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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 (49)


Oscar Excitement Rises With Magazines / Trailers

A lot of folks are dissing this trailer spoof whatsit heralding the oncoming Oscar but I think that's just a sympton of "you can't please everyone anyone" on the internet / when it comes to Oscar. I'm sorry but I ♥ the moment that they open the briefcase and the golden glow emerges. That shiny naked gold man brings me joy every damn year. It's true! Even when I hate him I love him.

Sure the ad is meaningless / not hilarious but it's kind of fun in a stupid ha-HA way. You were expecting cutting edge comedy with Billy Crystal?

That said I will readily admit that it is a bit odd to have former co-stars of Transformers as your key actors. Nothing against Josh and Megan but no A listers were available? (Remember when Robin Williams was A list? That's as dusty a notion as Billy Crystal hosting the Os--- uh, never mind.)

In much more euphoric Oscar news... I am planning to marry Entertainment Weekly's new Oscar cover. It was love at first sight. It's my favorite Oscar cover since, oh, ever. I considered actually buying it and writing it up like a live-blog magazine read but I couldn't find it anywhere in my neighborhood. Supposedly it hit newsstands yesterday.

Clooney and Viola Davis are both such class acts and if that's who were celebrating, can it be February 24th tonight, please?

She’s amazed at how the Best Actress race is shaping up this year. “Can you wrap your mind around someone throwing you into the ring with Meryl Streep?” she marvels. “I just don’t understand the competition thing. How can you compare two actors’ performances? How do you say one is better than the other?”

“I know how you do it,” Clooney says to Davis. “You have to play Margaret Thatcher and she has to play the maid.”

And yet... In regards to the frontrunner for Best Actor. The only thing that could make this cover better was if it was Brad Pitt in the tux.

While I love Clooney as a celebrity as much as anyone does, he already has an Oscar and I think if we're in the mood for one of those Movie Star Appreciation Nights come late February, we've got a more deserving idol right next door in Brad Pitt! He gave not one but two career best performances this year! And though that blurb might not mean much coming from many loudmouth journos, it means a lot coming from me since Brad Pitt is one of my all time favorite actors. Thus I am able to say "career best" without any of the not so subtle "I was never impressed before" connotations that "career best" citations arrive with. I think he's been sorely undervalued (as an actor) his entire career.


So... Meryl is Really Campaigning This Time, Eh?

The Diva Wears Prada Sweaters and Jeans for her TV profileDid any of you catch Meryl on "60 Minutes" on Sunday? She got one quarter of those minutes. Someone else noted this on Twitter, not I, but it's wonderful to imagine her prep work for these interviews. 'Oh, 60 Minutes is here? I'll just run a comb through my hair.' 

My favorite bits from the 15 minutes

• On the realness of her work becoming the characters: "I'm not insane. I do know that I'm acting!"
• The moment where she "acts" her own voice to demonstrate that she and Thatcher both have "light" voices and you need to take them deeper for dramatic resonance or to be taken seriously. She was also the morning announcer at her high school so THAT VOICE was always drawing attention to itself.

• The actreses she loved when growing up, were not contemporaries but classic movie queens: Carole Lombard, Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, and Barbara Stanwyck. 

I like girls with attitude, you know? Moxie. There's an old word."

She also talks about the strength of women repeatedly and is obviously proud of her track record at working with female directors (we have some names for your wishlist Streep!).

• Her flirty "not to me" when asked if the legendary Joe Papp was a taskmaster on stage.
• I didn't know this but during that first flush of stardom one summer post Deer Hunter, she was working on Kramer vs. Kramer and Woody Allen's Manhattan during the day and then playing "Taming of the Shrew" at night on stage! Crazy.

• That they compare Streep to Royalty. So this here then is one of America's royal families. The Gummers.

Mamie (28), Henry (32), Grace (25), Luisa (20) looking up at mom & dad: Meryl and Don


Click to read more ...


'oh, oobee doo. i wanna link like you-oohooh ♫'

Empire Eddie Murphy could play Washington mayor Marion Barry for Spike Lee in a new biopic.
Carpetbagger wonders if Meryl Streep is the oldest person to ever grace the cover of Vogue? We assume she is, unless some male designer once posed there with an 18 yr old supermodel. 
Movie|Line 5 pieces of Elizabeth Taylor's Memorabilia worth paying for...
Time profiles Tilda Swinton

Indie Wire because Martin Scorsese hasn't won enough awards in the past several years, the Santa Barbara Festival is going to honor him with the American Riviera Award 
Yahoo Movies a rundown of awardage thus far. No consensus really.
Rope of Silicon lists the top five movie tattoos. I was happy to see Seth Gecko.
Awards Daily Sasha gets angry at the Shame haters. The movie not the emotion. Feel free to hate on shame the emotion. It's an annoying one. 
Guardian in "Obituaries of 2011" has Shirley Maclaine's memories of La Liz. 
24 Frames The Hollywood Blacklist... hottest screenplays 

Hero Complex on Anthony Lister's Rise of the Planet of the Apes mural at Melrose Avenue.

Love it, don't you? How many pictures do you think are going to be snapped there every day while it's up. 

And finally congratulations to the directors cited by Variety as "10 to Watch". In case the pay wall traps you like it did me they are:


  • Zal Batmanglij (Sound of My Voice)
  • Valérie Donzelli (Declaration of War) -French Oscar submission
  • Gareth Evans (The Raid)
  • Philippe Falardeau (Monsieur Lazhar) -Canadian Oscar submission
  • Gerardo Naranjo (Miss Bala) -Mexican Oscar submission
  • Matt Piedmont (Casa de mi Padre)
  • Michaël R Roskam (Bullhead) -Belgian Oscar submission
  • Lynn Shelton (Your Sister's Sister)
  • Benh Zeitlin (Beast of the Southern Wild)
  • The Bandito Brothers (Act of Valor)


Off Cinema
in case you need a wee break in which case what the hell are you doing here?
Pitchfork Top 100 Songs of the Year 
Billboard The Year in Music
Stale Popcorn Madonna's greatest soundtrack hits. (Okay that one is not totally off cinema I suppose.) 


Blurb Whore Overachiever of the Year

Top Ten List O' the Day: Peter Travers.
I don't know how many of you watch Rachel Maddow on MSNBC but during Herman Cain's brief presidential campaign she began to treat it, hilariously, as a piece of performance art i.e. This just can't be real! I feel much the same way about Rolling Stone's Blurb Whore Legend Peter Travers. I don't mean to fixate on him as much as I do -- every year I marvel for the same reasons --  but I grew up reading and loving his reviews and only later, as I began to read more film criticism did he come to embody the Film Critic as Film Publicist problem. The man can definitely turn a phrase which is why if he wasn't making the presumably big bucks he makes at Rolling Stone, he'd surely be a highly paid ad man.

But this top ten article made me laugh so much. It's performance art. It has to be. He begins with Drive and literally the first words are...

Screw Oscar..."

After which comes a top ten list that includes not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven, not eight but  literally all the contenders you'll see on anybody's Oscar prediction top ten Best Picture charts barring the unscreened 'Extremely Loud'. Which is to say that The Artist, The Descendants, Moneyball, Midnight in Paris, Hugo, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and The Tree of Life... are all accounted for. To make sure he's covered all the Oscar bases there's a three way tie at #10 between War Horse, The Help and Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2. Seriously

I bow down to one of the greatest pieces of year-end list-making performance art that film criticism has ever seen. Peter Travers, you are genius.


7 Things Viggo Mortensen Should Be Chewing On That Aren't His Shirt

Have you seen the new cover of NY Time's Style Magazine starring "grungy antihero" Viggo Mortensen? Viggo is one of my all time favorite actors as I was just recently saying to David Cronenberg so I'm always happy to see him but this photo -- I seriously thought it was an old magazine cover from when he was like 25 until I remembered that he wasn't famous till he was like 37.

Seven Things Viggo Mortensen Should Be Chewing On That Aren't His Shirt


  1. More roles as good as Sigmund Freud in A Dangerous Method
  2. The ear of the person who photoshopped this. Viggo makes 50something hot so don't take that away from the 50somethings of the world!
  3. The scenery in more prestige movies; get that Oscar role, wherever it is.
  4. Diane Lane's everything in a screen reunion. They were so nsfw hot together.
  5. His own decisions about who he'll vote for as Actor and Actress on his own Oscar ballot... I mean who to vote for besides Fassy & Keira. 
  6. His paintbrushes. Paintbrushes should always have teethmarks in them. Have you seen his art
  7. Maria Bello's vajayjay in A History of Violence. Time to watch the cheerleader scene again! 

Click to read more ...


Curio: David Cronenberg in 1988

Alexa here.  While I anxiously await getting out to see A Dangerous Method, I've been busying myself reading all the reviews, interviews (including Nathaniel's) and accompanying discussion of how un-Cronenbergian the film is.  Well, he's been accused of that before, hasn't he?  The first time I recall it happening was with one of my personal Cronenberg favorites, Dead Ringers, which, at the time, seemed to break from his previous, more pure genre films. Then, after reading in a recent interview that he attempted adapting Dead Ringers for television (yes, please!), I decided to dig up this old issue of American Film I've held onto, mostly for the Cronenberg interview it contains.  Here are some excerpts from the piece, written by Owen Gleiberman, which is an interesting read today, given the trajectory Cronenberg's career has taken since.

[As for the upcoming Dead Ringers], "I think it's a departure in the way it's perceived and the way I'm perceived. It's like doing a more intricate dance on the high wire but it doesn't feel like so much of a departure to me creatively, because I feel I'm dealing with the same themes I've always dealt with," Cronenberg says.

In a sense, what Cronenberg has done is bring the genre of bodily horror into the post-Freudian age. His most prominent innovation (it's linked to the gooey verisimilitude of his special effects) is making the sexual and fear-of-disease subtexts of studio horror films explicit, self-conscious, stripped of the reassuring distance of fantasy...If just about every Cronenberg film has hinged on the proverbial split between mind and body, with the body taking on a hideous life of its own, in Dead Ringers a human personality is itself divided into warring parts. "This is not a horror film. This is a relatively straight drama. I don't have a lot of trickery to hide behind."

Despite their fixation on disease, Cronenberg's films have dealt explicitly with sexuality as far back as They Came From Within. "It was very important that my twins are gynecologists. Somehow, it was the idea of two men forming a perfect unit that excluded everybody else. The twins share not only one woman in particular sexually, but they share their understanding of women and their study of women...I identify with all my scientists and my doctors, because I think what they are and what they do is very similar to what I do. And then I've always been very fascinated with how abstract elements, whether it's spirituality or sexuality, relate to physical elements of our life, which is to say, genitalia and brains and things like that."

"I think [Dead Ringers] really relates to all intense relationships in which things happen that have the potential to become liberating on one level but suffocating on the other level. And I think at that point you're talking about marriage, you're talking about parents and children. The twins become a metaphor for all those things."

[Editors' Note: In a moment of totally unexpected synchronicity, Nick's Flick Picks has also just written a piece on Dead Ringers (1988). Even if you haven't seen that Cronenberg masterpiece, you'll want to read it if you have any interest in the process of critics awards voting and the out-of-the-box choices various organizations make, only very occassionally, when it comes time to name the "Best". -Nathaniel]


The Girl With the Embargoed Reviews

Mikael Blomkvist: What are you doing?
Lisbeth Salander: Reading the reviews.
Mikael: But they're embargoed!
Lisbeth: ... 


Perhaps you've heard about the kerfuffle with the breaking of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo embargo? Usually these behind-the-scenes details are kept private but what happened was simply that David Denby ran his review of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo early since he works for a weekly magazine rather than a daily blog and according to this thorough roundup at The Hollywood Reporter he felt he had to cover some of the important Christmas movies early (space and time limitations) else wait til January for some of them. Sony got very very angry even though the review was positive and basically a love letter to Rooney Mara who I can confirm --- no wait, I can't... I'm under embargo! In the end this amounts to nothing so much as free publicity for Dragon Tattoo and free publicity for David Denby and The New Yorker so everyone wins... though you'll surely read differently elsewhere since people like to get on soapboxes about such things.

Scott Rudin claims that Denby will be banned from his future movies but embargos are broken every year and nothing happens to anyone who breaks them. The studios are so inconsistent about how they handle them from movie to movie -- and even often from journalist to journalist on the same movie -- that it's not always easy to take them seriously. I always obey them but this is only because I'm polite and from the Midwest. But I wish I didn't ;) Playing by the rules generally doesn't help you and you may have heard that 'there is no such thing as bad publicity'? You've heard it because it's true.