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 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 Year in Review (166)


May. It's a Wrap.

Maybe we ended with a whimper but May was a pretty great month here at TFE with lots of bangs for your buck... not that you are spending bucks (though we always welcome subscriptions -- see sidebar -- to keep us afloat). I know because I had a way more difficult time selecting entries for this "Best of the Month" post than usual. And that's not even including regular series like Monologues, Tuesday Top Ten, or the seasonal May Flowers postings (thank you especially on two of those three to new TFE contributors Andrew & Andrew (no relation: that's Andrew Kendall and Abstew in the bylines). And then of course we also found time to do the first Oscar predictions for the upcoming race - Always fun to argue about!

So herewith ten highlights from the month...

Those Who Have Gone "Before" five reasons why the Before trilogy is masterful
Q&A discussion of disappointing actresses and mixed-up hunks 
Team Experience: Oscar's Greatest Losers in which we investigated the greatest Best Actress nominated performances that didn't win Oscars 
Summertime & The Talented Mr Ripley -- two straight weeks in Italy -- marked the peak of popularity for 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot' this season. Are you trying to tell us something about your next vacation? 
Cannes Closing Ceremony thoughts on the orgasmic finale to the fest
RIP Smash the musical series we rooted for but were crushed by 

Q&A discussion of disappointing actresses and mixed-up hunks 
I Dreamed of Gatsby Baz Luhrmann sucks Moulin Rouge! dry
The Only Post You Will Ever Need on the August: Osage County Teaser Poster - done
The "Punk" Met Gala with fashion-joke girl genius, Courtney Enlow Hall
Burning Questions what's the greatest quality divide is between Movie and Soundtrack?

P.S. And just in case you haven't been voting in the spontaneous silliness of our polls, please humor me. It gives me lolz to see your votes and comments. And - please to note - that on the last serious poll "which book becoming a movie should I read?" Twelve Years a Slave and Labor Day triumphed so we'll be reading those and discussing sometime soon. Care to join us?

P.P.S. Coming in June. I've actually no idea though the blog might be dark for a week (more details to come). Any suggestions?


April. It's a Wrap

I hope April was a good month for you. On the other hand, if you, like me, weren't having a 'firing on all cylinders' month, you probably missed some goodies. Herewith ten highlights from the month... I mean, besides Reader Spotlight and Best Shot which are always highlights. 

Ryan, Tilda, and T-Rex were the stars of the month here at The Film Experience

Jury Duty my stint at the Nashville International Film Festival and the prizes we gave
Can a Bad Sequel Diminish a Classic? Michael asks Burning Questions with flair 
Surprise Podcast Joe, Nick and I discussed The Place Beyond the Pines and 1990s flicks
Jude in the Snow I think the highlight of this year's noncommittal April Showers (sorry) was Andrew's piece on Anna Karenina, don't you?
The Oscar That Got Away Judy Garland's immortal star turn in A Star is Born was commemorated with a Best Shot episode

Top Ten Non-Nominated Supporting Actresses (1980s) this was a fun list to make. Perhaps I'll do more
Jurassic Park Featuring Tilda Swinton Yes, Jurassic Park makes me think of Tilda Swinton. Don't judge 
Watching You Watching... I asked readers to confess the last three movies they saw, no editing. So fun to read the comments. If only you'd comment this much all the time ;)
Language Barrier? with the release of Kon-Tiki, Tim wonders if we can ever really see a foreign film as it's meant to be seen
Best New Directors of the 21st Century a big discussable Team Experience countdown

Coming in May - Are you ready for summer?
Yes, I'll try to wrap up some loose ends (cough. I know I know) plus we'll look at Iron Man Three, The Great Gatsby (costumes and all), Before Midnight, Benedict Cumberbatch Into Darkness, Cannes films and fashions, Frances Ha and more. We're also trying a little something different this month with two guiding Stars: look out for a handful of Hepburn (Katharine) soon and a tall cool drink of Paul Newman at month's end. If you like those theme weeks maybe we'll try more of them.


March. It's a Wrap

Well that went by quickly. We're just pretending the month isn't over when it comes to Reader Spotlights / Reader Appreciation Month. But I hope you're as excited for Spring as I am.

Tilda. She's found another place to sleep.

Pocahontas Quiz come roll in all the riches all around us
Tilda in a Box I watched the goddess sleep. I couldn't take photos so I drew it
Vintage 1983 I chose a random year for this survey of its crop 
In Old Chicago a look back at an odd Oscar legend and the accompanying film
Vanya & Sonia & Sasha & Spike Sigourney's Weaver's sublime silliness on stage 

She Jane? That Jessica Chastain Tarzan rumor. And her competitive set?
The Wonderful Best Shots of Oz this season of Hit Me With Your Best Shot sure kicked up a dust storm as we left Kansas for the Emerald City for a few days
Horizontal Lovelies there weren't many comments -- do you prefer your stars vertical? -- but I had great fun making it 
Top Ten 1950s these list-attacks were good fun 

Most Discussed
Stars Without Competitive Oscars a top ten list through nomination stat lens 

Coming in April
The First Oscar Predictions of the new year, Oblivion, Jurassic Park, A Star is Born, the Nashville Film Festival, Kon-Tiki, Big Anniversaries for two Oscar battles:  Lawrence of Arabia vs To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Last Emperor vs. Moonstruck, "Mad Men at the Movies" (television's very best show returns) and more...


February. It's a Wrap

Obviously we are quite consumed with Oscar-Mania each February. You can see an index of the big night here along with the final podcast of the season. But what else did we talk about? If you're new to the Film Experience, look around. Here's ten mostly off-Oscar posting highlights from the month that was...

Which Character? do you play when you play Clue
The First Image... from Nymphomaniac  
Posterized The Steven Soderbergh Experience 
Interview Alexandre Desplat on Argo & Zero Dark Thirty 

Showboat part of the Warner Bros Box Set of 20 Musicals
Interview Rich Moore
 on his long journey with Wreck-It Ralph
my first CNN talking head gig

Argo & Silver Linings Playbook - two second viewings 
Small Talk with Nosferatu. Awkward!
The Film Bitch Awards (13th annual!) in all the Oscar type categories 

Coming Soon: MARCH is reader appreciation month. Stay tuned for: contests, interviews, the return of Hit Me With Your Best Shot, Quentin Tarantino week, new releases and more...


January. It's a Wrap

I always lose January in a rush of movie and work demands and previous year spillover. It's over already? Here were 10 highlights from the month that was:

Biggest Celebrity Crushes Of the Moment: Marius & Cosette Eddie & Amanda... weirdly Les Miz isn't really involved in this crushing.

Best of the Year Nathaniel's 22 Favorites of 2012
Jodie Foster is Single Thoughts on Jodie's brand of "coming out"
The Hours 10th Anniversary. Nick & Joe discuss the actressy film in depth
Blue Jasmine Tea Leaves Should we be excited for the new Woody Allen? 

César Nominations - Julien takes us through the French Oscars. This year half the big titles were also hits abroad: Rust & Bone, Amour and more.
100 Oldest Living Oscar Nominees - Emmanuelle Riva, Carol Channing, Doris Day and 97 more
Celebrity Globe Tweeting - from Cazwell through Zachary Levi to Adele
10 Big Surprises of Oscar Morning - from Silver Linings dominance to Affleck's Snub

Most Eyeballs: Eddie Redmayne Interview. The rising star talks skinny-dipping, name-calling, and live-singing. This was actually at the end of December but it kept on winning viewers, so I thought I'd include it.
Most Discussed: SAG Live-Blogging (in two parts)

It's time to dive deep into the fire of the final awardage, both Nathaniel's own & Oscars (interviews and category spotlights coming). But because we're overly ambitious (even if we sometimes don't meet our ambitions) we'll try to throw in a few retro treats like...maybe...  Cabaret (1972), 8 ½ (1963) and The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988) or Bringing Up Baby (1938) which all have anniversaries!

Stay tuned...


Best of the Year: Nathaniel's Top Ten

Previously: The Honorable Mentions

Often during the calendar-straddling list-making frenzy of "top ten season" a scene or a line of dialogue or even a whole film will refuse to dislodge itself from any internal conversation you may have with oneself about the year. That moment for me this year was Kylie Minogue's cameo late in Holy Motors when she arrives in a trenchcoat, like some lost Casablanca love, to sing:

Who were we. When we were. Who we were back then?

It'd be ineloquent bathos, too crudely and redundantly stated, if it weren't sung. But this heightened musical longing for a lost identity, lifts and soars with pathos instead. The year's best films kept reinforcing this most interior of questions as they wrestled with their past selves towards an uncertain future.

Nathaniel's Top Ten of 2012
From all movies screened that received US theatrical releases...

ZERO DARK THIRTY (Kathryn Bigelow)
Sony/Columbia. December 21st 

[SPOILERS FOLLOW] My favorite exchange in Mark Boal's dense script occurs between a government official and a CIA operative. "What the fuck does that mean?" "It's a tautology". I laughed at the wordplay in the film but wasn't expecting the widespread tautological eruptions that followed the film's premiere as everyone bent themselves into self-affirming pretzels to debate its portrayal of torture in the film's opening scenes as if there were only one way to look at the damn movie... as if torture were the only thing worth discussing about the film! To Zero Dark Thirty's credit, though I too was discomfited by its suggestion that torture yielded useful intel, there's nary a comfortable or pandering moment in the film. Like The Hurt Locker before it, ZDT attempts something like an apolitical stance though how successful that is (or ever can be) will be left to each viewer to decide. In my mind, Bigelow doesn't suggest that you're meant to enjoy torture or even embrace the mission's success, exactly...

more on Zero Dark and 9 more triumphs after the jump...

Click to read more ...


Tues Top Ten: The Year in Dance Scenes

Michael C. here. Over at Serious Film I've been handing out awards for 2012, but when I tried to name the dance scene of the year I realized 2012 was too packed with great contenders to choose only a single champion. So here is a more comprehensive list of the best scenes where characters couldn't fight their dancing feet.

Honorable Mentions

I consider Holy Motor's accordion scene more parade than dance otherwise it would surely top this list. Likewise I don't know quite how to classify Philip Seymour Hoffman's disturbing performance during The Master's nude party fantasy although it certainly impossible to forget. As for Magic Mike all the movie's dance scenes blended together in my memory, so maybe some Ladies of Tampa can enlighten me in the comments as to which one was the standout. 

 Top 10 Dance Scenes of 2012 

10. Take This Waltz 
I wasn’t as in love with this infidelity drama as many were, but it had a handful of great scenes where I could see what everybody else was so excited about. The finest was a house party where the secret life of Michelle Williams’ character threatens to spill out into public view on the dance floor to the tune of Feist’s terrific cover of Leonard Cohen’s Closing Time. 

9. Silver Linings Playbook (and 8 more films after the jump)

Click to read more ...