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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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Tuesday
Sep162014

Thoughts I Had... While Looking at Posters for Three New Musicals

You know how this works. Thoughts as they come to me without self censorship to speed up the blogging... 

Musical No. 1 INTO THE WOODS

• This is how I look in the morning when I accidentally fall asleep with a wig on
• "Be careful what you wish for" - they pay people to write these taglines you know but why not save money on the budget and just use song lyrics. It doesn't get much better than Sondheim lyrics. Wouldn't "Careful the tale you tell, that is the spell..." be more intriguing / and delightfully faithful.  Say what you will about Les Miserables (2012) -- and you have -- but one of the best things about its very successful campaign ($441 million plus worldwide) is that they just used song titles for their character posters
• "Be Careful what you wish for..." as Meryl climbs out of the poster at you, also adds an unfortunate meta layer. Be careful that you ask for Meryl Streep to be in every moviee because she WILL be!
•  Meryl looks a bit like "Yoga Jones" here, yes?
• How much would they charge The Witch for a mani/pedi?
• Christmas. UGH. I am impatient. I used to L-O-V-E going to movies on Christmas day. Now I want all holiday movies to open on Thanksgiving.
• Since The Witch is Rapunzel's mother, we can directly compare her to Donna Murphy's Mother Gothel in Tangled if we'd like... 

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Tuesday
Sep162014

Lesbian Request Accepted

Manuel here to share a rather beautiful coming out story from the Orange is the New Black set that has been spanning salacious headlines for the past twenty-four hours.

The short version: Lauren Morelli, a writer on the hit Netflix series has come out as a lesbian, and is now dating Samira Wiley (Poussey on the show, because, I mean, wouldn't you?)

The longer version: Morelli, who had married her longtime boyfriend months before starting work on Orange's first season, found, in writing Piper and Alex's relationship, "a mouthpiece for my own desires and a glimmer of what my future could look like." It was in working on the show that she came to terms with her sexuality and is no happily dating Wiley. What I love about these news is that in true Orange fashion, it comes armed with a fascinating take on sexuality and the power of artistic expression. In a piece for Mic published in May (ahead of the show's second season), Morelli wrote a heartfelt essay where she explored the nuances that "I'm getting divorced because I'm gay" didn't quite allow for. I can't help but have flashbacks to Cynthia Nixon's public coming out in 2004 which came equally loaded with fascinating and thoughtful conversations about lesbian identities in the public eye.

This got me thinking, with its female cast, its no-holds-barred take on sexuality, and its use of New York as both backdrop and character, is Orange is the New Black an unassuming heir to Sex and the City? More importantly, though, are you not totally thrilled about Poussey finding love? Does this news keep you sated as we continue to wait until next year for more stories of the Litchfield inmates?

Tuesday
Sep162014

Review: The Guest

Hey, folks. Michael Cusumano here to give some love to one of the under-the-radar gems of 2014.

Watching Adam Wingard’s The Guest lets the viewer experience what it would be like to fish an unexpected masterwork out of a bargain bin full of trashy VHS horror movies. The film is a superior example of what Rodriguez and Tarantino attempted with Grindhouse, at once a glorious homage to the horror schlock of the late 70’s and 80’s and a skillful subversion of the same. Wingard’s movie walks this tricky tonal tightrope with swagger, oozing stylistic flash and scored with a soundtrack of pseudo-80's synth you will want to make out with. I think it’s safe to say The Guest is going to achieve cult status pretty much the instant the light from the projector hits movie screens.

The plot could be easily summarized as Bourne meets Halloween, but that glib pitch meeting capsule would scarcely hint at the layers of wit built into this movie. The story opens on all-American soldier David (Dan Stevens) recently returned home from overseas, arriving at the doorstep of the family of his dead brother-in-arms in order to pay his respects, deliver his friend’s final message to his family, etc. Laura (Sheila Kelley) invites David to stay in her son’s old room after she is moved in equal parts by grief over her dead son and David’s piercing blue eyes...

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Tuesday
Sep162014

An Evening With Patty! (Also "Maze Runner," Something Something?)

Patty Clarkson last night in NYCLast night I attended Teen Vogue's Maze Runner screening and though I'll be writing it up for my gig at Towleroad later this week, I must share with you, my devout fellow actressexuals and the only ones who will understand, that I made the night all about Patricia Clarkson.

I didn't even realize she was in the movie until she was there at the reception and I was powerless to stop myself from beelining straight toward her while the other guests of the studio and fans (who presumably won a contest or something?) spent the evening squealing about Dylan O'Brien who plays "Xander" excuse me... "Stiles" on Teen Wolf, the only non-supernatural teen on that very popular show, now officially run by dadaists. (Yes, I still watch it but it doesn't make a lick of sense anymore... not just from episode to episode but within something as easy to manage as a one hour block! It's like they're just making it up as they film. Each scene!).

I've met the great actress twice before at events and she is an absolute delight one-on-one, super funny, gorgeous, and above-all charismatic, kind of like her 1950's social butterfly "Elle" from Far From Heaven (2002) without, you know, the nasty betrayals and the constant subtly racist/anti-semitic/homophobic shade-throwing. She joked about wishing her latest director was 20+ years older so she could date him ("is your father single?" LOL) and was still obviously high off the reception of her starring role in Learning To Drive in which she takes driving lessons from Ben Kingsley. In a surprise turn of events that two-hander nearly nabbed the People's Choice Award from The Imitation Game in Toronto as first runner up. The film hasn't been picked up yet that I'm aware of but given the crowd-pleasing response at the festival (sadly, I was not part of that crowd as it slips through the cracks of my 25 screenings) someone really ought to. I mean, David Poland is smart about these things.

 

 



Is Hollywood listening?

P.S. Can we get Patty back in key supporting roles in prestige pieces where she once regularly cropped up, please? It's a real shame she only has one Oscar nomination to her name, despite deserving at least three (High Art, Far From Heaven, Dogville).

 

 

Tuesday
Sep162014

Amir Sat on a Branch Reflecting on TIFF

Amir here, looking back at the Toronto Film Festival that recently wrapped up.

"Girlhood," superior to Boyhood and one of the best of TIFF 14

You may have noticed that after a few years of covering the festival to various degrees for The Film Experience, I was completely absent from this space for the past ten days, mostly because of a personal decision to enjoy the films without sweating over writing. TIFF is a big festival, maybe the most frantic and hectic in the world, with more choices than one can physically experience over ten days. Nathaniel and I shared so few films from the program’s sprawling lineup, we could have each written about every single thing we saw and you’d never know we attended the same festival. It’s this overwhelming scale that made me want to take a break from reporting, and yet, I feel unsure about how that affected my festival experience.

Writing about films for me is a passion born out of the necessity to articulate my thoughts on the things I watch. Maybe that process of writing makes the films more memorable? Isn’t it so that writing, even about bad films, makes us appreciate good cinema all the more? Without recording my memories, details about this year’s films have fled my mind quicker than ever. My feelings about some of them have been diluted a bit, too. There is something missing, even though I had the best festival experience of my life, meeting more people than ever and watching some terrific films. Maybe this pessimism is just a withdrawal symptom. Let’s stay positive!

As has become something of an unplanned tradition for me – with precedents including Oslo, August 31st and Closed Curtain – my favorite film of the festival came my way on the last day.

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"The Look of Silence" will be in theaters next summer

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