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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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Beauty vs. Beast


Christina vs. Joan

also don't forget that tomorrow night on April Fools Day we'll celebrate Mommie Dearest with a "Best Shot" party

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"I must be the only one who completely disliked Under the Skin..." -Benji



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Entries in Kirsten Dunst (31)


We Link Alone

Big Screen
BuzzFeed for your 4th of July Hangover... 18 ways Drop Dead Gorgeous makes you proud to be an American
Vimeo Best Supporting Visual Effects? in The Great Gatsby
Towleroad Tilda Swinton showing solidarity with Russian gays at the Kremlin
Deviant Art Claire Hummal is rethinking Disney Princesses with more period-accurate wear 

Amiresque on The Bling Ring
Under the Radar talks with Pedro and cast on I'm So Excited 
i09 for those who are not spoiler-averse "10 great movies where the heroes are doomed" 
Guardian here's a list topic I've literally never seen before... "the 10 greatest Arab movies"

Small Screen
Gold Derby Can Mad Men ever turn around its Emmy problems?
Vulture why hasn't ABC Family renewed OR cancelled Bunheads? Is there any hope for one of the best shows on TV to return? And if they wanted to capitalize on the acclaim, why on gods green earth didn't they submit it for Emmy consideration? It's all very baffling.

Today's Curiousity
Salon interviews Miranda July on her new celebrity-heavy forwarded email project "We Think Alone" with personal outbox appearances from Kirsten Dunst, Lena Dunham and more.




Two Faces of January. Three Faces of Beauty

Two Faces of January, a thriller based on the Patricia Highsmith novel, has released its first official still which includes Two Faces of Obsession (Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst... Oscar Isaac, backgrounded, has a good one, too). Viggo and Kiki are also in On The Road together (in which Viggo is particularly fantastic in a showy small part) though they share no scenes.

No word yet on who did the costumes but I like 'em.

I read this novel at some point but I don't remember a thing about it other than the Greece setting, that it was moody and triangular, and that the ending disappointed me - don't remember why just that it did. Still. Highsmith transfers well to film (see her 'Ripliad' series which has been adapted a few times already)


(When I was researching that poll I was said to hear that Barry Pepper had also starred in a Mr. Ripley adaptation called  Ripley Under Ground (2005) but the movie was never released. Barry Pepper really needs a more fortunate career.)

Hossein AminiTwo Faces of January is currently filming in Greece which surely can use all this movie-making revenue of late (see also: Before Midnight) but it isn't a stylistic choice. That's where a good portion of the travelogue thriller is set. This marks the feature directorial debut of Oscar nominated Iranian British screenwriter Hossein Amini -- my favorites from his work are Drive (2011), Jude (1996) and The Wings of the Dove (1997) -- so The Film Experience is officially rooting for success as he makes the jump behind cameras.


My Perfect Trio at the "Bachelorette" Premiere

[Editor's note: Please welcome our special guest star writer/director Leslye Headland, exclusive from her press tour for Bachelorette! -Nathaniel]

Hello blogosphere!

I've been in Los Angeles the past few days for press and the premiere of my film, Bachelorette. However, I have to say the highlight of this week is a guest spot on The Film Experience. I used to be an assistant and every day I would read this blog. And every day it would make me feel like life was worth living and that film was the primary reason to keep going. So thank you to Nathaniel for asking me to contribute but ultimately thank you for running this site and bringing joy to little cinephiles everywhere.

Me kissing Rebel's ring. As I should.

In the comments, someone asked if the three leading actresses in my film Bachelorette (Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan, and Isla Fisher) were my first choice for those roles.

I don't write with specific actors in mind. I also LOATHE auditions. Whether it be for a play or a film, a lead role or a small one-line character. I just don't like them. When I work with my theater company in Los Angeles, I usually just meet with someone whose work I love, who I think might work in the role, then we have dinner or coffee and discuss the character and the script. Then I usually go back and tailor the roles for their specific strengths and incorporate any changes that came out of our discussions.  

I cast the film the same way. All three of them contacted me either because they saw the play or because they'd read the script. We talked. We fell in love. We moved forward. All three of those girls are actresses I admire. Women I've watched from afar (as a rabid fan) over the last ten years. So yes. They were my first and only choices because I was lucky enough to get in a room with them and talk them into doing it. 

Lizzy, Kirsten and Isla at the LA premiere

All three of them contacted me either because they saw the play or because they'd read the script. We talked. We fell in love. We moved forward.

I can't imagine a more perfect trio. They are not only hard workers and hysterically funny but they are also, in my humble opinion, three of the most brilliant (and occasionally grossly underrated) actresses of our generation. I am eternally grateful to have met and worked with them.

-Leslye Headland


More from Leslye
Formative Movies from Childhood On...   
Working with Lizzy and Adam on a Pivotal Scene 


Kiki's Melancholia (& Other Saturn Triumphs)

Though I haven't yet seen any photographs of the Saturn Award event, held in Burbank this week and the last of the 2011 Film Awards -- arriving even later than the MTV Awards each year  -- we must rush to congratulate the one and only Kiki for her Best Actress win for Lars von Trier's apocalyptic arthouse amazement Melancholia. You may recall we also honored her right here in our Best Actress listThe Saturn Awards don't have anything like a prestigious reputation (often a problem with awards organizations voted on by fans) but they do have a long history (38 years!) which counts for something and you have to hand it to them this year that they're the only large non-critics awards group to honor Kirsten Dunst for her indelible embodiment of Planet Sized Depression though she did win the top Actress prize at a few film festivals (including the very definition of Prestige Reputation: the Cannes Film Festival) and was also honored by two critics orgs one minor and one major: Kansas Film Critics and the National Society of Film Critics. 


A complete list of winners after the jump but if you're too lazy to click, please note that they seemed to love Super 8 best even though it didn't win any of their four Best Picture prizes. Wins and commentary if you...

Click to read more ...


Twins: "Drunk on brandywine... a thimbleful!"

While we're in Gemini, twins! Daily @ 2:22 pm

Don't be angry with me. When I saw them I knew they were for you. Drunk on brandywine... a thimbleful."

Kirsten Dunst is so thoughtful of her co-stars. She gave Vampire Tom Cruise little boy twins to drink as an apologia for stealing his 1994 would be franchise Interview with the Vampire right out from under his blue veined intensity. 

What a gift. Lestat (Tom) tells little Claudia (Kiki) that she's outdone herself but he doesn't know how right he is...

Click to read more ...


What's Going On At Sundance?

Parker Posey in "Price Check"If you're anything like me, you have trouble paying attention to Sundance unless you're actually there. It's not that it isn't a great festival. It's that it arrives during the explosion that is the Oscar Nominations. But nevertheless, a few crumbs about what's going on there, before they hand out their awards (the festival ends tomorrow). These are a few bits I found interesting from the vast amount of information that's pouring out of Park City. 

Parker Posey is baaaaack. She's starring in the dark comedy Price Check as an ambitious marketing head of a grocery store chain.  IndieWire talks to her about her various Sundance journeys which just gives me one more excuse to tell you that my fondest memory of Sundance ever was the time she danced with me on the dance floor at a party. That really happened. I sometimes think I dreamed it. She was as fun in person as she is onscreen.

Marc Webber's The End of Love is getting a lot of press by way of casting. The director -- who you'll know as an actor from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World -- cast his own two year old son Isaac as his co-star in this film about a widower and his son. Though it's based somewhat on his own life, Webber's is not a widower, he's a divorcee. Apparently people are l-o-v-i-n-g the toddler. Consider this tweet from Josh Dickey at Variety:

Awards season 2013 prediction: a viral supporting-actor campaign for 2-year old Isaac Love."

I could see that working in an Uggie for Best Supporting Actor kind of way. At the very least it's publicity.

One of TFE's favorite character actresses Melanie Lynskey (who recently shared her memories of Heavenly Creatures with TFE readers) has a lead role for once in Hello I Must Be Going. The film has been well reviewed, especially when it comes to her performance as a 30something divorcee who falls for a younger man. We'll see it the first chance we get. Go Melanie!

One comedy getting plentiful laughs and attention is the debut film Bachelorette which is a mean girls comedy starring Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan, James Marsden and Isla Fisher. I don't only bring this up because the cast sounds perfect/delicious.

I bring this up because the writer/director, first timer Lesley Headland is an old frienquaintance from here in NYC. She invited me to a workshop of one of her first plays here in NYC five years ago and I gave her one of her first quotes.

Hilarious. Forceful. Insightful. As a character (Leslye writes and acts the part) "Arden" has an infectiously raucous energy with that fascinating sexy and/or terrifying aura of a young Sandra Bernhard."

The play later opened in LA and then returned to New York. She even guest blogged for The Film Experience! And now she's directed a movie starring Kiki Dunst and I am still blogging. Oh christ. What have I done with my life?

The Surrogate is the film that's garnering the most Oscar buzz thus far but it's always hard to know with Sundance hits if they'll transfer once they're in lower altitudes. The film stars Winter's Bone Oscar nominee John Hawkes as a man with no movement below his neck (Oscar loves a disability) who loses his virginity to a sex therapist played by Helen Hunt. Fox Searchlight will distribute the film but since it's an Oscar hopeful, it might be 11 months until it's in theaters. (Sigh)

Helen Hunt and John Hawkes in "The Surrogate"

A Sample of The Deals from the Wintry Slopes of Park City
The Weinstein Co, usually a buyer, is mysteriously absent. But they have a ton of big name films already planned for 2012 including the latest from Tarantino so perhaps their schedule was already locked up. 

•Robot and Frank, "a sci-fi crowdpleaser" according to EW, stars Frank Langella as a man who develops an odd relationship with the robot his children gift him with. Sony Pictures and Samuel Goldwyn will partner on the release.
• How to Survive a Plague, an AIDS doc, purchased by Sundance Selects 
For a Good Time Call... went to Focus Features.
Beasts of the Southern Wild, a debut from Benh Zeitlin, purchased by Fox Searchlight
Red Lights, a psychological thriller, will be distributed by Millenium Entertainment.
Celeste and Jesse Forever was bought by SPC. It's a romantic comedy starring Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg.
Liberal Arts is from writer/director/star Josh Radnor following up his happythankyoumoreplease with a romantic comedy costarring Elizabeth Olsen. I'm beginning to think she'll be the Jessica Chastain of 2012 or 2013. So so so so so so so many films.
Arbitage, a financial drama starring Richard Gere that's been likened to Margin Call, jointly purchased by Roadside and Lionsgate
Wish You Were Here, an Australian thriller starring Joel Edgerton, purchased by Entertainment One
Simon Killer, from the collective that brought you After School and Martha Marcy purchased by IFC . Brady Corbet moves up to leading position after supporting roles in their other films.
The Words starring Bradley Cooper, Dennis Quaid, Jeremy Irons, Olivia Wilde and Zoe Saldana is about a writer and a genius manuscript he finds. It went to CBS Films 


With This Post, I Thee Link

Daily Mail the rumors are heating up yet again that Jamie Bell and Evan Rachel Wood are tying the knot. Remember when he was a little boy dancer (Billy Elliott) and she was a little girl anorexic (Once and Again)?!? If they have a baby soon I will officially feel as old as Luise Rainer who turns 102 this week! OMG. 
The Playlist Steven Soderbergh's The Side Effects will star Blake Lively (yes, they're still trying to make her happen), Jude Law and Channing Tatum. Funny how Soderbergh is more prolific than ever despite all that "retirement announcement" nonsense.
La Daily Musto hears a crazy story I've never heard about Rosemary's Baby. 

MUBI details the current controversy about The Artist appropriating a piece of Vertigo's score. Kim Novak is really really upset about it.
THR ...thinks she's taking her complaints way too far. 
The Playlist Yay. Katee Sackhoff, who we're always rooting for since she has more charisma than many whole casts combined, gets a big movie role... albeit in a tired franchise. Ready for another Riddick movie?
Scene Stealers Kansas City critics pick The Descendants as best picture (yes, I'm done writing up critics awards. Sorry!) and the NSFC may have given them the courage to go with Kirsten Dunst as Best Actress for Melancholia. I don't mean to suggest that smaller critics groups can't find their own courage but it seems fairly obvious on a year to year basis that a win for an off kilter choice from one of the three biggies (NYFCC, NSFC, or LAFCA) can often result in a chain link of appreciation. It's just too bad that Dunst's heat came so very late in the game.

I can't believe this is online but this is my favorite 2 and a ½ minutes of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo ... the film that may finally cause all Oscar pundits, professional and amateur, to accept that Oscar is no longer wary of remakes, even instantaneous ones that no one has any excuse for making but for money.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Opening Titles from Onur Senturk on Vimeo.


Off Cinema
Tech Crunch more web-only TV series with bigger stars are coming.
Insider Chris Colfer and Lea Michele will stay on Glee somehow. I'd say "uh oh" but for the continual shark jumping of that show. It defies the very notion of shark jumping since there are sharks in each episode and this season... "Sharks" with "Jets". [groan. sorry]
Broadway Buzz Alan Cumming gets remarried to his man. Tells Rick Santorum to eat it.