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Entries in Michael Haneke (19)

Sunday
Oct082017

Nick's Foreign Film Take, Pt 1: Sheikh Jackson, First They Killed My Father...

by Nick Davis

There’s niche-marketing, and then there’s micro-targeting, and then there’s saying to your friend Nathaniel, “I hope you’ll still keep an eye out for Shahrbanoo Sadat’s Wolf and Sheep, even though Afghanistan didn’t select it as their Oscar submission.” We really do live in a weird bubble, but that is why one is grateful for The Film Experience, where folks are all the same kind of different as you. And as we all know, this site has been a longtime devotee of the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in all stages of curation and competition. So, seizing the opportunity of a sympathetic audience, and amidst a season where many of the 84 movies put forward by their home countries as Academy Award contenders are floating around at festivals—big and small, rural and urban, American and elsewhere—I thought I’d weigh in on the titles I’ve caught.

Argentina, Zama
It’s an amazing vote of artistic confidence for Argentina to choose Lucrecia Martel’s deeply demanding, deeply rewarding colonialist-bughouse period drama as their contender. They passed over all three of her previous features as their submission, and as always, they had plenty of viable possibilities this year, including Santiago Mitre’s The Summit, an absorbing drama of North and South American political machinations. That movie’s somewhat televisual style might have made it palatable to some voters. Zama, by contrast, is as cinematic as they come. In fact, “they” don’t really come like this: a movie almost without establishing shots or hand-holding narrative cues, aggressive with its weird ambient sounds and literally eccentric frames. The movie telegraphs the protagonist’s escalating madness but without letting him go Full Aguirre and without entering the kind of outsized, Lynchian vortex that unmistakably makes the point: it’s easy to watch and think that you, not Zama, are failing to keep up. This seems like a Shortlist prospect with Oscar at the very best, but it’s also guaranteed to be among the year’s most extraordinary movies. Talk about a summit!
My grade:

Austria's Happy End, Cambodia's First They Killed My Father, and Egypt's Sheikh Jackson are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Sep082017

TIFF: Haneke & Huppert Return with "Happy End"

by Chris Feil

Michael Haneke is back to satirizing the upper class for Happy End, a bitter comedy on conscious distraction and privilege in the digital age. The film opens with ominous Snapchat footage and is peppered with live time Facebook chat and email screenshots that feel strangely right at home in the auteur’s aesthetic. But this isn’t Haneke’s treatise against internet platforms - in his eye, these are just other ways to reveal our disaffected, sometimes wicked selves...

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Wednesday
May032017

Michael Haneke's "Happy End" Gives An Unhappy First Glance

With just about two weeks to go before its seaside premiere at the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival, the first image for Michael Haneke’s Happy End – his latest cold dose of cruel reality – has landed as hard as the realization that one day we will all die, and most likely alone. Of course, Haneke returns to Cannes this year a reigning champ, double-fisting Palmes d’Or after his last films to grace the Competition – The White Ribbon and Amour – emerged victorious. The question on many minds going into this year’s festival is whether he’ll win the top prize for a third time and break the all-time record he holds alongside fellow international auteurs Alf Sjöberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Bille August, Emir Kusturica, Shohei Imamura, the Dardennes brothers, and last year’s surprise winner Ken Loach.

Happy End reunites Haneke with two performers who have arguably given career-best performances under his clinician’s gaze: Isabelle Huppert, The Piano Teacher herself, and Amour’s Jean-Louis Trintignant; familiar faces Toby Jones and Mathieu Kassovitz round out the cast alongside fellow first-timers Franz Rogowski and Fantine Harduin. While little is known of the plot’s particulars, we do know that Happy End focuses on a French bourgeois family living comfortably in the port town of Calais as the European refugee crisis washes ashore in their midst, considerably less comfortably. The image above shows our main cast dining al fresco around a white-on-white-on-white table in the fashionably casual spring wear you’d expect from the seaside privileged, a breeze surely blowing somewhere in the air. Meanwhile, you can tell by their gazes of curious dispassion that you’re unmistakably inside a Michael Haneke film. Of all of his frown-triggering films to debut at Cannes in the main Competition – Funny Games (’97), Code Unknown, The Piano Teacher, Caché, The White Ribbon, and Amour – which sends your soul spiraling the deepest and darkest, and why?

Thursday
Mar232017

every guy here'd love to link you, Gaston

Today's Must Read
BuzzFeed good piece by Allison Willmore on the maddening response to absolutely nothing moments proclaimed to be LGBT "firsts!" in movies. Two parts of the problems she doesn't mention though are 1) the internet demands for constant content incentivize journalists to blow everything out of proportion including super stupid things like "LeFou is gay!" and 2) too many pop culture journalists are operating from a place of zero knowledge about pop culture before they were, like, 12. 

more links after the jump including insightful pieces on Feud and an investigation of Logan's family jewels...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
May242016

In Happier Cannes Times

on this day in history as it relates to the movies...

1941 Bob Dylan is born in Minnesota, splinters into seven people in front of Todd Haynes' eyes.
1949 Jim Broadbent is born so that we might have Harold Zidler in Moulin Rouge! the film he should have won the Oscar for on the night he actually won the Oscar. Funny how that happens sometimes.
1960 Kristin Scott Thomas is born. Years later she can drop a room temperature or bring it to a boil onscreen in about 2 seconds. We miss her soooo much.
1972 Superhero Glut Producer of the CW, Greg Berlanti, is born.
1991 Thelma & Louise drove into theaters. You've been reading our 25th anniversary retrospective right? Part 3 hits today and we're having a blast revisiting.

2009 The White Ribbon finally wins Michael Haneke the Palme d'Or at Cannes. It goes on to two Oscar nominations for Foreign Film and Cinematography and becomes Haneke's most successful film globally, edging out the even greater Caché. It won't stay his most successful pic for long since Amour is just around the corner.
2011 This Sunday's Cannes results had the internet fuming (we won't know if the anger is justified until we see the movies) but five years ago Robert De Niro's jury gave us an astonishing roundup of winners at the 64th Cannes including The Tree of Life (Palme d'Or), Jean Dujardin in The Artist (Best Actor), Kirsten Dunst in Melancholia (Best Actress) and Nicolas Winding Refn for Drive (Best Director)

Monday
Mar232015

Beauty vs Beast: Beauty & (Malkovich) Brains

Jason from MNPP here with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" -- I wish that we could use this column every week to celebrate actresses on their birthdays, but it doesn't always work out that way time-wise unfortunately... this makes two weeks in a row though. Last week was La Huppert, and this week no less than the great Catherine Keener is celebrating her birthday! Keener's turning 56 today and so we celebrate with her, looking back at maybe our favorite performance of hers (although that's a tough choice) - Maxine in Spike Jonze's and Charlie Kaufman's brilliant existential-comedy Being John Malkovich (1999).

Maxine is in many ways the nasty yin to John Cusack's sad-sack yang... but nobody's rooting for Craig. That would make this question too easy. Craig's wife Lotte (Cameron Diaz) though... the battle for Malkovich Malkovich is in your hands!

Whose team are you on?
Team Lotte0%
Team Maxine0%

PREVIOUSLY As mentioned up top we were all about Huppert last week - specifically her performance in Michael Haneke's The Piano Teacher (in a stroke of random continuity today is Michael Haneke's birthday! Happy birthday Mikey boy!) against that of the pretty boy played by Benoit Magimel - Pretty Boy put up a good fight all things considered but when your competition's willing to fill people's pockets with glass to win, it's not really a fair fight. Said Nathaniel:

"...the only way Walter is going to win this is if you post nude photos of Benoit Magimel with it and confuse people as to what they're voting on. That said I voted for Walter because Erika is so fucking depraved. and not in the good way. That ending!"