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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

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"A very cool list though to be honest I wouldn’t have handed these wins to any of the pairs in these years." - Joel

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INTERVIEWS

Oscar Interviews
Asghar Farhadi (The Salesman)
Saroo & Sue Brierley (Lion)
Martin Butler & Bentley Dean (Tanna)
Nicole Kidman (Lion)
Denis Villeneuve (Arrival

 

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Monday
Feb202017

Interview: Greig Fraser talks "Lion," his shifting style, and Jane Campion

Here's one mystery solved: Greig Fraser isn't pronounced any sort of fancy way. It's merely "Greg" with a silent extra "i". If you want to say it perfectly, though, you'll have to say it with an Aussie accent, mate.

We've been singing the praises of the cinematographer Greig Fraser for 8 years now, even if we often pronounced his name wrong while doing so. After the visually jaw-dropping calling card of Bright Star (2009) one of the new century's most undervalued and most transcendentally beautiful movies, his name appeared more and more regularly in major prestige films. Curiously though, despite his ever broadening range (he's aced virtually every genre he's hopped to and front) and quite a few critically lauded and Oscar nominated movies under his belt, he is just now enjoying his very first Oscar nomination for his evocative and resourceful lensing of the Australian hit and Best Picture nomine Lion.

Fraser (top left), Sunny Pawar, and director Garth Davis on the set of Lion

I was eager to talk to him about his ability to tackle any genre, his time with Jane Campion and the challenge of Lion. Here's our interview...

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Monday
Feb202017

Interview: Kristóf Deák from "Munich" to "Sing" 

Kristóf DeákIf you've had a chance to catch the touring films in the Oscar nominated shorts program in select movie theaters now, we're willing to be that one of your favorites was the Hungarian short Sing written and directed by Kristóf Deák. This sweet well acted story is about a new girl in a children's choir whose teacher makes her feel less than welcome. 

Sing, not to be confused with the current blockbuster cartoon about pop star wannabe talking animals, could well be a threat to win its category though competition is ever tough and unpredictable in the shorts categories. Kristóf has seen and enjoyed the "strong batch" competition, saying "I won't shed any tears if we don't take the statue home"

I had the opportunity to talk to the young director, currently in Los Angeles for the final push before Oscar, and though he doesn't know what's in store for his career, he's taiken the smart stance of "be ready with projects and pitches" should key opportunities arise. The London based Hungarian director got his first post film school movie gig in the large editing department of Steven Spielberg's Munich (2005) and now he's an Oscar nominee for his fourth short which has been picking up several prizes at festivals.  

Our chat follows..

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Monday
Feb202017

Guilds-a-palooza: More honors for La La Land, Moonlight, Arrival, and... Suicide Squad

Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) and Eric Heisserer (Arrival) each won a WGA last night. But they're in the same category at the Oscars.

Last night's Writers Guild Awards were a good sign that Moonlight will take Adapted Screenplay. Competing in Original with WGA (Oscar's writing branch put it in adapted) it blocked La La Land or Manchester from taking that prize. With less fearsome competition at the Oscars it should be able to win... although to do that it will have to fend off the surging Lion and the well regarded Arrival which took home the WGA prize for Adapted and is up for the same prize at the Oscars.

Extensive writing and makeup guild honors after the jump...

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Monday
Feb202017

From Bedknobs to Balloons

Jason from MNPP here with a tidbit of movie news that hit over the weekend - it is official: after a few months of rumors the legendary Dame Angela Lansbury has joined the cast of Mary Poppins Returns, the sequel that Rob Marshall is currently directing with Emily Blunt stuffing her little feet into the great big sturdy shoes of Julie Andrews. The film will tackle elements drawn from the other seven books that Poppins author P.L. Travers (and tell me you don't immediately picture Emma Thompson when I say that name) wrote about the characters.

Lansbury is set to play "The Balloon Lady," and having never read the books I had to do some real digging to find out who the heck that supposedly "beloved" character was -- not even Wikipedia was any help. Thankfully Homorazzi knew what was up:

"Her character was introduced in Mary Poppins Comes Back, the second book of P.L. Travers’ series. She wreaks helium havoc in the park during one of Poppins’ outing with the Banks children."

Have any of you read the books? Is the character as beloved as they say? It's hard to think she won't be once Lansbury gets her hands on her. What a joy it will be to have this grand Dame back on the big screen. We've still got quite the wait on this movie though - it's not set for a release unti Christmas Day 2018.

Monday
Feb202017

Interview: on Jungle Book's live-action aping Visual Effects

You may not know the name Robert Legato, but you definitely know his work. He's been on the visual effects teams of all sorts of blockbusters (Armageddon, Interview with the Vampire) and won his first Oscar for groundbreaking work on one of the most popular films of all times Titanic (1997) before creating the system that allowed for Avatar (2009). Hes' got two Oscars (Titanic and Hugo), two BAFTAs (Apollo 13 & Jungle Book) and two Emmys (both for Star Trek series). Will a third Oscar follow next weekend? It looks likely for the live action photorealism of the not really live action Jungle Book

Though a lot of the particulars of his craft are still a mystery to me after our conversation, I've cherry picked some pieces to share with you that are more readily translatable from our moviegoing perspective. 

NATHANIEL R: Rob, I'm not sure where to even begin with your work on Jungle Book. The big takeaway was of course the animals. Are you trying to put all four legged creatures out of work? 

ROBERT LEGATO: That's really the bottom line cause behind all this. How can we prove that you don't need those bastards anymore!?

[Laughter]

The thing is we're not even allowed to use them. You can't bring them on to photograph them for a study. It's against the rules at Disney....

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Monday
Feb202017

The Furniture: A Canadian Air Show in Captains of the Clouds

"The Furniture" is our weekly series on Production Design. Here's Daniel Walber...

The United States may have entered World War II late, but American studios didn’t wait nearly as long to start making propaganda. Hollywood produced a number of pro-Allied films before the American entry into the war, from A Yankee in the RAF to the comparatively subtle Sergeant York. Though this ruffled some feathers in Washington, the debate became moot in December of 1941.

Captains of the Clouds falls right on the cusp, shot before Pearl Harbor but released in February of 1942. The film, directed by Michael Curtiz, was intended to drum up support for the Canadian war effort. The first major Hollywood production to be shot north of the border, it’s a technicolor extravaganza starring James Cagney and the Royal Canadian Air Force.

It also received two Oscar nominations. Sol Polito was recognized in the Best Cinematography category for the film’s breathtaking aerial sequences, a no-brainer. 

The nominated work of art director Ted Smith and set decorator Casey Roberts, however, is less flashy...

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Monday
Feb202017

6 Days Until Oscar: Manchester vs Hacksaw vs Lion

With 6 days to go until the big show, let's play like we did with 8 days, and look at the Best Picture nominees with that particular number of nominations. Three movies received six nominations this time though they'll facing off less directly and only in the marquee categories at that. Nevertheless, remove the other nominees from the equation for this exercize and tell us who wins in these particular face-offs...

HACKSAW RIDGE LION MANCHESTER


Their six nominations

Picture Picture Picture
Director   Director
Actor
Andrew Garfield 
  Actor
Casey Affleck 
  Supporting Actress
Nicole Kidman 
Supporting Actress
Michelle Williams 
  Supporting Actor
Dev Patel 
Supporting Actor
Lucas Hedges 
  Adapted Screenplay  
    Original Screenplay
  Cinematography  
Film Editing    
  Original Score  
Sound Mixing    
Sound Editing    

 

MORE AFTER THE JUMP

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