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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 (77)

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! 

Monday
Aug042014

ICYMI & August's 'Year of the Month'

Since I spent the last week completely absorbed in Supporting Actress Smackdown '73 (with a side of Into the Woods spazzing) I didn't have as much time to write. I'm super proud of this month's two part event (written & podcasted) and I'm so tempted to make Dana Delany's impression of Sylvia Sidney my new ringtone. I thank StinkyLulu for letting me be the Whitney to his Dolly. But here's a handful of other highlights you may have missed if you too had a busy week where one project stole your life. The team jumped in since I was smackdowning.

A Dame to Shill For cosign Jason's bigscreen/smallscreen lust for Eva Green's talent
Bergman's Ghosts Cries and Whispers is the greatest haunted house movie. But who or what is doing the haunting?
Is Lucy racist? Matthew refuses to see it
Hepburn's Hair Anne Marie shares a hairography theory
A Most Wanted Man & Guardians of the Galaxy reviewed. Michael is joining me on weekly review duties so you get two each week now + the podcast reviews

UP NEXT: I just got a new computer (it's so big I could trap Jeff Bridges inside it for decades!) and though the size of the screen is beyond glorious and will help with my writing and whatnot (particularly the whatnot) immensely, it rendered many of the ancient software programs I use to create the various entertainments on this here site unusable. Sad face. I will try to recover quickly.

Liz whips her hair back and forth

 But in August you can expect Emmy coverage & Oscar season warmups, The Giver, Love is Strange, the final episodes of "Hit Me" (cannot wait for Suddenly Last Summer and Gone With the Wind!), Anne Marie on Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and of course a celebration of 1989, our "year of the month" culminating in the Smackdown on August 31st.

  • Brenda Flicker, My Left Foot
  • Anjelica Huston, Enemies: A Love Story
  • Lena Olin, Enemies: A Love Story
  • Julia Roberts, Steel Magnolias
  • Dianne Wiest, Parenhood

So queue up those four films and five performances and get your votes in (scale of 1 to 5 hearts) by August 24th. What other 1989 films should we discuss this month

Monday
Jul282014

ICYMI

Super jam-packed week here at TFE. We were possibly over-posting which brings us to ICYMI because sure you did miss something. I've put the goods under song headers this morning just because.

We Can Be Heroes
TFE got schizophrenic as Amir bitched about superhero franchises just as Anne Marie was celebrating them with live Comic Con coverage.

You're Beautiful
We gave Sandra Bullock a teensy look-back for her 50th. But I was mostly feeling love in short post form for players who get too little attention these days: Mary Steenburgen is always boss, John Leguizamo is an oft inspired clown, and on a clear day you can see Barbara Harris forever. I'm glad to know there are other fans out there of all three. 

Anticipation
I was worried that YNMS efforts were getting stale but the inspiration faucet was suddenly turned back on for Imitation Game. And how about a double feature of Miss Julie & 50 Shades of Grey?

You're History
To give the upcoming Smackdown (Thursday!) some context we looked back at 1973 in particular: The Long Goodbye, Badlands, Day For Night, Box Office Hits, and Introductions of the Supporting Actresses. (There's still a couple more goodies coming.)

That Thing You Do!
Drew Bond on a banana. Got under ScarJo's Skin. Discussed 1999 mythologizing. Drooled on Jake. Saw red.

HELP WANTED: I want to thank everyone who responded to the post about new contributors. It's going to take me awhile to get through the samples but know that I appreciate and have received.

UP NEXT
Cries and Whispers, The Smackdown of 1973, Masters of Sex and more Emmy Award Countdown silliness, and Patricia Arquette from Boyhood.

Monday
Jul212014

Help Wanted

Regular Contributor
TFE is looking for a new regular with a focus on current cinema / movie news. Must have your own voice but one that still fits with the general tone of the site (i.e. serious about cinema but never at the expense of having fun & vice versa). Interested parties should have three writing samples but the ability to be concise and right to the point in engaging bite-sized takes is best. We never cut and paste press releases here as so many sites do but sometimes that's at the expense of not covering news at all which is not an ideal solution. Are you an alchemist who can read a press release and transform it into something short and pithy that actually still gives us the news but with a point of view? 

International Correspondents
The last time I tried this I got a lot of interest from foreign readers who wanted to talk about American cinema. But that's not what we're looking for. We're looking for people abroad (with the same skill set as regular contributors: fun, concise, accessible) who are well versed in / frequently attend their own country's cinema for monthly concise peeks at film culture elsewhere. Especially in major film markets like Germany, China, Japan, Brazil, India, France, Spain, Russia, etcetera...

If You Are Jake Gyllenhaal, You're Hired

 

 

Saturday
Jul192014

ICYMI (12 Days 'til Smackdown)

July's heat has slowed us down a bit here at TFE (I'm actually at the beach as you read this) but if you haven't been popping in each day you might've missed some goodies. Herewith a baker's dozen of the most popular and/or best posts from the past couple of weeks.

Just One of the Guys Annie Hathaway

Lee Pace Won't Kiss Amy Adams - a flashback
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - reviewish
Catwoman and The Joker - the two best performances ever to grace a superhero movie
Movie Star Drag Kings - KStew, Hathaway and Brie Larson became "Just One of the Guys"
Kate with a Side of Bette - a special edition of the podcast w/ Nick & Anne Marie
Flashy Title Sequences, TV - we looked at an undersung Emmy category
Exodus Tease  -  More of a Cock Block, really
Robin Hood - Disney's anthropomorphic '73 version  

Halfway Mark Madness - The Complete Series
We looked at the best films of the year's first ½ as well as the best performances, best visuals, best sounds (consider them FYCs) and the hottest of the hotties from Hiddleston to ScarJo

UP NEXT
The final 2 weeks of July will be jam-packed: Nathaniel interviews Patricia Arquette on Boyhood; Anne Marie reports from San Diego Comic Con; we'll finish the Oscar charts (hey we got 4 categories updated at least!) "Best Shot" looks at Under the Skin (7/22) and Cries and Whispers (7/29); Matthew Eng returns to celebrate Sandra Bullock at 50; and we continue to look at the movies of 1973 before Stinky Lulu's Supporting Actress Smackdown returns on July 31st with our special guest panelists