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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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"Now this is a Sophie’s choice! Both are wonderful examples of using and subverting star personas, and the films themselves are glorious." - Ian O

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Tuesday
Dec272016

May Carrie Fisher's Brilliance Be With You

Instant gratification takes too long."

Meryl Streep popularized that brilliant one-liner in the essential showbiz comedy Postcards from the Edge (1990) but the line pre-dates the film, having emerged from the actress/writer Carrie Fisher's sharp pen (or was it tongue?) some time earlier. The line is so good it ended up on t-shirts. Fisher's best lines in print (multiple books, my personal favorite being "Surrender the Pink") or on the screen (Postcards from the Edge plus much script-doctoring) often sound exactly like things she may have uttered spontaneously in real life first with that unmistakably frank, darting, and mischievous wit. The showbiz icon passed away this morning after a heart attack aboard a plane this past Friday but her work and her influence will live on.

The irony of her delicious and beloved quip above isn't hard to miss...

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Tuesday
Dec272016

Doc Corner: George Michael on Show in 'Foreign Skies'

Nathaniel already looked at his favourite George Michael songs in tribute to the man's passing at age 53, and today a 1985 tour documentary featuring the finest male vocalist of his generation.

Three decades ago when China figuratively opened their doors to western culture, the first to arrive were… Big Bird and Wham! Two fey, energetic, hyper-coloured performers who sought a mutual exchange through music and film. The yellow Sesame Street character had Big Bird in China, while George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley got Wham! In China: Foreign Skies.

It’s a peculiar film, and not an especially good one. Half Chinese travelogue for the western audiences fascinated by the newly open China with their bustling food markets, seas of grey fashion, and their Great Wall; half concert film focusing, rightly, on the energetic and handsome George Michael sashaying around on stage like nobody had ever seen before.

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Tuesday
Dec272016

Trailer Leftovers: "Alien", "Snatched", and "Apes"

Chris here, still nursing our holiday hangover. To go with the massive amount of films descending upon the multiplexes at the holiday season, there is always an equally large amount of trailers to catch up to. Let's revisit the gluttony by reheating some trailer leftovers we've yet to discuss here, including Goldie Hawn's comeback vehicle Snatched, the hyperviolent & NSFW first look at Alien: Covenant, and the next installment of those damn dirty Apes!

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Monday
Dec262016

Going Crazy and Coping With 2016 Films

Year in Review. Every afternoon, a new wrap-up. Today Chris on films that represented the tumultuous year...

It's a comfort to know that even in no-good-horrible-very-bad years such as this that the movies will always be there to sustain us. However this year the movies seemed to reflect our troubled times right back at us - from racial divides in Zootopia to global communication breakdowns in Arrival. But these very films that embodied the awful also provided us with ways to cope with the ceaseless catastrophe that was 2016.

It should come as no surprise to have more than one horror film on such a list, but let's look at some examples...

The Witch
The Crazy: Look what nightmares can be wrought from living in a bubble, even a self-induced one. Is this even our reality or just perception?
How to Cope: Go join that coven! You go. You got this, girl!

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Monday
Dec262016

Box Office Christmas: Star Wars, Hidden Figures, and More...

Star Wars is just going to be a thing every Christmas as ubiquitous as Santa one supposes. Rogue One continued to dominate the box office though if you ask your editor here it's kind of... dull (*dodges tomatoes*) and people wouldn't care much about it if it wasn't "a Star Wars". At the very least it's a bummer that it turned out to be just an exact prequel to the original Star Wars -- it really ought to have had an Episode III½ header -- and not a stand-alone adventure with some fresh ideas about that galaxy far far away.

Box office charts with a few points of discussion after the jump. What did you see this weekend? 

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Monday
Dec262016

The Furniture: Fame Flattens Your Dreamgirls, Boys

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

 This probably goes without saying, but movie musicals tend not to take place in the real world. Gene Kelly doesn’t just serenade French children in An American in Paris, he leads the cast through a dream ballet of wild abstraction. The oddness of public singing is often just the door to an even more fantastical world. Even those about actual musicians, who need no special excuse to croon, often break free from realism.

In this context, Dreamgirls is a bit of an odd duck. Director Bill Condon tries to split the difference. Some of the songs are entirely within the context of a real performance, while others incorporate non-musician characters and non-realistic settings. The back and forth can be a bit confounding...

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