The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R

 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 


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We're Thankful For... !


"Thank you to all the contributors & commentors for teaching me about movies!" - Andrew

"This is such a wonderful list for how full it is of cinematic joy, not just the everything of Carol..." - Ben1283

"Yes to all of this!! :)!" -Squasher88


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Chris Gives Thanks

Greetings from Chris! As the newest member of Team Experience, I'm so grateful to be able to share my point of view with you loyal readers in a space for our collective obsessions, unique observations, and global perspectives. Thank you all!

So, I am thankful for

...all of the vibrant and fully-realized women in minor roles that populate Brooklyn. Any one of them could have their own film, and I want Jessica Pare's sales manager to be my bestfriend/life coach.

..."This makes me wish they had been able to find my father's remains" in Trainwreck.

...Jason Robert Brown. We got The Last Five Years on big (but mostly VOD) screens this year, but if his masterpiece "Parade" was getting the big screen treatment, this list would be entirely comprised of that news.


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Black Mass and Acting Beats

If there's a surprise SAG Best Ensemble nominee this year on December 9th, you should fully expect it to be Black Mass. Not that something can be a surprise when you fully expect it but let's not split hairs. Especially not hairs carefully threaded through bald caps.


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Jason Gives Thanks

Howdy folks it's Jason here - with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" we gave some thanks for two classic Christina Ricci performances (have you voted yet?) but it's a rich world with lots of good to great stuff in it so here are a few more things that have brought a big dumb smile to my big dumb face this year.

- For Getting On and the spectacular showcase it's given three crazy talented actresses (not to mention all the smaller roles they fill in with even more under-used gems), letting each of them be both hysterically funny and heartbreaking within the matter of milliseconds (and for introducing the phrase "anal horn" into my vocabulary - that one's a keeper!)

- For the venom that dripped off of Rose Byrne's every ace line reading in Spy (this scene in particular)

- For whoever is tailoring Chad Radwell's khakis on Scream Queens so they're more obscene than if Glen Powell was wearing nothing at all (don't get me wrong, he looks good that way too)

- For the way that Donald Sutherland says the word "PLUCKED" at Julianne Moore in Mockingjay Part 2, which will become my ringtone the minute the clip is available

- For the way that the camera made sweet love to every golden angle of Matthias Schoenaerts in Far From the Madding Crowd (runner-up: Alexander Skarsgard in Diary of a Teenage Girl)

- For the Film Society of Lincoln Center here in NYC, which has spent the last several months spinning from the New York Film Festival (Carol and The Lobster holla) to their annually wonderful "Scary Movies" program to the currently running Todd Haynes retrospective to the upcoming David Lynch & Douglas Sirk series that will swallow whole my holidays -- it's like they're programming one of my favorite screens in the city (at Walter Reade) just for me and me alone, and I like that

- Related to the previous, I am beyond thankful for having gotten to see Bernard Rose's 1988 gem Paperhouse on a big screen, something I've been waiting to do for 25 years

- For Greta Gerwig in Mistress America, who gave yet another stellar comic performance that we'll be grooving on decades from now, long after whatever wins the Best Actress trophy is remembered as much more than a statistic #justiceforcomicbrilliance

- For Catherine Keener's wig on Show Me a Hero

- For Golden Girls repeats (a perennial blessing but Keener's wig made me think of it)

- For Guillermo Del Toro's infatuation with oozing wounds and puffy sleeves and incest, maybe not in that specific order

- For Furiosa!

- For Nathaniel who generously opened up the doors to The Film Experience and let this lunatic in. And of course for all you wonderful people out there in the dark, indulging my whims week after week and offering up some of the funniest randomest and smartest retorts on the web - as a wise old woman in little girl ringlets once said you are all the wind beneath my wings. Fly away, you let me fly so high, oh you, you, you.

While Jason Adams wishes his parents had named him after the killer in the Friday the 13th movies, he takes comfort in the fact that on their first date they went to see The Exorcist. He writes lots of daily nonsense at My New Plaid Pants, mostly about movies and dudes in movies, not necessarily in that order.  [Follow Jason on Twitter]. All of Jason postings here.

More "About" Team Experience.


Carol Leads Spirit Award Nominations

The Film Independent Spirit Award Nominations are out with Carol leading the way with six nominations. Cary Joji Fukunaga, who the Spirits have always loved, is also on fire with five nominations for his Netflix streaming Beasts of No Nation

Yes, darling, six nominations!


Two Oscar threats (Carol & Spotlight) two singular critical darlings (Anomalisa & Tangerine) and one whatsit straddling the line between TV & Movie & New Distribution Models (Beasts of No Nation). A shortlist with strong range of comedy, drama, procedural, romance, and queer content.

Sean Baker and his movie camera, the iPhoneBEST DIRECTOR

  • Sean Baker, Tangerine
  • Cary Joji Fukunaga, Beasts of No Nation
  • Todd Haynes, Carol
  • Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson, Anomalisa
  • Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
  • David Robert Mitchell, It Follows

The critical darling horror flick It Follows (reviewed) just missed the Feature list but was probably close given that it forced a six-wide category for direction. Fun Fact: This is Todd Hayne's sixth (!) nomination at the Spirits for Best Director, which means that, yes, he has been nominated in this category for every single one of his theatrically released features. He's only won it once though (2002's Far From Heaven). More after the jump...

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Curio: Thanksgiving Ready

Alexa here, anticipating Thanksgiving. Every year I imagine hosting a dream Thanksgiving feast, with a table filled with friends, movie marathons instead of football, and Marilyn's stuffing recipe. Someday, perhaps my dreams will come true, but in the reality we will just blast Adele and hope for the best.

Here are some movie-loving serving items I've bookmarked in the meantime after the jump...

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Manuel Gives Thanks

Manuel here. Has it really been a year since the last time I gave thanks (not coincidentally with another pic of Ms Blanchett)? I feel as though I should be giving thanks in front of some sort of food, so imagine I’ve come with a full dozen donuts from Donut Time.

I’m thankful…

- For unabashedly queer Christmas flicks featuring fab ladies.
- For having had the chance to see over twenty-four films at the New York Film Festival (and having been in the same room as Kate Winslet!!)
- For Wiig, in all and every incarnation
- For Joy and Joy (and consequently, Amy Poehler and Brie Larson).

- For all the delicious food on Please Like Me, a show you should all be watching!
- For Mad Mens beautiful and perfect ending.
- For Twelve Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer, one of the greatest TV episodes this year.
- For Ben Whishaw, in all and every incarnation. (What a year he's had: Spectre, Suffragette, The Lobster, etcetera)
- For Sutton Foster, National Treasure, who was luminous in The Wild Party.
- For Adele’s laughter (and music).
- For Anna Kendrick, whose “Still Hurting” is still making me ache.

- For TV’s funny ladies. And really, that image doesn't do justice to the amazing talent on display this year (Gina! Constance! Tracee! Ellie! Amy! Ilana! Abbi! The entire Orange is the New Black cast!)

And lastly...

 - For all of you who comment and indulge me as I gab about gay things on HBO. Can you believe it's been a full six months since I started this cultural history? It definitely wouldn't be the same without the engaging and generous TFE community, so thank you all for following along!

Manuel Betancourt (News / HBO LGBT
An avid moviegoer, this academically minded Colombian wrote an entire dissertation on queer film fandom as, perhaps, a way of reconciling his inner critic and inner fan. Both thankfully, are given plenty of room to play here at TFE & at Manuel's own blog where he puts his queer theory training to work. His favorite film genre is "soul-crushingly depressing if beautifully lensed relationship dramas with juicy parts for actresses." Follow him on Twitter!


Remember Jesse L Martin's "I'll Cover You"

Ten years ago today the quickly forgotten film version of Rent (2005) premiered in movie theaters. At the time Rent had been a visceral sensation on stage for nearly a decade and was just a few years short of closing its nearly $300 million grossing Broadway run. Let's just say the movie didn't have a prayer of measuring up, even financially, grossing only $31 million worldwide in theaters. Rent (the movie!) was a dubiously near-perfect example of all the things that can go wrong with movie musicals and despite many other films teaching Hollywood the same exact not-all-that-complicated lessons, Hollywood is still having trouble learning.

You nearly always need these three things: visually stylish directors who also understand storytelling within the musical idiom (it's not an easy thing to move from the abstract friendly medium of the stage to the usually literal medium of the cinema); sly confident casting and gifted performers (transferring entire Broadway casts absolutely won't do. And neither will its opposite, replacing them all with "names" whether or not they can sing and dance. Why? Both strategies just reek of insecurity); and, finally, the right blend of zealous passion and merciless intelligence from the filmmaker since musicals are complicated and needy and fragile and they tend to come with a tricky but essential mix of artifice and sincerity. 

Of course Rent had it's own problems apart from failing to meet those three essentials. It is also a story wherein New York City is as much a leading character as Roger, Mark or Mimi. In the abstract friendly environments of the theater, a simple flourish like a fire escape can represent and entire teeming city with millions of stories in it with ease. If you try to fake New York City in the movies without a stylized visual approach, it just going to look cheap and weak.

But for all of its problems Rent (2005) did give us Jesse L Martin singing onscreen and for that we'll always be grateful. I mean, just listen to his superbly emotive instrument.

A couple of years ago Martin was supposed to headline a biopic about Marvin Gaye and though his casting was inspired financing fell through somewhere along the production phase so the movie seems like one of those phantom features now, caught somewhere between development hell and actual existence. Other roles for Martin just haven't satisfied his musical fans. The much missed Smash (RIP) did a lot of things wrong in its two seasons as a network musical but one of its true unforgiveable sins was actually giving Jesse L Martin a job IN A MUSICAL and then denying the audience that voice. (We keep waiting for The Flash to have a meta-human musical episode since a hefty percentage of its principle cast comes with gorgeous pipes and real musical theater cred.)

Did you ever see Rent on stage? If not do you have any strong memories of the movie?

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