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Oscar History
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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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"Las Culturistas"
Talking Oscar, script doctoring, Liza's "New York" and more... 

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Wednesday
Jan172018

Ding Dong! "Las Culturistas" Calling...

The TFE podcast will be back soon, but until then, here's a detour to another listen!

I had the pleasure of being this weekend's guest on "Las Culturistas". Matt Rogers (no relation) and Bowen Yang take you to the cultch each week. They've been making all sorts of lists of best comedy podcasts (VultureEsquireTimeOut New York) and so I was getting my Lyft on to the studio, honey, as soon as they asked. Lists are life and to be consulted with when making life decisions like 'to guest or not to guest?')

I was terrified but they put me at ease immediately with Rule #1470 of Culture ("Kirsten Dunst makes it look easy"). And from there we talk about Oscar, actresses, Michelle Pfeiffer, who's going to win Best Picture, things that are pissing us off at the moment, and so on.

Tuesday
Jan162018

Women of "The Post" 

By Spencer Coile 

There is a scene during a climactic moment in The Post where Katharine Graham (Meryl Streep), publisher for The Washington Post, wades into a crowd. News outlets and reporters swarm around her, probing her decision to run an article exposing the U.S. government for their involvement in the Pentagon Papers. Without uttering a word, she glides past the press, but the camera slows as Katharine finds herself surrounded by a small group of women in this crowd, all staring at her with admiration. 

The Post serves as a timely reminder for why we should never underestimate the impact one powerful woman can make. Though Katharine Graham is the central female focus of the film, Spielberg's latest work features multiple women: they are reporters, wives, mothers, daughters. Each character provides insight into this pivotal moment in American history. So how does The Post honor their legacy? 

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Tuesday
Jan162018

US Scripters Nominations (Gloriously) Add to the Adapted Screenplay Confusion

by Nathaniel R

Lost City of Z finally makes a precursor markOne of the funniest developments this awards season is how weirdly empty the Adapted Screenplay became in the wake of so many top contenders being "originals". The balance is way off. Even the 'true' stories, the ones adapted from history or people's lives this year were mostly originals (Some have argued in the past should be considered for the Adapted category since they're not originating the stories and characters... though we've never come to a definitive conclusion as to whether or not we agree).

Today the US Scripters chaired by USC professor and past president of the Writers Guild of America, West, Howard Rodman, and a selection committee chose the nominees from a field of 91 film and 28 television adaptations. Because of a three way tie in voting they have SEVEN film nominees this year. Which is hilarious since most people though the category "weak" in terms of Oscar candidates. In spreading their net so wide they've done little to clear up the confusion as to which five films will receive Oscar nominations. More after the jump...

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Tuesday
Jan162018

The Flesh is Weak: Body of Evidence at 25

 by Seán McGovern

Madonna is a lot of things: Singer. Mother. Grammy Winner. Cosmetics Magnate. She is also a “movie killer”. But Body of Evidence, which turns 25 this week, is not entirely her fault. Nor, sadly, is it camp enough, ludicrous enough or, really, bad enough for the opinion of it to have changed after all these years.

Body of Evidence arrived at a particular nexus of Madonna's career. Riding on the wave of Like A Prayer, pushing boundaries with the Blonde Ambition Tour and the exuberant Truth or Dare, Madonna's imperial phase began to dip with her boundary-pushing take on sex and erotica; namely, SEX and Erotica. While Madonna would remain unapologetic, Body of Evidence, and the accompanying explicit period in career concluded with one of the most consistent criticisms of Madonna: rigid-perfectionism and managed-spontaneity...

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Tuesday
Jan162018

Doc Corner: 'The Final Year'

by Glenn Dunks

There is a pall that lingers over The Final Year. And rightfully so considering how everything turned out within the 2016 American presidential elections. And yet, that emotional baggage is brought to the film more by viewers and less so by director Greg Barker. The Emmy-winning director of Manhunt: The Inside Story of the Hunt for Bin Laden makes odd choices throughout this otherwise straight-forward documentary, not least of which is barely referencing the elephant in the room for the majority of its (brief) 90 minutes...

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Monday
Jan152018

The Furniture: Top Hat's Dancing Sets

"The Furniture," by Daniel Walber, is our weekly series on Production Design. You can click on the images to see them in magnified detail.

Only 8 days until Oscar nominations! To mark the occasion, or perhaps to fill the time with something other than anticipation, let’s look back at the 8th Academy Awards. The year was 1935. Bette Davis won a consolation prize, Best Actress for Dangerous after the failure of a write-in campaign for 1934’s Of Human Bondage. John Ford won his first Oscar for The Informer, which beat Mutiny on the Bounty in nearly every category except Best Picture. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the film debut of Olivia de Havilland, won a write-in victory in Best Cinematography.

This was the last year with only three nominees for Best Art Direction. The victory went to The Dark Angel, a drama of romance and World War One. Its biggest competition may have been The Lives of a Bengal Lancer, an imperial adventure set in the British Raj. It apparently promoted European superiority so effectively that Adolf Hitler saw it three times. It received seven nominations, winning for Best Assistant Director.

If this all seems dour, don’t worry...

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