NOW PLAYING

latest reviews  

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) B+/A-
Nymphomaniac (2014) B-
Divergent (2014) C
Enemy (2014) B/B+

review index

HOT TOPICS


Welcome

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. "Like it" on facebook!

 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

Powered by Squarespace
Comment Fun

COMMENT(s) DU JOUR
Happy Easter ~ Complete the Sentence...

My favorite Bible movie is _____  

❝...PRINCE OF EGYPT because it's absolutely beautiful and emotionally powerful.❞ - reuben

 ...NIGHT OF THE HUNTER. because no one thumped a bible like Robert Mitchum❞ - henry

 ...THE EXORCIST because the power of Christ compels me...❞ - cinemunch

 


Keep TFE Strong

Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience

THANKS IN ADVANCE

For those who can't commit to a dime a day, consider a one time donation for an article or a series you are glad you didn't have to live without.

What'cha Looking For?
Twitter Feed
Subscribe

Entries in The Exorcist (9)

Thursday
Aug082013

Stop Trying to Make Link Happen

Next Movie can you recite all of Mean Girls in half an hour? This guy in a pink shirt can. 
AV Club Netflix knows you're lying about all those highbrow films you claim you watch!
Pop Matters this is a pretty great interview with Courtney Love about her short but fascinating career as an actress with The People Vs Larry Flynt as its focus
The Playlist Woody Allen needs the right idea for his eventual "shot in Sweden" film -- he's already done his Bergman riff (Interiors) so what could he do? 
Dark Horizons on how they're filming Quicksilver (Evan Peters) super-speed for the new X-Men flick 

Playbill It looks like Clint Eastwood's A Star is Born has been shoved aside for a different musical he's interested in since he's set to start filming his take on Jersey Boys later this month. Several cast members have been plucked from the stage show including Tony winning John Lloyd Young
Empire a new Legolas still from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (I shudder every time I type that title. Such a horrible title) 
Esquire What I've Learned: Woody Allen Edition

YouTube you've heard that 8 year old Nicki Minaj-addict Sophia Rose Grace got the Little Red Riding Hood role in Into the Woods right? This furthers my wariness about the movie.  That's actually kind of a tricky part which is usually cast older since uh... her whole plot is kind of a sexual metaphor
Coming Soon filming began today on Black Sea, the latest from Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland) an treasure-hunt thriller starring Jude Law
In Contention reminds that This is Martin Bonner comes out this week. I thought it was already out but no matter. Go see it. It's good.
MovieWeb a television series based on The Exorcist may be on the way. No word on what happened to the previous series based on The Exorcist (from Martha Marcy May Marlene's Sean Durkin) that was supposed to be heading our way.

Sunday
Sep022012

No Exorcisms Ever Rid the Box Office of Its Demons

If there's a sure way to hit #1 at the box office with minimal effort, it's this: make a demonic possession flick. Someone should do a study because it seems to me that they're the most profitable subgenre ...of anything. They always open well even if they feel virtually indistiguishable from the last one. Even if the last one was super recent. Even if they aren't innovative with f/x. Even if they have no stars. It makes you wonder if The Exorcist, discussed robustly recently here, is the most influential movie of the past 40 years rather than Jaws which usually gets the credit in building the foundation of our current cinematic culture.

Chart adapted from Box Office Mojo

This makes me wish exorcism flicks would go extreme mash-up. Let's take some genres which the mass public are weirdly averse to despite their entertainment value, say the screwball comedy or the musical or the adult romance (non comedic) and revive interest in them by throwing a little demonic possession in as a subplot. Imagine the setpieces!

What did you see this weekend? Or, since the weekend isn't officially closed until Monday night (Happy Labor Day!) which movie are you planning to see? I saw Lawless (review later tonight) and I almost made it to Premium Rush because I'm anxious for Looper. It made a kind of impulse item sense but I was thwarted.

what's in the bag?

Maybe the studio would have pushed it harder if a demon-possessed baby was in JGL's courier bag?

Tuesday
Jun122012

Tuesday Top Ten - Motion (Picture) Sickness

.

JA from MNPP here. First off, my apologies to those of you with weaker constitutions. This might not be your sort of Top Ten list today. With that out of the way, want to know why I still won't eat cherries to this very day? Since it's "The Witches of Eastwick week"I think y'all can probably put two and two together. Take a giant silver bowl of them, stir in a trio of witchy women under the influence of one Big Bad, and shake thoroughly - out spills what might be the always game Veronica Cartwright's most memorable cinematic moment. (And this is a woman who has been terrorized by Hitchock's birds and phallically attacked by HR Giger's Alien, so she knows from memorable scenes.)
.
You'd be excused for expecting it to be the walls and furniture to be what tumbles out of her mouth since she spends the first half of the scene devouring the scenery in a tour de force of bravura overacting, but the devil's in the details - that red-stained torrent of cherry pits is something you just don't forget, even 25 years later. (Watch the whole scene here.)
.
So in it's honor, a list!
Here are 9 more cinematic spews... from Bridesmaids through The Exorcist

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
May302012

This & That (And A Bit More On *That*)

Woodcutting Fool David Lynch carved
Go Fug Yourself on Reese Witherspoon (and child) in France
MUBI's Notebook lists favorite Cannes films of 2012 (the winner being way down the list)
Film School Rejects Why blockbusters need to get their third act together. Heartily agree with much of this.
TV|Line Smash will lose two of its major male characters in Season 2. Does this mean Dennis & Bobby get more screen time? (I know it doesn't but my wishful thinking can be noisy and demand sentences all its own.)

AV Club wins the Best Snarky Headline of the Week (*not a real award) with this beauty... "Malin Akerman is playing Debbie Harry, who is also blonde."
Pajiba Most Versatile Bruce Willis
No Film School Most Fascinating Michael Haneke 
Coming Soon new Les Miserables photos. Apparently the trailer arrives today as well. We'll hear the people sing tonight in a Yes No Maybe So post.
Rope of Silicon Batmobiles  

Splitsider the Joss Whedon Roseann episodes
Playbill free outdoor staging of the hilarious stage adaptation of Xanadu will play Park Slope Brooklyn this summer
Acidemic on reality-warping multiple viewings of three 'comedies of remarriage' The Lady Eve, Bringing Up Baby and Bell Book and Candle 
My New Plaid Pants The Exorcist for TV via Martha Marcy May Marlene director?!?
La Daily Musto international beauties Léa Seydoux and Diane Kruger go sapphic for a  lesbian Marie Antoinette film called Farewell My Queen.

KISS HER! 

The Release Date Shuffle: Michael Haneke's Amour will be opening (and thus Oscar qualifying) on December 19th a bit earlier than Haneke's previous feature White Ribbon which did one of those awful New Year's Eve weekend releases in time for Oscar; G.I. Joe: Retaliation's shocking pushback to 2013 is prompting specalutation about how bad it might be. Last second release shifts for wannabe blockbusters are rare as they're expensive to open... and I promise that's the last time we group G.I. Joe with Michael Haneke in a paragraph; The Life of Pi arrives one month early so you can gobble it up for Thanksgiving instead of unwrapping it at Christmas time which is the inverse of what happened with the new Barbra Streisand picture, The Guilt Trip; And finally yes... yes... Cuaron's Gravity, our most anticipated this year, is now our most anticipated of 2013 (sniffle) which means that we've got to update those Oscar predictions. I know I know. Don't rush me! (This weekend?)

A Personal Note: I thought a link list was in order to get back up to speed (as much as one can in a day)... I generally cull the links through a process of trying to keep up to speed with What's Going On even though "news items" are only like ¼ of the links shared. 

But I couldn't let this return to blogging (glad to be crawling back -- we should be back in full swing by Thursday night) go without a hearty thank you to all of you, the readers, who sent such kind words on facebook, by email or right here on the blog after my father passed away. I spent a week in Utah with my mom and siblings and there were tears and memories and even laughter, too. My mom demanded a correction from my memoir post though. The photo that I love of my parents was taken before they were married. Hey, I wasn't there - honest mistake. She told me an amazing personal story about it and, as it turns out, it's her single favorite picture of the two of them. Now, I ♥ the photo even more.

 

Wednesday
May092012

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: "The Exorcist"

The Hit Me With Your Best Shot series is deceptively simple. Choose a single shot from a pre-selected movie that you think is best, best being in the eye of the beholder. Tonight we're looking at The Exorcist (1973). And for me at least, it's the first time I've looked at it. That's not quite as shocking as your 12 year old daughter's head spinning 'round 180º, but maybe it's close.

Nearly every horror classic I've seen I've resisted in some ridiculous way: I saw Halloween at a sleepover movie marathon but it took my horror-loving friend five holidays to convince me; I first saw Silence of the Lambs because I had five nightmares about it beforehand and wanted them to end; I can't remember what prompted Rosemary's Baby but I'm willing to bet that I rented the video five times before actually watching it. And so on. 

If I was ever going to watch The Exorcist, the power of blogging would have to compel me. And so it did.

And here we are in the haunted upstairs bedrooms of actress Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn) and her daughter Regan (Linda Blair). The first thing that impressed me about the  movie was how rooted in character it was. Director William Friedkin and the novelist screenwriter William Peter Blatty spend more than half hour with the four main characters before the devil (The Devil?) crashes the party. The first shot that I truly loved foreshadowed the horrors to come in a wonderfully lived-in nonchalant way. After Chris MacNeil unleashes a stream of profanity on an angry phone call (including, pointedly, several "Jesus Christ!"s) we cut to the middle of the night when she's woken by a phone call. I love that the shot starts in the dark and when Chris flips on the light the only face that's really illuminated, given her bleary banged face, is Regan's in a photo on the bedstand; the young girl looks actively worried for her mother which is a brilliant set decoration move. Chris hangs up the phone and the camera tracks her movements to the right until we and she realize that her daughter has crawled into bed with her. It's the first time Regan is essentially split in the film, surrounding her anxious still oblivious mother.

Chris: What are you doing here?
Regan: My bed was shaking. I can't get to sleep.

Here in a sweet mother/daughter moment, Regan's telling us where all the horror will be found. The next voice we here, overlap edited over the end of this shot but just barely is the devil's if you want to get metaphoric about it is Captain Howdy's (The Devil's) who is banging about in the attic. Oh Chris, soon to be overwhelmed Chris, it's not rats. 

The Exorcist builds beautifully towards its truly grotesque last act but at least half of the reason it's so effective is that it never forgets who is terrified while it's terrifying us. My second favorite shot in the film is a beautifully quiet character beat for the title character(s) in the "intermission" of the exorcism. 

The Exorcist(s): Father Karras and Father Merrin

One of the movie's most disturbing famous images is "Help me" scrawled on Regan's stomach from the inside.  If Father Damien Karras (Jason Miller) were to remove his clothing, wouldn't we see a similar cry for help from his private hell?

It's these quiet glimpses of internal terror that really sell the movie for me, whether it's Ellen Burstyn's increasing impotent understanding (when no one else has accepted it -- not even the priests) or Father Karras's personal doubts. This silence, this vacuum, lets the terror flood in, often courtesy of the Oscar winning sound work. In the shot above we still hear Regan's possessed wheezing from inside the bedroom, less shocking but even more unsettling than her loud profane outbursts.

This push and pull between external and internal terror, room-shaking chaos and sudden absences of sound but for Exorcist chanting to fill the void powers, for me, the most hypnotic shot in the film. The room suddenly goes quiet and we see Regan lift off the bed in crucifix pose until she's nearly touching the ceiling. A simple familiar image, yes, like you'd see in a magic show. But somehow alien and unnatural, too. Only the exorcists can break this unholy spell.

The Power of Blog Compels Them
Movies Kick Ass is Hollywood the devil?
The Tomas Experience "as sure as the sun rises, you can find evil anywhere"
Film Actually the mysteries of faith and science
The Sketchy Details Regan split in two
Antagony & Ecstasy a single mother's personal hell
Cheerful Cynicism the slow burn is the best part 
Cinesnatch has mixed feelings about the movie 
Okinawa Assault colours and threats 
Encore's World is moved by the mother/daughter bond 
Beau McCoy "The Exorcist and Nothingness" 
Stranger than Most find horror in the hospital
Pussy Goes Grrr "body and soul" and Linda Blair's eyes

Next Wednesday: Edward Scissorhands (1990)... will we catch you dancing in it?
Previously: Pariah (2011), Raise the Red Lantern (1991),  Serenity (2005)