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 List-Mania (112)


John Waters Top 10 List: Fairy Tales, 3D Sex, Tasteful Trangression

John Waters with Patty Hearst at the "Carol" premiereAh one of our favorite bad taste good --no... singular taste traditions of year-end end look backs has arrived: the annual John Waters Top Ten List at ArtForum. Though the Baltimore film icon hasn't made a feature film in over ten years he still says active as a celebrity for which we thank him. Try and imagine the world without him; we never want to!

His top ten lists generally contain at least one or two titles we haven't even heard of (rare for us don'cha know) and that's true again with #1 and #9 right here. They're also always a mix of smart, beautiful, queer, and head scratching choices -- I'm sorry but Love is NOT a good movie even if it does contain, as John Waters raves, "heterosexual rimming -- in 3D!"

John Waters 2015 Top Ten List
01 HELMUT BERGER, ACTOR (Andreas Horvath)
02 CINDERELLA (Kenneth Branagh)

Yes, you heard me, Cinderella. I fucking love this Disney film.

03 THE FORBIDDEN ROOM (Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson)
04 TOM AT THE FARM (Xavier Dolan)
05 MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (George Miller)
06 CAROL (Todd Haynes)

Maybe the only way to be transgressive these days is to be shockingly tasteful. This Lana Turner–meets–Audrey Hepburn lipstick-lesbian melodrama is so old-fashioned I felt like I was one year old after watching it. That’s almost reborn.

07 THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL (Marielle Heller)
08 TANGERINE (Sean Baker)
10 LOVE (Gaspar Noé)

when will Xavier Dolan movies ever get on a respectable US release schedule? Tom at the Farm an excellent 2013 movie was only just released in the states in 2015

His commentary is always great fun -- his take on Xavier Dolan's tense grief thriller Tom at the Farm is especially John Waters but hugely spoiler-filled -- so go read if it you're so inclined.



Magic Carpet Link

NY Times talks to David O. Russell about Joy... which still is not screening. The mystery of it all
Playbill Aladdin flew through the streets of NYC on his magic carpet recently. How's that for marketing?
Gold Standard Character actors get their own award "The Carneys"... we wouldn't need this if the Academy remembered why they invited the Supporting Acting categories. The first recipients:  Bob BalabanMichael EalyBruce McGillDavid Paymer and CCH Pounder
THR wishes Toni Collette a happy birthday with fun facts

/Film Jennifer Aniston hasn't made a good film in 10 years. Can What Alice Forgot change her course?
Guardian suggests that appointment franchise cinema will end with Hunger Games: Mockinjay Part 2. "IF ONLY!" says all of us who year for movies to be movies rather than expensive television series
Variety talks to Karl Glusman about his first day on the set of Gaspar Noé's Love -- they started with the ejaculation scene. Yikes
Variety interesting. The very talented Pablo Larraín (No) is making a movie about Jackie Kennedy and Natalie Portman stars with Peter Sarsgaard, and Greta Gerwig in support
Graham Norton talks to Maggie Smith who isn't sad to say goodbye to Downton Abbey 
Variety selects under the rader performances that "deserve" Oscar buzz. While it's nice to see more props for Kristen Stewart's great work in Clouds of Sils Maria, it's tough to take this seriously: Helen Mirren in Woman in Gold? Good god did she ever phone that one in! Ruffalo "reinventing" himself for Spotlight? Try repeating himself! 

Halloween Hangover
Crave Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) chooses the most stylish horror films from Repulsion to The Haunting
HitFix they polled several writers/directors/critics to list their fav horror films. Not enough actresses on the list but I LOL'ed that Elvira gave herself the #1 position
Gothamist photos from the Village Halloween parade
TFE Facebook / TFE Twitter  in case you missed it I was goofing with counting down my 15 favorite horror films last night from Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? to Silence of the Lambs -- "it puts the fuckin' movie on the list. It does this whenever it's told."

Also if you aren't liking / following / sharing The Film Experience on social media... why you wanna hurt us like dat?

Did you hear there's a fully poseable Michaelangelo's David action-figure? Want! Also why is there not a movie about the creation of this work of art?  


Would you watch a movie about the making of Michelangelo's David?
Yes. I'm all about the Italian Renaissance
Entirely depend on the casting of David.
No. I'll just look at the nude gifs on the internet.
Poll Maker



Best Documentary - The Long List Is Here

AMPAS has narrowed the Best Documentary Feature competition. If not by much. The long list from which they'll choose 15 or so finalists which will then become 5 nominees in January has arrived. It's double the size of what the Foreign committees have to get through each year but there's more members voting. The seventeen titles in bold we've already reviewed so click away to your docu-loving delight, won't you?

Which films are you rooting for or eager to see? 

Above and Beyond. All Things Must Pass, Amy, The Armor of Light, Ballet 422, Batkid Begins, Becoming Bulletproof, Being Evel, Beltracchi – The Art of Forgery, Best of Enemies, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, Bolshoi Babylon, Brand: A Second Coming, A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story, Call Me Lucky, Cartel Land, Censored Voices, Champs, CodeGirl, Coming Home

Dark Horse, Deli Man, Dior and I, The Diplomat, (Dis)Honesty – The Truth about Lies, Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll, Dreamcatcher, dream/killer, Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon, Eating Happiness, Every Last Child, Evidence of Harm, Farewell to Hollywood, Finders Keepers, The Forecaster, Frame by Frame

Gardeners of Eden, A Gay Girl in Damascus: The Amina Profile, Godspeed: The Story of Page Jones, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, He Named Me Malala, Heart of a Dog, Hitchcock/Truffaut, How to Change the World, Human, The Hunting Ground, I Am Chris Farley, In Jackson Heights, In My Father’s House, India’s Daughter, Ingrid Bergman – In Her Own Words, Iraqi Odyssey, Iris, Janis: Little Girl Blue

Karski & the Lords of Humanity, Killing Them Safely, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, Lambert & Stamp, A Lego Brickumentary, Listen to Me Marlon, Live from New York!, The Look of Silence, Meet the Patels, Meru, The Mind of Mark DeFriest, Misery Loves Comedy, Monkey Kingdom, A Murder in the Park, My Italian Secret, My Voice, My Life, 1971

Of Men and War, One Cut, One Life, Only the Dead See the End of War, The Outrageous Sophie Tucker, Peace Officer, The Pearl Button, Pink & Blue: Colors of Hereditary Cancer, Poached, Polyfaces, The Prime Ministers: Soldiers and Peacemakers, Prophet’s Prey, Racing Extinction, The Resurrection of Jake the Snake, Ride the Thunder – A Vietnam War Story of Victory & Betrayal, Rosenwald, The Russian Woodpecker

Searching for Home: Coming Back from War, Seeds of Time, Sembene!, The Seven Five, Seymour: An IntroductionSherpa, A Sinner in Mecca, Something Better to Come, Song from the Forest, Song of Lahore, Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans, Stray Dog, Sunshine Superman, Sweet Micky for President

Tab Hunter Confidential, The Tainted Veil, Tap World, (T)error, Thao’s Library, Those Who Feel the Fire Burning, 3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets, The Touch of an Angel, TransFatty Lives, The True Cost, Twinsters, Very Semi-Serious: A Partially Thorough Portrait of New Yorker Cartoonists, The Wanted 18 (also on the Foreign Submissions List), We Are Many, We Come as Friends, We Were Not Just…Bicycle Thieves. Neorealism, Welcome to Leith, What Happened, Miss Simone?, What Our Fathers Did: A Nazi Legacy, Where to Invade Next, Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom, and The Wolfpack

Noticeable Absences 
Where is Silvered Water: Syrian Self-Portrait? When it wasn't on the long list last year we assumed it had arrived too late and would be there this year. Perhaps we'll see them next year -- it's difficult to understand the eligibility with Oscar's doc branch - but missing are: the Nora Ephron doc Everything is Copy, the Orry-Kelly costume design doc Women He's Undressed


Linkbury, Linkbender and Linkichatpong LLC

The Sheila Variations and Playbill are all celebrating the 90th birthday of Angela Lansbury today. What a long all-mediums career that woman has had. Sing her happy birthday today and emphasize the "...and many more" at the end of your song, mmmkay?
The Stake has a grumpy but well argued take on Steve Jobs that says Michael Fassbender: Great; Movie: Not.
The Guardian on auteur Apichatpong "Joe" Weerasethakul's fears about Thailand military dictatorship - he won't be showing his new film Cemetery of Splendour there for fear that harm will come to him.
Indiewire Kate Erbland challenges you to read her interview with Olivia Wilde (Meadowland, Vinyl) without falling in love
Murtada and Jason, two of our Teammates have very split reactions on Crimson Peak.
• And there's no point linking to "news" that isn't really news even if it's being posted everywhere: i.e. Star Wars: The Force Awakens will get a new poster on Sunday and a new trailer on Monday so why write about them now when you can wait two days for actual news? TFE is totally over news announcing news that will announce news, you know? Like teaser countdowns that announce trailers that then have 4 more versions before the actual movie. ENOUGH. LIVE IN THE NOW.


Fistful of Films Andrew is taking a long hiatus from blogging but this is quite a finale: notes on his top 100+ favorite films. It's quite a range of countries, genres, styles and eras and I'm happy to see many Hit Me With Your Best Shot titles represented and if we even led them to a few of them then our series was a success. Though I must say that reading it, I'm sad he won't be there for our next two episodes - BUT DON'T LET THAT STOP YOU FROM JOINING.

TFE Housekeeping...
We will be hosting those last two Best Shot episodes this month but we've had to cancel that Smackdown '63 we planned. Both Best Shot and Smackdown will return in the Spring as per usual. I should've known better than to plan too much in September & October as it's impossible to do big projects during festival season, 100s of movies coming out, and the build up then countdown to Oscar.


Emmy Cool-Down 

Emmy Post-Mortem
Pajiba all the times Mad Men lost acting Emmys. To this we add Christina Hendricks to Uzo Aduba (2015) and Elisabeth Moss to Viola Davis (2015) so they went 1 for 36 for eight years of an entire cast -- including the day players -- doing totally brilliant work. This is one of the reasons (only one) that the Emmys truly suck.
Slate a superb analysis of why Jon Hamm never won until now.
Glenn Dunks offers a neat solution for a couple of EGOT seekers
Vanity Fair 10 best reaction shots from the ceremony
Awesomely Luvvie on the "Blackest Emmys Ever" - I especially appreciate the shout out to future understandings of diversity because I long for the day when everyone realize that diversity does not mean white + black. But there's some time to go before we get there, you know?
E! Online covers the important stories. WHO WAS ALISON JANNEY'S SUPER HUNKY DATE? 

Six Afterthoughts on the Big Night

1. I really should have posted my predictions because they were spot on this year in regards to Veep and Game of Thrones emerging as the big winners with a nauseating mix of sameness in the acting categories mixed with new winners but only when they had no other choice. The new rules, which no longer require blue ribbon panels or for voters to have watched the nominees, are bound to eventually lead to even more repeat winners if you ask me. If a show is as popular as Game of Thrones it will be awfully tough to beat in a contest where no one voting needs to have watched any shows, even the current season of the one they're voting for.

2. Congratulations to the incredible Frances McDormand, the latest thespian to achieve the coveted Triple Crown (screw the overrated EGOT - Grammys are not an acting competition!). What's even more incredible is she is a) nothing like a typical leading lady  b) won all three awards for leading roles in c) excellent properties: Fargo (1996), Good People (2011), and Olive Kitteridge (2015). 

3. I'm saddened that Matthew Weiner didn't win the writing Emmy for Mad Men's "Person to Person" since ending an iconic TV show is so hard to do superbly. I met him briefly at TIFF at a movie party held shortly after this "In Conversation" event (which I did not attend) and he was super gracious when I told him he nailed the most difficult dismount ever with that episode. He did win three writing Emmys for the show though for "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" (S1.1), "Meditations in an Emergency" (S2.13), and "Shut the Door. Have a Seat" (S3.13) and since I'm always griping about people winning multiple Emmys for the same show perhaps 3 is enough. It's just too bad they weren't a little more spaced out since Mad Men was that rare show that did not depreciate as it went along. Which is why it's officially my favorite show of all time. I never thought anything would replace Buffy! 

4. For those following along at home Nathaniel's all time favorite shows (excluding 1 season wonders and not considering shows still on the air) probably go something like this... 1: Mad Men (2007-2015); 2: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003); 3: Twin Peaks (1990-1991); 4: Sex & the City (1998-2004); 5: Once & Again (1999-2002); 6: Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009); 7: Pushing Daisies (2007-2009); 8: 30 Rock (2006-2013); 9: Roseanne (1988-1997); 10: The Muppet Show (1976-1981). As you can see I'm not really into classic television, largely because laugh tracks make me crazy and the serialized drama has really stepped up its game in the last two decades though the shows just off this list are some combo of Six Feet Under, Friends and 80s dramas like Dynasty and thirtysomething. I suspect we're going to see some levelling off now of the rise in quality since we're already getting clichés that spring mostly from this new golden age. If someone greenlights one more anti-hero show. Ugh. 

5. Can we create a statue that honors Best Speech and the nominees can be culled from all Awards Shows each year? Viola Davis wins this statue basically whenever she wins a statue of any kind in a given year because WOW. Remember her amazing SAG speech about dreaming big? And then last night's tremendous historically minded but forward looking diversity plea. Queen. 

6. We'll do a red carpet lineup soon and be done with the 2015 Emmys and then we'll start the whole process of dumb hope then disillusionment all over again for next year when Emmy stays set in its awful repetitive ways.




Team Experience: 2015's Best Emmy Nominees

Andrew here with some more Emmy treats.

In anticipation of Sunday's big night for TV, the television lovers at The Film Experience are bringing to you a special Team Experience top 10 list.Sure, each year a handful of Emmy nominees leave us scratching our head in confusion, but we wanted to celebrate the citations that the voters got right this year and compiled our list of favourite nominees. Unlike usual Team Experience top 10s, though, we're offering you a look at each of our individual top 10s.

Nathaniel always points out how interesting individual ballots in awards tends to be more dynamic than the final tally and to celebrate the wide range of nominees in the prizes still to be handed at Sunday's ceremonies. So, we disregarded the already decided on categories from the Creative Awards ceremonies and from the 26 categories to be decided on Sunday, our twelve person team each submitted their favourite of the nominees.

Unsurprisingly, our individual ballots were full of Actresses. Go below the jump to see them all.

Click to read more ...


1963 Look Back: Liz Taylor's 10 Best Looks From "Cleopatra"

Abstew kicks off our celebration of 1963 as we countdown to the next Smackdown (date TBA but probably early October)...

There's epic film making and then there's Cleopatra. Certainly in a class all of its own, the film spanned different countries, directors, stars, budgets, an original run time that clocked in at over six hours, and one legendary love affair far more interesting than the one being portrayed in the final film. Thanks to audiences wanting to see if La Liz and Richard Burton's explosive relationship off screen was able to be captured on the 70 mm Todd-AO celluloid, Cleopatra ended up being the #1 box office champion of 1963...and still ended up nearly bankrupting 20th Century Fox. Originally budgeted at $2 million, the final budget ballooned into an unprecedented amount of $44 million (roughly over $300 million when judged for inflation today) including a million dollar contract for star Elizabeth Taylor, making her the highest paid performer at the time. (She ended up walking away with over $7 million due to delays and a percentage of the box office.)

And it feels like at least half of that inflated budget went toward Taylor's costumes alone. Setting a Guinness Book of World Record at the time, Taylor goes through 65 costume changes in the film and earned all 3 (yes, 3) of its Costume Designers the Oscar for their efforts. Renié was responsible for the women's costumes, Vittorio Nino Novarese created the men's, and thanks to Irene Sharaff, who was in charge of all of Elizabeth Taylor's looks, we have a sumptuous treasure trove of couture fit for a queen (or at least Hollywood royalty). Deciding on a more modern look and color palette than what would have actually been found in ancient Egypt at the time of the film's setting, Taylor's looks influenced early '60s fashion with an influx in Egyptian like jewelry and even inspired a Revlon "Syphinx" line of make-up. So in honor of the film's sartorial contributions to cinema, let's take a look at 10 of Elizabeth Taylor's best looks as the legendary Queen of the Nile...

10. Travel Rug Chic

Click to read more ...