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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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Dreamworks Animation Pt 2: The Fall

"I loved this article. It reads like vintage EW, back when they relished the behind-the-scenes stories of Hollywood and the studios." -John T

"Dreamworks should not have oversaturated the animation market. Home is Dreamworks 31st animated film. Do you know what is Walt Disney Animation's 31st film? Aladdin. It took Disney over 5 decades to get there." -Chinoiserie

Part 1 here if you missed it

 

 

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Entries in The Film Experience (105)

Wednesday
Nov262014

Nathaniel's Thanks, Given.

The world is a tough place and the movies are our collective great escape. For your host here at TFE there's an awful lot to be thankful for. So as I prepare to stuff my face tomorrow with my best friends I will be especially thankful...

For the orange tabby in Gone Girl
For Julianne Moore getting her groove back on yoga mats and at beach houses
For Ava DuVernay and Jennifer Kent's vivid reminders that women can and do direct movies and we need those fresh voices.
For David Fincher's consistency at turning mainstream audiences on while never pandering

For Shia Labeouf because every film decade needs its defining crazy
For the blooming of Keira Knightley, from an always memorable but uneven actress, to a completely confident movie star, relaxed, nuanced and magnetic in two fine performances
For that shot of the paratroopers in Godzilla
For Finn Wittrock's arrival, sympathetic (Masters of Sex) then terrorizing (Freakshow) outcast beauty
For every single march scene in Selma
For "the world is round, people!

This scene, people. This scene. It's everything.

For Melanie Lynskey onscreen (Instant-watch Happy Christmas now - it's delightful!) and off
For memorable physicality: Chastain's scolding fingers, Krysten Ritter's Big (Side)Eyes, Luke Pasqualino's battering-ram run, Ralph Fiennes cartoon dashes, and Billy Magnussen's horseback riding (or, rather, his mounting and dismounting)
For the single best crop of LGBT films in one calendar year that we've had in ages and ages (Love is Strange, Pride, The Way He Looks, Stranger by the LakeThe Circle, and so on)
For everything that happens in the elevator in Captain America: Winter Soldier
For "Bob's Burgers"... particularly Tina Belcher. I'm late to the party but that show makes me laugh harder than any show since 30 Rock. 

For Jonathan Glazer's return to the movie camera after 10 long years away - his gaze still deliciously alien
For that pop-up Babadook book I just ordered (my advanced thanks)
For the singing voices of almost the full cast of Into the Woods - but especially Streep & Kendrick
For a film year so good I'm already struggling (before screenings are even complete) with too many options for the Film Bitch Awards rosters. I could go on and on... but...

Finally, I'm hugely thankful to my Film Experience team (who delight me so frequently) and to all of you, the readers. Especially if you donate monthly, visit frequently, share articles, and otherwise really engage with what we do here. You help keep the fires burning as we try year in and year out -- against bigger odds than you'd think -- to approach each film year and awards season from  lightly different angles than you'll see elsewhere and with more genuine all-eras all-genres movie love.

Abundance to you all! xoxo,

Nathaniel

P.S. What are you thankful for this holiday weekend? Onscreen and off. 

 

Tuesday
Nov252014

Thanksgiving Break. Screener Madness. What's Left?

1/2 my screener stack. The ones that are coming with me for the holiday. Just in case. What do you still have to cram in before your film year is done? I imagine a lot given the Christmas release dates, damn these last-minute movies, amirite? This Thanksgiving, I am very thankful for screenings and screeners. I couldn't keep up without them given the writing and interviewing and blog prep and awards coverage necessary in December and January.

SCREENER SUGGESTIONS
Over at the Gurus of Gold, David Poland asked us to name three screeners we'd suggest that Academy / SAG / etcetera voters watch over the holiday break. The collective results aren't up yet but I went with:

  • Pride because it might end up topping the list of 'best movies of 2014 that people didn't watch or even hear about'
  • Nightcrawler because Jake Gyllenhaal did better work than some of the alleged frontrunners and I've been surprised to realize how few AMPAS voters have seen it from the anecdotal evidence I've collected at luncheons & parties. (Six more luncheons/dinners/parties to get through next week before they're not allowed to throw them anymore once voting begins)
  • Ida -Speaking of Jake. He showed up at his sister Maggie Gyllenhaal & Peter Sarsgard's FYC screening of the Polish hit I attended last week. I only included this one (which isn't exactly an underdog in its category) because I think Oscar voters should be thinking of it in other categories, too. 

How would you have answered that question? 

OSCAR BAIT MOVIES YOURS TRULY HAS LEFT SO SEE

  • Unbroken 
  • American Sniper
  • The Homesman

Otherwise I will try to rewatch a few that feel way fuzzy in memory (Grand Budapest for sure) and try to catch up with a handful or two of key films I missed this year before handing out the film bitch awards, like this sample pack...

  • Archaelogy of a Woman
  • Blue Ruin
  • Calvary
  • Fury
  • A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
  • Only Lovers Left Alive
  • Skeleton Twins

I'm heading to Vermont for a "Friendsgiving" starting tonight but some posting will still be headed your way this week. What are your big plans this week?

Next up today: The Spirit Award Nominations

 

Tuesday
Nov182014

ICYMI November's First Half

Paul, Nathaniel & Anne MarieAs you know I just spent a week in Los Angeles for the 2014 AFI festival which kicked off with A Most Violent Year soiree and included a tribute to legendary Sophia Loren. I can't tell you how fun Anne Marie and our newest team member Margaret are in person - Margaret introduced Anne Marie to The Film Experience in college for which we must thank her or we wouldn't have "A Year With Kate" (nearing the home stretch now). Because they are young and live in Hollywood I assigned them the "Young Hollywood Panel" as well. We wrapped things up with Gala Premieres and a Podcast.

It was great to meet a handful of TFE readers at screenings! Hi Jordan. Hi Keir. Hi other people who didn't tell me your names! Paul Outlaw, pictured left who you know well from the comments, is the only person I've ever met that starred in an Oscar winning short film and he joined Anne Marie and I for the Selma premiere and festivities

5 More Highlights
Podcast Return - Gone Girl and Nightcrawler
The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Maureen O'Hara's breakthrough film
Top 2014 Pop Artifacts - from priceless "Boy With Apple" to "Amazing Amy" books
Red Carpet Warm Up - Oscar hopefuls hit the Governors Awards to kick off the glamorous trek we know as awards season
A History of Animated Marvels - Tim's funny look back at Marvel's first TV efforts

Friday
Nov072014

Inside the Dolby. AFI Fest Begins!

Anne Marie and I had a stupendous time tonight at the premiere of A Most Violent Year which we were  mpressed by: tense, gorgeously shot, with a fiery Jessica Chastain and an ice cool Oscar Isaac. I'll tell you about it tomorrow. But for now -pics & tweets.

(We got there early and couldn't resist geeking out a bit inside The Dolby, the home of Hollywood's High Holy Night each year, The Oscars. [More photos after the jump]

 

I am inside the Dolby, land of Hollywood's High Holy Night. Streep is amused.

A photo posted by Nathaniel R (@nathaniel_tfe) on Nov 11, 2014 at 6:46pm PST

Click to read more ...

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?

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