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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 | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 

 

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Silence of the Lambs Retrospective

 

"That finger fondle is the most terrifying part of the movie; it literally sends a chill through my body every time I view it. Knowing what heinous acts he had committed, I felt very protective of Clarice and that is a testament to Foster's brilliance. I still believe the Oscar should have been split in half (Geena and Susan), but Foster's win here is more justified than The Accused."- NewMoonSon

"I do agree that the movie is well made, but it's about serial killers. Not everyone's cup of tea.." - Devon

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Entries in Tues Top Ten (99)

Saturday
Feb132016

Podcast: Top Ten Edition

Nathaniel,  NickKatey, and Joe discuss their individual top ten lists. (There was a lot to cram in so your host apologizes for some ungraceful edits.)

43 minutes 
We discuss a lot of different titles including but not limited to: The Martian, Creed, Mistress America, Room, Diary of a Teenage Girl, Son of Saul, Spotlight, The Look of Silence and In Jackson Heights.

Related Reading:
15 Best of '15 -Nathaniel's Writeup
Carol Podcast 1 & Carol Podcast 2 ICYMI. it's high on our lists but we don't discuss it much this time due to time constraints

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes soon

Top Ten Discussion

Monday
Jan252016

Best of 2015: Nathaniel's Top Fifteen

When you devote your life to the movies, you come to cherish the movies that give back as if they're devoted, in return, to you. Yes, you, specifically. Our consumption of movies may be communal but in some ineffable way, especially when it comes to list-making, they're deeply personal; movies in conversation with your soul. At least if you're doing it right. It's painful enough to "rank" a top 15 for 2015. So I included a second tier of favorites. The 30 best of the year, according to your host, took place all over the world as we know it (Germany keeps popping up as does seemingly every place with an arid climate in an odd but starkly beautiful coincidence) to weirdly recognizable places beyond it (Why, Jakku, you look so much like Tattoine!). The unifying thread might be that however alien their perspectives and locales (inside a young girl's brain, locked in a 10 x 10 shed, or chained to the back of rusted death machines in hallucinatory sandstorms), they resonated as if deeply familiar.

Nathaniel's top 30 films of

If you're looking for __ you won't find it:
I liked Magic Mike XXL -- you may recall that Magic Mike (2012) won the Film Bitch Bronze medal here in 2012 as third best of its entire year -- but can't join the unexpected bandwagon of critics who decided they loved the sequel well after it left theaters. I did enjoy it a lot, though. Also just missing the list, not from an absence of affection exactly but "best?" attributes, is Ridley Scott's disco-lite outer-space romp The Martian. I'm far less keen on recent Oscar nominees like The Big Short, Straight Outta Compton, The Hateful Eight, Anomalisa, Trumbo, Son of Saul, and The Revenant but they need not cry from my qualms, indifference, or distaste (depending on the picture) since they have stadiums full of cheering sections elsewhere

And this list is about positive, nay giddy, love. So on to the best of the best. 

15 (Very) Honorable Mentions in Alpha Order
Please seek out: The Troubles via Yann Demange's electric debut '71; Desiree Arkhavan's hilarious bisexual Iranian-American hipster romcom (a genre we didn't even know we needed but love) Appropriate Behavior; Spielberg & Hanks's absorbing Bridge of Spies; Disney's girlie lush live-action Cinderella spin; Olivier Assayas's actressy-angst at those Clouds of Sils Maria; Celine Sciamma's infectiously observed but profoundly sad GirlhoodLily Tomlin & Paul Weitz's Grandma focused road trip; the waking nightmare game of sexual tag in It FollowsIceland's formally compelling beast and man oddity Of Horses and Men; Brazil's smart socioeconomic collisions in The Second Mother; Paul Feig & Melissa McCarthy's Spy romp; Disney's easy money $4 billion bet The Force Awakens; Tom McCarthy's soulful journalism procedural SpotlightAaron Sorkin's presentational Steve Jobs triptych; Xavier Dolan's queasy, queer, razor blade dangerous Tom at the Farm; and the director, crew, and cast who pulled off that continuous shot jaw-dropper stunt that was Victoria... and pulled it off with feeling. 

Without further ado and with deep appreciation...

NATHANIEL'S TOP 15 OF '15
🎶 they're speaking my language baby 🎶 

 

I'LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS
(Brett Haley)
Bleecker Street Media. May 15th
92 minutes 

A movie as unassuming as Blythe Danner's still waters star turn, and as gently surprised by its twilight romanticism as the wonderful theme song. It's easy to imagine this film becoming a staple, a comfortable blanket to wrap yourself up in on lonely nights; an old dear friend that understands the value of finding new ones.

You're a good drinking buddy!"

 

CHI-RAQ
(Spike Lee)
Roadside Attractions. December 4th
119 minutes 

By no small margin the most uneven and sometimes downright sloppy movie on this 15 wide "Best" list --  stop reading the teleprompter Samuel L Jackson, learn your damn verse! But, a permanent truth: perfection isn't everything. Vitality of voice, with something actually worth saying, counts for quite a lot with so many polished but empty-headed and safe pictures clogging up each year's awards pipeline. Spike Lee won an Honorary Oscar shortly before anyone saw his reworking of Lysistrata, transported to contemporary Chicago (nicknamed Chi-Raq for its crime rate troubles). Nobody knew that his best movie in 15 years was about to hit to make that statue feel retroactively less of a tribute to past highs (Do The Right Thing, 25th Hour, etcetera) and more of an "it's about damn time!" honor for a still relevant artist. Chi-Raq is... Crazy. Funny. Sexy. Anguished. Silly. Mad. Experimental. Sickening. Sober. Even Optimistic. In short, "It's 'EVERYTHING!' as the queens say. Now if only everyone would go see this bold bawdy and beautiful everything. And, did someone say "Queen," I can hear Miss Helen (Angela Bassett, who also Got Her Groove Back of late) shaking her head at the meager box office receipts.

Y'all make my tired ass tired!" 

 

SICARIO
(Denis Villeneuve)
Lionsgate. October 2nd
121 minutes 

If Denis Villenueve's movies get any more tense they're going to explode by the second reel.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jan122016

Tuesday Top Ten: Golden Globes Fashion

Jose here. Can it be that the Golden Globes have now out-Oscared the Oscars in terms of incredible fashion? For a few years now, the stars have been saving their boldest looks for the Globes (Emma Stone's incredible pants combo! Felicity Jones' impressive Dior ball gown!) and this year the trend continues, as the stars wore their most idiosyncratic looks to the HFPA's annual open bar. 

Top Ten Golden Globe Gowns after the jump


Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct202015

Top Ten '86 Flashback. Plus A Room With a "Best Shot"!

We've done a terrible job of having top tens ready for you every Tuesday so here's a quickie from 1986 since it's Best Shot time again.

Top Ten Films of 1986

  1. A Room With a View (James Ivory)
  2. Aliens (James Cameron)
  3. Hannah and Her Sisters (Woody Allen)
  4. Little Shop of Horrors (Frank Oz)
  5. My Beautiful Laundrette (Stephen Frears)
  6. The Fly (David Cronenberg)
  7. Betty Blue (Jean-Jacques Beineix)
  8. Peggy Sue Got Married (Francis Ford Coppola)
  9. Parting Glances (Bill Sherwood)
  10. The Mosquito Coast (Peter Weir)

Disclaimer: I haven't seen many of these films in a very long time. I am sure there are major titles I should reconsider or see for the first time since I wasn't seeing movies as voraciously back then. 

What does your top ten from that year look like?

Basically the top three there are "all-timers" for Nathaniel, not just for an annual list. And yes yes, I'm aware that IMDb considers the James Ivory classic a 1985 movie but that's stupid because it did not open that year. It opened nowhere that year. It opened in both its home country of the UK and in the USA and then spread to other countries in the early summer of 1986. It was a big deal, crossing over from the arthouse and justly receiving a slew of Oscar and BAFTA nominations (and actual statues, too). If you've never seen it, I envy you your first time. 

BEST SHOT CHOICES...
Please click over to see the choices and read these articles. My choice will be up tomorrow so if you're running late you still have time! REPULSION, our finale of the season, will also be delayed two days (you have until Thursday the 29th to post your choice) because we have a sudden trip to London for The Danish Girl interviews this weekend so Tuesday will be impossible.

FILMMIXTAPE

The film is never lacking for gorgeous imagery, with even the most perfunctory medium dialogue shots being frames you want to live inside.

ANTAGONY & ECSTASY

The fact that it's a depiction of a literal room with a view wasn't part of my calculation

CHIRAPAT

When my mind and body long for relaxation and comfort, I usually swing the ‘costume drama’ window wide open and let it soothe my soul... 

FILM ACTUALLY

Loved every preening, posh second of Daniel Day-Lewis's performance.

MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION

Maggie Smith, she’s the ultimate symbol of the film’s humor, making (poor) Charlotte Bartlett into one of her most remarkable creations and an indispensable part of the film’s comedic construction.

ALLISON TOOEY

If it wasn’t for the costumes and some of the dialogue, the movie could have been set in almost any time period...

SORTA THAT GUY

Like many films chosen for this series, A Room with a View is a film I had meant to see sooner, but just never got around to it. 

MOVIE MOTORBREATH

Oh look!...

Exactly! Look at these movies. Pick a shot. Repulsion (1965) starring Catherine Deneuve is next on October 29th.

Thursday
Sep172015

1963 Look Back: Liz Taylor's 10 Best Looks From "Cleopatra"

Abstew kicks off our celebration of 1963 as we countdown to the next Smackdown (date TBA but probably early October)...

There's epic film making and then there's Cleopatra. Certainly in a class all of its own, the film spanned different countries, directors, stars, budgets, an original run time that clocked in at over six hours, and one legendary love affair far more interesting than the one being portrayed in the final film. Thanks to audiences wanting to see if La Liz and Richard Burton's explosive relationship off screen was able to be captured on the 70 mm Todd-AO celluloid, Cleopatra ended up being the #1 box office champion of 1963...and still ended up nearly bankrupting 20th Century Fox. Originally budgeted at $2 million, the final budget ballooned into an unprecedented amount of $44 million (roughly over $300 million when judged for inflation today) including a million dollar contract for star Elizabeth Taylor, making her the highest paid performer at the time. (She ended up walking away with over $7 million due to delays and a percentage of the box office.)

And it feels like at least half of that inflated budget went toward Taylor's costumes alone. Setting a Guinness Book of World Record at the time, Taylor goes through 65 costume changes in the film and earned all 3 (yes, 3) of its Costume Designers the Oscar for their efforts. Renié was responsible for the women's costumes, Vittorio Nino Novarese created the men's, and thanks to Irene Sharaff, who was in charge of all of Elizabeth Taylor's looks, we have a sumptuous treasure trove of couture fit for a queen (or at least Hollywood royalty). Deciding on a more modern look and color palette than what would have actually been found in ancient Egypt at the time of the film's setting, Taylor's looks influenced early '60s fashion with an influx in Egyptian like jewelry and even inspired a Revlon "Syphinx" line of make-up. So in honor of the film's sartorial contributions to cinema, let's take a look at 10 of Elizabeth Taylor's best looks as the legendary Queen of the Nile...

10. Travel Rug Chic

Click to read more ...

Friday
Sep042015

Team Top Ten: Back to School Edition

Amir here, bringing you Team Experience’s latest top ten list.

It’s hard to think of a genre that gets less respect than the high school film, but try contemplating a list of the best high school films of all time and a never-ending stream of classics seems to rush forward. That’s exactly what our team decided to do this month, and to make things difficult for ourselves, we expanded our horizons to include school films about kids of all ages, from all countries. After all, teenagers aren’t the only ones going back to school next week. What about the younger kids?

As it turned out, our team was more enthusiastic about this poll than any we had done before. With more ballots and more votes than ever before, this list was a real hoot for me to compile; and the range and quality of the films that were left off the final ten only serves to highlight the wealth of options at our disposal. From bonafide classics like Splendor in the Grass and If…, to influential foreign films like Zero for Conduct and Where Is the Friend’s Home?, to more recent films like Elephant and Perks of Being Wallflower, to documentaries like Hoop Dreams, back to school gives everyone with any cinematic taste something to savor. And those are just the stuff that didn’t make the cut! Well, those along with Grease, Boyz n the Hood, American Graffiti, Heathers, Wet Hot American Summer, Back to the Future, Dead Poet’s Society, and… you get the picture.

So, without further ado...

 Team Experience’s Top Ten School Films

Click to read more ...