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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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Beauty vs Beast: My Best Friend is a Vampire

Jason from MNPP here wishing everyone a happy week's worth of Halloween fun & spooky frivolity. Now that the New York Film Festival's behind us I feel as if I can properly focus in on the reason for the season - horror movies! So let's devote this week's "Beauty vs Beast" to one of the finest examples of the genre from our young new millenium - Tomas Alfredson's 2008 Swedish stunner Let the Right One In, which tells the tale of young Oskar and the strange "girl" named Eli who moves in next door. Eli puts the "bad dream" into the term "Manic Pixie Dream Girl," but Oskar, bullied though he may be, ain't no saint himself...

PREVIOUSLY Last week we wandered into the woods with Into the Woods and the battle between the Baker's Wife and The Witch was quite the doozy, but in the end (unlike the film) it was Emily Blunt who came out singing with 52% of the vite. Said PoliVamp:

"Baker's Wife easily. I was very unhappy with Streep's nomination, as she was only the 5th best performance in the movie (and Blunt is in that top 4 group). Also, Moments is my favorite song from the musical, give or take Agony, so this was an easy pick for me."



Middleburg Day 3: Presidents, Production Designers, and Girl Power

Photo by Mara RoszakSaturday, my final full day at the fest, was a chilly windy day in Middleburg - horseback ride thwarted again! The unplanned theme of the day was girl power. The day began with a lively keynote conversation with AMPAS President Cheryl Boone-Isaacs. The moderator kept mentioning that she was the perfect person to be leading the Academy in these tough times and after listening to her for an hour, we can't disagree! It's quite obvious why they keep electing her. She's extroverted, quite funny, movie-loving, and knowledgeable about Hollywood with quite an interesting storied career behind her in film publicity. After that rousing breakfast conversation, the day ended with a standing ovation for Emma Stone and the dazzling La La Land (it's even better the second time!).

Inbetween those events a 13 year old Kazakh girl inspires in the documentary The Eagle Huntress, a very crowded panel on Presidents in the movies, and a conversation with four time Oscar nominated Production Designer Jeannine Oppenwall...

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APSA Nominations: Lion, Cold of Kalandar, and More

The Asia Pacific Screen Awards has announced its nominations for the film year. The organization is in its 10th year -- and we should note that our own Glenn Dunks works for them behind the scenes. They basically cover the whole continent so that includes Asian countries, Australia, Russia, you name it. Their definition is loose enough that it even covers films with creative teams that qualify even if the film is a co-production made elsewhere. Their nomination procedure is elaborate -- 303 films from 43 countries were in the mix this year -- and whittled down throughout the year. The results are certainly a unique barometer of the region.

Cold of Kalandar, Turkey's Oscar submission, has 3 nominations

The nominations with commentary are after the jump...

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The Furniture: Designing Dignity in "How Green Was My Valley"

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

Filmmaking is often an art borne of flexibility. Tim Burton built Sleepy Hollow from scratch when he couldn’t find just the right town in the real world. Vincente Minnelli was forced to make Brigadoon indoors in Hollywood, because the studio wouldn’t pay for an expensive production in Scotland. Both films are likely better for it, too.

The same is perhaps true for How Green Was My Valley, which premiered 75 years ago this week. John Ford wanted to make shoot it on location in Wales, but World War II intervened. Instead, the production team built an entire mining town in the Santa Monica Mountains. This condensed and idealized version of the setting of Richard Llewellyn’s 1939 novel is among the most emotionally resonant sets of its era.

The film won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Art Direction.

The design team consisted of Richard Day, Nathan H. Juran and Thomas Little, no stranger to Oscar success. They based their village on Gilfach Goch, a quintessential Welsh mining town, but they dramatically reduced the size and jammed the houses much closer to the colliery...

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A Wrinkle In Time's Casting Is A+

Manuel here catching us up with some casting news about an upcoming Disney tentpole film we should all be getting more and more excited about. Earlier this year it was announced that Ava DuVernay would direct the big screen adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time. That the beloved children's book would be a Disney film surprised no one but DuVernay's involvement piqued our interests...

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NewFest: "Don't Call Me Son", "Esteros", and "Paris 05:59"

NewFest, New York's LGBT Festival, runs through Tuesday. Here's Chris on three of the festival's foreign selections...

Don't Call Me Son
Anna Muylaert continues to explore complex family dynamics in Don't Call Me Son, her follow-up to last year's Brazilian Oscar submission The Second Mother. Teenage Pierre (Naomi Nero) and his younger sister have their lives upended when their mother is jailed for stealing them at birth, thrusting them apart and into the homes of their birth parents. Further complicating the film's identity politics is Pierre's burgeoning gender dysphoria...

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The Gotham Nominations

Chris here. In case you missed it, the season's first precursor nominations were announced on Thursday: the Gothams! Somewhat like the New York City community's answer to the Indie Spirit Awards, the Gothams never fail to highlight some spunkier names thanks to each category being voted on by separate committees. Spotlight may have taken their big prize as well as Oscar last year, but it's the rare Gotham's win to continue on to Oscar.

The year's biggest nominee is Manchester By The Sea (which Nathaniel just reviewed) with four nominations. However, the biggest celebration is likely being had by A24: the New York-based distributor scored nominations for seven of their films, including lesser seen worthy titles like Krisha and Morris From America. This year's ceremony will also feature tributes to Amy Adams, Ethan Hawke, Arnon Milchan, and Oliver Stone.


  • Certain Women
  • Everybody Wants Some!!
  • Manchester By The Sea
  • Moonlight
  • Paterson

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