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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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WHAT DID YOU SEE OVER THE WEEKEND?

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Snowman Review

"Truly stunned by how horrible this movie was. In addition to wildly jarring shifts in tone that make the it frequently feel like an SNL parody of itself, the logic of the film just truly doesn't make any sense." -TJ

"I'm so glad Fassy is taking a break. I hope he reconnects with the actor that chose Hunger or Fish Tank." - Peggy Sue

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Monday
Jun272016

The Furniture: The Venomous and Fanatical 'Embrace of the Serpent'

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

Embrace of the Serpent, Colombia’s first-ever nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, contains multitudes. Ciro Guerra filters the Amazon Basin into a tremendous cinematic document, a rich cornucopia of unexpected tableaux. The choice to confine this colorful landscape to black and white would be uncanny enough on its own, but the narrative is also unmoored by transitions between the two timelines. Long before the final hallucination, our perceptions are overwhelmed by the range of complex images.

And, of course, the work of production designer Angelica Perea, art director Ramses Benjumea and set decorator Alejandro Franco is an essential component. The best example of their work comes right at the film’s midpoint, with a pair of profoundly unsettling episodes that interrogate the role of Catholic missionaries in Colombia’s colonial history. [More...]

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Monday
Jun272016

Emmy FYC: The Actresses of "Penny Dreadful"

Our Emmy FYC series concludes with Nathaniel's final plea for Penny Dreadful...

When Penny Dreadful aired its surprise series, not season, finale a week ago, the event felt as dark to fans as Vanessa Ive's increasingly fatalistic worldview. In its 3 short seasons the series grew quickly from a gimmicky concept -- all your favorite monster myths thrown together! --  with rich visual panache (Season 1) to a complex, increasingly focused, and confidently disturbing drama (Season 2) to a rushed and scattershot but even more thematically daring and superbly acted grande finale (Season 3). By the Season 2 premiere it had become abundantly clear that the blood-pumping heart of this gothic universe, belonged to its haunted, dangerous, three-dimensional women...

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Sunday
Jun262016

Interview: Rising Star Boyd Holbrook ("Narcos")

Boyd Holbrook © Flaunt magazine, Fe Pinheiro, photographerI regret to inform you that I cannot begin this story with the sizzling lede I'd intended. But the redacted story, of where Boyd Holbrook called me from and the new project he's working on -- were nevertheless a good reminder that he's been an exciting talent to watch. That's not just because he's so engaging onscreen but because he doesn't want to get stuck in a rut; it's hard to guess where his creative muse will take him next.

So let's jump to our real topic. Boyd Holbrook was calling to discuss his role as DEA officer Steve Murphy in the Netflix series Narcos. The debut season was nominated for Best Drama Series at the Golden Globes and before its second season airs, it's undoubtedly hoping for Emmy to follow suit (balloting closes tomorrow). The story revolves around the drug lord Pablo Escobar (Wagner Moura, Globe nominated for Best Actor) and the attempts of DEA agents Steve Murphy (Boyd Holbrook) and Javier Peña (Pedro Pascal) to bring him down. Though it's somewhat of a three-lead series, Holbrook and Peña are both on Emmy's Supporting Actor Drama ballot since Escobar is the subject matter. Holbrook's character is our window to the story and a handy historical reference guide as narrator. The early episodes have to impart a ton of information we couldn't be expected to know about both Colombia and the US in the late 70s and early 80s as well as technological limitations of the time in hunting and surveillance of your prey.

I talked to Boyd about the peculiar demands of the part, half-exposition and half-character work, but we begin with what I suspect is his multi-hyphenate inner artist [Interview after the jump...]

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Sunday
Jun262016

Water Sports with Dory, Blake, and Dead Daniel

Moviegoers were content to keep swimming with Dory this weekend as the new releases didn't stir audiences. Well that's not wholly true. Moviegoers turned out for other water sports like water skiing on Daniel Radcliffe's corpse in Swiss Army Man (crowded houses but only available in NY & LA) and shark dodging with Blake Lively in The Shallows which had a solid per screen average, a low budget, and surprisingly good reviews. That triple combo could signify big profits for The Shallows ahead if the film finds legs in July, especially if it doesn't lose momentum over the 4th of July holiday week frenzy when The BFG, Tarzan, and The Purge 3 are all newly available to moviegoers. 

The two films that had the toughest time this weekend were the 20 years later (aka way too late) sequel Independence Day Resurgence and the horror/fashion/noir/thriller/satire/whatsit/drama Neon Demon, which risked a nearly wide opening (just under 800 theaters) but couldn't fill theaters -- Elle Fanning isn't bankable yet. Whatever happened to Dakota? *sniffle*

TOP TEN WIDE
1000+ screens. arrows indicate gaining or losing screens
โ–ซ๏ธ01 Finding Dory $73.2 (cum. $286.5) Review
๐Ÿ”บ02 Independence Day: Resurgence $41.6 NEW 
โ–ซ๏ธ03 Central Intelligence $18.3 (cum. $69.3)
๐Ÿ”บ04 The Shallows $16.7 NEW
๐Ÿ”บ05 Free State of Jones $7.7 NEW 
๐Ÿ”ป06 The Conjuring 2 $7.7 (cum. $86.9) 
๐Ÿ”ป07 Now You See Me 2 $5.6 (cum. $52)
๐Ÿ”ป08 X-Men Apocalypse $2.4 (cum. $151.1) ReviewPodcast
๐Ÿ”ป09 TMNT: Out of the Shadows $2.4 (cum. $77.1)
๐Ÿ”ป10 Warcraft $2.1 (cum. $43.8) Six Questions

Fan Art by The Glitchway. Click here for more

TOP TEN LIMITED
Less than 1000 screens. Excluding previously wide. 
๐Ÿ”บ01 The Neon Demon $606K NEW
๐Ÿ”ป02 Love & Friendship $490K (cum. $11.8) ReviewPodcast  
๐Ÿ”ป03
 The Lobster $436K (cum. $7) ReviewishPodcast 

๐Ÿ”ป04 Maggie's Plan $297K (cum. $2.2)  Review
๐Ÿ”บ05
Genius $216K (cum. $807K) 
๐Ÿ”บ06 Weiner $115K (cum. $1.2)  Review
๐Ÿ”บ07
Swiss Army Man $114K NEW Review 

๐Ÿ”บ08 Dark Horse $92K (cum. $493K) Review

๐Ÿ”ป09 The Man Who Knew Infinity $88K (cum. $3.5)

๐Ÿ”ป10
The Hunt for Wilderpeople $85K NEW Review 

 

Happy Pride Weekend, Everyone!
What movies did you catch this week?

Somehow I kicked off the weekend by visiting a facade of the Psycho house (Mommy issues for everyone!) with my bestie and The Flick Filosopher who was visiting from London. But I also caught Genius, The Neon Demon and Swiss Army Man and more on those soon.

Sunday
Jun262016

On this day: Liz & Dick Divorced, Harry Potter Published

On this day in history as it relates to the movies...

 

1819 The bicycle is patented by W.K. Clarkson, Jr. which could be why June has lots of bicycle holidays like "bike to work week" and such. There's even a Bicycle Film Festival happening in NYC this very weekend.
1904 Peter Lorre is born
1922 Underappeciated film star Eleanor Parker is born. Her two best known classics are Caged (1950, her first nomination in one of the all time best Best Actress years) and The Sound of Music (1965, snubbed in supporting actress). Also born on this day is two-time Oscar recipient Dick Smith, an indisputable giant in movie makeup. Among his classics: The Godfather, The Exorcist, Amadeus, and Taxi Driver
1925 Charles Chaplin's The Gold Rush premieres in Hollywood 
1956 Chris Isaak, hot musician and David Lynch favorite, is born
1970 Paul Thomas Anderson is born. We thank him forever for Boogie Nights, Magnolia, and There Will Be Blood, but we wan't to be that excited about one of his movies again. The last two...

Divorced on this day in '74. Remembered by Fall '75

1974 And we were just talking about Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? ! Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were not Martha and George in real life but their love was volatile all the same. They got divorced on this day in 1974 ten years after their wedding (which followed that globally scandalous Cleopatra affair). But you can't keep Liz & Dick separated for long on or offscreen. The crazy lovebirds got remarried 1 year, 3 months and 14 days later. 
1975 Sonny & Cher divorce. Unlike Liz & Dick they don't get back together.  Meanwhile, in unrelated news on that very same day two FBI agents are murdered on an Indian Reservation. Leonard Peltier is later convicted. The Val Kilmer movie Thunderheart (1992) is loosely inspired by this but with all the facts changed. Very very loosely inspired. Anyone remember that movie? I had kind of a thing for Val Kilmer back then.

1997 J.K. Rowlings first Harry Potter book is published in the U.K. It goes on to become a worldwide phenomenon. Not to horrify but how long until they remake those movies, do you think? (Bitchpleez you know it's going to happen)
1998 Out of Sight hits theaters. That was a goodie
2009 The Hurt Locker opens in theaters. Already an awards presence for '08 (with a Spirit nomination) now it's Oscar eligible & wins Best Picture
2012 Nora Ephron dies. What a loss
2015 The US Supreme Court declares a constitutional right to marriage to same sex couples. Now Jules & from The Kids Are All Right and all the other movie gays can get married - how long until we see gay married couple characters in movies? Twenty years? The movies can be quite slow on this stuff

 

Saturday
Jun252016

Great Moments in Gay - 'This kind of stuff' in Weekend (2011)

In June we're celebrating favorite queer moments in cinema. Here's guest contributor Bill Curran on a pivotal low key scene in Weekend... 


Jamie: "What's going on?"

Russell: "Nothing… nothing's going on."

Pride is hard. We’re in a month filled with delirious rainbow floats, umpteen “Yass Queen” gifs, and appropriately lascivious street dancing down many city streets around the globe, and yet I’d like to pause and consider how pride is not merely happiness or acceptance, but respect. And respect is hard. 

Respect—one’s own worth in relation to others—is the motoring theme behind much of Andrew Haigh’s Weekend (2011). In this sense, if Weekend can be considered a landmark 21st century film (as indeed it should be, by any number of artistic rubrics), then the pivotal scene is this exchange between Russell (Tom Cullen) and his best (straight) mate Jamie (Jonathan Race). It is the sea change climax before the more expected bittersweet one... 

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