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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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"Chris, you are very gifted as a reviewer. Often I will read your words about a movie I wasn't particularly drawn to and be "well, gotta see that now, don't I?" -Carmen

"Not sure how I feel about this new movie trend of Creepy [Prestigious Actress]. This year alone gives us Creepy Isabelle Huppert, Creepy Lupita Nyong'o, and Creepy Octavia Spencer." - Brevity

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Monday
Mar182019

Stage Door: Kiss, Me Kate

by Dancin' Dan

“I hate men,” sings Kelli O’Hara in the Roundabout Theater Company’s revival of Kiss Me, Kate, and the audience applauds in agreement. It may be a bit counterintuitive, but right now feels like exactly the right time to revive this golden age musical, about a formerly married, constantly bickering couple starring in a musical version of William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. It's the right time to go to the theater and see a farce where a woman gives as good as she gets from a powerful, abusive man. And Scott Ellis’s sparkling revival delivers, with a little bit of help from some “additional script material” by Amanda Green, and a lot of help from its dynamite leading lady.

This is the best Kelli O’Hara has been since her performance as Nellie Forbush in Bartlett Sher’s 2008 revival of South Pacific...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Mar182019

The winning films from SXSW and SLO Festivals

Austin's SXSW extravaganza (it's not just films there but music and comedy festivals simultaneously) and San Luis Obispo's 25th anniversary film festivals are both a wrap. And with festival wraps come jury and audience prizes! While each year's mainstream gold rush culminating in the Oscars sometimes get snarky reactions in terms of all the back-patting of already über successful people, festival prizes are different. They can be career-making or at least significantly augmenting moments for indie filmmakers, who don't have the benefit of millions in P&A budgets or A list careers to bolster public interest. Awards are often the way artists can begin to forge a creative career. So keep an eye out on these titles and people in case they work their way around to you.

SXSW WINNERS

Saint Frances

NARRATIVE, AUDIENCE AWARDS
• Main Slate: Saint Frances (Alex Thompson) This dramedy is about a young woman who takes a job as a nanny shortly after having an abortion.
• "Headliners": Longshot (Jonathan Levine) New comedy starring Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen
• "Spotlight": The Peanut Butter Falcon (Tyler Nilson, Michael Schwartz) <-- Abe reviewed this one for us. Shia Labeouf stars...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Mar182019

Beauty vs Beast: Won't You Remember Me

Jason from MNPP here on this chilly March afternoon thinking of leaving it all behind and boarding a train out to Montauk -- tomorrow marks the 15th anniversary of one of the Great Films of the new century (née millenium), Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which rescrambled our brains for the first time on March 19th 2004, and we've never been the same since. Have you watched it lately? I watch it basically once per year, which guarantees I have one great big sobbing session at least once per year. Anyway we've already done one of our "Beauty vs Beast" contests for the film's leads before, so today we'll dive a little deeper into the film's exceedingly fine stable of supporting players -- on one side we have the delectably weaselly Patrick (Elijah Wood) and on the other the more-confused-by-the-minute Mary (Kirsten Dunst), who both enrich the film's main romantic thrust in surprising and sad ways...

PREVIOUSLY Y'all truly surprised me with last week's contest that pit Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool's lead lovers against one another -- Jamie Bell took the lead early on and never looked back, taking 65% at the end; it's very rare for actresses to lose here on TFE! Why do you think it happened this time? Said Mareko:

"I'm #TeamGloria in life (what an underrated talent) but lean toward #TeamPeter in this movie. Annette and Jamie really are sublime together, and isn't it interesting that she did back-to-back movies set in 1979? Imagine Dorothea Fields and Gloria Grahame in the same universe, living a mere hour away from each other!"

Sunday
Mar172019

What did you see this weekend?

The top of the box office charts this weekend (and a few comments thereafter)

Weekend Box Office (Actuals)
(March 15th-17th)

W I D E
PLATFORM / LIMITED
1 Captain Marvel $69.3 (cum. $266.2) on 4310 screens REVIEW
1 🔺  No Manches Frida 2 $3.8 on 472 screens *NEW*  

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Sunday
Mar172019

SXSW: "Sister Aimee" and an actress to watch

Abe Fried-Tanzer reporting from SXSW

It’s fitting that the last film I got to see at SXSW is actually one I missed at the Sundance Film Festival, brought to Austin as part of the “Festival Favorites” section which also included buzzy titles like Apollo 11 and Little Monsters. Billed as a comedy, drama, musical, romance, and western, Sister Aimee is certainly ambitious. It's also one of the most intriguing films currently on the festival circuit. In its opening title card, Sister Aimee bills its story as five and a half percent truth; the rest: imagination...

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Sunday
Mar172019

Showbiz History: Nat, Kurt, "She's the Man" and "Goodfellas"

9 random things that happened on this day in showbiz history should you feel like commemorating any of them in your own way...

1906 Brigitte Helms, immortalized in Metropolis (1927) as "Maria / False Maria" is born. 

1919 Iconic musician Nat 'King' Cole born 100 years ago on this very day in Montgomery, Alabama

1941 The National Gallery of Art opens in DC. This month (right now, 2019) they're showing "films from Poverty Row" a series of low budget B films from Hollywood's glory days but made outside the big studios...

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Saturday
Mar162019

SLO Film Fest: Wolves, Sharks, and that "Delicate Balance" 

Nathaniel R reporting from the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival

After a delightful trip back to 1969 iconography and disturbing peek back at 1933 fascism, the San Luis Obispo's 25th festival threw us directly into the immediate now with three engaging documentaries exploring very real, very urgent problems with our ecosystems, relationships with animal life, and the dehumanizing dangers of globalism and late stage capitalism. That may sound depressing, and it was to an extent, but all three films were suffused with enough passion and optimism to make their bitter pills easier to swallow.

The shortest and "lightest" of these with Collin Monda's hour-long documentary The Trouble With Wolves, which is locked but not quite finished (needing funds to complete its rights clearances and such). It's a surprisingly nuanced look at the success and aftershocks of a 1995 federal program to reintroduce gray wolves to the US via Yellowstone National Park.

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