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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R


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TWO OPINIONS ON MAPS TO THE STARS
Nathaniel's Julianne Spazzing & Glenn's Cronenberg Finger Wagging 

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"If I had to guess why Cronenberg went with a largely "invisible" or even non-style style, I'd say it has to do with his approach to the narrative, which is kind of a bait and switch, setting us up for a hollywood satire and then giving us a final act that plays more like a myth or a fairy tale." -Roark

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Entries in The Tree of Life (31)

Tuesday
Aug232011

Happy 50th Birthday, Alexandre Desplat

Robert G here from Sketchy Details wishing a Happy Birthday to the most in demand film composer of our time.

Can you believe that Alexandre Desplat has scored 128 separate film and television projects since 1985? How about how a year hasn't gone by since 1991 where he didn't score at least three different TV or film productions? He has had quite the successful career in France and has started to work consistently in America in the past eight or so years.

Desplat has been nominated for Best Original Score four times at the Academy Awards: The Queen, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and The King's Speech. He's clearly doing something right to get the Music Branch's attention. His work is especially noticeable for not being the super flashy film scoring that demands attention. He does what needs to be done to set the right tone and lets the film be the focus.

Indeed, every year he lost the Oscar, he lost to a film with a far flashier or more pronounced score...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug222011

Links: Martha Momoa Malick Moneyball

In Contention has an important addendum to the misleading 'Sean Penn hates The Tree of Life' stories circulating the net.
The Daily Beast It's recently come to my attention that Drew Droege (of "Chloë Sevigny" drag fame) has written musings about playing Chloë and meeting the real icon. She did not throw a drink in his face but kissed him and laughed. Love that.
Little White Lies has an interview with Conan's Jason Momoa in which the actor offers to scare the shit out of the reporter by doing the Haka.

Serious Film "Bridesmaids stands alone" in 2011's box office charts.
Movie|Line remembers Kristen Wiig's supporting bit in Adventureland 

Cinema Blend is Germany next for world traveller Woody Allen's filmography? P.S. Did you hear that Judy Davis joined the cast of his current Rome picture? (Yay)

 

Oooh... new posters for Martha Marcy May Marlene from EW.
Misterioso!

Do you like? John Hawkes eyes peering out on the one to the left are spooking me! Remember how intense his stare was in Winter's Bone? I haven't tried it but those are actual working QR codes on the movie poster -- should take you right to the trailer if you have a QR scanning app on your phone.

Brad Pitt still has magic hair in his late 40s. The shirt is by Alexander McQueen.Scott Feinberg discovers a funny irony in the Drive press notes.
Today Movies on the funny women breakthrough of this, 'The Summer of Raunch'
Fandor gets the great South Korean film Poetry tomorrow, so make sure to watch it. This is a sampling of reviews. I was quite honored to be named a "standout" review, and keeping such fine company.
Michael Musto predicts the Tony nominees for Best Actress in a musical a year in advance. We'd say that's too early but then we'd be huge hypocrites (hello, Oscar fanaticism
New York Magazine on Brad Pitt's Moneyball pitch. He's comparing his character arc, or lack of one (hmm....interesting) to 70s films, explaining that it's a drama about process and his character challenging the way things have always been done.

I thought of The Conversation: How do you tap a phone? Or Thief, with Jimmy Caan: How do you crack a safe? And I saw in it a guy who had an obsessive quality like Popeye Doyle.

I don’t really like big character-arc epiphanies. What I most loved about those seventies films is that the characters were the same at the end as at the beginning. It was the world around them that had shifted."

Tuesday
Jul052011

Fool For Link

Vogue Vibes on the duel era fashions of Midnight in Paris
Acidemic free ranging piece on the images and scoring of The Tree of Life
Nick's Flick Picks, never one to shy away from a massive project, has decided to recreate Cannes 1986 (25th anniversary) and write all about it. First...
Nick's Flick Picks Robert Altman's Fool For Love. Nick thinks Kim Basinger is sensational in it (so do I).
Guardian on the ever thorny topic of how to "date" a motion picture, production date, release date, initial screening?
Basket of Kisses Mad Men's Aaron Staton (we love him) is the lead in the new video game L.A. Noire
Movie|Line loves Ari Graynor -- they're always trying to claim actresses we also champion damn them -- so must share this clip from the upcoming comedy Lucky.

Stale Popcorn with another halfway mark listicle: the good, the bad and the ugly of 2011
Pajiba advice for screenwriters willing to sell their souls from those who've made billions at the box office with almost no discernible talent whatsoever.
Awards Daily Oscar's blind David Cronenberg spot. Recently I've been thinking that I wanted to do a whole comprehensive review of one director's every film. Maybe it should be him? Although maybe he's made to many. Never mind.


the divas
The Advocate Lady Gaga profile on her connection to the gays and those comparisons to legendary performers like Barbra Streisand, Debbie Harry and Madonna.
Boy Culture EEK. Proof that Madonna is finally back in the recording studio. As of yesterday.
The Broadway Blog honors Marin Mazzie, about to take on the iconic Mrs White role in the revival of Carrie the Musical (yes that musical based on the 1976 pig-blooded classic)

sorry. back to the movies...
ion cinema has a bunch of halfway point top ten lists. Can't get enough of this topic, can you? Or am I just speaking for myself?
PopMatters 10 insane lessons that Transformers Dark of the Moon is trying to teach us
Old Hollywood omg, yesterday was the 90th anniversary of the "Overlook Hotel Ball" (immortalized in The Shining) We MUST remember this in ten years time for the centennial.

Would you like The Film Experience to be around in 2021? LOL, I know I know. We're getting ahead of ourselves. But if you'd like TFE to be around in 2012, please consider subscribing from the sidebar link
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Tuesday
Jun282011

Links: Herzog, Björk and Novaks (Kim & Djokovic) 

The Lost Boy Werner Herzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams is just a few days away from joining the top gro$$ing documentaries club.
JobMob check out what some celebrity acting resumes look like
Sociological Images Some off flick backstory on that DDT spray scene in The Tree of Life. I wanted to soak in that scene, didn't you?
Tom Shone Terminator 2 turns 20 years old this week. What a stroke of genius casting Robert Patrick was. 
Old Hollywood great my-how-time-changes-things quote from Kim Novak on the initial failure of Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo.
Movie|Line Remember those omnibus films celebrating Paris and New York. It's official: Sydney, I Love You plans to move ahead in early 2012
The Wrap looks at the reasons that the superhero crop of 2011 isn't really delivering as expected at the box office.The last sentence, though, is an unintentionally hilarious negation of the 'there's too many of these' thesis statement. It goes like so...

The good news for the box office: New installments of Batman and Spider-Man are due out next summer, with fresh incarnations of Superman and Iron Man following soon after.

 

off cinema
The Daily Beast backstage at Men's Fashion Week 
Low Resolution ranking the hotness of Wimbledon men 
Slant reviews Björk's new single "Crystalline". I love this bit:

Bjork's most esoteric album to date, 2004's Medúlla, is also among her best, and so my policy is to indulge Mrs. Matthew Barney in all pretensions so long as the music works.

 

Sunday
Jun262011

Madonna is a Member of AMPAS. Pixar Wears Kilts. And Other News

In Contention "No Refunds" sign posted outside The Tree of Life. It's the crazies.
Towleroad gay pride, Cars 2, Bad Teacher, James McAvoy, etcetera
Twitter Look, it's one of the most amusing Official Tweets of the weekend. 

I mean, who knew? Madonna votes on Oscars?!? They haven't even deigned her worthy of Best Song nominations even though she totally has been. 
Boy Culture reminds us that Madonna has good taste in movies. 

Cineuropa I hadn't been following the Cloud Atlas screen adaptation story but talk about complicated. It's got three directors: Germany's Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski (of The Matrix fame though I wish they were more thought of as the Bound duo); four Oscar winners: Berry, Broadbent, Hanks and Sarandon; six different stories all set in different eras with the actors playing multiple characters.
Wesley Morris if you're looking for a surprisingly strong defense of Cars 2. I love Wesley but Cars 2? Blech.
Everything I Know... reviews the stage to screen concert of Company with Neil Patrick Harris 
The Wrap Taylor Hackford will serve another term as President of the DGA. Congrats to Mr. Helen Mirren.
Filmes do Chico top 100 gay films. One may quibble with the order but how many have you seen? 

Oh, remember that movie The Rocketeer? Wonder why they haven't rebooted that? Here's a fanmade short celebrating it... well, the character more accurately.

The Rocketeer 20th anniversary from John Banana on Vimeo.

 

Off Cinema
Guardian I'd been wondering why we haven't received any Missy Elliott music in so long. Turns out she's been suffering from Graves disease. But "Block Party" is coming in the near future. Yay. And get well soon, Missy.
fourfour Rich's night out during the gayest of gay nights after NY's historic decision. 
The Daily What "Yahoo 'answer of the day'" in regards to the gay marriage decision. Hee.

Third Looks
I hope it doesn't disappoint y'all that I am not one to rush at every "exclusive" that's posted across 203,001 blogs at once whenever a new anything arrives. But here are three newish ones from the past few days that people seem to like and I do, too. From, respectively:  The Hobbit, The Raven and Pixar's Brave.

Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in "THE HOBBIT" coming December 2012John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe in "THE RAVEN" coming March 2012Princess Merida in "BRAVE" coming June 2012

Final Fun Fact: The Pixar animation department is wearing kilts every Friday while working on Brave (2012). Isn't that adorbs? (I learned that here.)

Monday
Jun202011

Overheard at "The Tree of Life"

This weekend I was collecting tweets about things people have overheard at their screenings of Terrence Malick's mysterious artful epic The Tree of Life.

I kicked things off with two stories from my screening. The first was two very old ladies teetering out of the theater arm-in-arm.

Some of that was very moving... but most of it was very boring.

Next came a bored middle aged husband and his angry loud wife...

Wife: I couldn't wait for that to be over.
Husband: It was...long.
Wife: It was a DAY long. I couldn't take one more symbol, metaphor or paradox.

Mikhael joined my "overheard" enthusiasm, submitting the following from his screening:

Woody Allen look-a-like to his wife: So tell me what that was all about?

Will Holston heard this:

Old Lady Yelling: CAN ANYONE TELL ME WHAT THAT WAS ABOUT?

Jake Cole saw a hipster in a fedora with a Che t-shirt who was above it all.

It's not as smart as it thinks it is.

And finally Erin had a very boisterous crowd so I think she wins. She heard the following random snippets, all of them utterly hilarious if you've seen the movie.

There's no acting!

Are we in the right film?

Are those sunflowers?

[during last ten minutes] Is that SEAN PENN?!

None of these comments surprise me and all of them delight me because The Tree of Life is so meditative and personal and open to interpretation that anyone can probably feel anything while they're watching it. I imagine that people who don't like their mind to wander, to fill in, to have associative adventures both scary and peaceful and god-knows-what-else during a screening probably become utterly unhinged. I like that feeling in a movie theater but I was unnerved a couple of times by the barrage of things I was feeling and the distinct impression that the film wasn't trying to make me feel them exactly and maybe the film wasn't even responsible for me feeling them... which was both exciting and annoying.

I haven't talked about the movie at all here because i missed the first wave or critical discussion (I have yet to read even one review) and was totally shy thereafter. I mostly enjoyed it but for its repetitive preciousness about prayers to God and the Sean Penn sequences. But I think in some key ways it's the most inaccessible thing I've seen in theaters since Matthew Barney's 10 hour Cremaster cycle (which I was gaga for) so I'm perversely enjoying that some unsuspecting moviegoers are tricked into seeing it by Malick's reputation and the twin towers of stardom that are PITT and PENN.

To be frank I adamantly believe that Sean Penn was a financial compromise the movie shouldn't have made. This part, which should only be a vessel to provide the visual passing of time, needed a complete unknown. His star presence kept taking me out of the movie --  'Why is this big star Brad Pitt's angry son all grown up?' -- because Penn didn't have enough of a character to play to justify an "actor" playing it.  Every other cast member seemed to have been utterly absorbed into the film like they were just appendages or organs powered by its brain, blood and nervous system. Brad Pitt in particular was fantastically convincing and period specific as the frustrated father. Unlike Penn I never felt like I was seeing "Brad Pitt". I'll assume you've read a hundred times by now that the child performances were sensational examples of the kind of "naturalism" that most movies don't ever attempt. One scene in particular with the two eldest boys in tall grass, one of them crying, totally unnerved and upset me and it's my strongest memory of the movie. Well, aside from the bravura creation sequence. Those briefly glimpsed dinosaurs had more soul than any screen dinosaurs ever, yes?

YOUR TURN. Sorry it took me so long to say anything. How unruly was your audience and how conflicted was your own response to the year's most challenging movie to see regular release thus far?