HOT TOPICS

NOW PLAYING

IN THEATERS & OUT ON DVD

all reviews


 

 

Welcome

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

 

Powered by Squarespace
Comment Fun

COMMENT DU JOUR
Have you seen EX MACHINA yet?

"I, too, liked the film very much. Wish more would have been focused on the science rather than the gamesmanship..."- JoeS

"I saw it as an overt attempt to say something bold about gender that slid into a rather alarming casual misogyny..."- catbaskets

Keep TFE Strong

Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience

THANKS IN ADVANCE

For those who can't commit to a dime a day, consider a one time donation for an article or a series you are glad you didn't have to live without.

Subscribe
What'cha Looking For?

Entries in List-Mania (99)

Friday
Apr172015

Links on the Bubble

Variety Baz Luhrmann has found his lead for his Netflix music series The Get Down. It's an unknown singer songwriter named Herizen Guardiola 
THR 13 shows on the bubble. They'll be renewed or cancelled by early May. I'm rooting so hard for Agent Carter but you never know
The Guardian Matthew Vaughn (The Kingsman) to reboot Flash Gordon. Oh dear
/Film that was quick - Daredevil (Charlie Cox) will officially be in Avengers: Infinity Wars movie in some capacity. But that's like a billion superhero movies away so we'll see if it comes to pass


Awards Daily Meryl Streep does everything: she's now written a foreword to a new cookbook
THR industry folks rank New York's film critics 
Variety rave reviews for Imelda Staunton's Mama Rose in London's current revival of Gypsy
Comic Alliance the Wonder Woman film lost its director (Michelle McLaren) and now has a new one Patty Jenkins -- the same Jenkins who was supposed to do Thor and didn't. Ah musical chairs
Time the list of 100 Most Influential People is out. Movie peeps that made the list: Richard Linklater, Julianne Moore, Bradley Cooper, Chris Nolan, and Chris Pratt 

LGBT Interest
Out also has an annual power list out. While most of the showbiz entries lean heavily towards TV there are a few movie players: Megan Ellison, Scott Rudin, Lee Daniels (though he surely made the list due to Empire), Dustin Lance Black and Ellen Page.
New Now Next the 13 greatest sissies of all time from Quentin Crisp (you must read his writing about movies) to Liberace

SJP a few days ago in NYC

MNPP Rock Hudson's ex lover speaks
The New Civil Rights Movement (long read) "Maybe Yesterday, But Not Tonight" on gay marriage and the inner and outer turbulence of our changing world

Finally
It's not news per se since we've known about it for a long time but it's now official that Sarah Jessica Parker is returning to HBO Comedy series stardom with Divorce. SJP is fearless. Think of the way people treat Madonna. Once women are past a certain age people want them to disappear. Only the brave soldier on so I hope this series is brilliant and all best wishes her way. But can we talk about how rude it was for Gothamist to illustrate the news of this series order by HBO with a photo of Sarah caressing her husband Matthew Broderick's face? 

Tuesday
Apr072015

Masterpieces: 5 Works of Art That Deserve Their Own Movie

Abstew in the gallery to talk artworld films.

This past week saw the release of not one but two true life films set in the art world. Rather than traditional artist biopics, both films focus instead on the life of a particular painting's subject matter or the history of the painting itself. Woman in Gold (which opened in the top ten despite its limited theater count) stars Helen Mirren as Maria Altmann, a Holocaust survivor. She fought for over a decade in court with the Austrian government to become the rightful owner of Gustav Klimt's Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I. The painting was of her aunt and it was stolen from her family by the Nazis during WWII. The long-delayed Effie Gray revolves around the unhappy wife (Dakota Fanning) of art critic John Ruskin (Greg Wise) in Victorian England. Apparently their marriage was never consummated and Effie became involved with the Pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais (Tom Sturridge) and was the subject of some of his paintings.

Biopics about artists (FridaPollock, Mr. Turner, Lust for Life, the original Moulin Rouge, and many more over the decades) have found favor with the Academy. It will be interesting to see if these new films begin a trend for movies about the backstories of famous paintings, rather than the artist who painted them.

Since Hollywood is always in need of more interesting and diverse source material, here are 5 works of art that would make movies as pretty as a picture... 

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Feb282015

The New Oscar Actress Hierarchy - 33 Most Beloved Women

This is your daily reminder that Julianne Moore is now an Oscar winner!

 I thought it might be fun to revise the Oscar Acting Hierarchy which I did once very long ago, I believe in connection with the rapid rise of Kate Winslet through the ranks. 

What follows is a List of 33 34 All Time Favorite Actresses of Oscar... restricted to women with 5 or more nominations. Only the acting statistics are accounted for so Emma Thompson, for example, is not ranked. If you included her screenplay win or had she been nominated for Saving Mr Banks last year than she would have been on the list. If you counted non-acting nominations, you'd also see Shirley Maclaine jump a rank as she was nominated for documentary once. Now that virtually every major star is a producer these types of extra nominations stats are going to get progressively murkier in Oscar lists of the future so we're opting not to include them. 

How the ranks were determined. Number of nominations determines general placement. Once that's established wins are most important. In the event that someone has the same exact stats in nominations and wins, the tiebreaker factor in rank is that lead counts more than supporting. If the tie stubbornly remains the tie is broken by endurance (thus Vanessa Redgrave beats Kate Winslet though they have the exact same stats because her nominations are spread across 26 years instead of 13). Further mitigating factors: Three statues is so uncommon that it gives the actress a phantom extra nomination in terms of ranking (thus Ingrid Bergman trumps Geraldine Page). Honorary statues (Oscar or Jean Hersholt) give the actress a phantom extra boost with the same affect as an additional nomination and win (thus Liz Taylor jumps Jessica Lange)... unless she never won a competitive Oscar in which case it only counts as a phantom win or nomination (thus Kerr cannot pole vault up to do battle with Lange or Blanchett) which of those to be determined by the gatekeeper (yours truly). In the event that someone has multiple wins they may vault over the next immediate rivals if said rivals have never won a competitive Oscar and/or half or more of their nominations are in supporting (thus de Havilland trumps Glenn Close & Thelma Ritter despite having less nominations but can't displace Kate Winslet. This also accounts for two women with only 4 nominations entering the 5 nomination only "Most Beloved" ranks.) 

OSCAR'S HOLY TRINITY 
And Thirty More Royals 

after the jump

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Feb012015

So Linky Together

Such Moving Pictures Clayton picks his top 11 of the year
The Film Doctor and his wife discuss Birdman and crisis of identity
The Backlot does a readers poll of the greatest gay movies but YIKES some of the titles and their rankings. It's also very very American movie centric. No Happy Together on a list of 100 greatest gay movies? THAT'S A DEAL BREAKER, LADIES.
20 Weeks to Oscar - David Poland wonders if it's wide open due to preferential balloting which he hates (and explains why)


NY Times Colleen McCullough author of the Thorn Birds dies at 77. My mom was obsessed with that miniseries when I was a little kid so I vaguely remember it.
Variety reviews Lila & Eve starring Viola Davis & Jennifer Lopez. Yes, I realize they're billed the other way round but let's be real, okay? I really wanted to see this one but it did not screen during the first five days when I was there. I'm hoping Michael saw it.
Film School Rejects talks about release / distribution for Sundance films. Sadly some of the biggest hits will undoubtely wait until the fall or winter to try to get Oscar traction. But a few will open before that like Dope (due in June). 
Salon "I was an American Sniper, and Chris Kyle's war was not my war."
Art of the Title Sequence takes on Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing (1989)
The New Yorker Richard Brody thinks critics have failed female auteurs
/Film whoa. Martin Starr from Freaks & Greeks is all grown up and is playing a romantic lead in Amira & Sam
THR Oooh, a new leading role for Octavia Spencer in Seacole, a biopic of a Jamaican doctor
/Film Ezra Miller interviewed about The Flash on the street with Billy Crudup his Stanford Prison Experiment co-star. Nobody asks Billy Crudup about the time he turned down the Hulk in the early Aughts
Variety ooh Glenn Close & Frances McDormand are both going to be in a new drama called The Wife (Close is the lead who leaves her literary giant husband (Jonathan Pryce) just as he's about to be presented with the Nobel prize). Co-starring: Logan Lerman, Brit Marling, and Christian Slate
THR Megan Ellison saves Vidiots from closure
The Carpetbagger Clothes and character in The Theory of Everything and more 

Allow me to be weirded out for a moment.

Did you know that Kirk (Sean Gunn) from Gilmore Girls played Rocket Raccoon on the set of Guardians of the Galaxy. I am dumbfounded. Perhaps this is common knowledge but I am only just realizing it. That Kirk was always trying new careers on for size in Stars Hollow but who knew he would ever end up like this!?

 

Wednesday
Dec312014

A Year with Kate: Epilogue

Epilogue - In which we rank films, learn Life Lessons, climb Mount Hepburn, and wrap this up with the party it deserves!


Happy New Year, everybody! Before 2014 and A Year With Kate officially end, I wanted to give us all a proper send off. If Kate got 9 more years after she retired in 1994, consider this our own ride into the sunset, complete with gifs, gifts, and thank yous.

At the beginning of A Year With Kate, I set some unofficial goals. The most obvious was to watch all 52 films chronologically. In order to do this, I started building a stack of research that I dubbed “Mount Hepburn.” It changed size and content a bit thanks to library deadlines and a lot of late nights on ebay. To the right is a picture of Mount Hepburn at present, having outgrown my table and moved to the floor. It stands just about 3 feet tall. (I actually bought another Katharine Hepburn biography after taking this picture because I do not know how to stop.)

My second goal was to better understand a movie star that I loved. This happened in a way I didn't expect. Week by week, we watched each of Katharine Hepburn’s films add to her star image like pieces in a puzzle. She developed from prickly unformed actress in the 1930s, to glamorous star in the 1940s, to "spinster" and great actress in the 1950s, to living legend in the 1960s. From the 1970s on, Katharine Hepburn the star slowly eclipsed Katharine Hepburn the woman. Watching and writing every week, I discovered that it was that myth of Hepburn that I'd initially fallen in love with, not the person. There's nothing wrong with that. We need myths to look up to. Even after Katharine Hepburn passed away in 2003, her myth lives on. It inspires actresses, audiences, and occasionally a series like this.

As for that Major Life Lesson I was supposed to learn should Hollywood ever decide to buy the movie rights: I actually did learn something life-changing this year. Watching Katharine Hepburn age like good wine over 62 years, I learned about time. Life is short, but life is very large, too. With help and determination, you have the potential to fill your life extraordinary things. You might make mistakes. You might make Spitfire. But think of how much more there still is for you to do. That’s a pretty incredible thing, the depth of a life. I don’t know about you, but I’m really looking forward to seeing what else I can do with mine.

Speaking of which, as a thank you to the amazing TFE community, and in answer to those of you who’ve asked: A YEAR WITH KATE IS BECOMING A BOOK!

 

A Year With Kate the book will expand on the series, with full entries on every film, updated Box Office charts, and even some fun trivia and lists. We're kicking around a few different ideas for how best to get A Year With Kate into your hands and onto your e-readers, but know that it will happen in 2015. For now, you can sign up for email updates using this form (Facebook account not required).

Last, but not least, here is my Top 10 List. Please note that this is a carefully thought through list based on months of research and personal bias. I tried to take into consideration career placement, iconic status, acting skill, and just plain fun. Post your list in the comments below!

Anne Marie’s Top 10 Katharine Hepburn Movies

1. Long Day’s Journey Into Night

2. The Philadelphia Story

3. The Lion in Winter

4. Bringing Up Baby

5. Suddenly, Last Summer

6. Woman of the Year

7. Little Women

8. Holiday

9. Alice Adams

10. Morning Glory & Stage Door

Thank all of you lovely readers for watching the movies when you could, commenting even when you couldn’t, and providing insight, humor, and conversation every week. You made 2014 a truly life-changing year. Here’s to 2015, and the possibilities ahead.

Tuesday
Dec232014

some say the blog will end in fire, some say in ice

GeekRex on great sounding movies of 2014. So glad they included Wild but I don't understand the defense of Interstellar's sound mix given how difficult it sometimes was to hear the dialogue
Gurus of Gold I believe there's an update today but look at where things stand now in the big Oscar categories
AV Club Sarah Jessica Parker may be returning to HBO sitcom glory via Divorce (no, not from Matthew Broderick. On the show!)
In Contention Antonio Sanchez is not happy about his disqualification from Best Original Score for Birdman and why shouldn't he be. Their rules are so arbitratily enforced. Remember when Gustavo Santaolla won his second consecutive Oscar for a film FILLED with pre-existing music (Babel) and his score only being a small percentage of it.

The Dissolve Robert Rodriguez to helm a live action remake of Ralph Bakshi's Fire & Ice. I used to love that rotoscoped sword & sorcery movie so much but Rodriguez seems like he'll amplify what was already turned up to 11
MNPP I love this review of Mommy by Jason
Newsweek Maggie Gyllenhaal working all the actor mediums
VF Selfie hijinx with Ellen DeGeneres, Meryl Streep, The Baker's Wife and Cinderella
The Atlantic on the year's best trailers
Carpet Bagger looks at the costumes of The Homesman
Playboy Matt Patches goes looking for Martin Brest (Beverly Hills Cop, Midnight Run, Scent of a Woman) in this cinematic true life detective story 
Comics Alliance Mike Coulter will play Luke Cage (Power Man) for Netflix's Marvel Series. No word yet on Iron Fist but now would be the perfect time to do that reverse white washing and cast an Asian man in a lead role, since he's white in the comics but his origin story involves growing up in an Asian mystical city in the Himalayas, you know? Please money and Marvel people -- Come correct!  It's a whole new world than it was was in 1974.

Happy (?) Christmas

Yikes.

Sorry about that.

Binge Watch Worthy?
I enjoy being an Opinion-Maker but I'll admit I am usually happy to cede that responsibility to others when it comes to TV. There's just too much product to keep up with.  So whoever is binge-watching Mozart in the Jungle let me know, will you? The cast includes two of my all time favorites (Gael García Bernal and Bernadette Peters) but this is my single busiest two-month stretch of the year so I need someone else to do such scouting. Report back!

Top Ten Film Critic Frenzy
If you love reading top ten lists, pick an article any article... 'tis the season!

Richard Brody (The Grand Budapest Hotel to Butter on a Latch) | Justin Chang (Boyhood to Interstellar) | Manohla Dargis (Beyond the Lights to well mostly Beyond the Lights) | Peter Debruge (Calvary to Class Enemy) |  David Denby (Ida...well, mostly Ida) | Scott Foundas (Goodbye to Language to American Sniper) | Stephen Holden (Boyhood to Only Lovers Left Alive) | Lou Lumenick (Boyhood to Into the Woods) | Omar PL Moore (The Grand Budapest Hotel to The LEGO Movie) | Wesley Morris (Norte the End of History to Stranger by the Lake) |  A.O. Scott (Boyhood to The Babadook) | Dana Stevens (The Babadook to We Are the Best) | Stephanie Zacharek (Under the Skin to Top Five)

Monday
Dec082014

Best American Films & Television This Year? 

Does production money really equal nationality? The American Film Institute does many wonderful things in the world including the highly enjoyable AFI film festival in Los Angeles each year (free for movie-lovers! and not many things are) but each year I feel the side-eye urge when they announce their top Ten American films and TV programs.

They use a shifting jury each year but I always wonder how they choose those jury members because the lists often betray an obvious desire to be "relevant" when it comes to TV usually including a defining popular hit even if the quality is shit (Look, I think "trash" has a place in "best of" lists but it needs to be good trash and How to Get Away with Murder is, frankly, bad trash. Poorly written, unevenly acted. Etcetera. I watched it and wrote about it, so I know) whereas with movies they seem quite beholden to Oscar buzz each year, often opting for films that don't fit their criteria as a result (The Imitation Game is a movie about Engand, starring British actors and directed by a Norwegian) or which haven't opened; this year's top ten list, which includes 11 films so AFI is even worse at math than I am, is 36% movies that haven't opened yet. 

AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE MOVIES OF THE YEAR

  • American Sniper
  • Birdman (Or, the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Boyhood
  • Foxcatcher
  • The Imitation Game
  • Interstellar
  • Into the Woods
  • Nightcrawler
  • Selma
  • Unbroken
  • Whiplash 

Aside from Nightcrawler you could have lifted that list from virtually any 15 wide Oscar Best Picture prediction chart (like uh my own) and simply extracted the other British film (Theory of Everything), the film that opened the longest ago because "old" things are gross (Grand Budapest Hotel), Gone Girl (even though the AFI usually does try and throw one zeitgeist blockbuster into the list so its absence is surprising and at the very wrong time when we're trying to get people to notice Carrie Coon! ) and there it is, no thought processes required beyond Oscar-watching expertise!

Here is my favorite tweet about the list from A24 Films which missed...

 

 

And my own because, you know, i WOULD waste the question this way...

 

 

AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE TELEVISION PROGRAMS OF THE YEAR

  • The Americans
  • Fargo
  • Game of Thrones
  • How to Get Away With Murder
  • Jane the Virgin -keep hearing this is great. guess I should watch
  • The Knick
  • Mad Men - here's to consistent pleasure even if the half season is a cheat
  • Orange is the New Black
  • Silicon Valley
  • Transparent - brilliant. addictive

this is what i'll be remembered for ??? *shudder*

WHERE IS BOB'S BURGERS!?!?!? My heart just pooped its pants.