita, or how many young women in the late 70’s attempted to reproduce Annie Hall’s devastating mix of flighty neurosis and sexiness.

So I guess what I’m asking this week is...

Who is that character for you? Who is your big screen avatar? I can answer for myself easily...

Click to read more ...