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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 Scandinavia (39)

Wednesday
Jul302014

Bergman's Ghosts

This is TFE's late entry into the Hit Me With Your Best Shot gallery of Cries and Whisper's finest moments

Ingmar Bergman will never die. We need not be literal about this. Yes, the great Swedish auteur passed on in 2007 but his rich inimitable* filmography is not of the corporeal so much as its of the spirit (however despairing) or at least the deep recesses of the psyche, if you'd care to differentiate. In collaboration with fellow geniuses cinematographer Sven Nykvist and actress Liv Ullman he captured many of the greatest close-ups in the whole of cinematic history. In a Bergman/Nykvist/Ullman close-up it's not the eyes that are the window to the soul so much as the face as the soul, fully visible even when its bathed in shadow. 

Yet even revealed it's still unknowable. 

best shot

When I first saw Cries and Whispers in college while pursuing my own self-guided lessons in film history, I was astonished by the film's signature move. Each of the  three "living" characters, if you can call them that, the sisters Maria (Liv Ullman) and Karin (Ingrid Thulin) and the family's housekeeper Anna (Kari Sylwan) are given bookend close-ups. These closeups house memories or dreams or scenes from their point of view. The closeups fade to red and are accompanied by indecipherable whispering. The impression isn't as simple as a haunting; Agnes (Harriest Anderson), who isn't afforded this expressive close-up luxury is still alive when this first starts happening. This unfathomably perfect artistic motif has already removed the film from the literal by the time Agnes dies at which point the film becomes even more incredible, disturbing and profound. What is haunting these women? Any answer feels correct whether you've imagined regrets, the abyss of death, life itself, or the living nightmare of toxic relationships.

See everyone else's choices for "Best Shot" here...

For completists of if you're curious I've included the two runner up shots I considered as "Best" after the jump

Click to read more ...

Friday
Mar212014

Posterized: Lars von Trier

Denmark's most important and most self important troublemaker Lars von Trier is back with the two-part Nymphomaniac. Charlotte Gainsbourg stars as the title character and recounts her lifelong sexcapades. Is there really 5 hours of story to tell? Or is it just hard to edit yourself when you're doing something vignette style? And how do we count this in his filmography anyway... as one or two films?

Is it really one film delivered at two separate chunks or two separate films? Not that Von Trier's filmography is easy to parse in the usual way, making posterized a bit more challenging. [more...]

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jan262014

Sundance: Blind, a Playful Stunner From Norway

From the Sundance Film Festival here's Nathaniel on "Blind" which won the World Cinema screenwriting prize...

Excuse me while I leap forward 11 months and give Blind the  gold medal for "Best Opening Scene" of 2014. This highly original Norwegian film begins with a visualization exercize. Ingrid (Ellen Dorrit Petersen), a married blind woman, is detailing her recent loss of sight. She's trying to remember what things looked like and has been warned that with no new visual stimuli from the optic nerves, her memoires of sight will fade. She'd like to keep the images for as long as she possibly can. She visualizes a tree, her apartment, a park, a dog. It's a German Shepherd to be precise - a morbidly funny choice given their status as the original seeing eye dogs.

Once the dog is visualized in a park, the background vanishes leaving only the panting dog on a blank canvas, as if it's posing in a photographer's studio. Ingrid visualizations a shopping center she likes and just before this intriguing prologue ends we see the dog again, barking forcefully in a window. But we don't hear it. Ingrid and director Eskil Vogt have unexpectedly robbed us of one of our other senses to close out this playful series of images. [more...]

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec162013

Linkomaniac

Pajiba Frozen/Star Wars poster mashup
Total Film
now that the Weinsteins have access to their Miramax back-catalogue expect sequels. Shakespeare in Love 2 is coming at you (no, this is not a satirical Onion style post)
Variety Disney is planning a Jesse Owens biopic centered around the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Rich subject though it will obviously be easy to slide into pandering "inspirational"
/Film
at press conference James Cameron compares his Avatar sequels to The Godfather trilogy. Oh Jimmy. I love you more than just about anyone but less talking (you're no good at it!) and more filmmaking (you're great at it!)
Cinema Blend
first teaser for Gregg Araki's White Bird in a Blizzard with Eva Green and Shailene Woodley
In Contention Kris Tapley's top ten list featuring Mud, All is Lost, The Place Beyond the Pines and more

small screen and miscellania
Towleroad first images from Ryan Murphy's adaptation of The Normal Heart
Slate
on the big problem with Masters of Sex. I absolutely agree with this but for me the show is great enough to overcome it... which is saying a lot since Bill Masters (Michael Sheen) is the lead
BuzzFeed 24 reasons why Cher is the Queen of Twitter 

Today's Best Movie Anything!
God bless Screen Daily for uncovering this gem...

In a week when American film critics organization have been tripping over each other to bestow awardage which, even when thoughtful can feel totally boring, a Danish Film Critics group have shown the world how it's done. They've mocked themselves up in character posters a la Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac to promote their awards (on February 1st) - note their outlet instead of character name on the posters. Nymphomaniac will be eligible for their prizes since it opens for Christmas in Denmark. This makes me want to read every single damn one of these critics weekly so a job well done!

Saturday
Nov232013

Live Action Short Finalists

One of the most confounding things about following the non-marquee categories at the Oscars is that not every category operates by the same rules. For example they released the super long eligibility list for Best Documentary Feature but not the super long eligibility lists for the live action shorts. To further complicate matters, this doesn't seem to be the same strategy each year.

Tim recently shared the finalist list for Best Animated Short nominations and now we have the ten Live Action hopefuls from which Academy members will nominate three to five. I personally hate it when categories have a fluctuating amount of nominees. Commit AMPAS! There's no excuse for it really in short films since there are thousands made each year and certainly at least 5 of them would have to be great.

10 FINALISTS FOR BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT

Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me) Esteban Crespo (Producciones Africanauan)
The always heartwarming topic of child soldiers. I honestly can't deal with these films and is it just my imagination or is there one on this topic every year in the shorts categories? It's just too overwhelmingly tragic for me.

Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just before Losing Everything) Xavier Legrand (KG Productions)
a woman and her kids, who have pretended to go to school, are in a desperate rush. But to where and from what?

Dva (Two) Mickey Nedimovic (Filoufilm Dani Barsch)
A Serb and a Croat step on a landmine simultaneously as they attempt to kill each other and realize their lives are now intertwined. I don't know how you sustain that for nearly half an hour but maybe they can!

Helium Anders Walter (M & M Productions)
A sick boy in Denmark hears magical stories from a hospital janitor 

Kush Shubhashish Bhutiani, director (Red Carpet Moving Pictures) 
a teacher protects her sikh student from riots on a field trip 


Pitaako Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?) Selma Vilhunen (Tuffi Films)
A comedy about a family who wakes up late on the morning of a wedding 

 

RECORD/PLAY from jesse atlas on Vimeo.

 

Record/Play Jesse Atlas (Collaboration Factory) - complete film embedded above
For what it's worth, Focus Features is planning to adapt this sci-fi tinged short about a mysterious walkman that can transport you to the recording into a feature length film.


Throat Song Miranda de Pencier (Northwood Productions)
This one is about an Inuit woman with an abusive husband and a circle of supportive friends she finds.
 

Tiger Boy - Official Trailer [HD] from goon films on Vimeo.

 

Tiger Boy Gabriele Mainetti (Goon Films)
a young boy won't take his favorite wrestler's mask off. 


The Voorman Problem Mark Gill (Honlodge Productions)
Martin Freeman stars as a man interviewing a prisoner (Tom Hollander) who claims to be God

WHICH DO YOU THINK HAVE THE BEST SHOT? 

UPDATED CHART
Best Shorts, Animated Feature, and Documentaries