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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

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"How is no one talking about the kids from IT????? They were amazing" - David

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Entries in Oscars (70s) (140)

Sunday
Nov122017

72 days until Oscar nominations. Let's talk '72

What's your favorite movie of 1972? My top ten goes like so...

01 Cabaret (Bob Fosse)
Come to the cabaret 🎵

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Saturday
Nov112017

113 days 'til Oscar. The Existential Question of the Honorary Oscars.

by Nathaniel R

Audrey Hepburn giving King Vidor his HonoraryThe Honorary Oscars, which will be given out again tonight to a very deserving quartet (Donald Sutherland, Owen Roizman, Agnes Varda, and Charles Burnett), have always been a curious and quite arbitary distinction. Like competitive Oscars the timing has to be just right. You have to be on people's minds. You have to have a cheerleading section in the right places within the Academy. You mostly have to be of a certain age (so if you die before you're 75 or so, forget about it!). Curiously, though, you don't have to be overdue having lost a bunch of previous Oscars. This year's recipients fit into the tradition of "overdue because they've been under-honored" but this is not always the case. The Honorary Oscars, even since the beginning have often gone to people who've won competitive statues. That's a strange thing, if you ask us, since shouldn't the point be to cover your bases? Quite a few great stars who have never been the single best in any particular year so the Honorary is a perfect way to honor them. At the very least it's a better way to honor them than a competitive statue in a year where they don't really deserve one (and that's happened so often!)

At the 1978 Oscars the 111th through 114th Honorary Oscars were handed out and they illustrate this confusion as to the award's purpose...

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Monday
Nov062017

The Furniture: Grotesque Extravagance in Fellini's Casanova

"The Furniture," by Daniel Walber, is our weekly series on Production Design. You can click on the images to see them in magnified detail. Since the Honorary Oscars are handed out next week, here's a Donald Sutherland film for you!

Federico Fellini didn’t much like Giacomo Casanova, the famously amorous subject of his meandering fantasy-biopic. The director may not have liked Donald Sutherland, either. The actor was required to shave his head and sport both a false nose and a false chin to play the long-winded lover. The costumes aren’t especially flattering either. Fellini’s Casanova is an erotic descent into Hell, a grotesque pageant of 18th century moral abandon. It frequently borders on the disgusting.

It was also on the edge of Oscar’s attention, sliding into only two categories. While Fellini’s Casanova did win for its costumes, its production design missed out entirely. Anyone betting that year would likely have lost money; La Dolce Vita, 8 ½ and Juliet of the Spirits were all nominated for both.

Though this sexualized panorama thrilled the costume designers, it may have shocked too many art directors. Like Sutherland’s performance, it’s proved to be a bit too much for the Academy. That’s a shame, because the contribution of legendary designer Danilo Donati is dazzling...

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Friday
Aug042017

Aug Screengrab Roulette: Sing!, Rachel Getting Married, etc...

You know the drill. Here's all the new stuff on the major streaming services with a handful plus of random titles freeze-framed (whatever came up when we messed with the viewing bar, no fudging). What will you be watching this month and which movies would you love to see covered in depth?

The lists and screengrabs are after the jump.

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Monday
Jul172017

"Being There" -- Essential Viewing For the Right Now

by Nathaniel R

Hal Ashby’s Being There (1979) is a fortune teller. And the future it foretells isn’t rosy. The classic film about a TV-loving cypher who Forrest Gumps his way into history is approaching its 40th anniversary, but its essential viewing for the right now.  Don't wait until 2019 to see it.

Among the film’s many queasy previews of life in the early 21st century is the proliferation of screens. Here that takes the shape of television, with Ashby frequent crosscutting to whatever is on the TV in a given scene. Though the content we see is recognizably dated, its intrusion is evergreen. 

Hidden within the prophecy of multiple screens replacing actual experience, is an even sharper notion of the screen as a mirror...

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Thursday
Jun292017

Susan Hayward's Final Oscar Appearance

SUSAN HAYWARD CENTENNIAL

by Nathaniel R

We're doing our Susan Hayward party all out of chronology and will end with an early role. It's our way of saying that the big movie stars never really die but live on in their films. But for the penultimate stop in this Hayward fest, let's take a lot at the 1973 Oscars. She made her last public appearance on April 2nd, 1974 when she presented Best Actress with Charlton Heston at the Oscars. They were contemporaries at the peak of their stardom in the 1950s (and both won leading Oscars in the late 1950s) but Heston's career was still going strong at this point while Hayward had only intermittently working... 

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