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Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) B+/A-
Nymphomaniac (2014) B-
Divergent (2014) C
Enemy (2014) B/B+

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Entries in List-Mania (80)


Interior. Link Post.

AV Club what if you could hit "pause" on pop culture -- what would you catch up on?
Daily Beast an uninhibited interview with the stars of Blue is the Warmest Colour on working with "fake pussies" and watching the movie with their families
Glenn Dunks enters Interior. Leather Bar 
Cinema Blend on Zach Snyder's continued defense of Man of Steel's insane body count -- which ruined the movie for a lot of people, my friends at Panel Culture included, because... seriously, what kind of hero is that?
Pajiba wants to get away from The Getaway 

The New Yorker on the list as the signature form of our time "a comic nightmare of futile enumeration"
Ultra Culture on an important underreported piece of info from that Lars von Trier Uma Thurman Nymphomaniac clip 
Awards Daily Sasha reviews Gravity which she calls a masterpiece. Here's the thing about festivals. They are both a blessing and a curse on the world. One wants to avoid the movies that have upcoming release dates but then you end up being the last person to see them -- i haven't read this for fear of spoilers I'm just saying a lot of reviews are out there now floating in space. How to resist seeing it at TIFF when there are movies that I'm much less likely to get the chance to see next month? 
In Contention on a Marilyn Monroe Bruce Dern prophecy that's coming true with Nebraska
LA Times Jason Reitman's Labor Day premieres - sucks that it isn't in theaters now during, uh, Labor Day.

Oooh, Maggie is staring at you.

That's one version of the new poster for the 50th annual Golden Horse Awards. It looks like a delicious VIP ticket, yes? Basically Maggie Cheung's eyes are the selling point on each poster. The Golden Horse Awards are Asia's oldest film awards and still its most competitive. Nominations will be announced on October 1st and will see how well this year's hot titles like Stray Dogs, A Touch of Sin, and The Grandmaster do. The awards ceremony will be held in late November. Ang Lee, who has won two Golden Horses as Best Director (Lust Caution, The Wedding Banquet) and two Oscars for Best Director (Brokeback Mountain, Life of Pi), is president of the jury this year.


The Hitchcock Ten

If you haven't checked out the Guardian's very fun infographics on Hitchcock's oeuvre -- just in time for his birthday today! -- you should do that. This is my favorite part because I think it's just brilliant with the top tens from film fans, critics, and the general public overlapping and disagreeing.


What's more I think it's absolutely accurate in its overlaps and exclusions  for all three groups with the possible exception of The Birds not finding its way to the "film fan's top ten". But this can't have been easy to flip around with a stuck landing. 

As for myself I have six total favorites: Notorious, Psycho, Rear Window, Rope, Shadow of a Doubt, and Vertigo. But the rest of his output fights over my leftover affections and wins and loses depending on my moods and depending on which part of the movie we're talking about. 

Happy 114th Birthday, Hitchcock!

Recent Hitchcockian Goodies
Shadow of a Doubt Best Shot
Top Ten Memorable Performances
Great Moments in Gayness: Suspicion 
Oscar Horrors: Terrifying Mrs Danvers in Rebecca 
Introducing...Madeleine in Vertigo 


Woody Allen - The Last 12 Years

Podcast mate and friend Joe Reid polled several critics (including myself) for an article at Tribeca Film detailing Woody Allen's recent output as the critical hit Blue Jasmine hits theaters. I won't be able to see the new entry in his filmography until Sunday since I'm in Chicago for the weekend and limited release films only believe in Los Angeles and New York for their coming out balls. But since I took the time to write Joe notes on each film for this collective list, I thought I'd share them. I regret to inform that in doing this I have just been reminded that my proud familiar refrain "I've never missed a Woody Allen movie in the theater since I saw my first one in 1984!" is not technically true anymore. This article forced me to recall that I did not see and still have not seen Cassandra's Dream (2007) ... though I can't honestly remember why. Have you? 

Here's my ranking from worst to best of Mr Allen's recent work if you'd like to compare it to the consensus list at Tribeca. I've also included their Rotten Tomatoes percentage and box office gross just for survey perspective. 

Click to read more ...


Top Ten 1940s

We're almost done with these quickie surveys of my favorites and yours from decades past. Herewith the 1940s which I hesitated jotting down as there are more classics from this decade that I haven't seen than in arguably any other. If I keep waiting until I've watched everything it would never be posted. In truth, I need a project which forces me to fully deal with the gaps in my 40s viewing. A pleasurable project it would be, surely. But for now, off the top of my list-manic head....

Black Narcissus (1947)

top ten
01 The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
02 Casablanca (1943)
03 The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
04 Meet Me in St Louis (1944)
05 Double Indemnity (1944)
06 Black Narcissus (1947)
07 Citizen Kane (1941)
08 Notorious (1946)
09 It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
10 Gilda (1946) 

with apologies to other greats
The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1945), Beauty and the Beast (1948), Mildred Pierce (1945), The Lady Eve (1941), Red River (1948), The Bicycle Thief (1949), Pinnochio (1940)

honorable mention
Rope (1948), The Heiress (1949), Spellbound (1945), Now Voyager (1942), Miracle on 34th Street (1947), The Search (1948), Fantasia (1940)

I'll admit I don't love these three quite as much you're supposed to... 
His Girl Friday (1940), Rebecca (1940), All the Kings Men (1949)

I've never seen (gulp)
Too many to list. More than in any of these other quickie top tens I'll gladly take your word for it with your top ten lists in the comments. Maybe we'll do a poll to force me into a handful of 40s films as follow up. 

1930s | 1950s | 1960s1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2010s (thus far)  
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To Nicole on Her 46th Birthday

Tim here. The career and talents of Nicole Kidman have been well-examined at the Film Experience through the years, but never by me. So I hope you’ll forgive the indulgence if I take advantage of her birthday to launch into a little celebration of my favorite working actress, one of the only people in the world with a legitimate claim to being both movie star and serious artist. For every big bit of Hollywood nonsense she deepens and improves with her steady presence, there’s an adventurous, even dangerous film that she makes with some of the most interesting directors out there, and she’s equally great in both modes, the odd Stepford Wives remake notwithstanding.

To celebrate, I'd like to share my 5 favorite Kidman performances, in chronological order:


Grace Stewart, The Others (2001)
I yield to no one in my love of Moulin Rouge! and Kidman’s performance therein, but this has always been my pick for her best performance of 2001, and not least because Alejandro Amenábar is less interested in ceding huge chunks of the film’s landscape to her than Baz Luhrmann. Providing the human core to an abnormally handsome, ultimately generic haunted house movie couldn’t have been anyone’s idea of a rewarding assignment, but Kidman dives with intelligence and restraint into the role of a stern matriarch, terrified by the empty old house she lives in. She turns out a leading performance that is deeply sensitive and wounding (that meeting with her husband!) while also paying scrupulous attention to the mechanical needs of the horror script. She’s especially good at converting the twist ending from something ludicrous into a genuinely moving moment.

four more after the jump

Click to read more ...

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