Oscar History

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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This & That (And A Bit More On *That*)

Woodcutting Fool David Lynch carved
Go Fug Yourself on Reese Witherspoon (and child) in France
MUBI's Notebook lists favorite Cannes films of 2012 (the winner being way down the list)
Film School Rejects Why blockbusters need to get their third act together. Heartily agree with much of this.
TV|Line Smash will lose two of its major male characters in Season 2. Does this mean Dennis & Bobby get more screen time? (I know it doesn't but my wishful thinking can be noisy and demand sentences all its own.)

AV Club wins the Best Snarky Headline of the Week (*not a real award) with this beauty... "Malin Akerman is playing Debbie Harry, who is also blonde."
Pajiba Most Versatile Bruce Willis
No Film School Most Fascinating Michael Haneke 
Coming Soon new Les Miserables photos. Apparently the trailer arrives today as well. We'll hear the people sing tonight in a Yes No Maybe So post.
Rope of Silicon Batmobiles  

Splitsider the Joss Whedon Roseann episodes
Playbill free outdoor staging of the hilarious stage adaptation of Xanadu will play Park Slope Brooklyn this summer
Acidemic on reality-warping multiple viewings of three 'comedies of remarriage' The Lady Eve, Bringing Up Baby and Bell Book and Candle 
My New Plaid Pants The Exorcist for TV via Martha Marcy May Marlene director?!?
La Daily Musto international beauties Léa Seydoux and Diane Kruger go sapphic for a  lesbian Marie Antoinette film called Farewell My Queen.


The Release Date Shuffle: Michael Haneke's Amour will be opening (and thus Oscar qualifying) on December 19th a bit earlier than Haneke's previous feature White Ribbon which did one of those awful New Year's Eve weekend releases in time for Oscar; G.I. Joe: Retaliation's shocking pushback to 2013 is prompting specalutation about how bad it might be. Last second release shifts for wannabe blockbusters are rare as they're expensive to open... and I promise that's the last time we group G.I. Joe with Michael Haneke in a paragraph; The Life of Pi arrives one month early so you can gobble it up for Thanksgiving instead of unwrapping it at Christmas time which is the inverse of what happened with the new Barbra Streisand picture, The Guilt Trip; And finally yes... yes... Cuaron's Gravity, our most anticipated this year, is now our most anticipated of 2013 (sniffle) which means that we've got to update those Oscar predictions. I know I know. Don't rush me! (This weekend?)

A Personal Note: I thought a link list was in order to get back up to speed (as much as one can in a day)... I generally cull the links through a process of trying to keep up to speed with What's Going On even though "news items" are only like ¼ of the links shared. 

But I couldn't let this return to blogging (glad to be crawling back -- we should be back in full swing by Thursday night) go without a hearty thank you to all of you, the readers, who sent such kind words on facebook, by email or right here on the blog after my father passed away. I spent a week in Utah with my mom and siblings and there were tears and memories and even laughter, too. My mom demanded a correction from my memoir post though. The photo that I love of my parents was taken before they were married. Hey, I wasn't there - honest mistake. She told me an amazing personal story about it and, as it turns out, it's her single favorite picture of the two of them. Now, I ♥ the photo even more.



Take Three: Toby Kebbell

Craig here with this week's Take Three. Today: Toby Kebbell

Take One
: War Horse (2011)
There’s a plethora of male British thespian talent in Steven Spielberg’s equine weepy War Horse: Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Mullen, Tom Hiddleston, Eddie Marsan, Liam Cunningham and David Thewlis all add their tuppence-worth to the tale of Joey the one-stallion battalion and his toilsome travels through WWI. But Kebbell’s scenes, late in the film, were among the most subtly affecting. [SPOILER] Kebbel's 'Geordie Soldier' does more than keep watch from the trenches. He risks his life to free Joey from the barbed wire he’s trapped in, thus saving his life and eventually reuniting him with his real owner Albert (Jeremy Irvine). Waving the white flag, Kebbell’s brave soldier crosses the battle lines into No Man’s Land. A German soldier with a handy pair of wire-cutters joins him to further Joey’s wartime journey. (The scene, featuring stunning photography, was apparently achieved in only three takes.)


Kebbell’s even gets the honor of verbalising the film’s title:

You’re a war horse... what a strange beast you are”

Like all the character actors in War Horse Kebbell's screen time is brief...

Click to read more ...


Curio: Alternative Moonrise Kingdom Posters

Alexa here. When JA pointed out how lovely the Moonrise Kingdom poster is it reminded me of all the indie versions materializing everywhere.  This is no surprise, since Wes Anderson films typically draw more fan art than almost every other release combined, but what does surprise is that I still prefer the lush intricacy of the studio one-sheet. Judge for yourself: here are some of the better alternative designs, many of which were solicited by ShortList Magazine.

Symmetry-inspired design by Ben Whitesell.

Sartorial emphasis by Laura Perm-Jardin.

Click for more designs...

Click to read more ...


Goodbye Dad.

For those of you who wondered why the blog has been dark, my father passed away suddenly. I've been spending time out west with my mom. This is one of my favorite photos of my parents, which I found on an old ektrachrome slide. They were married in December 1960 and this picture, taken sometime that decade, predates my existence altogether! I think it's maybe even before they had any kids (I'm the youngest of four) but perhaps my sister was around.

My dad and I were never "close" per se though he was surprisingly supportive of most of my artistic endeavors paying for art classes and congratulating me on writing successes.  We disagreed on virtually everything but particularly politics and movies.

He was not, in fact, a fan of the cinema and often grumbled about my nonstop chatter about the artform. Once when I was a teenager he was so frustrated that he banned movie talk at the table:

No talking about movies during dinner!"

I credit this inexplicable then-hurtful ruling with creating the monster you know now. (Teenage rebellion's silver lining!) Despite my Dad's resistance to the movies, I loved to yank information about his movie feelings when I could. 

The first movie he remembered seeing was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (recently revisited right here) in *gasp* 1938 in the movie theater when he was all of 7 years old. My parents took us kids to movies in the 70s and 80s when I was growing up but they were usually of the Disney or science fiction variety. (My parents liked Star Trek a lot, a fandom gene that was not passed on to me.) Dad didn't mind being dragged to Oscar-Bait movies, especially historical epics (He liked Amadeus if I recall correctly), but the Oscar movies were always my idea. He hated Woody Allen, Jane Fonda and Marilyn Monroe (three of my favorites as a baby film buff... naturally) and pretended to not know who any movie stars were when I would talk about them. "Who's Meryl Streep?" "Who's Brad Pitt?" He had a bizarre fondness for The Gods Must Be Crazy and a more common fondness for John Wayne. The only thing he might have passed down to me movie-wise is the dread of arriving late to the screening. 

The only movie I ever heard my father wishing into existence was Wendy & Richard Pini's Elfquest though it never came to pass. He loved the graphic novels (which I brought home one day on a whim) and my siblings and myself delighted in the strangely obsessive way he latched on to them...'He only loves guns that much!' I bought him replacement copies one Christmas when I noticed the binding falling apart.

The ship of dreamsThe last movie I remember seeing with my Dad was Titanic (1997) since I would force movie outings on the family when I visited for Christmas. He complained all the way to the theater but much to his surprise he loved it. He had nothing to say about Leo & Kate's romance which the rest of the planet was obsessing over but he went on and on and on about the historical accuracy of the details of the ship and the way it looked, filled, cracked, tilted, and sank.  To this day I still feel gratitude to James Cameron for delivering such a mammoth Movie-Movie and cross generational sensation. It made me feel, however briefly one Christmas, much closer to my Dad.

Goodbye Dad (1930-2012)



Cannes Jury Members Give Their Love to Haneke.

Jose here. In a truly unprecedented turn of events, Austrian auteur Michael Haneke has won his second Palme D'or at the Cannes Film Festival. Haneke now joins the ranks of the Dardenne brothers, Bille August and Francis Ford Coppola, among others, as some of the few filmmakers who have been able to achieve this feat. What's more surprising is that Haneke achieved it with two consecutive films and within the span of three years, his previous film The White Ribbon, won the Palme in 2009.

His winning movie Amour moved audiences and critics alike when it was shown in competition last week. People were surprised about the way in which his typical iciness shaded new light on the complex subject of mortality in a movie that deals with how a stroke shatters the stability of an older married couple. Some were pleased to realize Haneke had finally found his "heart" and the only thing that seemed to stand between him and his second Palme was none other than jury president Nanni Moretti...

Click to read more ...


Away. Talk Amongst Yourselves

It's Nathaniel, typing at you in a rush. A family emergency has taken me out of town for a week. More later. In the meantime, what's on your cinematic mind and what do you most hope to experience during this year's summer movie season (both here on the blog and in the movie theaters)?