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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 | letterboxd

 

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Entries in Year in Review (134)

Friday
Dec262014

The Less Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Or, "Try Harder Next Time You Talented So & Sos!"

Our Worst of the Year feature "Cinematic Shame" has shrunk in size. This is not because movies are better. This is because your host (Nathaniel R) has somehow become less jaded and more appreciative of the cinema over the years. In fact, he often can be seen crinkling his brow when faced with reminders that a lot of people who write about the movies don't like very many of them. Even more casually evident: lots of people who write about awards season don't like awards season. (A solemn promise to the disgruntled: there are plenty of other topics worth writing about - pitch those to your editor and TRUST that this topic will be amply covered, and all over the place, in your absence!)

But let's not distract ourselves.

 In the lists that follow as we gently spank famous people on their virtual bottoms we remember that they can turn right around the following year and wow us, thereby humbling us for doubting them. History is full of examples. We all have our "off" years or... um...decades. 

Uncomfortable segueway to Tim Burton...  [*cough*]

But look how cute this Big Eyes sketch he drew is! [Tomato stained lists are after the jump]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec232014

"Extra" FYCs? Your Last Chance

OPEN THREAD
We hope you're the Year in Review thus far.  We've already suggested stocking stuffers, gawked at great fashion, stroked furry friends, and named the year's MVP. I'm still madly cramming movies into my eyeballs but have begun drafting the FiLM BiTCH AWARDS this site's long running Oscar alternative. I'm willing to listen to FYCs for any of the special categories and aiming for Monday December 29th to kick things off.

Any 2014 "Best" suggestions for... Line Reading? Action Sequence? Cameo? Kiss? Musical Sequence in a Non-Musical?  Sex Scene? Credits/Title? Scene of the Year? 

P.S. If you're heading out early for Christmas festivities have a happy holiday. There wlll be many blog post presents under this tree to catch up with when you get back. 

Tuesday
Dec232014

Crazy Cat Lady Yearbook

Year in review. Two yummy look backs each day.

People often get my name wrong in the comments. I do not answer to "Nate" or "Nathan". "Nat" or "Nathaniel" will do.  I also answer to "Crazy Cat Lady".

Cats do not get enough screen time if you ask me but they're not pack animals so there's no cat union to promote their representation in the movies. I actually felt a bit betrayed this summer when Toothless, one of my all time favorite screen cats suddenly seemed almost doggish in How To Train Your Dragon 2. If Dreamworks wants to know why they struggled a bit at the box office there I can only point to Toothless. There was  A) Not nearly enough of him in the movie and B) He seemed to have gone to the dog side. 

So herewith the four cats from the film year I couldn't love more...

BEST SCREEN CATS 2014

04 Hairy Baby (Big Hero Six)
If Baymax weren't already off-the-charts adorable, it turns out he's also a cat person robot? (Though he probably shouldn't be petting a happy kitty who might well start kneading him since he's already sprung a leak at this point in the movie. 

03 Ghibli Cat (The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness)
From my review of the Studio Ghibli documentary... 

Particularly wonderful are the many shots of a black and white short tailed cat that wanders freely around Studio Ghibli demanding doors be open for it. This cat, who almost seems like an animated character, strangely never ventures into Miyazaki's workspace as if blocked, staring, by some invisible wall. Still, Miya-san likes him. They share a brief funny moment at a picnic table outside late in the film, the cat sleeping, the filmmaker looking on with envy; Miyazaki has since retired 

02 Felix (St. Vincent)
A veritable cloud of comfort in a sea of smelly clutter, cantankarous moods, and unhappy peoples. Felix is so fluffy, docile, well fed and people-loving that even the most misanthropic or lonely of film characters -- that'd be Bill Murray, natch -- can't remotely pretend to not worship him. (Vulture also couldn't pretend indifference, devoting a whole photo spread to him.)

01 The Cat (Gone Girl)
Every single shot of the orange tabby* in Gone Girl is perfection. He's the perfectly detached observer of all things Mr & Mrs Dunne. Even when he's allowing Nick to be comforted by him, not desperately waiting for food, or staring at the throngs of police and press circling his home, he never seems less than cool and in control. His allegiances also beautifully shift with the opposing chapters. For so long he seems to be Nick's man, until suddenly he's not. Note the way, in the film's best shot (yeah, I couldn't wait) he stares Nick down, a perfect unknowable mirror of Amy, standing just behind him, once they're all back in the kitchen. Is this tabby an "emotional marker" for Gone Girl as some claim or is he something more? An omniscient observer, perhaps? Or David Fincher in feline form, prowling around his own movie preternaturally aware of every shadowy corner, shared space, hiding place, and neutral ground. 

*the cat is never explicitly named in Gone Girl though Nick calls him "Buddy." In the novel I understand his name is "Bleecker".

Tuesday
Dec232014

Scarlett Johansson, 2014's MVP

Year in Review. Two yummy look backs each day

Tim here. Among its many charms and disappointments, 2014 was an extraordinarily good year to be a fan of Scarlett Johansson.

No, I can go bigger than that: 2014 was a year that could make somebody a fan of Scarlett Johansson in the first place, or in my case, knock the dust off a fandom that had been growing stale over the last several years.

What makes it such a particularly interesting year to have watched the actress is the way that three of her four performances released in the United States in ’14 are variations on each other (the outlier is what amounts to cameo in Chef, more of a favor done for director Jon Favreau than a real part). Let’s take a quick look at each of them:

Under the Skin
In a holdover from the 2013 festival season Johansson played a non-human being in the human form of a gorgeous woman under the guiding hand of director Jonathan Glazer. Icy good looks married to a deliberately unknowable inner life pretty neatly describes the opinion that tends to be held on Johansson’s acting skills by people who don’t like her, which makes this, on the one hand, an easy casting decision. [More...]

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Monday
Dec222014

Stocking Stuffers (of Our Dreams)

Year in Review: Two yummy lists per day. Alexa is off for the holiday so I'm subverting her her arts & crafts "Curio" column for a gift list - Nathaniel

 I can't imagine that the wee moviegoers of the world won't be getting all the Big Hero 6, LEGO and Groot goodies their hearts desire over Christmas but here are ten stocking stuffers we wish we could play with on Thursday morning.

Listen, nobody is ever going to serve the niche within the niche within the niche markets -- I 've accepted that fact that I'll never own Vera Drake action figures or, to quote Waiting for Guffman, a Remains of the Day lunchbox. But that shouldn't stop the dreaming. Some of the following prezzies inspired by 2014 movies, would surely put huge smiles on the face of your cinephile loved ones. Some of these you can actually stuff in stockings. Others do not exist. But we're in the list-making mood. Tis the season.

11 Last Minute Gift Ideas From Real to Imaginary

11. Snowpiercer original graphic novel for sale here
10. Mendl's Bakery Memorabilia all over the place at Etsy 
9. Amazing Amy books for download... or Carrie Coon's "Protect Your Nuts" tee for order but if you're going with any Gone Girl inspired gifts make sure create your own scavenger hunt series of clues for your victim... excuse me, beloved. I meant beloved!

8 more ideas after the jump

Click to read more ...

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