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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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Dreamworks Animation Pt 2: The Fall

"I loved this article. It reads like vintage EW, back when they relished the behind-the-scenes stories of Hollywood and the studios." -John T

"Dreamworks should not have oversaturated the animation market. Home is Dreamworks 31st animated film. Do you know what is Walt Disney Animation's 31st film? Aladdin. It took Disney over 5 decades to get there." -Chinoiserie

Part 1 here if you missed it

 

 

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Entries in Oscars (80s) (101)

Monday
Mar022015

Ripley is Forever

There are few movie characters as iconic as Lt. Ellen Ripley, the accidental but determined warrior so superbly played by Sigourney Weaver four times over in the five film Aliens franchise (1979-2012). Soon to be six or seven if Ridley pursues his Prometheus sequel and Neill Blomkamp and Sigourney actually make good on their plans to bring Ripley back in 2017 on the heels of their first collaboration Chappie (opening Friday). 

While James Cameron's Aliens (1986) hogs most of the attention when it comes to Weaver's franchise headlining work (including a well deserved but very out-of-comfort-zone Oscar nomination for Best Actress) she's actually pretty stellar in all four of the movies. [More...]

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Wednesday
Feb252015

Black History Month: Morgan Freeman Enters The Conversation

Our celebration of Black History Month is, naturally, also an Oscar History Celebration. Today Nathaniel looks at Morgan Freeman's original claim to fame.

When you think of Morgan Freeman what's the first thing that comes up? Given his revered stature in contemporary cinema the answer is undoubtedly pulled from the following character types: wise mentor, savvy professional, trusted friend, quiet confidante, brilliant academic, noble leader. Freeman brings such natural authority and wise but warm old men sass onscreen that playing God in the comedy Bruce Almighty wasn't even a stretch but a light bulb "of course it's Freeman!" moment. So it's a little startling to remember or discover that his first of five Oscar nominations -- he's the most celebrated black actor in Oscar history outside of Denzel Washington -- and indeed his breakthrough in cinema does not fit the Morgan Freeman mold in virtually any way. 

This ho said you wanted to meet me so here I am. 

No, Morgan Freeman's original claim to big screen fame was as a vicious pimp named "Fast Black" in a largely forgotten journalist-plays-with-fire drama called Street Smart (1987). [More...]

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Friday
Feb202015

Black History Month: Do The Right Thing (1989)

Our Black History Month celebration (through an Oscar lens) continues with Matthew Eng on Do The Right Thing's Screenplay

Whenever I think about Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, and I’ve thought about it with depressing frequency this past year as I’m sure many cinephiles and non-cinephiles alike have, I often think about one of two things. One is inarguably the greatest opening credits sequence of all time because it’s still such a resilient, red-hot act of hip-hop aggression and because the under-heralded national treasure that is Rosie Perez is never too far from my mind.

The second is a tiny, wordless connection that plays out at the end of a mid-film scene between Ossie Davis’ elderly, self-appointed voice of the community Da Mayor and Christa Rivers’ Ella, the lone girl within the comedic teenage foursome that we see running around throughout the course of the movie. 
In the scene, Ella’s friend Ahmad (Steve White) has just lambasted Da Mayor for daring to criticize the behavior of he and his friends since he himself is a drunk and irresponsible vagrant whose infamous reputation is old news within their Bed-Stuy neighborhood. 

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Wednesday
Feb182015

Black History Month: Endless Love (1981)

I know what you're thinking. You're working out some variation of "how perverse to feature a lily white teenage romance for a Black History Month feature!"... and I get it. But let's travel back to 1981 together anyway and I'll explain.

The Italian auteur Franco Zeffirelli had found great success in America directing Romeo and Juliet (1968) which became both a populist hit and an Oscar magnet finishing in the year's top five at the box office and in the Best Picture shortlist. A dozen or so years later Zeffirelli took another stab (pun intended) at the zeitgeist with a similar if much cruder tale of an ill advised tempestuous and horny teenage affair. Endless Love was critically panned (multiple Razzie nominations) though it managed to be a hit if not quite a blockbuster. Its eponymous Best Original Song nominee "Endless Love" by Lionel Richie on the other hand was a monster...

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Wednesday
Feb182015

So Nice, She's Been Nominated Twice: Isabelle Adjani

abstew here. With her second nomination for Two Days, One Night, Marion Cotillard joins a small but prestigious group of actresses that received both their Best Actress nominations for foreign language performances. We previously discussed Sophia Loren and Liv Ullmann so let's close out the series with French cinematic royalty... 

Isabelle Adjani
after the jump 

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Thursday
Nov062014

A Year with Kate: On Golden Pond (1981)

Episode 45 of 52: In which Katharine Hepburn makes Oscars history by asserting that old people are interesting.

I’ll be honest: I’ve been really nervous to write about this movie. For the past few weeks, a storm has been brewing in the comments section regarding Kate’s final Oscar win. I’m not one to (intentionally) court controversy, so I’ve been debating all week how to best give a safe space to the righteous fury of the Oscars experts while also celebrating an important moment in Oscars history. Because whether you believe Kate deserved to win or not, this was a record-breaking win at the Academy Awards, and that shouldn’t go unappreciated.

Here’s my plan: we’ll speculate wildly for a bit on why Kate took home her fourth Academy Award (by “took home” I mean “still refused to accept in person”). Then you tell me who you think should have won. What follows is my list of...

POSSIBLE REASONS WHY KATHARINE HEPBURN WON BEST ACTRESS (in order from least likely to most)

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Friday
Oct312014

The Honoraries: Harry Belafonte, Beetlejuice (1988)... and Selma (2014)?

In our miniseries "The Honoraries" we're celebrating the four talents that'll be honored by the Academy at the Governor's Awards this year. Here's Nathaniel...

Or, rather, here's soon to be Jean Hersholt Humanitarian winner Harry Belafonte's immeasurable contribution to Tim Burton's Beetlejuice (1988) - included below since it seemed appropriate for Halloween. When I was a kid these Belafonte songs weren't new to me since my parents had a few of his records but I imagine for a whole swath of young moviegoers in the 1980s this was quite an introduction. Two of the movie's key scenes were basically handed over to his joyful voice and catchy songs.

"Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)" was originally from Harry Belafonte's "Calypso" album, his third, in 1956. The song was a top five hit but the album was an even bigger sensation spending over half a year as the #1 selling LP in the country. "Jump in the Line" the Belafonte number that closes the film through Noni's floating dance was a cover recorded for his 1961 album "Jump Up Calypso".

Beetlejuice (1988) and political activism after the jump...

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