Film Bitch History
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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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Directors of For Sama

Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Wanuri Kahiu (Rafiki)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

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Entries in Rush (5)


Podcast: Awards Week Blowout Special

Nathaniel is back from his Iceland trip and going regional with JoeNick, and Katey for a one hour discussion of the barrage of film critics prizes from New York, Detroit, Boston and San Diego. And another thing: are LA's "ties" okay with this panel? 

Afterwards we pick on the Screen Actors Guild and their bizarre All is Lost joke (no Redford in actor but a stunt ensemble nomination when there's only one character and Redford did his own stunts?!)  and the team splits on the quality of Rush, recently resurgent thanks to SAG. Then we're on to the  Golden Globes for a discussion of the troublesome Comedy/Drama divide (read Joe's article for context) and we pick the best and worst of their nominees.

Also discussed: Jennifer Lawrence's backlash, Greta Gerwig's surprise, Forest Whitaker's acting, Leonardo DiCaprio's elusiveness, 12 Years a Slave's power, Philomena's luck, Dallas Buyers Club's ensemble, Wolf of Wall Street's editing, and Fruitvale Station's potential.

You can listen here or download the conversation on iTunes

Awards Week Blowout


Shutdown Movie-Thon (Week One!)

Reader Takeover Day! The Reader Spotlight is coming back soon but as a special triple treat a few posts over the next 24 hours written by you, the reader. (Well, not you literally). Here is Lynn Lee -- previously reader spotlighted so you'll want to check that out -- who is currently on a tv/movie binge while on furlough.- Nathaniel

 Lynn here, taking Nathaniel up on his kind invitation to recount the...

"Filmgoing Adventures of a Furloughed Federal Employee"

There's no question the ongoing federal government shutdown is a disaster for this country, and it's affected federal workers more directly than most. A good chunk of us, including yours truly, have been indefinitely furloughed. Those who think this just means extra vacation time clearly don't understand that (1) most of us *want* to be at work, but it's against the law for us to work and (2) we currently aren't getting paid! There's not much we can do, though, other than find ways to pass the time.

For those of us more fortunate furloughed feds who aren't dealing with more pressing concerns, the main question each morning has been "What do I do today?"

In my case, the default answer is a no-brainer: go to the movies!  These past couple of weeks I’ve trekked to movie theaters of all sizes and stripes all over the D.C. area, and seen some of the best films I’ve seen all year—at least two of which I’d have missed otherwise.  So for me there’s definitely been a bright side to my forced idleness.

DAY 1: The only day of the shutdown I was “excepted,” i.e., required to work, so no movies for me today.  Unless you count the imaginary reenactment of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, with me in the Jimmy Stewart role, playing in my mind.  Not that an epic filibuster would do anyone any good in the current situation.

DAY 2: My first furlough day!  What better way to spend it than to watch Thor race cars against Frederik Zoller?  I head out to my favorite movie theater in northern Virginia to see Rush, Ron Howard’s flick about the 1970s rivalry between two Formula One drivers, British daredevil James Hunt and hyper-focused Austrian Niki Lauda.  Solid entertainment, and Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl are good foils, even if the script overplays the contrast between Hunt’s impulsive, hedonistic recklessness and Lauda’s relentlessly austere, Germanic precision.  Best line of the movie, from Lauda:

Happiness is the enemy.” 

Oh those Austrians. 

DAYS 3-4: No movies, but a discussion with my boyfriend about whether to see Gravity in 2D or 3D.  Although I normally hate 3D, this seems to be one of the few movies that really should be seen that way.  But boyfriend hates putting on those clunky 3D glasses over his glasses, so I do not insist – especially since I’m skeptical that any movie “needs” to be seen in 3D.  This decision will come back to haunt me in the days to come…

DAY 5: …though not on the day we actually see Gravity, which is still beautiful and harrowing and impressive in 2D.  Not quite transcendent; I find the score a bit overbearing, and can’t help wondering if George Clooney would be so cool and humorous under pressure in real life.  Probably not under that kind of pressure, I decide; Sandra Bullock, on the other hand, reacted more like I’d expect Sandra Bullock would.  Also decide that I would never under any circumstances want to be an astronaut.  But I already knew that since childhood, when everyone but me wanted to go to Space Camp.    

DAYS 6-7: No movies in theaters, though I discover that everyone in the world has apparently seen Gravity, too – and seen it in 3D.  And people are raving about how “immersive” it was!  I begin to worry that I’ve made a terrible mistake.  



Percussion. Strings. Winds. Links

For Musical Nerds
BuzzFeed definite proof that The Little Mermaid's Prince Eric was a homo 
The Exploding Kinetoscope best words I've ever read about Judy Garland's For Me and My Gal
Pajiba more of those new photos from Into the Woods

Sillof's Workshop look at these AMAZING custom toys, If Dr Seuss wrote Jurassic Park
Grantland Mark Harris joins me in my eternally losing war against Category Fraud (this time with Daniel Brühl in Rush) and talks Enough Said, too 

The Film Doctor five notes on Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring, now on DVD
L Magazine see, I'm not the only one that thinks Cuarón's Gravity is a disappointment!
/Film wait they're making Fargo into a TV series and it's the William H Macy role that's the lead? Don't they know that people loved that movie because of Chief Marge Gunderson?

Finally, MNPP reminded us that we can all get our Alexander Skarsgard loincloth dreams back on since his Tarzan flick is no longer (apparently) in development hell. Word is that Christoph Waltz is the villain now. Many will greet this as very good news but this makes me sad. It's not that Waltz isn't a good actor but remember how lame it was the last time he was a threat to pachyderms?

Who wants to go back to there? I do not. And I even kinda liked that movie more than most but Waltz was not the why. How about a few more surprises in casting, Hollywood? Aren't there literally a hundred famous actors in Waltz's age range that might be a fun curveball as the villain? But instead we're going to get somebody who already abused elephants. (sigh)


TIFF: More Than a Head Rush

David reporting from TIFF in spirit though I'm an ocean away in person. Ron Howard's Rush premiered at the festival last night, but I got a sneak peek on my own shores so Nat didn't have to. Turns out, he might want to anyway...

Motor racing is a peculiar sport. Dangerous (formerly deadly even), impulsive and isolated, it’s often more about the beauty of the machines than the drivers for fans. Seeing the flash of the sleek cars go past is about all spectators actually present will do – the whole picture can only come across on screen. It’s less a sport than a spectacle.

Brühl & Howard on the setThis is what makes it, perhaps, an ideal subject for cinema, although it’s been far less exploited than most sports have over the past sixty years. Senna, Asif Kapadia’s 2010 documentary, thrillingly reproduced the story of its eponymous driver from archive footage, focusing particularly on his rivalry with fellow driver Alain Prost. It’s a similar competitive rivalry that drives Ron Howard’s latest blockbuster, the rather obviously titled Rush, which rewinds the F1 clock a little further to the 1970s. [more...]

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"Yes, No, Maybe So" x 4: Elysium, Filth, Rush, Romeo

The trailers have been flying at us so quickly these days that it could only mean one thing: summer movie season approacheth. All the late summer would be blockbusters and early fall Oscar contenders are waiting to spring from their respective buzz gates.

Left to Right: Brühl in "Rush", Damon in "Elysium", McAvoy in "Filth", Booth in "Romeo and Juliet"

So with so many newbies we'll just get them all out of the way after the jump with a look at the new Romeo and Juliet, the sports bio Rush, the depraved Filth with James McAvoy, and Neil Blomkamp's Elysium, his eagerly awaited sophomore effort post stunner-debut District 9. Ready. Set. Go...

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