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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, or by a member of our amazing team as noted.

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"All three look a little insufferable. The stupid music and the "based on a true story"/"an unforgettable story" shots and the critics quotes instantly turn me off. But I'm in for most things Lonergan, even though the plot of Manchester By the Sea is clearly Baby Boom meets Good Will Hunting." - CharlieG

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Friday
Jan302015

'The Stanford Prison Experiment' ...Of Future Stardom

Nathaniel again, down to my final two Sundance movies. (Michael stayed longer so he has more coming)

The Outsiders. School Ties. Go. Mean Girls. Dazed and Confused... These are movies people often marvelled at after the fact for capturing multiple future stars in the same ensemble before the title of "star" sat completely well on them. Certain movies function like abnormally prescient time capsules in that way and, who knows, perhaps The Stanford Prison Experiment will one day be among them?

"Guard" terrorizes "Prisoners" in THE STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT

It's not that the faces are complete nobodies exactly but, apart from Billy Crudup, as the possibly awful Dr. Philip Zimbardo who is behind the psychological experiment in situational behavior, most of them are lesser known. Or, if they're already rising stars, they don't exactly have that signature role or household name factor just yet.

The Standford Prison Experiment was a famous study from the 1970s in which a psychology professor and his team took a simple ad out in the paper for students to participate in a "psychological study of prison life" for 1 to 2 weeks for $15 a day. Students signed up thinking it was easy money but easy it was not...

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Friday
Jan302015

Sundance: Lily Tomlin's "Grandma" is a Sharp-Tongued Joy

Nathaniel reporting from Sundance. Or, rather, from Manhattan, while still thinking of Sundance and possibly my favorite film from that trip...

The first chapter of Grandma, an ornery new female-driven comedy, is called “Endings” a counterintuitive opening title, perhaps, but appropriate. Elle Reid (Lily Tomlin) doesn’t have much taste for beginnings. A year and half before our story begins, this "writer-in-residence," who had a brief period of reknown as a feminist poet,  lost her life partner of nearly 40 years to cancer. She’s still bitter about it. We know that her new girlfriend of four months Olivia will soon be shown the door because she's played by Judy Greer who is contractually obliged to never have more than 3 scenes in a movie. [More...]

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Friday
Jan302015

Random Bits & Open Thread

A Little Chaos with Kate Winslet, that I told you about at TIFF, has moved to Dec 31st. Worst release date evah. I will assume from now on that all Dec 31st releases are the Oscar contractual eligibility equivalent of the January dumping ground for mainstream movies

• ♪ This shit, that ice cold, Michelle Pfeiffer, that white gold ♫

• Speaking of January garbage, I find this poster for Wild Card wildly pornographic. (Like every image of Jason Statham. Shut up) 

• Is the Superbowl this weekend? Guess that means blockbuster movie trailers hit web Sun/Mon & we get backed up on YNMS

• Woody Allen's 2015 is called Irrational Man. The best (potential) news is that Parker Posey is in the cast. And since every other Woody movie is terrible and we just got through a dire one maybe this one will be good?

• I promise I'll go see Paddington this weekend. Need my Nic'

• Why haven't you voted on the Beauty vs. Beast: Hud edition yet. This one is a close match. 

WHAT'S ON YOUR (CINEMATIC) MIND? 

Friday
Jan302015

Sundance: Inhibitions Are Abandoned in "The Overnight"

Michael C here to chime in on a film that has people buzzing in Park City...

Patrick Brice's The Overnight is one of those long night of the soul movies where things start out with dinner and laughter and then the characters drink and smoke away their inhibitions, repressed feelings bubble to surface, and the mood edges into the surreal as the night creeps toward sunrise. As soon as we spot the inviting blue glow of the pool we know some time around midnight the clothes are coming off and the characters will pass a point of no return...

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Thursday
Jan292015

Sundance: "The Witch" is a Riveting One-Of-A-Kind Horror Experience

Michael C. here with one of the big discoveries of Sundance 2015.

There is something happening in the horror genre right now.  Maybe its a response to the dreadful depths to which mainstream horror titles sank in the past decade but like antibodies fighting off an infection the indie scene has churned out one great movie after another in recent years: The Babadook, The Guest, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, Under the Skin (which is totally horror, if not only horror). Like an unstoppable slasher the genre will just not stay down. Already at this Sundance we have had the astonishing It Follows and now comes Robert Eggers' The Witch another peak for the horror genre. 

The Witch is a true blast of originality that immerses the viewer in 1630's New England as a family of puritans banished to live isolated on the edge of wilderness is beset by the occult terrors residing in the nearby woods. The result is more than simply jump-outta-your-seat scary (though it is often that) it is genuinely unnerving in a way few films can manage. The effect is like a cold hand slowly closing over your heart.

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Thursday
Jan292015

The lost films of January

Tim here. For such a slow, snowbound month, January sure is busy: talking about Sundance, talking about the Oscars, talking about the political ramifications of not recognizing Selma vs. the blockbuster box office of American Sniper. And with all that talk about films that have been and films that will be, it's a bit too easy to lose track of the actual films that are actually sitting right there waiting to be watched.

So I'd like to ask you to take this moment with me, just before we enter the second month of 2015, to reflect on the movie year that has been. All 28 days of it. Sure, January is a dumping ground, but that doesn't mean that there can's be secret gems hiding in the junk, and before it's too late, I'd like to call your attention to some of these midwinter presents that, if we go by the snoozy box office for all films that don't involve shooting Iraqis, you probably haven't seen yet.

Paddington and more January diamonds in the rough below the jump

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Thursday
Jan292015

Introducing Sarah Snook, Babadook Slayer!

Americans should probably get to know Sarah Snook. If you’re like me then you probably missed her in Julia Leigh’s unsettling Sleeping Beauty, but as recently as 2012 she was hailed as Australia’s Emma Stone (just google "sarah snook australia's emma stone") for her excessively charming performance in the (otherwise terrible) local rom-com Not Suitable for Children and last year impressed in a small role in the apocalyptic rave thriller These Final Hours. Her biggest role yet, however, came in the form of the Spierig Brothers' Predestination and at last night's “Australian Oscars”, the AACTA Awards, she won the coveted Best Lead Actress prize, stealing it from the grip of two mightily formidable contenders.

The big winners + Cate Blanchett without her shoes (!!!) after the jump...

Who me?

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