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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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Months of Meryl: THE RIVER WILD


"Great post and comments. Yes, Streep had to navigate the rough waters of being in her 40's! I do think she smashed through the glass ceiling for women since she persevered and then became an even bigger star in her 50's." - Sister Rona

"One of my favourite movies from my teen years - I'm shocked at how long ago this was released. It was Meryl that sold this movie for me and is the reason I saw it. At the time, and I still feel this way, she is the reason to watch and believe this film." -Filmboymichael


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Entries in Oscars (60s) (150)

Wednesday
May092018

Anne V Coates (1925-2018)

by Nathaniel R

One of Hollywood's most important artists has died. The film editor Anne V Coates who won both a competitive and an Honorary Oscar has died at the age of 92. Her career began in the editing room of 1940s pictures -- she worked on The Red Shoes (!!!) -- but it didn't take her long to become a lead editor. Her first lead editing gigs were in British cinema in the early 50s. Her career really came roaring to life with Lawrence of Arabia (1962) for which she won her first and only competitive Oscar...

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Thursday
Apr262018

Blueprints: "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?"

This week on Blueprints, Jorge writes a letter to daddy.

Any screenwriting book, seminar, or four-year degree will tell you that screenwriting is all about showing, not telling. It should feel more like describing a house in a Craiglist ad than writing a novel. The script is being written so it can be shot, not read. However, just like any other “rule” in cinema, it’s made to be broken. In fact, those who break rules can sometimes transcend them.

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, the 1962 grand guignol classic, is best remembered for the bombastic performances of the two leads, and the drama that took place between them behind the scenes. But reading the script, it’s apparent that the story is charged with remarkable meaning, intention, and impulse. Often hidden in the lines that the audience is never going to read...

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Saturday
Apr142018

Milos Forman (1932-2018)

by Nathaniel R

Milos Forman directing Thomas Hulce on the set of Amadeus (1984)

One of the world's most acclaimed directors has passed away at 86 years of age after a long full life and a pretty sturdy filmography. Milos Forman won two Oscars during his career for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) and Amadeus (1984) began life as Jan Tomas Forman in Czechoslovakia. Like another two-time Best Director winner (Ang Lee), he was twice honored in the Foreign Language Film category before his English language Oscar wins...

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Monday
Dec112017

The Furniture: Matte Paintings at the End of an Era

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

Over the course of the past year, I’ve done an informal retrospective series on the Best Production Design nominees of 1967. It isn’t an especially “New Hollywood” lineup, despite being the year of “Pictures at a Revolution.” Four of the nominees are lush period pieces, three of them lengthy musicals. They often feel like extravagantly-designed chaos, whirlwinds of sets and props that spin out of control. This is true of both the hilarious brawls of The Taming of the Shrew and the dated, stereotype-laden adventures of Thoroughly Modern Millie. Camelot, the winner, manages to split the difference between Old Hollywood excess and New Hollywood sexuality.

The final two films, both Best Picture nominees, are a bit less of a thrill. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and Doctor Dolittle are, respectively, the most realistic and most fantastical of the five nominees. However, despite their differences, they both underline the inadequate end-point of old-school studio design.

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Saturday
Nov252017

59 days til nominations. Time for a little Disney trivia

by Nathaniel R

Disney won every single short category plus Documentary Feature at the 1953 OscarsWith 59 days left until Oscar nominations, it seems an appropriate time to remind everyone that it's not Meryl Streep (20) or Woody Allen (24) or even John Williams (50) who holds the record for Most Oscar Nominations of All Time, but industry titan and one of the most influential people who ever lived: Walt Disney. His fingerprints... or mouse glove prints if you will, are still all over showbiz, especially the business part. But we're here to talk Oscar. He received an incredible 59 competitive Oscar nominations, winning 22 of those races.

So in addition to holding the record for most nominations, he also holds the record for most wins. The last of those nominations and wins was his only posthumous honor -- Winnie Pooh and the Blustery Day (1968) took the Animated Short Oscar (then called "Best Short Subject, Cartoons")...

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Monday
Oct232017

The Furniture: Camelot, a Silly and Furry Place

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

Back in August, I wrote about two dramatically different ways of portraying Arthurian Legend on screen. To recap: the bright silliness of Knights of the Round Table (1953) looks like psychedelic compared to the bland grit of King Arthur (2004) and the gruff, imperial fantasia of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017). But even these at least share a mild interest in engaging with English historical design. Camelot (1967), on the other hand, is a flighty fantasy of utter nonsense.

Of course, this is why it’s such a delight to watch. It’s a furry, oversexed epic that sends its glamorous cast out into magical forests to sing Lerner and Loewe songs at the top of their extravagantly-adorned lungs. The film won Oscars for production designer John Truscott, art director Edward Carrere and set decorator John Brown, with Truscott taking home a second statuette for the costumes. Lavishly made and lavishly awarded, it’s a classic of committed inspiration.

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