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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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Beauty vs. Beast


If you don't vote for Jack, he'll come after you with an axe


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The BIG EYES Poster

"I didn't even notice the stars at first but that's why I like it. Tag line is clever. I hope Burton gone substance over style (while being stylish) with this one." - Jija

"The art is ugly creepy kitsch... that is, slightly above dogs playing pool and black-velvet Elvis. I have a hard time grasping why we should care who created it..." - Owen

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Entries in magazines (47)


'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.


Oh Sister, My Sister... It's Dakota & Elle

Everyone's favorite teen blonde star sisters are covering W magazine this month.

It's too bad nobody writes really great nuanced dramas about glamourous teenage sisters, huh?

Elle Fanning on Dakota leaving for college:

I went into her room at home in California, and all her clothes were gone! Her closet was empty! I don’t get to go in there and steal clothes anymore. It’s really strange. It’s sort of like she’s off making a movie, but this time she’s not coming back.

Big interview reveal: Dakota is learning how to do her own laundry now that she's at NYU. Hee. (I laugh not at her but with her since I also didn't learn to do my own laundry until college. I know that's pathetic but my mom is a workaholic martyr-type, needs to do everything for everyone.)

The interview never raises the latest controversy about Dakota Fanning's Marc Jacobs ad being banned. Flowers as Vagina is such a symbolic cliché that it's hard for me to take it seriously and be offended. Particularly when sexualizing young girls is such a constant and constantly celebrated aspect of pop culture (not saying it's right but it seems so arbitrary as to when people get up in arms about it vs when they love it, you know?). But anyway this particular cliché makes me lol because of Dianne Wiest's awesome "magnificent vagina" monologue in Bullets Over Broadway.

But back to the sisters... 
Who do you think scores an Oscar nomination first and how long are they both gonna have to wait? 

more photos and interviews (weirdly not conjoined) at W magazine



The Best Thing Joel Schumacher Has Done Since...?

Sweet relief! Should anyone feel compelled to ask oft-derided director Joel Schumacher "what have you done for us lately?" he need no longer sheepishly mumble "Trespass with Nic & Nic". Instead he can point right to this great fake ad, shot by Steven Meisel, which announces the launch of Joel Schumacher's fashion label "Made to Measure".

Love it.


Here's the accompanying text:

Joel Schumacher, 72, might not seem like the most obvious man to front a glamorous high-fashion label in the vein of Halston. But long before he was directing such films as St. Elmo's Fire and Batman Forever, Schumacher was a fashion kid, designing window displays for Henri Bendel and styling stories for Diana Vreeland at Vogue. Additionally, "he's just so chic," says Enninful. 

More of Meisel's fake advertisements from the new issue of W Magazine.

I snuck my two favorites in after the jump: "Tantrum" and "Pizzazz"

Click to read more ...