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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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Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet Van Dyne

"I'm stoked that she's now part of the MCU and hopefully be given some good scenes and not be totally wasted." - Iggy

"I thought Sharon Stone had been cast in the Ant Man sequel....Pfeiffer is a surprise here. I`ve read Evangeline Lilly wanted her, Michael Douglas wanted his wife and the studio wanted Sharon" -Eder

 

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Friday
Apr152016

Review: The Invitation

A dinner party reunion of estranged friends sets the stage for director Karyn Kusama's unnerving and twisted micro-horror The Invitation. The film's marketing has wisely eschewed going much further than that vague synopsis, for this one is most rewarding when experienced fresh. But don't just expect surprises with what unfolds, but from what's underneath the plentiful chills.

Shot almost entirely within one swanky Los Angeles home, the modest production is deceptive for how easily it gets under your skin and rattles. Its slim budget is hidden by a glossy presentation and a production design that finds the right alchemy of alluring and demonic (paging Daniel Walber!). Kusama treats this house as she does the many characters, all hidden corners of darkness packaged within a polished facade. If you watch The Invitation on VOD, prepare to have home jealousy, for this is pure house porn. And you'll definitely want a glass of wine.

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Friday
Apr152016

A Monster Calls For A "Visionary Filmmaker"

Laurence here. Have you checked the children? Landing somewhat quietly in a week of splashy comic book trailers was something that looks, frankly, altogether more interesting than both. J.A. Bayona, director of The Orphanage and The Impossible, seems to have found the narrative intersection between both for his new film, A Monster Calls. We only have a teaser trailer so far so we won't give it the full YNMS treatment just yet, but it's an enticing, Burtonesque first glimpse.

Some more information on the film after the jump...

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Friday
Apr152016

Happy Birthday, Emma Watson!

A happiest of birthdays to former blockbuster youngster and now indie starlet Emma Watson! In one of the most charming bits of movie programming serendipity, her new film Colonia is also being released today.

Colonia debuted at last fall's Toronto Film Festival, and is now in select theatres and on VOD. Set during the factual Chilean military uprising in 1973, the film stars Watson as a young woman going undercover within a cult to rescue her lover (Daniel Brühl) from its terrifying captivity. The film looks to deliver morbid thrills against a political background, with Michael Nyqist's variation on an actual cult leader looking like the stuff of nightmares.

While Watson is still beloved by Harry Potter fans for her long-haul performance as Hermione Granger, her post-franchise work in smaller films has steadily shown new shades to the actress. Her best work yet is her turn in Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring, giving a smart, measured take on excess-obsessed youth culture that also gives the film a surprising shot of acid wit. More great work followed in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a performance of subtle emotional maturity that should have earned her the similar praised received by costars Logan Lerman and Ezra Miller.

We missed giving Colonia a YNMS treatment, so check out the trailer after the jump...

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Thursday
Apr142016

April Showers: Kenneth Lonergan's Margaret

In April Showers, Team TFE looks at our favorite waterlogged moments in the movies. Here's Chris on Margaret (2011).

If you missed Kenneth Lonergan's Margaret during it's microscopic release in 2011, you aren't alone. The film spent four years in the editing room after wrapping in 2005, leading to a litigious post-production and a bare bones theatrical run. Even with its bursting ensemble of recognizable faces like Mark Ruffalo, Matt Damon, and lead Anna Paquin, Margaret couldn't get an audience without promotion, so it died.

But if you ever want to complain about Film Twitter, remember Margaret as the poster child for its ability to create a movement around a worthy film. Thanks to #TeamMargaret, led mostly by the film's passionate British fanbase, word of mouth (and curiosity) spread quickly. Eventually distributor Fox Searchlight made the film more readily available, even sending screeners out to a handful of critics for end-of-the-year consideration. The home release also features an extended version closer to Lonergan's original intention.

Sometimes we just miss a masterpiece, but they always have a way of coming back. (more after the jump)...

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Thursday
Apr142016

Cannes Film Festival Official Lineup

Kieran, here. The Cannes film festival is a peculiar animal. Its relation to the Oscar race (it's April, so I'm allowed to mention it again) is nebulous. While the festival raerly fails to deliver at least a few titles that will net multiple nominations, it's hardly the launching pad into awards season in a way similar to Toronto or (in more recent years) Telluride. And truthfully, that's one of the things that makes it so compelling to follow. Regardless of whatever criticisms one can levy against Cannes, it's hard to deny that it clearly has its own rich history and identity with different motives on its mind compared to many high profile festivals.

The lineup for the festival is replete with interesting cinematic offerings. There are certain directors who can always garner a slot on the roster (*uses quiet voice* regardles of the quality of the actual film). Even still, it's such a thrill every year when they announce the list, quibble as we may at the inclusion of the usual suspects. Below is the official lineup for the 69th Annual Cannes Film Festival in full.

Opening Night Film

 Cafe Society – directed by Woody Allen

Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart in Woody Allen's latest

Doesn't it seem strange that it took this long for Woody Allen to put Kristen Stewart in one of his films? Woody Allen is definitely on the list of aforementioned directors who can always land a spot on the Cannes roster. Whether it's a rapturously received Midnight in Paris or a more tepid You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger level offering. Which will this be?

Competition 

Toni Erdmann – directed by Maren Ade
Julieta – directed by Pedro Almodóvar
American Honey– directed by Andrea Arnold
The Unknown Girl– directed by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
Personal Shopper – directed by Olivier Assayas
It’s Only The End Of The World – directed by Xavier Dolan
Ma Loute – directed by Bruno Dumont
Paterson – directed by Jim Jarmusch
Rester Vertical– directed by Alain Guiraudie
Aquarius– directed by Kleber Mendonca Filho
Mal de Pierres – directed by Nicole Garcia
I, Daniel Blake– directed by Ken Loach
Ma’Rosa – directed by Brillante Mendoza
Loving – directed by Jeff Nichols
Bacalaureat – directed by Cristian Mungiu
Agassi– directed by Park Chan-Wook
The Last Face – directed by Sean Penn
Sieranevada – directed by Cristi Puiu
Elle – directed by Paul Verhoeven
The Neon Demon – directed by Nicolas Winding Refn

Elle Fanning in Nicolas Winding Refn's THE NEON DEMON

The announcement of the lineup has dovetailed nicely with the release of the trailer for Nicolas Winding Refn's The Neon Demon, which has the internet buzzing. Have you watched yet? Seeing the haunting, enigmatic stills of Elle Fanning I opted not to and hopefully go into the film cold when it reaches stateside. Seriously, though...how absolutely amazing does this lineup of in-competition features look? Bacalaureat directed by Cristian Mungiu (Beyond the Hills and the fantastic 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) is the title that most has me wishing I could attend the festival. There's no guarantee it'll reach the United States in a timely manner. 

Un Certain Regard

Varoonegi – directed by Behnam Behzadi
Apprentice– directed by Boo Junfeng
Voir Du Pays – directed by Delphine Coulin and Muriel Coulin
La Danseuse– directed by Stephanie Di Giusto
Clash– directed by Mohamed Diab
La Tortue Rouge - directed by Michael Dudok de Wit
Fuchi Bi Tatsu – directed by Fukada Koji
Omar Shakhsiya – directed by Maha Haj
Me’Ever Laharim Vehagvaot – directed by Eran Kolirin
After The Storm– directed by Kore-Eda Hirokazu
Hymyileva Mies– directed by Juho Kuosmanen
La Large Noche de Francisco Sanctis– directed by Francisco Marquez and Andrea Testa
Caini – directed by Bogdan Mirica
Pericle Il Nero – directed by Stefano Mordini
The Transfiguration– directed by Michael O’Shea
Captain Fantastic – directed by Matt Ross
Uchenik – directed by Kirill Serebrennikov

Viggo Mortensen in Matt Ross' CAPTAIN FANTASTIC

Captain Fantastic, the second feature by actor turned director Matt Ross (American Psycho, TV's "Big Love" where he was excellent as a gay serpentine polygamist cult zealot) already played Sundance to good notices. Will it also impress the Cannes audience?

Midnight Screenings

Gimme Danger – directed by Jim Jarmusch
The Train to Busan – directed by Yeon Sang-Ho
A Chad Tragedy – directed by Mahamat-Saleh Aroun
The Death of Louis XIV – directed by Albert Serra
L’Ultima Spiaggia – directed by Thanos Anastopolous and Davide Del Degan

Outside Competition

The BFG – directed by Steven Spielberg
Money Monster – directed by Jodie Foster
The Nice Guys – directed by Shane Black
Gok Sung – directed by Na Hong-Jin

Jodie Foster directs George Clooney in MONEY MONSTERThe premiere and subsequent reception of Jodie Foster's Money Monster (which will be released in the US the following day) will be interesting to watch for several reasons. Foster, while obviously accomplished as an actor, has never really broken through with unanimous critical acclaim for any of her outings as a director (though Home For the Holidays is excellent). This is also the first film produced by George Clooney with a female director. He has previously only produced white-male-directed films--an odd bit of trivia given his reputation as a bastion of forward-thinking politics in Hollywood. He was one of the louder critics of the Academy's lack of diversity this past season, so perhaps we're seeing Clooney going beyond rhetoric (which does have value when you're a star of his reach and influence) and putting his money where his mouth is. 

What are you most excited to see?

Thursday
Apr142016

Andrew Garfield: free from Hollywood's web

For our impromptu and informal Actors Month, members of Team Experience were free to choose any actor they wanted to discuss. Here's David on Hollywood's outgoing Spider-Man.

Andrew Garfield wasn't made for Hollywood; an interview with Vulture last year saw him raging at the very convention of interviews themselves, tired of the constant insistence on self-analysis and invasion of privacy. He was, however, born in Los Angeles, with a father who dreamt of Hollywood - but the Garfield family moved back to his mother's English homeland when Andrew was just four years old. Now he is, by his own admission, firmly transatlantic, "equally at home in both places". He has fulfilled his father's latent dreams of movie stardom, but Garfield grew up on the British stage, an arena where character comes first and celebrity is a rare imposition. Many commentators have made note of how many British actors have taken on major roles in Hollywood franchises, but none seem so conflicted and contradictory about their place there as Garfield.

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