DON'T MISS THIS!

WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF
50th Anniversary Rewatch 


DEVOUR IT! 

Oscar History
Welcome

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, or by a member of our amazing team as noted.

Like The Film Experience on Facebook

Powered by Squarespace
What'cha Looking For?
Comment Fun

Comment(s) Du Jour
Jessica Lange's Triple Crown 

"This article sums up why Jessica Lange is one of the best actresses ever to grace the screen. " - heikoS

 "Still think her two best performances are Men Don't Leave and Music Box. So disappointed in her Ryan Murphy collaborations." -Charlie G

 "Lange and Streep were born in the same year, won Oscars in the same year, and their immense talent has carried them through" -Jono

Keep TFE Strong

 

LOVE THE SITE? DONATE 

Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience

THANKS IN ADVANCE

For those who can't commit to a dime a day, consider a one time donation for an article or a series you are glad you didn't have to live without.

Subscribe
Friday
Jun242016

Emmy FYC: Amy Landecker in "Transparent"

Eric here, with a plea for Emmy consideration for a dark horse candidate for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy:  Amy Landecker for Amazon’s Transparent.

Transparent is generous to all of its actors because it gives them dramatically complicated landscapes to play in with dialogue that doesn't always fill in those gaps for emotional transitions and arcs. It's the kind of hard work actors love to do.  This is, of course, how we all make realizations in “real life” so the actors in Transparent are key to the delicate naturalism of the show, and the creative team behind them have the grace and intelligence to capture the work without exploiting their vulnerability.

Amy Landecker, who plays the eldest sibling Sarah, does wonders with an extraordinarily difficult character.  In season one, Sarah leaves her husband Len for another woman (Tammy) in a sex-obsessed haze and a rebellion against her controlled, “perfect” existence.  But in the first episode of season two, under Emmy consideration this year, Sarah realizes that not only can she not go through with the wedding to Tammy, not only does she not love Tammy, in fact she HATES Tammy, and that all of her decisions have been wrong.  

The idea of realizing on your wedding day that you’ve made the wrong decision is a decades-old entertainment cliché, usually reserved for romantic comedies.  But Landecker has to carry the naturalistic weight of what that epiphany REALLY means.  This sense of loss, and of being lost, is her arc throughout season two, and the actress finds layers of anger, humor, and fear that are quite astonishing. Sarah may be a control freak, but she is constantly on the verge of falling apart.  After spending her lifetime building the ideal family, season two finds her completely alone.  Landecker’s natural appeal clues you into the fact that Sarah has always been popular and successful, and for the first time in her life she has driven full-force into a wall. She has no resources for being lonely.  Landecker calibrates Sarah’s unraveling in the way we see it in people we know:  bursts of anger, momentarily losses of control, casual cruelties to others she sees as weaker and less witty than herself.  

It’s also unerring to see such a sexually frank portrayal of a middle-aged mother in any medium.  Sarah not only talks about sex, she makes life decisions based on sex (as, of course, most people do).  She’s extra proud of her boobs (the character is costumed with subtle attention to them) and leads with sexual confidence.  Landecker is also smart enough to show us Sarah's spoiled streak - she comes from a family with money, and she’s accustomed to attention and accommodation, and she’s lost without those things,  too.  This is a fully fleshed-out character, etched by an actress in masterful control.  She makes many actresses getting nominated for sitcom work seem juvenile in comparison. 

Previous Emmy Pieces
Emmy Drama Ballots |  Emmy Comedy Ballots | Donna Lynn Champlin "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" |  The People vs OJ SimpsonGillian Jacobs "Love"Riley Keough "The Girlfriend Experience" | Jeremy Allen White "Shameless" | Constance Zimmer "UnREAL" | Noah Galvin "The Real O'Neals" | "Mr Robot" leads TCA Nominations | Ten Nominees? 

Friday
Jun242016

Thoughts I Had... The 'Suicide Squad' Character Posters

After Finding Dory's big opening this past weekend, our last remaining potential mega hit of the summer is Suicide Squad. The twist on the superhero super-antihero blockbuster is our only comic book film of the season left (shocking, right?) and is pushing hard to turn favor for the DC Universe after this spring's unmentionable. While it has a cast packed with stars and recognizable faces, some of its characters are still unknown to the masses.

And wouldn't you know, here's a new set of character posters to get you acquainted! We've covered the film's building teases, but this is too poppy and fun to pass up. 

Here are some thoughts...

Viola Davis: Superhero sounds like the summer blockbuster we actually need and deserve. Special powers include being flawless, cutting victims down to size with a single withering glance, and making the masses cry on cue. "Worst. Heroes. Ever."?? Not on your life, darling...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun232016

Happy Birthday, Frances McDormand

Kieran, here. There are certain actors whose absence would create a huge void in cinema. It’s not always the movie stars, despite their merits. It’s often the character actors. The beautiful, interesting, wholly human faces that populate our films, only semi-regularly leaping forward to truly headline a vehicle, but still remaining a vital part of the movies we love. Few actors working today embody this more fully than the wondrously versatile, endlessly watchable Frances McDormand whose entry into the world we celebrate today.

What’s your favorite Frances McDormand performance? Okay...that’s a rhetorical question. We all know what it is. But her filmography is diverse and fascinating to explore, who what's your #2?

Frances McDormand’s 5 Best Movie Performances

 5. Burn After Reading (2008)
Broad, but undeniably funny and completely understanding the tone of the vehicle. Mileage varies in terms of McDormand’s many outings with the Coen Brothers, but it’s almost never uninteresting... 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun232016

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Pt. 3: "Get the Guests"

For the 50th Anniversary of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) Team Experience is celebrating with a four part miniseries. Begin with Part 1 "What. A.Dump!" or Part 2 "Firing Squads & Flop Sweat" if you missed them.

Pt 3 by Kyle Stevens 
[Kyle's book "Mike Nichols: Sex, Language, and The Reinvention of Psychological Realism" is available for purchase.] 

01:04:30 We pick up with Nick and George, left alone. Nick ceases peacocking for a moment since the ladies have gone, and, for George, this is the moment to assert dominance. For Albee, their tête-à-tête is an allegorical showdown between biology and history, nature and nurture: what they are, what people are, and who gets to say. Albee is on George’s side:

To take the trouble to construct a civilization, to build a society based on principles of, uh, principle. You make government and art and realize that they are, must be, both the same. You bring things to the saddest of all points, to the point where there is something to lose. Then all at once, through all the music, through all the sensible sounds of men building, attempting, comes the Dies Irae. And what is it? What does the trumpet sound? Up yours.” 

Thank you. Thank you!

1:05:52 Honey and Martha return from “the euphemism,” where Honey has been throwing up. Honey, who always seems to be out-of-step with the group, assumes that Nick’s sarcastic applause is for her. Her readiness to see everything as a performance, though, is also spot-on, hinting that she’s perhaps the most insightful one of the bunch...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun232016

Cue the Imperial March.

Daddy's back!

One of the most iconic characters of all time is set to return to the big screen. Darth Vader returns to cinemas when Rogue One hits on December 16th. But do you sense a disturbance in the force? A few questions get raised here. Was Darth Vader added in the reshoots when the studio was reportedly in panic? Perhaps the biggest question of all is: do we need to see Darth Vader again?

It would be surprising not to have Darth Vader mentioned at all as he is a very large character in the universe at that time this new (old) story takes place, but to appear on screen is a huge moment to promise. Audiences will return just to see this character again but isn't that, perhaps, detrimental to the larger revival of the franchise. Part of the success of The Force Awakens was the way it balanced nostalgia whilst shaping a new path. It ensured Vader cast a dark shadow, and his absence was felt which is a successful use of nostalgia but not overkill.

Have we already spied Darth Vader in the Rogue One trailer?

Vader has appeared frequently in the animated TV series but the big screen where he’s the big bad is another thing. Still a tip of the hat to the never ending successful Star Wars PR machine. They reveal only that Darth Vader will reappear, and millions of voices cry out in glee. But do you find the lack of originality disturbing?

Thursday
Jun232016

Links: Danielle Brooks, Shark Movies, Ghostbuster Themes

The Ringer "True confessions of Shark," the star who invented the blockbuster (Ha!)
IndieWire calls The Shallows the best shark movie since Jaws. Wow... but then, on the other hand, are there any good shark movies since Jaws so maybe that's not such high praise?
Buzzfeed has a long gripping read about director Karyn Kusama's tough journey from Girlfight (2000) through two studio disasters and on to her new film The Invitation (2016)
TFE... which we reviewed in April, icymi
YouTube the new Ghostbusters theme song "Ghostbusters (I'm Not Afraid)" by Fall Out Boy is basically a cover with some new flourishes including Missy Elliott so it won't be Oscar nominated (or even eligible) like the original tune from 1984

 

US Magazine there's a Golden Girls Cafe opening in NYC but "cheesecake" isn't the menu headliner so fire everyone. (If you read the fine print it's actually a restaurant in honor of Rue McClanahan... but they're really pushing it as a Golden Girls Cafe so they need to step up their menu game)
Variety This Euphoria movie cast gets better and better: Eva Green, Alicia Vikander...and now Charlotte Rampling? And it's got a female director and a great cinematographer (Ex Machina's Rob Hardy). Be still my (frost-bitten) heart 
Slate rips apart 2016's sequels as anti-storytelling, pro-branding. Yes. 
BeSpoke Redmayne awww a little precocious 8 year old who loves Stephen Hawkings and "Eddie's Marilyn movie" got to meet her idol Eddie Redmayne  
NY Theater in case you want a headstart on NEXT SUMMER's Tony Awards - lots of potentially exciting shows opening in the next 11 months including revivals of Falsettos, The Little Foxes, Hello Dolly, and Les Liaisons Dangereuses with Janet McTeer as the Merquise de Merteuil and Liev Schreiber as her partner-in-love-crime Valmont

Quote of the Day
Today Show Danielle Brooks (Orange is the New Black, The Color Purple) says: 

My career is a Crayola box now!"

I demand remakes of Blue Angel, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Foxy Brown, and The Creature from the Black Lagoon all starring this fine actress. LOVE HER SO MUCH. Hoping Emmy notices her soon for Orange is the New Black

Uh... Try 'Movie of the Year'

iTunes rental deal this week is Todd Hayne's Carol, our #1 film of 2015. It's only 99¢ so there's no time like the now if you've been putting it off. (If you're into buying digital copies of things -- I am not. I need physical copies as digitial is too ephemeral and as soon as there are technology updates or you get a new computer suddenly you lose things -- there are a ton of great deals on LGBT movies at iTunes under their Pride month label)

Thursday
Jun232016

"Mr. Robot", "People vs O.J." Lead Television Critics Association Conglomeration Nominations

The Television Critics Association announced the nominees for their 34th annual TCA Awards yesterday, as Emmy nomination ballot deadlines loom (Monday). For those unitiated into the organization's particular mode of aggregating accolades, it may come as a bit of a surprise to see Bob Odenkirk and Sarah Paulson mentioned in the same acting category. The TCA loves a good buffet. Rather than divvy up the love by format, they scoop a big heaping of pick-and-choose onto their nominating plate; the tip-toppest acting bona fides of series, miniseries, talk shows, TV movies, and different genders all taste great so why not load them all onto the same plate?

Granted, they break up serials and self-contained shows for their Best categories but there's something thrilling about weighing Samantha Bee's achievement in fervent fact-boiling against Aya Cash's honest exploration of depression in a way that feels less competitive than it does conversation-raising. In fact, there's not a straight white male amongst the Individual Achievement in Comedy group, which is 5/6 women; its selection of nominees balks at the idea of institutional placeholders in favor of true grit. Inclusion, it appears, garners a compellingly reflective list.

Individual Achievement in Drama

  • Bryan Cranston, All The Way
  • Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
  • Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
  • Sarah Paulson, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
  • Keri Russell, The Americans
  • Courtney B. Vance, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

Individual Achievement in Comedy

  • Aziz Ansari, Master of None
  • Samantha Bee, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
  • Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
  • Aya Cash, You’re The Worst
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
  • Constance Wu, Fresh Off the Boat

Outstanding New Program

  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
  • Marvel’s Jessica Jones
  • Master of None
  • Mr. Robot
  • Underground
  • UnREAL 

Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries, and Specials

  • All The Way
  • Fargo
  • The Night Manager
  • The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
  • Roots
  • Show Me A Hero 

Outstanding Achievement in Drama

  • The Americans
  • Better Call Saul
  • Game of Thrones
  • The Leftovers
  • Mr. Robot
  • UnREAL

Outstanding Achievement in Comedy

Program of the Year

What do you make of the TCA's kitchen sink approach to their nominations? By eliminating binaries, does its all-of-the-above inclusion cut straight to the heart of the talent, or does it winnow its window of worthy contenders?