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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Entries in Winona Ryder (24)


Empire Mania (and Other Links)

Arts Beat Kerry Washington to star in HBO film Confirmation about Anita Hill. Great casting
Playbill Not that it was ever in doubt but Disney is officially at work on Frozen 2
Comics Alliance Robert Downey Jr presents a one arm kid Avengers fan with an Iron Man arm. Sweet
Broadway World talks to the legendary Ben Vereen about new projects, Bob Fosse movies, and the return of the movie musical

D Listed Steve Carell as Fabio? Fabulous. Especially the low-fi hair blowing... which is particularly funny since we just saw the same "effect" in Paris is Burning 
Pajiba Courtney schools Lindsay Lohan on photoshop manipulation for her Instagram account
Disney promises no more smoking in their films ever. That's fine but if they digitally erase the smoking in their archive like in 101 Dalmatians we will feel murderous
/Film PETA wants new ending for Tim Burton's Dumbo remake and though we'd prefer the movie not be made at all, we'd like to co-sign this proposal
Howard Stern Show I keep hearing this very lengthy Madonna interview is awesome but I haven't listened yet. I'm too busy mainlining "Rebel Heart" now that it's here in full (favs: Living For Love, Ghost Town, Rebel Heart, and I think I might love the totally filthy and juvenile Holy Water but I haven't decided yet)
MNPP I never talk about John Barrowman since he doesn't make movies but I L-O-V-E him and here's Jason paying tribute in a crotch-grabbing way that I think Barrowman himself would enjoy

Today's Moment of Nostalgia
Elle Magazine reminisces about Winona Ryder's "Lydia Deetz" as fashion icon and talks to Beetlejuice costumer Aggie Guerard Rodgers about working with Tim Burton and creating the looks.

Unlike the rogue Babysitter who tired of the Club or Brenda when she finally stopped seeking Kelly's approval, Lydia Deetz was actually an original. And whether she was wearing a schoolgirl outfit stuffed with crinoline, a nondescript painter's smock, or a blood-red wedding dress to match her evil stepmother's, there was something aspirational about how few fucks she actually gave. 

 Mania - Some Links, Several Thoughts

Towleroad Some fan has made a video of Empire meant to ape the Dynasty opening. I appreciate the connection since I turned to the Boyfriend a few episodes of this show and said "I feel like this writer's room really studied Dynasty - best nighttime soap in forever." but this mashup is not really a great visual match. I grew up on Dynasty (my parents were horrified at how obsessed I was with it) and you have to have those vertical line splits and the sectional images for it to really read as Dynasty Reincarnated.
Good Black News Ratings for the show are up for the record-breaking 9th straight week. It's now starting to rival TV's mega hit The Walking Dead (!!!) I'm so happy for Lee Daniels. But I hope he doesn't quit movies because we need him there with his crazy ass Paperboy/Precious/Butler provocations.
Xfinity Jussie Smollett talks about "the closet" or rather his lack of one on Ellen. He's beyond adorable, really. And the third best reason to watch Empire after 1) Taraji of course 2) how worthy it is as a night time soap giant overall. (The Smolletts are so talented. Remember how great his sister Junee was on Friday Night Lights?) This is my favorite performance of Jussie's on Empire thus far. I may have listened to it four times as I was typing this. 

"But what are the fourth and fifth best reasons to watch the show, Nathaniel?" you ask. SINCE YOU ASKED. 4) the music . 5) the guest stars are fabulous. Courtney Love and Naomi Campbell were superbly well cast and just killing it to cite two examples. Though we probably shouldn't mention new guest star Jennifer Hudson. That girl cannot act, sorry AMPAS. The past 9 years have proven otherwise. Great voice, though. 


Beauty vs Beast: Guests Gotten, Hosts Humped

Howdy folks, it's Jason from MNPP here with a brand new round of "Beauty Vs Beast" and a brand new chance to pit the sorta-good against the sorta-bad, or the sorta in-between, and for us to choose our side with due diligence (at least with enough enough energy to click one way or the opposite). It was a slow creep realization when Mike Nichols died last week, what we'd lost - I'm not a Broadway person and as of late that's what I'd associated him with, so it was only once I started skimming back through his filmography, and once I read wonderful tributes like Nat's here, that my brain clicked into place that "Why yes, Jason, you've loved and been affected by a ton of this man's work for your entire life, duh." And so I've found myself going back and re-watching things I hadn't seen in many years - Working Girl (Sigourney MVP!) and Silkwood (probably my favorite Nichols film) and then today's piping hot dish of husband-wife combat for the ages...



If you're here in the US you'll probably spend sometime this week giving thanks to the turkey and stuffing for all the good stuff in your life, and I wouldn't blame anybody who placed these two performances on their Good Stuff Lists. Personally I'm Team George because 1) I've never been much of a Burton fan but I think he's phenomonal in this movie, and 2) I see way too much of myself in Martha, and that's the sort of thing you reflexively snap your eyes away from. You have one week to vote!

PREVIOUSLY Checking back in on the gorgeous ladies of 1870s society, last week's Age-of-Innocence Off ultimately sided with the poor unfortunate soul Countess Olenska (Michelle Pfieffer) over wily Winona's little Miss May; we do love a wounded bird. Said Murtada:

"Countess Olenska was way ahead of her time, a pioneer against vicious social mores. And she endured a false life despite getting a glimpse of a real one. Hasn't she suffered enough? She gets my vote."


Beauty vs Beast: I'm Not That Innocence

Howdy folks, Jason from MNPP here with Monday's weekly dose of "Beauty vs Beast" -- you might be forgiven for having mistaken this series for an episode of G.L.O.W. as of late (please tell me that some of y'all are my age and know and love that reference) - it seems like it's been a lot of lady match-ups, I mean. So when I saw that today is Martin Scorsese's 72nd birthday, at first I was all, "Finally I can inject some testosterone in here! Pesci! De Niro! Guns and phalluses and junk!"

But then I looked at Marty's filmography I saw the first thing I always regrettably see these days - namely his last movie, The Wolf of Wall Street. And I haaaaaaated WoWS. And my stomach tumbled. And so in my indignation I turned against the testoterone, and where did that leave me? Lady fight!


I know aksing The Film Experience community to even consider a vote against Michelle Pfeiffer is akin to blasphemy, but know this: my vote is for May, May all the way, May got her man and didn't slink away without a fight. All the prime years of Daniel Day-Lewis were hers; nyah nyah nyah Countess Loser.

PREVIOUSLY And speaking of hauling ass to the ladies, last week we trained our eyes on the cutthroat world of high school girls, which also involves a lot of whispers in hallways and note-passing - in the battle for the Queen of Clueless, it's Cher Horowitz who gets the seat at the center of the lunch table. Said Ben:

"Have to go with Cher, due to our shared love of Beavis & Butthead and Snickers. And can you believe they still haven't put R.S.V.P. on the Statue of Liberty? As if!"


The Honoraries: Harry Belafonte, Beetlejuice (1988)... and Selma (2014)?

In our miniseries "The Honoraries" we're celebrating the four talents that'll be honored by the Academy at the Governor's Awards this year. Here's Nathaniel...

Or, rather, here's soon to be Jean Hersholt Humanitarian winner Harry Belafonte's immeasurable contribution to Tim Burton's Beetlejuice (1988) - included below since it seemed appropriate for Halloween. When I was a kid these Belafonte songs weren't new to me since my parents had a few of his records but I imagine for a whole swath of young moviegoers in the 1980s this was quite an introduction. Two of the movie's key scenes were basically handed over to his joyful voice and catchy songs.

"Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)" was originally from Harry Belafonte's "Calypso" album, his third, in 1956. The song was a top five hit but the album was an even bigger sensation spending over half a year as the #1 selling LP in the country. "Jump in the Line" the Belafonte number that closes the film through Noni's floating dance was a cover recorded for his 1961 album "Jump Up Calypso".

Beetlejuice (1988) and political activism after the jump...

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Beauty Vs. Beast: Swan Against Swan

JA from MNPP here - it's time for some "Beauty Vs. Beast" yo! We're getting our Aronofsky on this week - I chose to take us back to 2010 for a Black Swan face-off for the specific reason that today is Natalie Portman's 33rd birthday (Happy birthday, Nat!), and it was only after that I mentally connected it to last week's Girl Interrupted face-off - only now, seeing them side by side like this, do the paralells seem striking - two crazy gals feeding off each other's craziness, Winona Ryder talking about oral sex... it's a real double-feature. And I suppose "double" is the operative word...


So pirouette yourself to one side or the other between now and next Monday, folks!

PREVIOUSLY And as for last week's Winona versus Angie showdown, y'all made like the Oscars and gave your love to the big show on the sidelines of Girl Interrupted - Jolie took the title with 62% of your votes. Said David:

"She drove poor, fried-chicken-hording Brittany Murphy to suicide in the first 45 minutes and she was just getting started.... Angelina Jolie wins this by a mile."


Beauty Vs Beast: Two Girls, One Nut

JA from MNPP here with this week's round of "Beauty Vs Beast" fun - it's only the start of the week here but I think it's pretty clear that we've already got to cede ownership of the whole seven days to the biggest female movie star in the world. Not only did Angelina Jolie have her biggest box office opening ever with the Sleeping Beauty re-write Maleficent (which, well, I feel so very alone among my online-critic friends having really enjoyed the movie) but she's turning 39 on Wednesday to boot. You got this one, Angie.

This fall marks the 15th anniversary of the Winona Ryder vehicle Girl, Interrupted, meaning we're coming up on 15 years since Angelina's Oscar win and adjacent meteoric rise to top of the heap. So let's look back there for this week's cinematic tête-à-tête...


Light a candle for Angie or Winona in the comments - you've got one week to grab one of them by the hand and make your break for it.

PREVIOUSLY And speaking of mental patients, last week we came in like a lion to leave with the Silence of the Lambs, facing down the two serial killers at the black heart of Jonathan Demme's 1991 Oscar horror - I don't think anybody was too srurpised to see Dr. Lecter walk free on this one. As Sonja put it...

"I mean.... he's literally "eating" all the other psycho killer wannabes for breakfast."


The Darling Buds of May: May Welland

[Editor's Note: In the interest of keeping things fresh, we aren't doing the traditional "May Flowers" series this year but this spin-off miniseries, spearheaded by abstew though I'll also be chiming in, featuring characters named that way. - Nathaniel.]

Full Name: May Welland Archer 

Film She Starred In: The Age of Innocence (1993) Martin Scorsese's adaption of Edith Wharton's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel (1920). 

Played By: Winona Ryder (real last name: Horowitz). Already a well-regarded and popular actress having previously worked with directors Tim Burton and Francis Ford Coppola, the then 21-year-old was Scorsese's first choice for the role.

Time and Location: The film takes place in the preferred setting of Scorsese, New York City. Although the drawing rooms and Opera houses of a 1870s Manhattan were a bit of a departure. May and her family also spend their summers in St. Augustine and when she and Newland Archer (Daniel Day-Lewis) marry, they Honeymoon in London and Paris (where she has her clothes made and a sculpture modeled of her hands).

First Appearance in the Film: May first appears at the 4 minute mark when professional snoop/gossip Larry Lefferts (Richard E. Grant) spies her controversial cousin Countess Ellen Olenska (Michelle Pfeiffer) entering the Welland's Opera box. More...

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