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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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Mad Men Returns - The Premiere

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Entries in RIP (74)

Wednesday
Mar112015

Richard Glatzer, Co-Director of Still Alice (1952-2015)

Wash Westmoreland & Richard Glatzer. I believe this photo is from around the time of The Fluffer (2001)

Just two minutes after the last post, coincidentally about Still Alice but meant to be a random amusement, I read that Richard Glatzer the co-writer and co-director had died. He had been struggling with ALS for the past few years. If you'll excuse me getting a little sentimental, I'd like to tell you my personal story about him as a way of working through my sadness today.

I can't recall the exact circumstances of our meeting but just after I had moved to New York City in 1999, we began to talk over e-mail. He was quite literally my first online friend who was actually working in movies and television around the time I was trying to launch The Film Experience. If I remember correctly our online friendship was prompted by an interview I had done with Jackie Beat, my all time favorite drag queen, for my print zine (before the website). She had worked with Richard on his first film, the underseen gay indie dramedy Grief (1993). More...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Mar082015

I Really Really Really Really Really Really Link You

Vanity Fair documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles (Grey Gardens) has died at 88
MNPP Have you ever noticed that a skull flashes in Gaston's eyes when he falls to his death? Jason on Beauty & The Beast (1991)
Theater Mania Helen Mirren returns to Broadway in her Oscar winning role... albeit for a different property, a play called "The Audience"
Comics Alliance AMC is offering a $65 Marvel movie marathon to celebrate the opening of The Avengers: Age of Ultron. It's  29 hours of movie in one sitting from Iron Man (2008) through Ultron (2015). This sounds exhausting. Thing of all the floating objects in skies you'll see exploding every couple of hours as climax


Interview talks to Oscar winner John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) on his new project American Crime
Jared Leto cut his hair, shaved his eyebrows, and dyed the rest platinum blonde -- it's very return to Fight Club all told
Coming Soon looks back at the actresses originally considered for the new Cinderella from Emma Watson to Alicia Vikander and everywhere in between. (Lily James from Downton Abbey eventually landed the role)
Variety - see! TFE isn't the only place still handing out awards for the 2014 film year. The Location Managers Guild of America just gave Wild & The Grand Budapest Hotel prizes 
The Cut the milliner who gave us Indiana Jones's fedora and other movie hats is going bankrupt 
Kenneth in the (212) an update on that petition to pardon 49,000 men who were victimized by the same laws as The Imitation Game's Alan Turing
MNPP [NSFW] the marketing department went to the expense of computer generating underwear for naked Dave Franco for the Unfinished Business trailer.
Boy Culture centerfold turned director Dirk Shafer (Man of the Year, Circuit) found dead at 52 

Today's Must Watch
Tom Hanks lip synchs for his life with Carly Rae Jepsen's "I Really Like You". Adorable.

Thursday
Mar052015

Link Long and Prosper

In the blog explosion that is Oscar night (both build up to and come down from) we end up missing LOTS of stories. Like saying goodbye to Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015) better known as Mr Spock. So let's kick off today's collection of news, casting notices, and randomness with the Vulcan 

RIP
NY Times on Leonard Nimoy's career which extended well beyond Spock. 
Space astronauts say goodbye from space 
R Michelson Galleries several collections of Nimoy's photography, he favored black and white nudes, are featured here 

News & Miscellania
Guardian thinks the blockbuster genre is in trouble in 3...2...1...
Blackbook Oscar Isaac breaks out some dance moves in Ex Machina -- which makes me so sad that he has no interest whatsoever in musicals
TFE ...which he told me in our interview here. 
Vanity Fair Bobby Finger synopsis future installments of the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. This franchise will live forever!
Playbill Bruce Willis and Elizabeth Marvel taking the James Caan and Kathy Bates roles for Misery on the Broadway stage. Good luck with that
In Contention Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Snowden
EW Diablo Cody to pen a live action Barbie movie. I could see that working as a comedy. But did Toy Story 3 say all there was to say?
Coming Soon Ridley Scott's company developing a franchise for Flashman based on a novel about a Victorian soldier. Scott is 77 and his list of upcoming projects is insane - how long is he planning to live exactly?
Deadline shares a list of the top "actors" on social media. This is why we can't have nice things
i09 will Battle Cat in the He-Man movie look like this?  I forgot there was a He-Man movie coming. Can "Dom" from Looking star in it? He was modelling those looks already.

More Miscellania
Film Otaku now that two of the self-proclaimed 'Three Amigos!' have won Best Director will the third, Guillermo del Toro, be next?
Awards Daily will we see Sir Ian McKellen get a best actor shot with Mr. Holmes
Queerty oops. Russell Tovey (Being Human, Looking) is putting his foot in his mouth about "masculinity" 
HuffPost Gay Voices Noah Michelson writes a passionate personal response. A Must Read.
The Buckley Bulletin goes deep on A Place in the Sun. This is an old essay but if you love that movie it's a must-read. I had a really fun conversation about that George Stevens classic yesterday on Twitter 

Ahhhh
Hugh Jackman from Instagram this morning. Which begs the question of how often he gets one. 

 

Like that's going to happen!

A photo posted by Hugh Jackman (@thehughjackman) on Mar 5, 2015 at 3:46am PST

 

 

Tuesday
Dec302014

Luise Rainer (1910-2014)

Luise Rainer, Oscar's first back-to-back Acting winner for The Great Ziegfeld (1936) and The Good Earth (1937) was, for the past handful of years, perhaps better known for outliving everyone than for her brief movie stardom. She was just two weeks shy of her 105th birthday when she passed away early this morning of pneumonia. She is survived by her daughter and two granddaughters.

She was recently name-checked not so flatteringly in the Hollywood bio Hitchcock (2012) but the actress, still very much alive at the time, could surely roll with it. The outspoken import lived through tumultuous times, beginning her acting career on the German stage and screen before fleeing as Hitler consolidated power (she was Jewish) and then being sold to the American public as "The Viennesse Teardrop" because German wouldn't do back then. She quickly becoming a star while briefly marrying (unhappily) the playwright Cliff Odets who had several tumultuous affairs with famous actresses (as portrayed in Frances, 1982).

The outspoken diva was very vocal about what she thought of Hollywood, her unsatisfying career, and "The Oscar Curse" which she doesn't believe in though she admits that the back-to-back Oscars weren't at all helpful. The adulation prompted Hollywood to just throw her into anything, with no worries of miscasting or her own creative satisfaction.

Her career ended as swiftly as it began as she fought with the powers that be for more choice in her films. Soon she left Hollywood for New York and then London where she settled for good. 

I had a seven-year contract that I broke and went away. I was a machine, practically, a tool in a big, big factory, and I could not do anything. I wanted to film Madame Curie, but Mayer forbade me. I wanted to do For Whom the Bell Tolls, but Selznick took Ingrid Bergman and brought her to Hemingway and I didn't know Hemingway. And so I left. I just went away. I fled; yes, I fled."

She flew away to, by all reports, a happier life outside the spotlight. Her remarkable longevity and semi-regular all smiles appearances over the years suggests that she enjoyed it. 

Monday
Dec222014

Monday Monologue: Henry II's Eulogy

Anne Marie here to celebrate the holiday with a furious monologue from my favorite Christmas movie. "Christmas movie" is a terrible description for Anthony Harvey's 1968 film The Lion in Winter, though it is technically correct. This is a political thriller of one very long Christmas night between Henry II of England (Peter O’Toole), his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine (Katharine Hepburn), and their three conniving sons as they battle over who will be the next King of England.

And you thought your family was dysfunctional.

While we've written extensively about Katharine Hepburn's Oscar-winning performance in The Lion in Winter, this Monologue Monday before Christmas I'd like to shine the spotlight on Peter O'Toole's underawarded performance as the manic, magnificent Henry II of England. The movie is filled with great dialog for the Irishman to chew on, but O'Toole's best (or biggest) moment comes midway through the film, after a midnight meeting with the King of France.

A eulogy for a king after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov242014

Beauty vs Beast: Guests Gotten, Hosts Humped

Howdy folks, it's Jason from MNPP here with a brand new round of "Beauty Vs Beast" and a brand new chance to pit the sorta-good against the sorta-bad, or the sorta in-between, and for us to choose our side with due diligence (at least with enough enough energy to click one way or the opposite). It was a slow creep realization when Mike Nichols died last week, what we'd lost - I'm not a Broadway person and as of late that's what I'd associated him with, so it was only once I started skimming back through his filmography, and once I read wonderful tributes like Nat's here, that my brain clicked into place that "Why yes, Jason, you've loved and been affected by a ton of this man's work for your entire life, duh." And so I've found myself going back and re-watching things I hadn't seen in many years - Working Girl (Sigourney MVP!) and Silkwood (probably my favorite Nichols film) and then today's piping hot dish of husband-wife combat for the ages...

 

 

If you're here in the US you'll probably spend sometime this week giving thanks to the turkey and stuffing for all the good stuff in your life, and I wouldn't blame anybody who placed these two performances on their Good Stuff Lists. Personally I'm Team George because 1) I've never been much of a Burton fan but I think he's phenomonal in this movie, and 2) I see way too much of myself in Martha, and that's the sort of thing you reflexively snap your eyes away from. You have one week to vote!

PREVIOUSLY Checking back in on the gorgeous ladies of 1870s society, last week's Age-of-Innocence Off ultimately sided with the poor unfortunate soul Countess Olenska (Michelle Pfieffer) over wily Winona's little Miss May; we do love a wounded bird. Said Murtada:

"Countess Olenska was way ahead of her time, a pioneer against vicious social mores. And she endured a false life despite getting a glimpse of a real one. Hasn't she suffered enough? She gets my vote."

Thursday
Nov202014

Mike Nichols (1931-2014)

Elaine May & Mike Nichols in the 50s"The Great Work begins..." that's a line from Angels in America but someone should've said it in the 1950s when one of the greatest figures in modern showbusiness began his career on Chicago stages as a university student. Mike Nichols, who died yesterday at 83, first gained fame as half of a celebrated comic duo "Nichols & May" with actress/director Elaine May but comedy sketches were only the beginning. He'd eventually conquer all realms of showbusiness winning a Grammy with May for a comedy album in 1961, the first of several Tony Awards for directing Barefoot in the Park on Broadway (1964), an Oscar for directing The Graduate (1967) which was only his second film, and in the last decade of his career, two Emmys for television triumphs with Wit and the aforementioned Angels.

Because I came of age in the 1980s, the Nichols collaboration that defined the director for me was with Meryl Streep who he directed four times for the camera. They were both Oscar winners before their first duet Silkwood (1983) which is, not coincidentally, my favorite Streep performance. Streep was worshipped and mythologized very early in her career but he brought her down to earth while still helping her ascend. Under his his guidance she was instantly more earthy and relatable, less the iconic mannered star than a goddamn amazing (and relaxed) genius of the craft. They made two more feature films together within a decade's span (Heartburn, Postcards from the Edge).

Gene Hackman as a director and Meryl Streep as an actress in Postcards from the Edge (1990)

In fact, whenever I watch Postcardsand marvel at that beautiful scene between director and actress that marks its emotional pivot point, it's easy to imagine Gene Hackman's patient benevolent director as the Nichols stand-in with Meryl representing for all actors struggling with inner demons, doubting their gift, or struggling with a particular performance. It's easy to imagine because Nichols was particularly great with actors directing several of them -- not just Streep -- to their all time best work.

As if aware that he directed three of Streep's least glamorous acting triumphs, his last gift to her was Angels in America (2003) in which they left the ground and transcended into the ghostly, the spiritual... the ecstatic.

Ectastic. That's a good work for his great work. Nichols left us with 22 films, three of which are largely undisputed masterpieces (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Graduate, Angels in America), many of which are exemplary and perhaps still undervalued classics of their particular genres (Gilda Live, Silkwood, Postcards from the Edge) or just, you know, extremely popular entertainments (Working Girl, The Birdcage). Through it all, though this is not often true of mainstream-embraced prestigious entertainers, he rarely forgot the zeitgeist-capturing envelope-pushing us his handful of first films from Woolf through Carnal Knowledge and was still pushing movie stars into transcendence with newly revealing, riskier emotional terrain almost until the very end (Wit, Angels in America, Closer).

He will be missed but his work has more than earned its immortality.