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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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Friday
Jun102016

Elba and Winslet in "Mountain" Love

We just don't get enough romantic plane crash epics anymore. Or even actual romantic fireworks.

But here's a future screen coupling too hot to ignore: Kate Winslet will be joing Idris Elba in the disaster romance novel adaptation The Mountain Between Us. With their collective charisma, that's a tough pair to imagine not stirring some real screen passion. Is it too late to just retitle it They Have Lots of Sex Scenes on A Beach?

Mountain stars the two a strangers whose plane goes down in the mountains and they must battle broken bones and frigid cold as chances for rescue grow slim. So not as sexy as one would hope. The drama sounds less like a Swept Away trifle than it does The Revenant with kisses replacing the stabs. Hany Abu-Assad (twice Oscar nominated in Foreign Language for directing Omar and Paradise Now) is helming a script from Chris Weitz (About A Boy) so the unexpected team could deliver something unique.

Regardless, any gruesomeness should be alleviated by the two stars' combined powers. Let's not forget that Winslet knows her way around a romantic disaster film!

What's your favorite romantic disaster film?

Friday
Jun102016

Alexander the Great and Judy the Greatest

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

323 BC Alexander the Great dies of an unknown illness. Colin Farrell plays him in a movie centuries and centuries later and it's suggested that it's a combo of Typhus, Bad Wigs, and Loving Jared Leto that does him in. Who could survive that combo? (Remember when Baz Luhrmann was going to make an Alexander movie, too, but Oliver Stone beat him to it? We wish it had been the other way around.)
38 AD Julia Drusilla dies in Rome. In the infamous Bob Guccione movie Caligula (1979) her brother Caligula (Malcom McDowell) is shown licking her corpse. Somehow that's not remotely the most perverted thing in the movie!
1692 Bridget Bishop is executed for "Detestable Arts called Witchcraft & Sorceries." She's the first victim of the notorious Salem Witch Trials that will claim many lives and inspire many works of art including The Crucible and The VVitch and so on. 

1889 Sessue Hayakawa is born in Japan, becomes an international silent screen superstar. Later Oscar nominated for The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
1895 Hattie McDaniel is born. Becomes a major studio player in Hollywood, the first black actor to win an Oscar, and appears in many classic films albeit as The Help. We only wish Monique were ambitious about her film career and would work on that biopic that was suggested. It'd be so rich.
1901 Frederick Loewe is born. Meets Alan Jay Lerner 41 years later and the rest is movie and stage musical history: My Fair Lady, Brigadoon, Gigi, Camelot, etcetera... 
1922  Frances Ethel Gumm is born. Becomes Judy Garland, "The World's Greatest Entertainer" and one of the greatest movie stars of all time. (Easy top ten for me. How about you?) We hope you're enjoying Anne-Marie's current series "Judy by the Numbers". 
1936 Soyuzmultfilm, influential animation studio of the former Soviet Union, is founded
1963 Sex god Tony Ward is born. Becomes super model, Madonna plaything ("Justify My Love" / "Sex"), and Bruce La Bruce's Hustler White (1996)
1974 Dustin Lance Black is born. Later wins the Oscar for writing Milk (2008) but, weirdly, no one threatens to take the statue back when he writes J Edgar (2011)

1985 Claus von Bulow is acquitted on attempted murder charges of his heiress wife. Jeremy Irons wins an Oscar playing him in Reversal of Fortune just five years later while the heiress wife (Glenn Close) narrates the morbid proceedings. Quibblers, including me, suggest that the Oscar was in part for that awful Dead Ringers (1988) snub two years prior.
1988 Big Business opens starring two Lily Tomlins and two Bette Midlers. Double the pleasure
2003 Wicked opens on Broadway. It goes on to gross billions. Still no movie in sight and it'll already be old hat by the time we get one. (sigh)
2007 The final episode of The Sopranos cuts to black. Do you ever think about that show now? 

Thursday
Jun092016

Emmy FYC: Best Comedy Series - Girls

Emmy nomination voting begins Monday. For the next week or two we'll be sharing FYCs of some kind. Here's Chris...

Once a series falls out of Emmy's favor, it's rare for a show to bounce back into competition when up against unwavering favorites and shiny new toys. No show on television deserves to be welcomed back as much as HBO's Girls.

This year's fifth season was the show at its most character-driven, putting aside its zeitgeist grabbing self-referential devices in favor of a more laid back pace. Though its downshift in cultural focus arguably took it out of the headlines, there's now more breathing room to keep the antics organic and the progressions satisfying. Each episode is a self-contained gem with the story lines flowing coherently between them while it takes characters to emotionally rewarding places. It's the kind of payoff you only get from a incisively directed show in its prime. It's the kind of payoff that only comes from a show that knows its characters to the core. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun092016

Must Read Noah Galvin Interview

If you haven't yet read Vulture's interview with Noah Galvin do that immediately.

 The Real O'Neals star is candid, cocky, and catty. Though the big 3 networks have a tough time making headway in Emmy categories these days, that show would be a wonderful addition to the comedy lineups in several categories. Though Noah is the lead he's campaigning as supporting actor and he 1000% deserves a nod for his clever, heartfelt, nuanced but hilarious work as out gay teen Kenny O'Neal dealing with his Irish Catholic family and new confidence.

Still, I'm guessing Noah Galvin's scorched earth interview style, talking Hollywood's closeted gays for filth (yas queen!) and trashing Bryan Singer, Colton Haynes, Modern Family etcetera ... is not going to win him much favor in Tinsel Town though we're totally for it here at TFE. Hollywood needs to get woke on so many levels but especially in regards to ethnic and sexual diversity, both of which they're hopelessly behind with.

Here's an excerpt:

Are you trying to get me to throw somebody under the bus right now? Because I've thrown Eric Stonestreet under the bus a solid seven times this week. No, I think as wonderful of an actor as Eric Stonestreet is — I've never met him, I assume he's a wonderful guy — he's playing a caricature of a caricature of a stereotype of stereotype on Modern Family. And he's a straight man in real life. And as hilarious as that character is, there's a lack of authenticity. I think people — especially young gay kids — they can laugh at it, and they can see it as a source of comedy, but like, nothing more than that. And I want Kenny to be more than the funny gay kid.

UPDATE: Noah Galvin has retracted his comment on Bryan Singer and issued an apology to those he offended with the interview saying:

 I am new to this and will certainly commit to being more thoughtful and wiser as I navigate all of this moving forward.

 UPDATE #2 Colton Haynes has responded on Instagram

Thursday
Jun092016

Stage Door: Tony Predictions

We've already talked Tony Presenters & Performances so let's delve into predictions for the show this Sunday night on CBS.

Best Musical
Bright Star (REVIEWED
Hamilton
School of Rock
Shuffle Along
Waitress

Will Win: Hamilton in a cakewalk though Shuffle Along has ardent fans so it probably would have won in a year without a juggernaut like Hamilton

Best Play
Eclipsed by Danai Gurira -- closes June 19th
King Charles III by Mike Bartlett - already closed
The Father by Florian Zeller (REVIEWED
The Humans by Stephen Karam

Will Win: The Humans has been nabbing all the precursor prizes so it's got the momentum.
Possible Spoiler: ...if there's a surprise look to Eclipsed

more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun092016

From the Vaults: Meryl Streep in "A Prairie Home Companion"

Since today marks the 10th anniversary of the release of Robert Altman's swan song A Prairie Home Companion (2006), a gem excavated from that year's Oscar blogging for those who were not around in 2006. Though I know I've cooled on Meryl in the years since I wrote this (2006 was a major peak for Meryl but too many performances that didn't thrill followed and were automatically exalted and Oscar nominated anyway) I consider her past decade a valley rather than a downward trend. All performers have their peaks and valleys. I'm waiting for the next transcendent performance -- Impatiently, but I promise I'm hopeful.

It didn't take Meryl Streep long. By 1987 at the very latest, just ten years into her career, we knew that she could do everything. We'd already heard the accents, seen the funny, witnessed the sexy, fallen in love, had our hearts broken and heard the magnificent singing voice. If she were less endearing and emotionally attentive as a performer her technical range would be just hateful, a thing to curse as she popped up again and again in films. But this woman has it all. She is, put simply, the most consistent versatile actor in the movies.

So what is there left for Meryl Streep to do? It turns out quite a lot...

Click to read more ...