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Entries in Team Experience (140)

Thursday
Aug232018

West Side Story, Pt 2: I Feel Pretty in America

 Team Experience is passing West Side Story around in honor of Leonard Bernstein's Centennial

In part one Lynn brought us through the first 50 spectacular minutes of West Side Story, tossing the baton to me exactly at one of the film’s highlights, "America" where Anita (Oscar-winning Rita Moreno) and Bernardo (Oscar-winning George Chakiris have begun to argue about their lives and opportunities as immigrants... 

Part 2 by Eric Blume

50:32 The first thing you should note about the transition from the first refrain to the full number is a lovely piece of blocking where everyone rearranges themselves for a slightly different tableau, while the camera remains blessedly static. Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, co-directing, had great filmmakers instincts for when to keep something “theatrical” (in this case, proscenium with a change in blocking) and when to do something “cinematic” (e.g., cutting, which they do throughout this number mostly to highlight individual performance lines).

Quite simply, there are few dance numbers in cinema equal to “America”...

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Wednesday
Aug222018

West Side Story, Pt 1: Something's Coming at the Dance 

Three-Part Mini-Series
Occasionally we'll take a movie and baton pass it around the team. If you missed past installments we've gone long and deep on Rebecca (1940), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966),  Rosemary's Baby (1968), Cabaret (1972), Silence of the Lambs (1991), Thelma & Louise (1991), and A League of Their Own (1992). 

Team Experience is proud to present a three-part retrospective of Leonard Bernstein's masterpiece West Side Story (1961) to honor the composer's centennial. West Side Story premiered on Broadway in September 1957 (though a success, it lost the Best Musical prize to a bigger Broadway hit, The Music Man). Four years later in October 1961 the film version opened in movie theaters, becoming the the top-grossing film of its year, winning 10 Oscars and cementing the musical's place in the cultural consciousness forever.

Part 1 by Lynn Lee

There’s something about West Side Story that inspires obsession.  Blending high concept drama and musical theater at its very best, this classic American love story balances delicately between delirious romance and sharp-edged realism until the two collide in a tragedy so gutting it still reduces me to a puddle. What’s more, it’s all transferred so seamlessly to the screen, I’ve yet to see a stage production that equals the power of the film. What’s not to obsess about... 

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Friday
Aug032018

Cabaret Pt 3: 'From cradle to tomb...'

Occasionally Team Experience will take a classic movie and pass it around for a deep dive. This week Cabaret (1972) which is currently streaming on Filmstruck. But if you're in NYC don't miss your chance to see it in an actual movie theater at the newly renovated gorgeous Quad Cinema.

In Part One, Nathaniel investigated the way the musical's major players are introduced at the cliff end of the Weimar Era in Germany.

In Part Two, Dancin' Dan watched as two couples (Brian & Sally, Fritz & Natalia) fell in love and lust and into "money!". It makes the world go round. When we left off, Brian and Sally's new lover, a rich baron, has taken Brian out to lunch when a song interrupts their not-so-innocent idyll. - Editor

Part 3 by Chris Feil

1:18:16 - Out of nowhere, we hear a tenor breaking into the nationalist anthem “Tomorrow Belongs to Me”. We pan from his angelic face to see his Nazi uniform, realizing we've fallen into a musical number that is about to be a harsh reality in more ways than one.

It matters that “Tomorrow Belongs to Me” is a very different kind of song than what we have been given thus far, and the only number outside of the cabaret. Entirely without nuance, a straight-shooting melody that purposefully tries to pull you into its grip as we watch in horror while its grim subtext shows itself...

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Thursday
Aug022018

Cabaret Pt 2: 'It makes the world go 'round'

Occasionally Team Experience will take a classic movie and pass it around for a deep dive. Cabaret is showing onscreen this weekend at The Quad. Don't miss your chance to see it in an actual movie theater if you're in NYC.

In Part One of our tag team look at Cabaret (1972 being our 'year of the month'), Nathaniel investigated the way director/choreographer Bob Fosse introduced the musical's three major players at the cliff end of the Weimar Era in Germany. He also touched on Liza Minnelli's physical expressiveness in creating one of the most memorable protagonists of all time. When we left off, Fritz and Sally had just forced themselves into their friend Brian's English lessons for a Jewish heiress. Here's Dancin' Dan with Part Two of our Cabaret roundelay - Editor

Part 2 by Dancin' Dan

34:45 "Bobby! A Landauer. In my house!" I love the little glimpses we get of the other residents of the boarding house. In the stage show, Fräulein Schneider is much more fleshed out and has some truly lovely moments. I can't say I miss it entirely in this film, but I still love seeing them.

35:00 Meine damen und herren, the most awkward tea party EVER. There are so many great moments in this scene, from Fritz pulling his jacket down to hide his fraying shirtsleeves to Marissa Berenson's accidental double entendres as Natalia ("This was a cold of the bosom, not of the nose." "Ze plegma? Zat comes in der tubes?"), which are even more cringe-worthy since she is so beautiful and nearly regal in her bearing. And the sass she gives Brian when he can't explain the spelling of "phlegm" is delightful!

36:30 Sally is VERY unimpressed with Fritz's overeager laughter at Natalia's jokes...

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Wednesday
Aug012018

Cabaret Pt 1: 'You have to understand the way I am, mein herr.'

Three-Part Mini-Series
Occasionally we'll take a movie and baton pass it around the team and really dive in. If you missed past installments we've gone long and deep on Rebecca (1940), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966),  Rosemary's Baby (1968), Silence of the Lambs (1991), Thelma & Louise (1991), and A League of Their Own (1992). Now... Bob Fosse's Cabaret (1972) which is showing this weekend at the Quad Cinema in NYC - Editor

Team Experience is proud to present a three-part retrospective deep dive into Bob Fosse's Cabaret (1972), winner of 8 Oscars, and one of the most singular films ever made. Though it takes place on a stage it's entirely cinematic in a way many film musicals --even the ones that don't involve actual stages -- ever even think to be.

Part 1 by Nathaniel R

00:01 Cabaret begins in total silence with white text credits on a black screen. Countless movies begin this way, but not musicals. There is no bright and colorful title card, no overture to prep you for its famous song score. Cabaret takes place at the dead end of the Weimar era in Germany, and emerged onscreen at the dead end of the musical genre's dominance of movie culture. This is not lost on the genius dancer/choreographer turned film director Bob Fosse, who throws us immediately into a dark and dingy underworld... as if we've already eaten pomegranate seeds and sealed our fate...

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Wednesday
Jan242018

The Joyful Nominations. Which were yours?

by Nathaniel R

img srcIt's part two of our Team Experience Oscar Nomination response... and then we can move on to both Oscar chart fun and back to cinema proper. The latter some of you will surely be itching for if you're not all-the-way obsessed with Oscar minutiae.

This morning we shed final tears for the snubs and now, the nominations that brought us the most joy in the acting categories and elsewhere.

WHICH (NON-ACTING) NOMINATION GAVE YOU THE MOST JOY?

CHRIS FEIL: Agnès Varda is finally a competitive Oscar nominee, which is doubly rewarding considering Faces Places will likely be her final film. (We love you too, JR.) With Jane out of the way she may even be the frontrunner, giving her Honorary Oscar a friend on its shelf - a lovely thought considering Faces Places is partly an ode to partnership.

GLENN DUNKS: Rachel Morrison becoming the first nominated woman in Achievement in Cinematography is pretty great and a major win for Netflix considering most people would have seen it on their smaller screens...

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