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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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Tuesday
Jul052016

Review: The BFG

Eric here, with thoughts on the new Steven Spielberg release, The BFG.   

Spielberg lends his patented magical touch to this film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s story The BFG.  It’s the tale of little orphan Sophie (Ruby Barnhill), who meets a friendly elderly giant (Mark Rylance) who instills dreams into children.  They go off together to Giant Country, where we meet other giants who eat children, and Dream Country, where The BFG shows her how he harvests dreams.  Then they enroll the Queen of England in an attack on the bad giants.

The first third of the picture establishes the meet-cute of our two leads, and it’s standard fantasy fare, albeit with a sleek look that blends the live action and CGI material quite successfully into one neat universe.  It’s all a little sparkly and cute, and pitched as most kids’ movies are to generate response for twinkly endearment.  At the end of this act, when we meet the bad giants, the film gets its first jolt of real gas... 

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jul052016

Halfway Mark: Achievements in Costume Design

We've celebrated the male performances, the heroes and villains, cinematography & production design. So let's hit Nathaniel's (c'est moi) favorite craft category costume design, as we wrap up our halfway mark festivities this week (actresses still to come). Who would I choose and who might Oscar choose if the year had ended June 30th? 

HALFWAY MARK BEAUTY BREAK ~ BEST COSTUME DESIGN
(January to June theatrical releases only) 

Achievements in Overall Costume Design
If I were drawing up my year end ballot right now (January to June releases) I'd pick these five films though there will inevitably be strong competition to come -- will any of them be nominated at year's end?

The Neon Demon, Erin Benach
While Benach doesn't manage anything as iconic as her scorpion jacket for Drive, few films do so you can't hold that against this film. Between the dichotomous looks of the innocent ingenue (half sexual / half innocuous flowing girlie dresses) to the rigid couture of her rivals, there's lots of texture and color and editorial looks to consider.

Sing Street, Tiziana Corvisieri
Corvisieri pulls from a surprisingly wide range of styles in this film to trace the DIY looks of "Sing Street," the band within the film, and how their music video style translates into their schoolboy uniforms. Great fun on a costume level but always believably low-budget and "thrown together" (though they were surely well planned by Corviseri)

9 more honored costume designers after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jul052016

Let the River Run... To "Best Shot" Tomorrow Night.

Just as a reminder we have a very full very accessible month of Best Shot coming up. I'll give you an extra day on Working Girl (1988) -- your reader's poll pick now streaming on Netflix. So, we'll post the roundup tomorrow (Wednesday) night instead of tonight. I figured everyone is probably nursing hangovers from fireworks and parties today and getting caught up on their regular lives.

But if you're eager to get started in reading about the Best Picture nominated hit comedy, a first 'Best Shot' entry is already up at Film Mix Tape. Check it out. 

Tuesday
Jul052016

Doc Corner: Norman Lear's Golden Age of TV

Glenn here with our weekly look at documentaries from theatres, festivals, and on demand.

We get told time and time again that we are in a golden age of television, and it’s impossible to deny that the expansion of the viewing landscape has resulted in a boon of creativity that can be seen in every single corner of the television globe. There are times throughout the brisk Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You where it appears directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady are attempting to suggest that this golden age was birthed some 40-odd years ago when Norman Lear was the centre of the small screen universe with a collection of series to his name that not only snagged record-busting ratings, but also critical acclaim and pop culture buzz that saw his shows watched by some 120 million American a week.

You could say he was like David E. Kelley and Shonda Rhimes of his day.

While guest appearances by the likes of Amy Poehler, Jon Stewart and even George Clooney highlight his influence both creatively and politically, Ewing and Grady’s film is far too concerned with the man himself to truly dive into the reverberations of his work on modern television...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jul052016

RIP Abbas Kiarostami (1940-2016)

The world just lost another master artist yesterday, after the recent passing of Michael Cimino and Elie Wiesel. Abbas Kiarostami has passed away after a battle with gastrointestinal cancer.

Kiarostami's blended fiction and non-fiction during his over forty year career in film. One of the most prominent Iranian filmmakers, he had been a mainstay of the Cannes Film Festival, jurying multiple times and winning the Palme d'Or in 1997 for Taste of Cherry. His most recent films Certified Copy and Like Someone in Love ventured out of Iran, but it's his homegrown meditations on death like Cherry and The Wind Will Carry Us are what instantly come to mind on this sad news.

Kiarostami wasn't just a film artist but a poet as well, though poetic language heightened much of his film work. His films were soulfully awake and fiercely personal - Cherry being the brusing and enlightening standout, with Copy's existentialism winning him his newest fans. Just last week, he had been included on the Academy's list of newly invited members. You can catch up with many of his films on Hulu.

What was your favorite Kiarostami film?

Tuesday
Jul052016

The Long Box Office Weekend: Finding Tarzan 

How was your holiday weekend? I took a rare break from blogging for a long 4th of July weekend with two friends I hadn't seen in far too long. We didn't hit the movies but for a couple of post meal watches on shared couches (The Intern & 10 Cloverfield Lane). But movies are always big business on this weekend, even without our help. It was a tough opening weekend for The BFG but both the new Tarzan and The Purge did well, Despite three major new films and a big expansion for a others like Swiss Army Man, cinemas were still under the sea. Finding Dory remains at #1 and will soon be the top grossing film of the whole year. Haven't all the fish been found by now?

TOP FIVE WIDE
1000+ screens. arrows indicate gaining or losing screens
โ–ซ๏ธ01 Finding Dory $50.1 (cum. $380.5) Review
๐Ÿ”บ02 The Legend of Tarzan $45.5 NEW Review
๐Ÿ”บ03 The Purge: Election Year $34.7 NEW
๐Ÿ”บ04 The BFG $22.2 NEW
๐Ÿ”บ05 Independence Day: Resurgence $20.2 (cum. $76.3)  Roland Emmerich

TOP FIVE LIMITED
Less than 1000 screens. Excluding previously wide. 
๐Ÿ”บ01 Swiss Army Man $1.7 (cum. $1.8) 636 screens 
๐Ÿ”บ02 Our Kind of Traitor $1.2 NEW 372 screens 
๐Ÿ”ป03
 Love & Friendship $512K (cum. $12.6) 185 screens ReviewPodcast  

๐Ÿ”ป04 The Lobster $425K (cum. $7.6) 151 screens ReviewishPodcast 
๐Ÿ”บ05
Maggie's Plan $400K (cum. $2.7)  Review

 

What did you see/do this weekend?