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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 NYC (66)


Thoughts I Had... About Our First Look At "Grand Budapest Hotel"

In the interest of speed and efficiency, and before all this good icing melts, my uncensored thoughts as they come to me...

• This poster looks good enough to eat. Literally. All I see is a tiered heavily frosted chocolate cake and I want it in me right now. Put it in me!

• Remember when people made such a big deal of Natalie Portman's nudity in "Hotel Chevalier" even though it was only like side butt? Will their be profile nudity in this hotel? And if so whose? My guess is Léa Seydoux though its unlikely to occur at all.

• The title signage is like delicate decorative pastel frosting (I have not eaten dinner yet, can you tell?)

• So pleased that Ralph Fiennes' career seems to be on an upswing again -- I believe he's the protagonist and butler here -- though I read the weirdest headline the other day (I didn't click on the link) about The Invisible Woman, his second directorial effort, being a misfire of a vanity project. I have seen the movie and I can't for the life of me think why it would be considered a vanity project (though "misfire", maybe) when Fiennes is SO much more handsome in real life than he allows himself to look as Charles Dickens. And Dickens doesn't even come across all that well in terms of character, either. He's no outstanding citizen in the movie. 

• Can Ralph Fiennes please do playful homages to Tim Curry and Forrest Whitaker and other famous butlers when he hits the talk show circuit. Please?

• Did Oscar winner F Murray Abraham get a new agent or something? Totally back! Homeland (sinister!), Inside Llewyn Davis (wonderfully judged cameo), and now this.

• This poster reminds me of the architectural minimalism of Chris Ware or maybe it could have been done by illustrator Max Dalton who did great stuff for Matt Zoller Seitz' new book on Wes Anderson. I want to read that book. Did any of you get it yet? 

Max Dalton print of Wes Anderson characters

• My favorite Wes Anderson movies are The Royal Tenenbaums (#1 by a margin of 375 imaginary city blocks), and Moonrise Kingdom. Hotel Chevalier and Fantastic Mr Fox tie for third. No, really.

• My best friend used to live super close to the exterior of The Royal Tenenbaums on Convent Avenue here in  NYC and I used to stare at that building in melancholic wonder every time it entered my field of view. 

• Wes Anderson is the ideal person to make a movie about a hotel because structures are like actual characters in his movie: the train in Darjeeling Unlimited, the submarine in The Life Aquatic, the tree in Mr Fox, the vertical home in Tenenbaums, and so on...

• When will Oscar voters ever warm to Anderson? Beyond the writers branch who (wisely) gets him.

• I just noticed that Anjelica Huston's name is not on this poster and it suddenly doesn't look as tasty.


"Brooklyn, can you imagine?"

Remember how embarrassed Jasmine (née Jeanette) sounded when she detailed her banishment from "New York, Park Avenue"? Imagine how she's feeling now that she'll be moving into much less coveted zip codes*...

After one month in limited release in the major US film markets, where it's earned a strong $10 million, Blue Jasmine  is going wide. In fact, tomorrow the Best Actress / Best Screenplay buzz-title hits the malls of America with the widest release a Woody Allen film has ever enjoyed.



If Sony Pictures Classics has been keeping the film from you now's your chance! After you've seen it (for the first time or again) dive into our discussions at the review, the podcast and our breakdown of the "yours to lose" Oscar frontrunners. It's not a perfect film but it's quite sticky and continues to inspire good conversation... which is really one of the best things you can say about a movie in our disposable opening-weekend-only film culture, isn't it?

* FYI Blue Jasmine has been playing in Brooklyn, land of many coveted zip codes, for a long time. The title of this post is a snooty Jasmine quote.


The Podcast Returns: The Xanax Kicked In For "Blue Jasmine"

As we reach the final lap of summer, it's time to bring the podcast back for another Oscar season! Joining Nathaniel are Nick Davis, Katey Rich and Joe Reid.

This week we're talking about Nick's DVD Collection, Brooklyn Park Slope, New York Park Avenue, and Chicago moviegoing, whether or not Cate Blanchett is the frontrunner for Best Actress and what we think of the casting director's Oscar branch and the American Hustle trailer. But the bulk of the podcast is devoted to a Blue Jasmine breakdown. No not that kind of breakdown. Cate already covered the going mental part.

UPDATE: For those who are spoiler averse you might want to skip these parts:

11:40 - 12:16 
14:07 - 14:54
18:20 - 19:37

Thanks Alice for pointing these reveals out.

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download it on iTunes.

Blue Jasmine Breakdown


Reader Spotlight: Jeremy in New York

Jeremy EgglestonWe're getting to know The Film Experience readership, one-by-one. This will take a while and we love you for that. Thanks for being part of our ever-growing community. Today we're talking to Jeremy who I once met in a bar.

Do you remember your first movie?

Hmmm. My mom is a Wizard of Oz obsessive, so I'm sure it must have been this (on the small screen). Back before there was even VHS (ahhhhh!), I remember she would let me and my two younger brothers stay up late and stage a slumber party in the living room as we attempted to make it to the end. I fully credit my cinephile status to my mom. She made movies feel alive and transcendent.

What's your movie going diet like in a typical year?

Unfortunately, I am your typical cold-weather binge consumer. I blame the studios for this, and no point in going off on a typical rant with this one. One of the blessings of living in NYC is the smaller film festivals that go on throughout the year. For instance, earlier this year I saw Sarah Polley's Stories We Tell at the New Directors Festival through Lincoln Center (one sentence review: EVERYONE SHOULD SEE THIS MOVIE! Longer review:  I found it to be sublime and brilliant and funny and touching and above all, NEW).

I typically will get begrudgingly convinced to see one or two summer blockbusters, but other than that, fall is my season. It's not atypical for me to see two-to-three films a week between the months of September-December.

You are one of the few readers I've met (quite accidentally) and you did a little bow which was the most flattering thing ever though I was drenched in vodka (long story) so perhaps I hallucinated this. Do you remember this?

HA HA HA! Of course I remember this. I was out dancing with my friend Judith, and I spotted you out of the corner of my eye standing with your friends. I remember approaching you and saying what an honor it was to actually meet the face behind the blog. TFE was my first encounter with an internet site where you could feel the passion for film streaming through the computer screen. It was and remains a true honor. And it was fun to see your reaction of pure shock (and tinge of 'who-the-hell-is-this?' fear) 

Three favorite actresses?

  1. Nicole Kidman
  2. Julianne Moore
  3. Tilda Swinton

"I'm gonna do what I want!"

Nicole has recently de-throned Julianne, just based on their work during the past few years. I feel Julianne still needs a can't-take-your-eyes-off-type of role, ala Game Change on the big screen. She was robbed for Far From Heaven. Meryl is of course up there too, but sometimes, there's just gotta be room for another. (And if that's the case, I'd also pick Michelle Williams, Michelle Pfeiffer, Bette Davis, and now, Jessica Chastain)  

What's the last movie you saw before answering these questions?

On the small screen, my boyfriend and I are attempting to make it through AFI's Top 100 of all Time. But I must admit, we both fell asleep halfway through Vertigo the other night. I blame it on the rain.

Have you ever fallen asleep during a classic?
Do you agree with Jeremy's take on the state of Julianne Moore's career?

Previous Reader Spotlights


A Musical Diversion

Composer Adam GuettelKnowing that the next 48 hours for most of us (well, the next 96 for me) would be filled with nothing but Oscar Mania, last night I went totally off-cinema to a night of cabaret with brilliant and unprolific composer Adam Guettel (Floyd Collins, The Light in the Piazza). [Tonight is the finale, the 8:30 is sold out but there's one more available at 11:00 pm]  Although I wasn't thinking it through properly exactly. The night didn't turn out to be all that off-cinema since the material and the train of thought kept rushing there.

Guettel is, famously, the grandson of the legendary and prolific composer Richard Rodgers, the first person to ever EGOT. Rodgers practically defined the American musical with his first partner Lorenz Hart and his second Oscar Hammerstein II: Babes in Arms, Pal Joey, The Sound of Music, The King and I, Carousel, Oklahoma... the list goes on and on and on. Guettel is an engaging witty stage presence (and unlike many composers has a beautiful singing voice to boot) but his grandfather's long shadow was ever present and referenced in self-deprecating hilarious ways.  And yet after I was done laughing I felt totally sad. The world's resistance to the musical form, and Guettel's own personal creative struggles have combined in an truly unfortunate way and we're all missing out!

Floyd Collins (1996) and The Light in the Piazza (2003) Guettel's two most famous shows are nearly breath-stoppingly beautiful musical works. I personally think both would make utterly rich film musicals if done correctly (The Light in the Piazza was already a movie, albeit a non-musical one) and since they're also serious period pieces they could be Oscar hits, too. Not that that matters... but it's just something for movie producers who might be reading to think about *cough*. If Floyd Collins, a true story of a miner trapped in a cave, was approached with the conviction and delicacy of something like Once it could be a movie masterpiece. And I've long felt that if Piazza went back to screen, there'd be a potential Best Actress winning role for the 40something/50something actress who got the plum lead role

In the years before/between/after? Guettel has written unfinished works and three musicals that are based on movies...

Click to read more ...


Woody Comes Home: Blue Jasmine Tea Leaves 

Hey folks. Michael C. here. There are few constants in my pop culture life. Woody Allen is one of them. The last time a year passed without a Woody Allen movie was 1981 when I was one year old. Like The Simpsons or SNL, I don't pay nearly as much attention as I used to, but I take a great comfort in knowing they're always there and always will be. I'd be lost if they ever went away.

The past eight years of Woody. How many did you see? Enjoy?

So I'm on board no matter how many Jade Scorpions he compulsively cranks out from now until eternity. I'm already picking through the just released details of his 2013 film, Blue Jasmine, if only in the hopes that my annual pilgrimage will be a brilliant Crimes and Misdemeanors or at very least an entertaining Vicky ChristinaAt this point there is no more than a title, a cast list, and a brief synopsis, but I already spot some reasons to be optimistic that this might be Good Woody Allen or at least what passes for Good Woody ever since the 00's showed just how painful Bad Woody could get.

5 Reasons to Be Optimistic About Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine

1. The synopsis released by Sony Pictures Classics reads...

the story of the final stages of an acute crisis and a life of a fashionable New York housewife.”


Click to read more ...

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