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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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TOM JONES + LIZ TAYLOR + SIDNEY POITIER
deep dive podcast with the '63 smackdown 

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Monday
Aug152016

Beauty vs Beast: Who's Those Girls

Jason from MNPP here, letting you know for this week's "Beauty vs Beast" that sometimes, at night times, I close and lock the door so no one else can see and... I dance! I dance all by myself! And tomorrow we will all dance (for inspiration) because tomorrow Madonna, the one and only, is turning 58. So now is not the time to haggle over her acting skills - let's just accept the fact that the world would be a less fun place if the she-lady of white lace gloves had never stomped into it, and look at what is probably her best (fictional) turn on-screen, in 1985's Desperately Seeking Susan.

I had never seen this movie until earlier this year when our estimable host Nathaniel dragged me to it at a screening at the Metrograph here in NYC, can you believe that? Speaking of, Metrograph is doing an entire retrospective of the Material Girl's movies later this month, including showing Susan once again, and I highly recommend catching it on a big screen - it's like being dropped into the fanciful 80s East Village of magicians and thrift shops of your dreams. The entire cast is stuffed with about-to-be-somebodies like Aidan Quinn (humina humina) and Laurie Metcalf, and the leading goofball two-some of Rosanna Arquette & Madonna are a true pop delight.

PREVIOUSLY Even though it was his birthday, and even though he's a certifiable acting legend, poor Dustin Hoffman didn't stand a chance -- we'd all long ago been seduced away by Anne Bancroft's smoky eyes and smokier delivery as the iconic older woman in The Graduate; Mrs. Robinson took just under 80% of your vote. Said Tom:

"As soon as Mrs Robinson wondered into his bedroom "mistakenly" looking for the bathroom, I knew this was a performance for the ages."

Monday
Aug152016

Link Up

REMINDER: tomorrow night we're doing the first episode of "The Get Down" (now streaming on Netflix) for Hit Me With Your Best Shot

The Best Picture Project advice for taking your toddler to the movie theater
Los Angeles Times report on a South Korean thriller called Train to Busan that's striking a deep chord with moviegoers there
In Contention Kris Tapley has a new podcast called "Playback" - interviews and the Oscar race
Comics Alliance Flash Season 3 News. I cooled a bit on The Flash with the interminable and convoluted plot of Season 2 but season 3 is sounding like great fun: a musical episode (which we were hoping for since so many of the cast members have musical theater backgrounds) and more Gorilla Grodd for starters

MTV Teo Bugbee celebrates the 10th anniversary of Step Up, the sexiest family-friendly dance movie of the decade
Tracking Board we get the movies we deserve (on the success of Suicide Squad despite everyone agreeing that it's not good)
Coming Soon Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water has assembled quite a stellar cast (including Oscar nominees Richard Jenkins & Sally Hawkins) and production has begun. It's  "an other-worldly story, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1963."
Theater Mania Remember Lesley Headland's Bachelorette? It started as a play before it was a movie and now it's coming back to the stage in September (sadly it's the exact dates I'm in TIFF so I won't get to see this production).
/Film Some of the titular characters from Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
Variety Birth of a Nation star Nate Parker responds to new reporting about a rape trial 17 years ago.
Variety Cirque du Soleil is making several changes to its Broadway show "Paramour" after opening night and reviews, which is quite rare. 
This is Not Porn Harrison Ford working out for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
Coming Soon Patty Jenkins respondes to rumors that Wonder Woman, like other DC superhero productions before it is a mess in post. Calls them "entirely false" with a "transparent agenda"
Theater Mania Fyvush Finkel of Picket Fences and Fiddler on the Roof fame has died at 93 years of age 
Tracking Board more discussion of "genderless" acting awards. I maintain that this would be a disaster for actresses because sexist society (and Holllywood) values men so much more and that would only exarcebate the problem of women not getting their deserved kudos in film and television. This particular article seems to think the male acting categories have more range in roles which I think is flat-out crazy. The male acting categories are so much duller and generally only have a few types of genres honored. You get a wider spread with the actresses from all the same genres as men (bios, dramas, dramedies, epics) plus romances, comedies, musicals, etcetera. 

Olympic Fever
E!Online best reaction faces from the Olympics 
Slate on Kohei Uchimura, "the greatest gymnast of all time"
Slate on why Puerto Rico gets its own Olympic team
Towleroad The IOC has deemed the Daily Beast's awful homophobic article about gay Olympians using apps to hookup "unacceptable" (the article has since been removed from the Daily Beast's website but honestly people should be fired not just 'oh we're sorry') and the straight journalist behind it Nico Hines has been recalled from Rio. Still one has to wonder what damage he's already done given that he basically outed athletes from notoriously anti-gay countries whose lives could not be at stake 
Towleroad The Daily Mail has also been on the homophobic attack, labelling hugging between Olympic divers 'unmanly' 

Monday
Aug152016

The Furniture: The Lobster's Phony Flowers

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

In a 2014 interview, production designer Jacqueline Abrahams described her job as “creating an environment that is credible but sometimes incredible...always aiming to be authentic in spite of being made up.” As this was two years ago, she may not have had her work on The Lobster in mind. Yet the sentiment couldn’t be a more perfect fit for the weird universe of Yorgos Lanthimos.

The dystopia of The Lobster, after all, is not particularly flashy. It’s a world just like our own, only a little grayer. If every frame held immediate physical evidence of a dramatically different future, the carefully calibrated mood would collapse. Instead, the dystopia emerges subtly, through little gestures of performance and design.

Abrahams, a BAFTA-winner for her work on BBC’s Wallander, is an integral part of this achievement. Her presence is felt from the first shot, in which she makes her acting debut as the woman who shoots a donkey on the side of the road. Her design contributions are even more memorable.

The hotel for singles is a triumph of carefully planned ennui. If you look closely, you can pick up the tone from the very first scene within this last resort...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug152016

Beauty Break: Cotillard & Pitt in 'Allied'

Manuel here. Have you guys seen the sweeping, swoon-worthy teaser trailer for Robert Zemeckis' Allied? If nothing else, it shows us that Zemeckis understands that Marion Cotillard and Brad Pitt are timeless movie stars whose faces deserve all the beautiful costumes and close-ups they get. The entire trailer is giving me Casablanca vibes even if I'm still unsure what the hell is going on other than these two look like they walked out of a 1940s war film.

Rather than do a regular YNMS for the trailer, I wanted to leave you with 8 moments from the teaser that made me gay gasp...

Cotillard in period garb will never get old. And that red lipstick? Divine...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug152016

Instagram Zen

Another scorcher today so take it easy if you can. Here are three moments of celebrity chill to inspire you if you're stressed about the week: Naomi Watts drinking Watts Rose, waterfall gorgeousity with Luca Calvani, and a staring contest with Chris Hemsworth.

 

This is Great!! #LifeIsGood #Nature #gratitude #MightyHeart #brrrr

A photo posted by Luca Calvani (@lucalvani) on Aug 14, 2016 at 8:10am PDT

 

 

Sunday
Aug142016

Review: Sausage Party

Tim here. You can't deny that Sausage Party does what it promises. It's a not-quite-parody and not-quite-satire of the Pixar-style premise of a secret world where inanimate objects have an elaborate culture unseen by humans. In this case, it's the life of a supermarket with Seth Rogen as the voice of a heroic hot dog and Kristen Wiig as the hot dog bun he loves. To this, add in a bunch of curse words and outlandishly filthy sex talk, and you've got a solid 70% of the movie.  It's not mine to say whether this is good or bad: there's no point in telling people that what they're laughing at isn't funny, and Sausage Party's audience undoubtedly knows itself.

That audience would be anybody who has loved writers Rogen & Evan Goldberg's previous forays into sex-obsessed philosophy hiding in a thick cloud of pot smoke: Superbad, The Interview, or especially This Is the End, the duo's film that Sausage Party most closely resembles. The 30% that's not cartoon characters saying raunchy things is an extension of that film's agnostic theological commentary, and not even a necessarily bad one. [More...]

Click to read more ...