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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 | letterboxd

 

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The Greatest Sci-Films. A Top Ten

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Wednesday
Apr222015

Have you heard the one about the sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot?

I have a terrible terrible just awful confession to make, dear readers. I hope you'll find forgiveness in your hearts as it will surely sound like blasphemy. My favorite performance in the classic lady comedy Nine to Five (1980) belongs to Dabney Coleman. Yes, the sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot himself. "The Man," in Nine to Five in both the symbolic and the literal sense. But he's superbly funny in this beloved comedy, completely committed to his grossly entitled and just awful boss person whose demise his underlings fantasize about. Can you blame them?

Coleman is even better when his characterization morphs into Looney Tunes caricature in the fantasy sequences, when he gets personality transplants, sweating and terrified, humbled and guilty, or shy and objectified. If haven't thrown your internet device aside in total disgust at my betrayal, you should click to continue so that we may pick a Best Shot...

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Wednesday
Apr222015

Tribeca: Grab the Raid Lest You Get Stung

Tribeca coverage continues - here's Jason on a Giant Bee Creature Feature.

We're living in the middle of a miniature horror renaissance right now. Instant classics like The Babadook and It Follows are twisting previously well-worn genre elements into strange new beasts that linger far after the credits fall, focusing on atmosphere and performance over cats jumping through windows. Those are just two of the biggest buzziest titles though - there have been loads of smaller examples, movies like Justin Benson's Spring and Adam MacDonald's Backcountry - movies made on miniscule budgets that nevertheless managed to wedge the morbid and unexpected experience of watching them unfold tight into my brain.

And there are the movies like Stung...

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Wednesday
Apr222015

Cannes Lineups: Director's Fortnight

Previously in Cannes news
The Coen Bros led Jury and the Lineups for Competition and Un Certain Regard 

While the competition & un certain regard films are the "star headliners" as it were, they aren't always the ones that garner the most critical buzz or sales or what not. So let's look at what's coming in the Director's Fortnight sidebar. While this section is non competitive, the films are eligible for the Camera D'Or prize if they are among the first films in a director's career, though that's tough to win since they're competing with first films in other sections, too. The last few winners of this prize were: Beasts of the Southern Wild (Oscar nominee Best Picture), Ilo Ilo (Oscar submission Best Foreign Film) and France's Party Girl.

Opening Film

In the Shadow of Women

In the Shadow of Women (France) dir: Philippe Garrel. 
A romantic drama about documentary filmmakers in Paris 

Closing Film

Dope (US) dir: Rick Famuyiwa
This action comedy about high school hip-hop fans who get caught up in a drug deal gone wrong was a huge hit at Sundance (our quick take). It has supposedly been edited since then, which would probably only strengthen it. It's very funny but a bit bloated. 

The Rest of the Lineup is after the jump

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Wednesday
Apr222015

X-Man Comes Out!

Manuel here fanboying over the increasingly diverse Marvel COMICS universe which recently outed original X-Man Iceman in the newest issue of All-New X-Men. If we must succumb to a superhero-filled world, we might as well celebrate these types of storylines:

I love her shrug

That’s Jean Grey sort of breaking the news to gorgeous Bobby Drake (played in the films by Shawn Ashmore) who seems taken aback by this realization. Marvel has always been at the cutting edge of progressive diverse representation, especially the X-Man whose central conceit has lent itself to so many subtextual storylines about discrimination and persecution. Indeed, when I first heard the news of Bobby’s “coming out” I couldn’t help but remember the following scene from X2 (arguably the best of the X-Men films precisely because it so skillfully mines the mutant-as-gay metaphor while offering great action set pieces that feel generous towards all its characters and not just the franchise’s golden boy Wolverine):

The question now becomes: will the Marvel Cinematic Universe ever catch up? With Black Panther and Captain Marvel (now with writers attached!) coming soon, Michael B. Jordan’s Johnny Storm coming our way this summer and a number of non-white members of the X-Men cast in the upcoming Apocalypse storyline (here’s hoping Bingbing Fan’s Blink gets a chance to shine!) we may be slowly moving towards a superhero slate that isn’t entirely lily-white (I’ve yet to catch up on Daredevil past the pilot but I couldn’t shake off the whole “white guy vs foreigners/immigrants” storyline it seemed to be painting) though it seems it’ll remain straight for the foreseeable future.

How long until we get a prominent LGBT character in the MCU? With total media domination (Netflix shows! ABC* spinoffs! Movies scheduled until 2098!) it's a matter of time, yes? 

*Is this the part where I'm informed that there's such a character already in either Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and/or Agent Carter, two shows I started watching but grew tired of midway through? And if so, does this just add further credence to the idea that television continues to be more open to representing diversity than the box-office beholden franchise world of cinema?

Tuesday
Apr212015

Tribeca: The Survivalist

More from the Tribeca Film Festival! Here's Jason on an Irish future dystopia flick.

The Survivalist begins by throwing us - us being humanity - right off a cliff. We watch as a pair of lines - one signaling population growth, the other standing in for oil production - dance around each other like they're in a rough cut of that Chuck Jones cartoon. Up up up they go, until oil, you know, dribbles off, and then wham, it's the yodeler from The Price is Right for all of us.

It's a mercilessly efficient way to say everything big that needs to be said (what multi-million dollar YA tent-poles take their sweet time drawing out) and to then drop us into the small ghostly after-world of the main story, where we mainly deal with the drama of one man, two women, and the well-fortified cabin and garden that comes to stand in for survival, humanity, itself.

Mercilessly efficient isn't a bad way to describe Stephen Fingleton's film as a whole, in that everybody's pretty much past words being of much use at this point - small deals are sussed out, nodded through, but it's action that matters. The minute twitch of shoulders in the direction of a weapon... or even a soft sweet palm of a hand brushing over sharp scruff. Harsh times, and harsh scruff, calls for harsh attitudes, but mercy does exist here - The Survivalist is mighty uninterested in being relentlessly bleak; that road (or should I say The Road) is well-trod by now, and these characters might be desperate people in desperate situations with mud smeared artfully on their faces, but they're also - against their best interests a lot of the time! - striving for used to be called family.

It's in those minute twitches - not the ones for guns and knives but the ones for skin and communion, for warmth from the cold - where The Survivalist speaks the loudest, and the sweetest. Where you watch someone weigh the pros and cons of just touching, not killing, and that decision elicits its own poetry. The Survivalist is chock-full of that stuff. What survives after everything dies, it turns out, is still an awful lot.

Tuesday
Apr212015

Stage Door: "Fun Home" & "An American in Paris"

The Tony Award Nominations are exactly one week from today, so we really ought to talk about the musicals that might be vying for top honors. Both of today's shows have movie connections, albeit one more tenuous than the other. Both are also likely nominees in the Best Musical category, which is the Best Picture of the Tony Awards. Yes, there are 3 other top prizes (Play, Revival of a Play, Revival of a Musical) but Musical is the most coveted prize and the one with arguably the biggest impact on legacies and box office. Ten musicals are eligible in this category for the 2014/2015 season and I'd be surprised if these two won't comprise half of the four-wide nominee list. 

Two fine "new" musicals after the jump...

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