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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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Entries in magazines (47)

Monday
Feb242014

A Well Preserved Beauty

This week's New Yorker cover by Barry Blitt

"Ready for His Closeup"

Who cares if Oscar has had work done? He's still a beauty.

I love the cover but Blitt's take, not so much (no surprise but I loathe the smugness people who don't watch the Oscars sometimes have about it... as if watching sports is some kind of civil disobedience. Ha! Sports... very inconoclastic, that. You've really shown society!) but I like Anthony Lane's column. He gets dinged by critics for valuing his wit above the cinema but he's still  a good read.

Oscar night is anxiety central: TV needs the stars to light up the ratings, and the stars, for their part, use TV to stage what is, in essence, a communal bath of self-love. “Just a small group getting together for a pat on the back,” in the words of Janet Gaynor, who won the first Oscar for Best Actress, in 1929. Since then, the pat has become a caress, and the caress has grown into the kind of activity that in “The Wolf of Wall Street” is reserved for yachts and jets.

Are you excited for the big night? I suddenly am after a week of the blahs. After the jump my two favorite New Yorker Oscar covers ever and they're both by the same artist.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb132014

Take My Link Away

Shadow Play Shirley Temple in Fort Apache
Shoshi Games 2014 HA HA. A must for fans of Zosia Mamet on "Girls" and the Winter Olympics
In Contention Karen O to perform "The Moon Song" at the Oscars. So now all the songs will be represented including...
EW IDINA MENZEL doing "Let It Go" so we got our wish
The Wrap Drake is pissed that PSH's death robbed him of his Rolling Stone cover 

 

Keyframe The fall of Roman Eye Candy in sword and sandal epics
BAFTA last day to vote on the Rising Star award. I chose Lea Seydoux though Lupita Nyong'o was tempting, only because Léa has been great several times already in short succession. Let's hope Lupita gets a fair shot at a big career!
LA Times Gravity dominates the Visual Effects Society awards (as if anything else would have occurred!)
Variety on Disney's very smart hands-off approach to the viral Frozen celebrations happening online
Marvel Comics it's the 50th birthday of the Black Widow today. (Remember how Emily Blunt was going to play her and we were all excited and then it was Scarlett Johansson instead and we were like "ummm..." and then she was terrible in Iron Man 2 but suddenly great in The Avengers. Happy endings!)

Re: This Regurgitated Weekend
Dave Holmes at Vulture wisely (and with great humor) looks back at the box office of 1987 the weekend the original Robocop debuted. I bring this up because this weekend's wide releases are ALL THREE OF THEM 80'S REMAKES: About Last Night (1986), Robocop (1987), and Endless Love (1981). (Has this ever happened before? Probably but if it has please to remind me)  

The piece is really funny and also has one of the best lines ever uttered about The Witches of Eastwick:

Cher, Susan Sarandon, and Michelle Pfeiffer — the closest thing to an all-Beyoncé Destiny’s Child we’re ever going to get...

 

And speaking of the 1980s...

Exit Music
Readers of a certain age already know and love the awesome 80s bad Berlin (so many classics like "The Metro" "Masquerade" "No More Words") but younger movie-mad readers should also familiarize. For somewhat obvious reasons it's oft-forgotten that Terri Nunn, the lead singer was an actress before joining Berlin and was in the running for Princess Leia before George Lucas decided on Carrie Fisher! Berlin's biggest hit was the Oscar-winning Best Original Song "Take My Breath Away" from Top Gun... but they didn't write it so no Oscars for them. Anyway, they have a new record coming out called "Animal" and the lead single's video co-stars my personal favorite RuPaul's Drag Race diva, Raven. Raven loves the 80s -- remember her "I was giving Michelle Pfeiffer Bitch" on the show? She's a perfect fit to face off with Terri! 

 

Tuesday
Feb042014

Vanity Fair 2014 "The Hollywood Issue" (Part 2)

Part 1 ICYMI, the cover with Chiwetel, Julia, Idris and George

The Vanity Fair "Hollywood Issue" tradition with its glorious and glam pull out cover is our favorite among annuals. In this 3 or 4 part series we'll investigate the full issue, generally just as enticing as the cover, starting with the cover itself (parts 1 and 2). Before we get to each star individually we must praise VF for fashioning Lupita just like a living erect golden Oscar -- get that statue, girl! -- instead of just dropping her, subserviently, on the floor like The Hollywood Reporter did! [more]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb042014

Vanity Fair 2014 "The Hollywood Issue" (Part 1)

Ah, our favorite magazine tradition. Vanity Fair's 20th Annual Hollywood Issue is upon us and the dozen stars selected they've selected are very carefully placed (they've read their own reviews). Instead of an all white lineup with a person of color shoved onto the back fold, this is an extremely careful, as if everything has been weighed on a scale: 12 actors, exactly equally split between both men and women, and skin color.

Of course both of those 50/50 visual situations are grossly unreflective of the actual business of Hollywood movies but we're not here to complain but to praise, it's fun to see the cover shaken up ever so slightly. If we were here to complain we'd probably say something about the lack of Asian actors (they never get their due here in America) but no one has ever asked The Film Experience to guest art-direct a cover. 

If they did ask me I would pitch things that wouldn't move copies (which is reason #203 why no one would ever ask me) but which would definitely be fun one-offs: An all senior lineup (Dernsy!, Shirley and all the Dames), an all instantly recognizable supporting/character actor lineup (Like... I dunno Margo Martindale, John Goodman, Jacki Weaver on the cover with Judy Greer sprawled out on the floor on the gatefold with Celia Weston and Bob Balaban and Irrfan Khan behind her... I could go on and on. Someone stop me). An all foreign language imported legends lineup (Bardem, Binoche, Leung, Deneuve, Loren, etcetera), and my personal ultimate fantasy cover, which we'd call "always a bridesmaid" devoted to people who always lose the Oscars they're up for: Amy Adams, Michelle Pfeiffer, Glenn Close, Albert Finney, Ralph Fiennes, Annette Bening, Sigourney Weaver, Ed Harris, Julianne Moore, Marsha Mason, Jane Alexander, and Joan Allen. GOOD LUCK DECIDING WHO GETS THE ACTUAL COVER ON THAT FOLDOUT LINEUP OF TWELVE!

In other words I wouldn't go with people who are always on magazine covers like Julia Roberts and George Clooney. But enough about fantasies. On to reality.  Let's take a closer look, starting with the actual cover

Chiwetel Ejiofor, a British actor whose film debut was in Steven Spielberg's Amistad (1997), is finally getting his due after steadily-rising film work. That's thanks to his incredibly haunted and well judged work in 12 Years a Slave. But we've loved him since Serenity (2005... which incidentally also featured his 12 Years co-star Sarah Paulson) in which his screen presence was impossible to deny.
Stats: 25 Films. 36 Years Old. 1 Oscar Nomination.
Previous Essentials: Dirty Pretty Things, Talk To Me, Children of Men
Next Up for Chiwetel: Z for Zachariah, a sci-fi drama with Margot Robbie (also on this cover) and Chris Pine

Julia Roberts, "America's (Former) Sweetheart", is Oscar resurgent for her "Supporting" [cough] role in August: Osage County wherein she swiped 'Best in Show' reviews from Meryl Streep. Of all the stars gathered for this cover she looks the happiest to be there. But wouldn't you if you were sitting on Idris Elba's lap? 
Stats: 41 Films. 46 Years Old. 4 Oscar Nominations, 1 win.
Previous Essentials: Pretty Woman, My Best Friend's Wedding, Erin Brockovich
Next Up for Julia: She's doing Ellen Barkin's angry screaming doctor/Tony winning role in the TV adaptation of the seminal AIDS play The Normal Heart 

Idris Elba, another British import, recently headlined Mandela which won him a Golden Globe nomination, his fourth. After two major critically acclaimed successes on television, he's on many a casting director's list for the movies. 
Stats: 24 Films + A Lot of Television. 41 Years Old. Not Yet Oscar-Nominated. 
Previous Essentials: Luther (TV Series), The Wire (TV Series) 
Next Up For Idris: Three movies in the can coming soon which are No Good Deed, a thriller with Taraji P Henson, The Gunman, a crime drama with Sean Penn and Javier Bardem, and Second Coming a British family drama

George Clooney, who surely needs no recapping as to his profile. Though, as great as he looks in a tux, I was hoping for a fresher choice of a cover subject since he's been so ubiquitous for so long.
Stats: 36ish(?) Films and Lots of TV, 52 Years Old. 8 Oscar Nominations (Directing/Acting/Producing/Writing), 2 wins (Producing/Acting)
Previous Essentials: Out of Sight, Oceans 11, Good Night and Good Luck, Up in the Air
Next Up for Clooney: Monuments Men which he directed and stars in, is about to open, which probably explains the cover. In 2015 he headlines Brad Bird's Disney scifi film Tomorrowland about a former boy-genius inventor.

Do you like the new cover? Here's PART TWO of the closeup breakdown

 

Tuesday
Jan282014

boy, you should know what you're linking for ♫

AV Club Sad Keanu Doll 
Empire JJ Abrams on the secrecy of his Star Wars sequels
Empire 25 different covers celebrating X-Men: Days of Future Past. I hate the cinematic interpretation of Quicksilver already... but they never do right by my favorite characters (see also Storm). And I didn't realize Sunspot was in this but they cast a Mexican actor to play an African-Brazilian? 
Playbill Brokeback Mountain: The Opera debuts today in Madrid

US Magazine Charlize Theron & Sean Penn holding hands. The rumors are true. So that's a good excuse to relisten to...
That Film Experience Podcast in which we fantasized about same-year Oscar couples
Variety The Great Gatsby sweeps the technical prizes at the first half of the Australian Oscars. They announce the headline categories Thursday
Guardian Johnny Depp receiving an award from the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild 

Post Script Sundance Sales
Ah, Sundance. My wrap up index post is coming late tonight but I enjoyed reading Vulture's takeaways and loved talking up the Sundance favorites with Guy Lodge on the podcast. I was also reading this piece about the non-spectular but steady sales at Sundance and a list of titles from the festival which now have distributors via Sound on Sight and I found both frustrating. I don't know if the latter list is 100% accurate (it's tough to keep track and did they ignore pre-sold films? If you know of a 100% complete list let me know) but it's frustrating. Only 20 deals were made? So naturally the great majority of films didn't sell. Some of them have easily saleable elements -- like oh, Anne Hathaway! --and in some cases are much stronger than some on the films that sold. I'm aware that in this day and age of DIY  distribution, VOD, and [insert latest trend here] not selling to a major distributor is not a death knell, just as being picked up is not always a godsend (some films that have distribution curiously never make it to screens or arrive years later when the buzz has gone ice cold). The three films I most wish had been picked up are:

  • Blind -Norwegian films rarely make a dent at the arthouse but it's so good
  • A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night -Glenn loved it and it sounds like a must-see curio
  • Appropriate Behavior -in the comic subgenre of sexually impulsive twentysomething New York lady in a tailspin it's superior to Obvious Child which did sell.

Exit Music
Here's Vin Diesel dancing to Katy Perry (!) and grabbing his crotch a lot. Two things that are worth doing when one tops
                the dvd charts.

He would be in big trouble if he was asked to "lipsynch for your life"... but wouldn't he be an awesome guest on RuPaul's Drag Race? Make it happen, Ru. 

Thursday
Nov282013

Live Blogging: THR's Actress Roundtable

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Today I am thankful for... actresses.

In other words it's a Thursday. Well, listen, I'm always thankful for actresses but now I finally have a tiny bit of time to say so. Can you believe I've held out until now to watch The Hollywood Report's Actress Roundtable? If you've already moved on I forgive you but I wanted to do it in one sitting and finally had the time. As you read this I'm probably on my way to feast with my besties but right now as I write, I'm pretending I'm settling in for a Thanksgiving dinner with (drumroll please) two-time Oscar winning ham Emma Thompson (who I just had cocktails with!), Julia Brockovich-Roberts who brought fish ("eat your fish, bitch!"), Lupita Nyong'o who provides the appetizer (to what we hope is an overflowing career o' plenty), Amy Adams who brought stuffing (she's in everything!), Oprah Winfrey (who paid all the grocery bills) and Octavia Spencer (who brought choc... no, too obvious! abort. abort.)

So let's begin...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov122013

Looking & Linking

IndieWire wonders if VOD is the future of independent film
The Atlantic Wire Joe Reid looks back on the career of Holly Hunter
Twitter yes, it's true. Stevie Nicks, the white witch herself, to guest star on American Horror Story: Coven -- and yes, I'm aware I'm like forever behind in writing about that show which I'm loving. We'll try and catch up this week
Film Comment looks back on its 50 year history
Total Film Michael Fassbender believes that Prometheus 2 is still going to happen. I'd totally go. Loved his David8
The Playlist the first image from Dark Places starring Charlize Theron 
Express Jennifer Lawrence may have lost her Oscar. (Opportunity! Let's retcon that shit and give it to Riva)
Towleroad lesbians reacting to the sex scenes in Blue is the Warmest Color 

randomness
Gizmodo Photos of malls of the '80s. The memories! 
Time Out interviews peerless stage star Mark Rylance 

Today's Watch(es)
The extremely brief/insubstantial teaser for HBO's Looking starring Jonathan Groff. 

I'm terrified of this show as someone who was deeply embarassed by Queer as Folk which is basically it's only precedent, right? But the director of Weekend has to count for something so I'm also hopeful. In addition to Groff the cast includes other (lesser-known) lookers like Rául Castillo, Tanner Cohen (Were the World Mine), O.T. FagbenieJustin Chao, and in at least one episode that adorably worried werewolf from Being Human.

And here's a Young Hollywood panel featuring Michael B Jordan, Miles Teller, Dane DeHaan, Greta Gerwig and Brie Larson (aka the ones who'll be dominating our movies for years to come)  at the AFI Fest talking about celebrity and social media...

 

Teller making fun of Jordan's selfies is priceless and Greta Gerwig's fan crush on Jessica Chastain? Adorbs.