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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 The Film Experience (80)

Thursday
Oct302014

Calendar-Man v. Film Culture: The Bubble-Bursting Wars

With every studio hopping on the "universe building" trend that Marvel perfected for cinema -- too bad Pixar's early "all original concept / few sequels" success didn't translate to cross-studio trends -- cinema will be becoming a lot more like television. It already has, of course, with those annual editions of popular franchises playing like big budget TV miniseries with all their episodes smashed together for one bingewatch a year (think Hunger Games, Twilight, Harry Potter). With the Star Wars universe now planning annual showings and Bond & Star Trek till and that planned resurrection of the entire original iconic movie monsters, one has to wonder if Original Content will finally be put down by the 2020s. Or will the bubble burst and audiences will grow tired of continuing stories with overly familiar characters and often padded multi-part stories with no resolutions. You know, the kind they can get at home on television for free?!

This comic panel has been slightly altered to better illustrate my argument.

All entertainment trends are cyclical. This is a fact, however much people valiantly argue year after year that whatever's hot right then will live on forever. But when exactly will the bubble burst?

I was initially very excited about the growing genre of superhero movies -- like many boys I spent countless hours in childhood and adolescence dreaming of seeing my favorite characters on the page in live action environments (X-Men, The Avengers, The Teen Titans, Cloak & Dagger, Green Lantern and Daredevil figured chief amongst my fantasies in this regard). But even though I wanted this, I'm already kinda bored of seeing it actualized especially since so much of it plays more like a nightmare (see the first film versions of Green Lantern and Daredevil - or better yet, DON'T, if you've managed to escape them).

Backstage blog handwringing and the superhero glut after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Oct202014

ICYMI October Pt. 1

For those of you who are haven't been keeping up, here is a list of ten October highlights (in no particular order) from the first half of the month that you really don't want to have missed! Consider it an announcement that tomorrow we're doing another "all top ten day" like last week, since we had fun last Tuesday and we're so excited for the new season.

Please to enjoy these ten posts retroactively if you missed them...

October Highlights
Interview Meet Matthew Warchus director of Pride & forthcoming musical Matilda
138 Minutes That's your average Best Picture length. What's your ideal running time? 
Tetris the Movie Margaret 'tries to make it fit' this particular website with some memorable actressy pitches
Most Deserving Oscar Wins (2010-2014) some years sure are better than others 
How To Get Away With... on TV's terrible trashy taboo-busting Viola Davis drama 
Inherent Vice a conversation emerges from smoke cloud
Foxcatcher a second opinion. Michael liked it much more than Nathaniel did
Rosamund Pike - Best Actress? Abstew offers a dissenting opinion on Amazing Amy

and finally...the festival season wrap ups
Podcast a long delayed farewell to Canada adventures: favs, flops, funnies 
Top Ten Things We Learned at NYFF Michael, Jason, Glenn and Nathaniel list their revelations from the festival from Channing Tatum's boots through Julianne Moore's flatulence

Monday
Oct132014

A New Season Begins

Let's pretend we've been off air for a few month and TFE's fall season starts tomorrow, 8 AM EST with a special Tuesday Top Ten day, reviews as Lists, or Lists as Lists, or Picture Lists or whatever -- top tens all day. Throw some confetti (TFE has, strangely, a devout but possessive following. Don't keep things you love to yourself: share, tweet and like your favorites! Donate a cup of coffee a month - see sidebar) 

Whenever I announce a new season, I like to illustrate with ruthless programmer Diana Christensen even though she'd immediately cancel us for our ratings share and low episode counts 

The Semi-Regulars
Mondays
 Monologues | Stage Door | Beauty vs. Beast
Tuesdays Top Ten | Curio | NEW OR RETURNING SERIES 
Wednesdays NEW OR RETURNING |  A Year With Kate - only 11 episodes left! 
Thursdays AHS: Freakshow | NEW OR RETURNING |  Tim's Toons 
Fridays Posterized | Michael's Weekly Review 
Saturdays Meet the Contenders | Nathaniel's Weekly Review 
Sundays Box Office | Podcast

(This was one of the first blogs to treat itself like a tv network way way back when but now it's the norm across the web. Every one and all the corporate sites have recurring series now.) That's the basic building blocks of our network. We try for three regular series Monday through Thursday and two Fridays through Sundays) but as you know the site offers lots more than that: daily news items, trailer analysis, lotsa lotsa Oscar coverage, anniversary celebrations, occasional celebrity guests, and multiple surprises and special detours. I'm dying to relaunch  "Actressland" (which isn't meant to be standalone comics once a year like it has been but a continuing weekly story - stay tuned!). I know that smackdowns & best shots (♥) have devout fans but there's just no way to juggle them during the constant barrage of Oscarifficness so they return in March 2015.  

NEW INTERVIEWS
Lots coming up in the next few weeks including Guillermo del Toro, Patti Smith, Patricia Arquette, Chadwick Boseman, Birdman's composer, Noah's costume designer, and many more. Before the big wave of contenders catch up with some past chats since you probably missed a few. This year we've interviewed Guardian of the Galaxy's screenwriter, Pride's director, The director of an indie called Test, and stuntman Bobby Holland Hanton (that was a popular one!).

Last year's Interviews ICYMT
Oscar Winners: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club); Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club); Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a SlaveOscar Nominees: Julie Delpy (Before Midnight), Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), Costume Designer Michael O'Connor (Invisible Woman), Costume Designer Patricia Norris (12 Years a Slave): Globe Nominees Director Asghar Farhadi (The Past); Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha) ; Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Enough Said) ; Emma Thompson (Saving Mr Banks); And Still More Fine Talents!  Colin Farrell (Saving Mr Banks); Jonathan Groff (Frozen); Brie Larson (Short Term 12); Sarah Paulson (12 Years a Slave); Joanna Scanlan (The Invisible Woman); Director Yen Tan (Pit Stop); Alfre Woodard (12 Years a Slave

Which was your favorite interview last year and who do you hope we snag this time around?

Wednesday
Sep032014

Off to TIFF: Nathaniel's Journey Begins

For the curious among you this is my very tentative list of films on my very jam-packed schedule at TIFF. This will be the 10th anniversary of my very first trip to TIFF from which my fondest memory was sitting behind Gael García Bernal and Javier Bardem for the premiere of The Sea Inside (the fondness of the memory is due to the view, not the movie). I haven't been attending annually but perhaps last year's short trip was the start of a tradition?

This list is highly subject to change - there are always cancellations, late starts, pop ups which all throw off schedules, you can try to follow the critical buzz which will throw off the schedule, you can meet with friends for food and conversation which will throw off the schedule, and you can sleep which will throw off the morning screening schedule. It's a madcap journey: eye strain, memory loss, and international film culture await up north. Some of these films are scheduled because I'm dying to see them, others less so because they fit exactly into the proposed schedule at an opportune moment. I'm going to try to skip some "must sees" like Maps to the Stars, Clouds of Sils Maria and more but 'WHY?' you shout in anger? Here's why: ten or so mouthwatering titles from TIFF's abundance are part of the New York Film Festival and those screenings begin in NYC literally the day after TIFF wraps. 

on my tentative schedule
1001 GRAMS (Norwegian Romantic Drama)
BANG BANG BABY (Canadian Musical)
CHARLIE COUNTRY (Australian Drama)
CUB (Belgian Horror)
DUKTHAR (Pakistani Drama)
FAREWELL PARTY (Israeli Drama, Ophir Nominee)
FORCE MAJEURE (Swedish Oscar Submission)
FOXCATCHER (Channing Tatum in a singlet. I think other people and things are in it, too.)
THE GATE (Cambodian/French from the director of "Indochine")
THE GOLDEN ERA (Chinese epic starring Tang Wei from Lust, Caution)
A HARD DAY (South Korean drama)
IMITATION GAME (Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing breaks the enigma code)
IN HER PLACE (I already forgot what this one is)
KINGDOM OF DREAMS AND SADNESS (Documentary)
THE LAST FIVE YEARS (Musical)
LABYRINTH OF LIES (German Drama)
LIFE IN A FISHBOWL (Icelandic Oscar Probability)
A LITTLE CHAOS (Kate Winslet back in corsets. Whoooo)
LOS HONGOS (I already forgot what this one is)
MARGARITA WITH A STRAW (Indian, LGBT)
MISS JULIE (Jessica + Colin)
MOMMY (new Xavier Dolan) 
THE NEW GIRLFRIEND (new François Ozon)
OCTOBER GALE (from the director of "Cairo Time" starring Patty Clarkson again)
OUT OF NATURE (Norwegian Drama)
PHOENIX (German)
A PIGEON SAT ON A BRANCH REFLECTING ON ITS EXISTENCE (Swedish Oddity)
THE PROPHET (animated)
RED AMNESIA (Chinese Thriller)
RETURN TO ITHACA (from the director of "The Class")
THE RIOT CLUB (from the director of "An Education")
SCARLET INNOCENCE (I already forgot what this one is)
SHREW'S NEST (Spanish Thriller)
SONG OF THE SEA (from the filmmakers behind "The Secret of Kells")
STILL ALICE (indie Julianne Moore drama)
THEORY OF EVERYTHING (Eddie & Felicity court each other and Oscar)
TODAY (Iranian drama)
THE TRIBE (Ukranian Oscar Probability) 
WILD (Reese hikes toward Oscar #2?)
WILD TALES (Argentinian comedy) 

Anna Kendrick with the brilliant composer Jason Robert Brown ("The Last Five Years")

That's 40 films and I can guarantee I won't actually see that many and it's unwise to if you hope to remember any of them. But wish me luck in staying very roughly on track. Remember this: comments and retweets and shares are helpful fuel for those on the run from screening to screening. Follow Me on Twitter and Instagram if you want smaller and more frequent updates in addition to the reviews I'll be offering here.

What About the Blog? 
I'll try to get you one TIFF diary a day. Meanwhile the team has some fun stuff planned for you while I'm up North including more "back to school" pieces, a Team Top Ten and a mini fest celebrating the centennial of Robert Wise. 

Thursday
Aug282014

Best Shot - Season Finale on Tuesday

Hit Me With Your Best Shot soon steps aside for the utter madness of Fall Festivals and Awards Season. It will return for a sixth season next March. Why not join in on the season finale, THE MATRIX (1999). It's enlightening. Take the red pill.

To play:

1) Watch the movie
2) Choose your "Best Shot" (your definition - beauty in the eye of the beholder)
3) Post it online somewhere by Sept 2nd at 9 pm with a few words about why you chose it. We link up 

previously:  Gone With the Wind Pt 1 & Pt 2, Suddenly Last Summer, Under the Skin, Batman

 

 

Sunday
Aug172014

Suddenly, last ICYMI posting....

August isn't an ideal month for blogging. People are vacationing or otherwise desperate to make use of the last stretch of summer (Turns out most people's idea of summer fun does not include hanging out online reading articles about the Oscars and Liz Taylor classics) and everyone is sick of current movies too as the summer blockbusters begin to blur together and everyone waits for the movies to get serious again since August is usually reserved for the riskier or less stellar blockbuster wannabes. So if you've been in & out, here's a handful of highlights from the past two weeks you might have missed.

Scotty vs. Judy - it's your last day to vote on this Vertigo poll
10 Best Movie Trees - as inspired by Groot. "I am Groot"
What Makes Sandra Bullock Special? - Matthew figures it out as Forbes named her Highest Paid actress
Lauren Bacall Essentials - ten key roles from the newly departed legendary star
Oscar Charts - they were finally updated. Even the foreign submission charts are a go.
The Giver - Michael's entertaining review, complete with a Study Guide 
Desk Set - They had computers in 1957? And Katharine Hepburn did battle with them!?

"Blondes were next on the menu..."
In other news, I'm STILL obsessing over Suddenly Last Summer (1959). I was so taken by the movie this time around (maybe it's the dearth of exciting movies out in theaters?) that I thought about it all week and ended up writing a second piece for Towleroad, which delves a bit more into its place in my life and gay cinema history (and my actual theory about which subgenre it actually belongs to).

In high school English I became totally smitten with the Tennessee Williams classics. This worried my mother because she picked up on everything gay long before I did though she was too religious to ever name that unspeakable concern. (She gave me the same look when I fell hard for Cabaret though the most she would say by way of explanation was that it was “disgusting”). Hollywood as an industry is perhaps a little more akin to a frightened parent than their gay child; Showbiz loved, nurtured and produced endless gaybies but always had issues with their gayness!

Read it in full here...

And in case you missed the earlier postings about this Tennessee Williams film, please do check out my thoughts on Liz Taylor's blazing Oscar nominated star turn, as well as the Best Shot choices from around the web.  Lots of interesting takes on the movie. Next up on "Best Shot" is GONE WITH THE WIND (the first half only) on Tuesday night. Will you be riding into Tara to socialize with that infamous Southern Belle?

Thursday
Aug142014

Gone With The Summer

Hattie is judging you. Stop with your fiddle-dees and choose a 'BEST SHOT' alreadyI'm like one of those horrible teachers that gives you endless homework. But I hope in the end when you graduate you'll be all 'he was the best. O Captain My Captain' and whatnot.  But here's what you should be watching for maximum participatory glee here at The Film Experience as the summer draws to a close.

Retro: To close out "Best Shot" we'll be celebrating Gone With the Wind in two parts for its 75th anniversary year on August 19th (pre-intermission) & August 26th (post-intermission) and The Matrix on September 2nd (if you've always wanted to participate, why not now?); Anne Marie will look at Long Days Journey Into Night and Guess Who's Coming To Dinner as she hits the glorious 1960s in "A Year With Kate". And we'll be celebrating a few films from 1989 leading up to the Supporting Actress Smackdown on August 31st: Julia Roberts (Steel Magnolias) vs Dianne Wiest (Parenthood) vs Brenda Flicker (My Left Foot) vs Lena Olin + Anjelica Huston in (Enemies: A Love Story). Make sure to get your votes in on those since you are the 7th panelist! 

The Now: Emmy countdown madness. More on Boyhood. Reviews of The Giver, Frank, and The Congress. And coverage of two must-see indies Love is Strange with John Lithgow and Alfred Molina and The One I Love with Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss. 

Elisabeth Moss in "The One I Love"

And then we hit The Toronto International Film Festival to start September off right. This fall is going to be so exciting. I can feel it. More interviews. More festivals. More guest star actors. More. Whoo-hoo!