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Entries in Vivien Leigh (7)

Thursday
Aug212014

Best Shot Collection: Gone With the Wind (Pt. 1)

Seventy-five years ago this December (yes, we'll celebrate again...albeit in a different way) Gone With the Wind premiered. No, that isn't quite right. This epic about a selfish Southern Belle surviving the Civil War and beyond ARRIVED IN STYLE with a three day celebration in Atlanta which reportedly drew one million visitors -- how'd they fit them all into the theater? (Hee). 1939's Best Picture winner arrived with roughly a bajillion times the anticipation that today's blockbusters get because pop culture was far less fragmented back then and everyone was obsessed with it. It would stay in theaters for literally years (the first couple of them at twice the normal ticket price) and become the biggest cinematic smash the world would ever see. To put it into perspective only Star Wars ever came close with The Sound of Music, E.T. and Titanic fighting for a distant third.

To look at something this large for a single defining image is an impossible task (or two images rather since we've split it in half). My favorite recurring visual motif of the film, Scarlett moving against the current of the crowd as befitting her singular tetchy anti-heroine nature and her duties as protagonist just doesn't look magnificent in freeze frames, but my favorite instances are two: First, when war has been declared and she walks up the stairs calmly through a sea of pastel dresses running down them (bless the film's first fired director George Cukor - that's obviously his work!), and second, her selfish exit from the scene of an amputation when she moves from the sweaty interior nightmare of a hospital to the shock of an exterior nightmare of chaos outside in the streets. Other favorite images were too small or atypical. For instance, there's this calming exquisitely lit shot of Mr and Mrs Ashley Wilkes. [more...]

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Friday
Feb142014

Cinema's Greatest On-Screen and Off-Screen Couples

Here's abstew with a Valentine special!

In the dark of the movie theatre is where we fall in love. Romantic films have influenced our lives and how we love since the dawn of cinema. And as we watch–perhaps on a first date–the actors fall in love on the silver screen, we swoon. More often than not, if you believe location rumors, that passion on-screen finds its way into the real-life relationships of the actors involved. In honor of Valentine's Day, let's celebrate those cinematic couples who's love burned bright on and off the big-screen.

Here are five of Hollywood's most iconic lovers...

Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh

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Saturday
Dec212013

Film on Film: 5 Classics That Deserve a Film of Their Own

[Editor's Note: Here's abstew with 5 Hollywood on Hollywood pitches. Co-sign!]

It's no secret that one of Film's favorite subject matters is, well, itself. The past two Best Picture winners (The Artist and Argo) have had Hollywood and the art of film-making at their core. And this weekend another film-on-film, Saving Mr. Banks, about Walt Disney's decades long struggle to bring Mary Poppins to the big screen expands across the country in its quest to join those previous films in Oscar glory. The story seems ready-made for the movies - beloved source material, larger-than-life characters/personalities, and, just because it can, a hard-knock-life childhood back-story thrown into the mix. (If the old Hollywood angle doesn't win them over why not add the Academy's other irresistible allure: the biopic. It's two films for the price of one!)

I'm sure many people were unaware what went into trying to convince author P.L.Travers to sign over the rights to Disney and I'm sure even fewer people knew about Travers' back-story. But so many classic films have equally fascinating behind-the-scenes stories that would make just as compelling films. In honor of Saving Mr. Banks, here are 5 other classic films that deserve their own film treatment. So, quiet on the set...Action! 

The Wizard of Oz 

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Tuesday
Nov052013

Curio: Vivien's Many Faces

Alexa here, weighing in with some curios for TFE's Vivien Leigh Centennial Celebration.  It seems unbelievable that Vivien made only 19 films, with her face leaving such an indelible mark on the cinema landscape.  And, oh (as Kendra's book celebrates), that face! I think only Cate Blanchett can today approximate the expressive prisms that were Vivien's eyes.  With that in mind, here are some lovelies that celebrate her cinema career.

Three costumes from Caesar and Cleopatra, painted by C. David Claudon, available in print form here.

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Monday
Nov042013

Vivien Leigh in "Waterloo Bridge"

TFE's Vivien Leigh Centennial Celebration continues with Abstew on Leigh's own favorite

 

Even if Vivien Leigh had only created Scarlett O'Hara and Blanche DuBois on film, her place as a Hollywood legend would be unquestionably well secured. Her portrayals of those two Southern Belles are so iconic that the rest of her modest filmography tends to get overlooked (she made only 19 films in her career, more than half of them British films before her star-making performance in Gone With the Wind). It certainly doesn't help that many of the films are not easy to find and some, like the 1955 film version of Terrance Rattigan's play The Deep Blue Sea (another film version of the play was released last year with Rachel Weisz which, incidentally, earned her many comparisons to Vivien Leigh), have never been made available for home viewing (although you can watch the entire film on youtube here. Not the best quality, but worth it for die-hard Vivien Leigh fans). But if there's one film that she should most be remembered for past GWTW and Streetcar, it's the film that Leigh, herself, claimed as her personal favorite of all her films, 1940's Waterloo Bridge

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