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Entries in Under the Skin (30)

Wednesday
Aug142019

Lunchtime Poll: So, you're turning into an alien...

by Nathaniel R

Today marks the 10th anniversary of District 9 (2009), a major sleeper hit and Oscar success in its year. Remember that year when it seemed like anything was possible for the sudden extra Best Picture slots ... before the awards strategists and specialty distributors conquered the new system to make it more like the old system again in terms of what got a Best Picture nod. 

District 9 was totally snubbed in Best Makeup which was insane. What does the makeup branch have against body horror anyway? Which brings us to today's lunchtime poll. You've become infected and are turning into an alien. Choose which movie alien you'd like to become and why. Here are some of movie aliens for inspiration and to get the conversation started...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun272019

Queer critics on their fav queer films

by Nathaniel R

Pedro Almodóvar and Antonio Banderas on the set of "Law of Desire"

I didn't intend to point you to yet another "best LGBTQ films" list since we've been to that well twice with an overview of online lists and then my own personal list for Pride month. Nevertheless you'll surely want to check out this article at Paste Magazine called "50+ Queer Writers, 50+ Queer Films". Our friend Kyle Turner polled dozens of critics who identify as LGBTQ asking them to share a short thought about a cinematic favourite. We were only allowed one film, so I went with Law of Desire. We were also encouraged to think broadly about what "queer" meant so a lot of the choices you'll read are atypical rather than full on G-A-Y. Head to the Paste link above to read the whole exciting thing but after the jump I'm sharing three excerpts I particularly loved, two of them from trans critics since they don't get mentioned often...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Mar202019

Take Three: Extra-Terrestrial Abduction Day

by Nathaniel R

There's a holiday for everything. Did you know that today, March 20th, is "Extra-Terrestrial Abduction Day"? The more you know. Whoosh. (You're picturing a shooting star which is appropriate in this sci-fi context.) Whenever we think of this topic (thankfully not often) the movie Fire in the Sky (1993) comes to mind. It contains the single most terrifying alien abduction scene ever put to film...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Mar292015

Film Bitch Awards ~The Medals Ceremony

Can we take a moment to appreciate that I finished the awards this year?!? A momentous recovery given that this most popular feature has slid in follow-thru without true wrap-ups the past two years. Self sabotage is a wicked trait. It shouldn't come as a surprise that Birdman and Under the Skin led the nominations with 15 and 11 respectively since they were my two favorites of the year. The biggest surprises are surely Gone Girl's 11 nominations and the piddly nomination counts for two of top ten films (Love is Strange and Mommy - how did I do so wrong by them?) but these things don't always work out as expected when you concentrate on individual elements within collective achievements. Some movies are just greater than the sum of any one part and other movies have a hundred excellent parts but not quite a genius whole.

On to the ceremony. Please to imagine the title themes from the corresponding films blaring as their medalists take their places. The tunes you'll hear most often are:

 

Overall - films with the biggest trophy hauls
Under the Skin (5 gold medals, 2 silver, 2 bronze)
Birdman (4 gold medals, 5 silvers, 1 bronze)
The Grand Budapest Hotel  (4 gold medals, 2 silver)

...which is a funny coincidence because they happen to be the exact three medalists from the Original Score category, if not in quite that order!

 Gone Girl just misses the final podium with 3 gold medals, 2 silver, and 2 bronze... quite a showing for a film that only made it to #17 in my favorites of the year. I've been wondering ever since I published the top ten list if I should've had that Fincher/Flynn collaboration on it. I put on the DVD in the other day to check on one detail and ended up watching the whole thing. Again. So now it's also the movie I've seen the most times from 2014. Meanwhile  Boyhood, my bronze medalist in Best Picture, didn't have a huge trophy haul in the end, just 4 medals: 1 gold, 1 silver, and 2 bronze. Two films that did well in medals despite low nomination counts were Begin Again and The Boxtrolls. See all the medals (indicated by gold, silver, and bronze star icons) on the Film Bitch Awards charts

-Oscar Correlatives
Picture, Director, Screenplays, Animation
All Four Acting Categories
Visuals
Sound and Music (and Oscar Correspondent Stats)

- Extra Fun Categories

Special Acting-Related Categories
Character Awards (Heroes, Divas, etcetera)
Best Individual Scenes (and Overall Stats) 

And with that we close out the 2014 Film Year! Finally. Whew. What an exhilarating ride it was. This is when we shout "AGAIN!" like a giddy child and line up to do it all over again albeit with a different set of films.

Thursday
Jan222015

Poster Madness! The Best of 2014

Glenn here with my now annual list of the best movie posters of the year. I should apologize for being so tardy with this, but I've been working on a big non-movie-related project that took precedent. Never mind that though because we're back. Last year logged the first time that I dragged my lil ol' list of the year's best movie posters over from my own blog onto The Film Experience we're back to see what'll win this year. Last year the honor went to Spring Breakers and this year was no less fierce. I have once more assembled an... eclectic list of films ranging from French orgy dramas and Christian religious flicks to British sci-fi and obscure horror titles.

I have tried to keep the posters featured within down to American 2014 theatrical/VOD releases only. That means designs that emerged online as much as 18 months ago can be on here if the film was only released this year (hi Nymphomaniac!). Likewise, designs for 2015 releases that are already hanging in cinema foyers do not feature - I'm going to spend the next year tossing and turning over whether this hilariously unsubtle phallic poster for Fifty Shades of Grey is actually good or completely terrible. Having said that, being an Australian means I have snuck few Aussie films on the list because, I guess, my list my rules. I should also point out that, just like last year, the lack of many big budget blockbusters on the list isn't my contrariness popping up (my lonely passions are now a thing), rather it's just proves that so many working for Hollywood studios would be absolutely lost without the billions of dollars that they take for granted and the audiences that flock to their movies like sheep.

Follow me as I count down the best posters of 2014!

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jan212015

...And the 3rd Annual Team Experience Award Goes To: 

Amir here, to welcome you to the third edition of Team Experience Awards, one of the most prestigious critics’ prizes around the world, bestowed on the best in cinema by members of this website sans Nathaniel. We previously honoured Leos Carax’s Holy Motors (with a lot of support for The Master) and Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave (with several awards for Gravity). There was a similar situation this year, with two films gaining most of our attention across the categories. Our pick for best picture, however, was a clear consensus favourite and won by a very comfortable margin. 

As always, individual ballots proved a lot more interesting than the final results, making the otherwise tedious process of making up spreadsheets really exciting for me. Though there is no sign of it on the list of winners here, there was passionate support for films as varied as We Are the Best!, Norte, the End of History, The Babadook, Godzilla, A Most Wanted Man and The Last of the Unjust. We will get to some of those titles in the trivia section at the bottom of the post, but for now, here are the Team Experience Awards’ winners:

Click to read more ...