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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

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TOM JONES + LIZ TAYLOR + SIDNEY POITIER
deep dive podcast with the '63 smackdown 

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Entries in Liz Taylor (53)

Tuesday
Aug152017

1963 Convo Pt 1: Liz-Mania and "Tom Jones"

Nathaniel welcomes guests Teo Bugbee, Keiran Scarlett, Séan McGovern, and Brian Mullin. We just wrote about the Supporting Actress nominated performances of 1963 but now it's time to zoom out on the films themselves and the year in question.  

Smackdown '63 Companion Podcast Part 1
(42 minutes)
In which the panel plays "tag yourself" within Best Picture winner Tom Jones while discussing Tony Richardson's cinematic eccentricities in the early '60s, the movie's politics and preference for anarchy and the Academy mindset given the political tragedies of the year. We also discuss Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton mania (CleopatraThe VIPs). With brief asides to: Maggie Smith, Vanessa Redgrave, Benny Hill, that awkward supporting actress presentation at the Oscars, and more.

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunesContinue the conversations in the comments, won't you? 

Smackdown 63 Conversation - Part One TOM JONES

Friday
Aug112017

Meet the Panelists - Smackdown '63

The Supporting Actress Smackdown of '63 is just 3 days away. So it's time to get your votes in on the nominees that year. Readers, collectively, are the final panelist, so grade the nominees (only the ones you've seen) from 1 to 5 hearts. Your votes count toward the smackdown win! 

Diane Cilento Tom Jones
Edith Evans Tom Jones
Joyce Redman Tom Jones
Margaret Rutherford The VIPs 
Lilia Skala Lilies of the Field 

 

Now that we're finally getting to this long delayed Smackdown. It's time to meet this month's talking heads...

THE PANEL

Seán McGovern and Brian Mullin
An Irishman and an American based in London, Seán McGovern and Brian Mullin are the hosts of Broad Appeal, the podcast that looks back at female-driven films from the not-so-distant past. Seán is a film festival programmer with Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Fest and has also worked for the BFI and the National Film and Television School. His mustache was once complimented by Wallace Shawn. Brian is a playwright, dramaturg and community activist; he's wedded to the theatre but still fools around with the movies. Their latest podcast series dissected 12 book-to-film adaptations (everything from Yentl to Jackie Brown) and they once saw Isabelle Huppert twice in two days! [Follow them @broadappealpod@bamullinspeaks@seanmcgovernx]

What does 1963 mean to you, guys?

To us, 1963 seems like the year things fell apart. The summer started with hope: JFK retraced his roots in Ireland and Martin Luther King led the March on Washington (with activists and many film stars in tow). By the end of the year, though, fatal shots had been fired in Dealey Plaza, and the the studio system was on life support following the bloated release of Liz & Dick's Cleopatra. The upheaval of the 60s was only just beginning; no wonder The Birds started attacking Tippi Hedren.

Teo Bugbee
Longtime Film Experience reader, Teo Bugbee is a culture writer, bylines found at The Daily Beast, MTV News, and The New York Times. In her time off from watching movies, she union agitates, gay organizes…and watches more movies. [Follow her @tmibugbee]

What does 1963 mean to you, Teo?

1963 was the year my mom was born, a classic Pisces in the year of the Rabbit. 1963 was the year of the Taylor-Burton affair, a formative obsession of my youth. 1963 was the year of my favorite Natalie Wood performance, in Love With A Proper Stranger. It's the year of The Feminine Mystique and the year Ann-Margret declared it lovely to be a woman, two statements of equal weight as far as I can tell. In my mind, 1963 is the year when the '60s stopped being an extension of the decade prior, and started to take on its own character as the decade for all things uncouth, dissatisfied, and misunderstood.

Kieran Scarlett
Kieran is a Canadian expat whose love affair with movies began with Judy Garland and Julie Andrews.  He thanks his older brother for his film fanaticism and apologizes profusely for dragging him to see Cold Mountain on opening weekend because "people in it might get nominated for stuff."  He received his MFA in writing from the American Film institute. He spends a lot of time thinking about the 1974 Best Actress race, admiring Dorothy Malone's mambo skills and longing for the return of Holly Hunter.  Kieran can be found in Los
Angeles, writing, working on movies and searching for the perfect arthouse theater with good parking. [Follow him @danblackroyd]

What does 1963 mean to you, Kieran?

Being that I was not alive in 1963 and don't have any immediate personal cinematic narrative connection to '63 (part of why I'm eager to dig into this year and find out what it means to others), the year for me means "Letters From a Birmingham Jail," the very pivotal, if somewhat under-discussed piece of writing from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Thinking about the fact King wrote that while imprisoned a little over a week after the Oscar ceremony (not that the two are related, just a piece of trivia) makes me consider the hypothesis that the political climate of the country does influence Oscar's choices. One wonders how that tracks (or doesn't) in
terms of Tom Jones' Best PIcture victory.

And as ever your host...

Nathaniel R
Nathaniel is the creator and owner of The Film Experience and a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association. He recently became an O'Neill Fellow at the National Critics Institute. He is the film columnist for Towleroad, a longtime Oscar pundit (Gurus of Gold), and his writing has appeared in both online publications (Vanity Fair, Slate, Tribeca Film, Show-Score) and print magazines (Esquire and Winq). Nathaniel has served on international festival juries and appeared as an on-air Oscar pundit for CNNi. Follow him @nathanielr 

What does 1963 mean to you?

Liz Taylor as Cleopatra mostly. I am who I am. I sometimes try to imagine how frighteningly colossal the world's obsession with her in that time period of her life would be were it transposed into our era of social media and 24/7 celebrity coverage. I'm guessing it would be something like Beyoncé 2016 times Brangelina 2005 filtered through a media hype lens that was akin to Marvel Studios Phase Whatever breathlessness. One can only imagine the op-eds and memes and cosplay. Other things I occasionally think about from 1963 include my parents being newlyweds (how were they ever that young?) just starting a family, everything about Hud, Harry Belafonte and Sidney Poitier and other celebrities rallying for Civil Rights, Natalie Wood receiving her last Oscar nomination (sniffle), and The Judy Garland Show's debut -- love watching clips of that on YouTube. How did that show get cancelled so quickly. Didn't people back in 1963 know how good they had it with The World's Greatest Entertainer?

What does 1963 mean to you, dear readers?

Thursday
Aug102017

Vintage '63

The Supporting Actress Smackdown 1963 Edition arrives on Monday so let's talk context since we haven't revisited as much of 1963 as we'd hoped to...

Great Big Box Office Hits: 1) Cleopatra 2) How the West Was Won 3) It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World 4) Tom Jones 4) Irma La Douce 6) Son of Flubber 7) The Birds 8) Dr No 9) The VIPs 10) McClintock!

Oscar's Best Pictures: Tom Jones (10 noms / 4 wins), Cleopatra (9 noms / 4 wins), How the West Was Won (8 noms / 3 wins), Lilies of the Field (5 noms / 1 win), America America (4 noms / 1 win) Our theory as to what was just outside the Best Picture shortlist plus more '63 goodies follow...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jul152017

Tweetweek: Aunt May, His & Hers Emmy Nods, Everything Being James Franco's Fault

Readers... I'm back from my critics retreat (which featured such spotty internet that I finally gave up on the internet altogether but the ability to focus without it was kind of amazing -- try it sometime) Regular posting will begin again Monday. Tonight please enjoy this roundup of amusing tweets as I try to catch up on news, emails, and social media. Yours truly, Nathaniel...  

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jun162017

Q&A: Best 'Best Actress' Decade? Gay for Play as Actorly Rite of Passage?

Four more reader questions to kick off the weekend. Wheeee. As ever, I'd love to hear your answers to these questions thrown my way.

MATT ST CLAIR: Is there an unseen awards contender this year that you are hoping doesn't fail?

NATHANIEL: My "please let this be successful" hopes reside with Blade Runner 2049 (because the original's reputation being tarnished would be such a pity), The Greatest Showman (because musicals MUST continue to thrive) and Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool (because it's infinitely annoying that Annette Bening doesn't have an Oscar yet and didn't even get nominated for such gorgeous work in 20th Century Women)While we're well- wishing please let Wonderstruck, How to Talk to Girls at Parties, and The Florida Project could be bigger hits than usual for Todd Haynes, John Cameron Mitchell, and Sean Baker, since they're three of our most distinctive American auteurs. I could go on but I'll stop as no genie grants unlimited wishes.

CATBASKETS: I've been thinking a lot about straight actors getting their starts or big breaks playing gay roles--Hugh Grant in Maurice, Guy Pierce in Priscilla, DDL in Beautiful Launderette, Charlie Hunnam in Queer as Folk, Eddie Redmayne in Savage Grace, etc. etc. Do you think this was/is a major rite of passage for actors? Do you think this will slow down now that there's more awareness/active demand for gay actors to play these roles?

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Friday
May122017

Today's 5: Carrie, Snatched, Blowup, and more...

Today's 5 mood boosting assignments from showbiz history...

2017 oh wait that's today! New in movie theaters today: Goldie Hawn returns to the cinema in the Amy Schumer comedy Snatched; Uneven but sometimes really exciting director Doug Liman unveils the sniper drama The Wall (starring Brit Aaron Taylor-Johnson with a twangy accent); Guy Ritchie anachronistically Ritchifies the King Arthur legend with Charlie Hunnam and Jude Law; Demian Bichir stars in Lowriders; and Diane Lane takes a road trip with Arnaud Viard in Paris Can Wait when her husband Alec Baldwin bails on her for business.

In their honor: Go see a movie this weekend. Pick a title any title. If you don't want to see one of those catch up with The Lovers or Lost City of Z. Both are good flicks.

1988 The infamous stage musical version of horror classic Carrie opens. It will close five days later. The off Broadway revival in 2012 did significantly better but still closed at a loss

Click to read more ...