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 | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 


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Entries in The Film Experience (129)


'Any Mike, Dick, or Wolfgang... Any Mike, Wolfgang or Dick ♪ ♫ '

HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT RETURNS WEDNESDAY NIGHT. Our cinematography-loving series, returns from hiatus on June 3rd. Here are your first three movies so get to watchin' em! Spread the word, rent the pictures, pick a shot and join our more-the-merrier visual party.

Wednesday, June 3rd

Before live action takes on illustrated fiction were regular, and definitely before they were respectable, Warren Beatty brought his terrific eye to this pop colored live-action conjuring of the classic syndicated detective comic with outlandish looking villains and femme fatales. (Like Sin City minus the gruesome machismo and way more color / fun.) Nominated for 7 Oscars including Cinematography (Vittorio Storaro), the all time best haul for a comic adaptation outside of The Dark Knight. and still the record holder for most wins (3). [Netflix  | iTunes | Amazon]

AMADEUS (1984)
Wednesday, June 10th

Right before this leaves Netflix Instant Watch let's dive deep into arguably the best biopic ever made, Milos Forman's lush battle of wills and talent between Salieri (F Murray Abraham) and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Thomas Hulce) the last film ever nominated for two Best Actor Oscars (before category fraud campaigning rendered those a thing of the past). Nominated for 11 Oscars including Best Cinematography (Miroslav Ondrícek) though it lost that one despite 8 wins elsewhere. [Netflix | Amazon

Wednesday June 17th

Before the XXL sequel hits theaters for the 4th of July holiday, let's stuff some dollar bills into Channing Tatum's G string in Steven Soderbergh's overachieving male stripper drama. Soderbergh's love of yellow filters (he does his own cinematography as "Peter Andrews") can grate, but this movie is worth drooling at, excuse me looking at again. Nominated for Zero Oscars because... it's a male stripper drama. But obviously this is the one Matthew McConaughey should've won his Oscar for. [Netflix | iTunes | Amazon]


May. It's a Wrap

Summertime is here. May done flew by. Okay okay. There's technically two days left but I was eager to share my latest photoshop frenzy. Isn't it a sad beauty?

So May departs leaving us with excessive anticipation for Cannes titles, summer blockbuster excitement at its peak (that tiny window before the supersizing fatigue hits sometime around July 4th), but let's take a quick look back at the Month that was...

Most Popular Articles:
Gold: The New Best Actress Field (& all things Carol)
Silver: Revenge of the 80s: Now With More 10s Sexism
Bronze (+ Most Discussed): Yes No Maybe So: Ricki and the Flash

Important Singular Events ICYMI
David Dastmalchian Guest Blog -What he learned from Paul Rudd & more...
Cannes Closing Ceremony - Who won, what the jury said going in
Mad Men Finale - "Person to Person" 
Orson Welles Centennial - a special 'best shot' episode  

Other Highlights:  
Dubbing Movies for Foreign Markets - Yuck!
Best Action Acting Ever? Besides Sigourney in Aliens... Hmmm? 
George Miller's Triptych Career - Talking Animals + Susan Sarandon + Mad Max 
Bette Davis, Mother's and Tell-Alls - Now Voyager discussed 
The Bening - announced her sure-to-be triumphant return 
The Podcast -we really dug into Ex Machina 
"It's For People" - have a cup of joe with David Lynch 

As ever we love a good theme / project. Manuel began his HBO LGBT series, Anne Marie looked at the work of Sofia Coppola, and the team looked at 1979 as well as a few sex scenes.  

Reviews - Catch Up!
Fury Road (A), Carol (A), Age of Ultron (B), Far From the Madding Crowd (B), Welcome to Me (B-), Pitch Perfect 2 (C+), Tomorrowland (C+), Irrational Man (C+), Maggie (C+), Hot Pursuit (C), Chocolate City (D+) 

COMING IN JUNE: Cara Seymour (American Psycho, The Knick, An Education) will guest blog!; 'Best Shot' returns with Dick Tracy, Amadeus, and Magic Mike; Anne Marie's "women's pictures" looks back at the career of Agnes Varda, mother of the French New Wave; we'll surely talk dinosaurs and emotions with Jurassic World and Inside Out arriving; Two big Smackdowns headed your way as we finally get to 1979 next weekend and 1948 at the end of the month; and Team Experience sounds off with some FYCs for Emmy Voters since they'll be turning in their nomination ballots in June

... Any requests?


Stage Door: "Little Wars" 

If I were a blurb whore I might start this article with:

"If you liked... 

Julia (1977), The Children's Hour (1961), The Little Foxes (1941), Corey Stoll & Kathy Bates as Ernest Hemingway & Gertrude Stein in Midnight in Paris (2011), and Jennifer Jason Leigh as Dorothy Parker in Mrs Parker and the Vicious Circle

...than you'll love Little Wars"

But I am not a blurb whore. At least not most of the time. But I do think you'll love Little Wars

Here's a beautiful problem with theater (and smallish movies, too): there's more good stuff than anyone can possibly see. And also, sometimes, depending on promotional budgets and media pedigree or lack thereof in both cases, more good stuff that we sometimes ever hear about. I refuse to be a part of that problem so I blog from the missionary zeal of great entertainments. One of the reasons The Film Experience takes detours to theater and TV and books is that all of the storytelling playgrounds inform and cross-pollinate.

Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas are the focus of "Little Wars"Which brings us to "Little Wars," one of five works by a very promising young playwright Steven Carl McCasland who I hadn't even heard of until last week. (The five plays run in repertory through May 31st so there's only 4 more chances to see this one). I bring it to your attention because it's entirely affordable ($18 a ticket) and it's an actressexual's delight.

Little Wars riffs on iconic people and though that device can sometimes prove gimmicky (consider that wobbly first season of Penny Dreadful or any number of tacky riffs on "public domain" characters), it's also responsible for great works of art (case in point: The Hours, fictional but inspired by Virginia Woolf's 'whole life in a single day' work on Mrs. Dalloway). McCasland's play happily falls much closer towards the latter pile of fictions. It imagines a 1940 evening inside the Parisian salon of Gertrude Stein (Polly McKie) & Alice B Toklas (Penny Lynn White), then "radical lesbians" -- radical because they were out -- who've invited "The Great Agatha Christie" (Kim Rogers) to dinner... liquid dinner nat'ch. Things don't go as planned since there's an unexpected visitor who goes by "Mary" (Kristen Gehling), a secretive housemaid (Samantha Hoefer) and Christie really disrupts the plans by bringing along Dorothy Parker (Dorothy Weems) and playwright Lillian Hellman (Kimberly Faye Greenberg). Initially just hearing these famous accomplished characters (who did know each other in real life though the play is fictional) verbally spar, boast, and drink like fish is entertaining enough but as the play progresses, organic drama emerges involving differences of opinion about art, the Nazi threat, marriages (gay and straight), and survival through wars large and small.

McKie and White anchor the play with fairly miraculous specificity as the odd (lifelong) couple at its center but most of the women are given at least one shining moment or two in McCasland's generous ensemble writing. I wanted a clearer picture of Dorothy Parker's famous wit, she mostly seems sad and drunk, but there was more than enough to compensate elsewhere. Familiarity with their collective works or previous biopics will undoubtedly aid your enjoyment -- especially if you've seen The Children's Hour (1961) and Oscar favorite Julia (1977) -- but the play is strong enough to stand on its own as a fascinating and unexpectedly moving collision of voices at a pivotal moment in history. 

Kim Rogers as Agatha Christie in "Little Wars" © Samantha Mercado Tudda

P.S. an 'it's a small-world' bonus for readers of The Film Experience. The actress playing Agatha Christie, Kim Rogers (no relation), is a longtime fan of The Film Experience -- we'd never previously met but we talked after the show.


always the open thread

Whenever I panic at the lack of comments on an entire day's worth of goodies like Cannes beauties, fun movie trailers, and throwbacks to beloved or divisive movies. I think "What is Meryl Streep up to?". Streep is like Adivan for high anxiety blogging. Find some way to post about Streep and all will be well again! But all is quiet on the Streep front and I had a really rough stressful week off-blog so instead I'm just staring at this photo of Streep kissing Kidman like it's a paper bag to hyperventilate into.

Always the years. Always the love. Always The Hours.

What has your week been like? What's on your cinematic mind?




May came in with a bang. Our best guess is that you couldn't keep up this first week because we barely did! To insure that you read everything - a requirement by law - here are things you might have missed in this very busy week: The podcast returned and we learned that Anne Marie has feelings for Michelle Rodriguez's biceps and Joe Reid really loves watching superheroes fight together; The first wave of Oscar predictions finally wrapped with Supporting Actress and Lead Actress discussions; Orson Welles turned 100 years old and, aside from the Best Shot Mid-Season Finale, Alexa (of 'Curio' fame) got a collage piece accepted for a centennial show in Illinois which you should check out if you live there!; Mysterious Skin turned 10; Nathaniel attended the Marvel Marathon and reviewed The Age of Ultron and also gawked at Penny Dreadful's NSFW premiere episode; Posed with Yoda, Manuel did, for a Star Wars Day photoset while Jason asked you to choose between the Dark Side and the uh... Skywalker side; Mad Men continued knocking it out of the park in its final episodes; David Lynch sold coffee; and The Lovely Laura Linney sold her soul to the devil Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.


Oh and we had a very special guest blogger...

Longtime TFE readers surely had already clocked that we enjoy David Dastmalchian's work and have been waiting for him to bust out so that people can learn his name. Over the years he earned two nominations in our annual awards ceremony (both in the limited or cameo category) for The Dark Knight (2008) and Prisoners (2013). We assume he won't be haunting that category much longer as his career expands. He was kind enough to say yes when we asked him to guest blog for what should surely be his breakout summer given that the film he wrote and headlines Animals, riding critical darling status out of SXSW, opens on May 15th and two months later he gets to play with Paul Rudd in Ant-Man, joining the Marvel Universe. That's an interesting move, given that he first gained notice for a DC movie, The Dark Knight. ET Online recently asked him about the switcheroo. (Click on that photo if you'd like to see that red carpet moment. It's not embedded here because it's an automatic play):


Here's what he wrote for you:
David What? - His origin story & how to pronounce his name
What I Learned From Paul Rudd - On comic improv with Paul Rudd, Melissa Leo staying in character, and an idol of his Malcolm McDowell
What I Saw / Where I Saw It - four of his formative films growing up
The Making of Animals things looked bleak until magically it came together 
Soundtrack of My Life - Have you ever imagined your life in movie trailer form?
... You should follow him on Twitter & Instagram !

We sincerely hope the experience was more pleasant for him that that time he met Jake Gyllenhaal...

Are you enjoying May thus far?


Linking & Housekeeping

Pajiba Strange news. Johnny Depp did not report to work as planned. Work being continued cashing in of his 2003 brilliance as Jack Sparrow. What is afoot?
Interview on the evolution of Chlöe Sevigny
Comics Alliance tiny Ant-Man billboards. Here's to clever marketing !
Cleo have any of you seen Adventure Time? Thinkpieces on this animated show intrigue
Attitude Giorgio Armani urges you to not dress so "gay"!
The Kenneth in the (212) was The Former Bruce Jenner inspired by Belinda Carlisle?
Instagram meet Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel's son
Towleroad RuPaul recap. Conjoined twins extravaganza

All the FUN of a serious and rare medical condition without the humanity and decency that even American Horror Story provided

Cool Projects
Cinematic Corner is hosting a "White Swan Black Swan" blog-a-thon -- now through the end of the month - which looks at dual personae. 
Nick's Flick Picks has gathered his own secret TBA jury for a screening/retrospective of the entire Cannes Competition lineup of 1995 from the utterly gorgeous Shanghai Triad through the Palme D'Or winner Emir Kusturica's Underground to the provocation that was Kids. Ambitious! 
Antagony & Ecstasy continues reviewing reader requested films (this time it's Evita) for a donation to the American Cancer Society. I urge you to all do this. It's a great cause and Tim is a great critic. He's doing a few reviews for fellow TFE staff (including me) in June.

True Story
Sunday night I dreamt that Meryl Streep had died suddenly and unexpectedly. The nightmare was so real that when I woke up Monday morning i was in an absolute panic wondering how I could possibly write about such a loss and feeling bad about every time I complained that she said yes to everything rather than carefully picking her projects. The nightmare was so real that I immediately googled Meryl Streep and was greeted by happy news instead of sad. La Streep was actually in the news that very morning but for funding a screenwriting workshop for women over 40.  Whew and Awesome. And what The Dissolve said...

Whatever we did to deserve this woman, it wasn't enough.

71 Days Until Magic Mike Matt XXL
More character posters keep emerging.. so here's Matt Bomer. With Horn, Pettyfer, and McConaughey absent this time around, does he get an expanded role? In addition to being ridiculously pretty, he's said to be a very nice fellow in real life as told to us by actress and co-star Kathy Deitch.

TFE News
Apologies  that 'April Showers' never got off the ground this month as a returning blog feature, though they definitely fell from the sky. Overplanning, TFE's great sin! But that won't stop up from committing it again and again. 

TO CLOSE OUT APRIL: Sci-Fi / Artificial Intelligence theme week, Broadway stuff (Tony nominations in just one week), 9 to 5 party (tomorrow night - join us for some mowie wowie) a couple of Campions (In the Cut Bright Star) and the completion of the April Foolish Oscar Prediction charts. No really. Stay tuned.

COMING IN MAY: The Orson Welles Centennial, 1979 Smackdown and Sidebars, and finally some 2015 movies to be excited about, discuss, and get us back to the movie theaters including: Mad Max Fury Road, Avengers Age of Ultron, Far From The Madding Crowd, Hot Pursuit, Saint Laurent, The D Train, Pitch Perfect 2, Aloha, and Tomorrowland.


274 Days Until Nomination Morning!

WOOoooOOo Multiple Oscar Dates Announced!
Important dates for this forthcoming season.  I've included Off-Oscar business, too. So mark your calendars...

• Nov 14th, 2015 Governors Awards. (We don't know who will be honored yet but they generally make the announcement in late summer. They've already chosen two of the women on our top ten most deserving of honoraries list so hopefully we'll get a third this year!)
• Dec 30th, 2015 - Oscar Nomination Balloting Begins

• Jan 8th, 2016 - Oscar Nomination Ballots Due
• Jan 10th, 2016 - The 72nd Annual Golden Globes
Jan 14th, 2016 - Nomination Morning. Merry Christmas! 
• Jan 23rd, 2016 - Producers Guild Awards
• Jan 30th, 2016 - SAG Awards

• Feb 8th, 2016 - Oscar Nominee Luncheon
• Feb 12th, 2016 - Voting Begins on Winners
• Feb 13th, 2016 - Sci/Tech Awards. Which beauty will host this year? It's usually a rising young actress. Margot Robbie did the honors (with Miles Teller) last year
• Feb 23rd, 2016  - Final Oscar Ballots Due

Your Weekly Reminder The Julianne Moore is an Oscar winner. She won 52 days ago!

The High Holy Nights
• Feb 28th, 2016 -88th Academy Awards. Predictions Ongoing Here.
Yes, I know I need to continue. We'll try to start again tomorrow!
• Feb 26th 2017 -89th Academy Awards. 
• Mar 4th 2018 - 90th Academy Awards. Ohmygod. Soon we're just a decade shy of Oscar's Centennial! They better pull out all the stops in 2028 and have every living Oscar winner there. Hopefully we'll all still be alive to see it!