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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William Holden in Picnic

"I find Holden has a more earthy sex appeal in his early roles, you could kick your shoes off and put them on his lap and he wouldn't flinch." - Mark

"My mother's favorite actor. His dance with Kim Novak is an unforgettable movie moment." -Jaragon

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Soundtracking: "The Virgin Suicides"

Chris looks at the music of Sofia Coppola's debut, now a part of The Criterion Collection.

Time has been kind to Sofia Coppola The Virgin Suicides, as effective a critique on the male gaze as anything else in the past twenty years. In Coppola’s gauzy vision of its central Lisbon sisters (as told by neighborhood boys) is a reflection of male idolatry that ignores the voice and emotional reality of real women. While the film is typically remembered for how it visually creates this perspective, it also uses music in interesting ways to subvert male self-serving worship.

The film is haunted by Air’s “Playground Love”, it’s most evocative and film-defining musical passage. It’s an apt song choice, one that tempts you into its pull like the tumble into a teenage crush, all jazzy hormones mired in lyrical thinness. And yet despite its temptation and seemingly feminine sway, its a starkly male brand of lust and the woman on the other end of its proclamations is never more than a vague idea. Naturally, it becomes the theme song to its young male obsession with the unknowable and unknown girls on the receiving end of empty crushes. Coppola sees and hears your  horniness and you willful ignorance, gentlemen, and the film sends out a subtle and cutting middle finger.

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"Sense8" Returns Only to End

The finale of Sense8, the cancelled Netflix series from the Wachowski sisters, will start streaming on June 8th. As you'll recall the one-of-a-kind series was cancelled after two seasons but after much fan pleading, a final movie was ordered to wrap things up. Not unlike what HBO did for Looking... only with possibly even less sex this time. The synopsis threatens that they no longer have personal lives... i.e. no cluster orgies for Wrap-up movie.

Personal lives are pushed aside as the cluster, their sidekicks, and some unexpected allies band together for a rescue mission and BPO take-down in order to protect the future of all Sensates

What is even the point then? I'm kidding (well, mostly). The synopsis makes this sound like it's an all action finale. And not that kind of "action". Sigh.

Are you looking forward?


"Duck Butter" and "O.G." - Star Vehicles for Unexpected Stars

by Murtada

Tribeca is such a wide-ranging film festival that it's hard to pin its personality down. But perhaps the best type of film it regularly offers is the star vehicle for non-stars. We're talking great actors who get to take the center of a movie (for a change) and give it their all, reminding audiences of their big talent.

In O.G. reliable supporting player Jeffrey Wright (Westworld) headlines as a prison inmate navigating the last few weeks of a 25 year sentence. Understandably he’s nervous about life on the outside particularly when he’s forced to deal with the victim of his crime. Life inside also gets complicated when he tries to mentor a young inmate just starting a prison sentence as long as his. Wright is in almost every frame of O.G. and it's a true showcase for his considerable talent. If your love for Wright started with his towering portrayal of Belize in Angels in America, (which won him the Tony in 1994 and the Emmy in 2004), then this is the movie part you've been waiting years for him to receive...

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1970: The Aristocats

Our year of the month is 1970. Here's Tim Brayton...

From the standpoint of 1970, we find ourselves at the dawn of what is almost certainly the least-interesting decade in the history of American animation. Television screens were then dominated by the flat, cheap nonsense of Hanna-Barbera while Warner Bros. and MGM had abandoned their short film programs. Just about the only person trying to do anything with the medium was Ralph Bakshi, whose vulgar cartoons for adults were very often "fascinating," but almost never "good." The problem, in all likelihood, is that for 40 years, American animation had been primarily a matter of people reacting to the things Walt Disney had done; and in 1970, Walt Disney had been dead for four years.

This left his namesake studio in a state of full panic and confusion, looking to find any sort of project that felt like it might be "what Walt would have done." The first of these, released for Christmas, was The Aristocats, based on the last story (by Tom McGowan & Tom Rowe) that Walt had briefly glanced at and given his vague blessing to before his death...

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Tribeca 2018: Sebastián Lelio's "Disobedience"

by Jason Adams

Movies are hard on people who leave. Homecomings are where it's at - the triumphant reestablishment of the family unit over adversity. Those who go away were mistaken. They were selfish. They were only looking out for themselves. Disobedience is about a woman who leaves. And it's about her homecoming, but one fraught with error - one we'll see slowly unravel as a ruse; not at all what it seems. 

Ronit (Rachel Weisz) is a photographer in New York who gets a message that her father in London has died. She flies back for the burial, and as she does we see she comes from an Orthodox Jewish community and her father was a beloved Rabbi - slowly, the black hats close in around her. And from under them suddenly a friendly face - Dovid (Alessandro Nivola), and soon after his wife Esti (Rachel McAdams). These three clearly have history. These early scenes are thick with unspoken things - the trio move slowly through quiet spaces, sorting themselves into place...

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