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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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Thursday
Apr142016

Who Wore It Best? 80s Adventure Hunks Edition

Dancin' Dan here with a little bit of Actor Month fun. Witness has already hit us with its best shots, but I'm not quite ready to let Harrison Ford go just yet. Watching Witness for the first time can make you yearn for younger Ford, because.... MAN was he so perfectly, ruggedly handsome in the 80s (and throughout most of the 90s). None of his roles captured that ruggedly handsome side of him quite so much as Indiana Jones, who is one of the best movie characters of all time.

But I'm unfairly stuffing the ballot box before the question. Who wore the "80s Adventurer Look" best? Tell us in the comments!

Harrison Ford's brilliant almost fearless (why did it have to be snakes?) archelogist/adventurer Indiana Jones is a prime hunk of man, but not exactly alone in the world of ruggedly handsome 80s franchise adventurers... There is also Michael Douglas's Jack T. Colton from Romancing the Stone.

There is also Michael Douglas's Jack T. Colton from Romancing the Stone / The Jewel of the Nile. A bit wilder than Indy, to be sure, but the loose canon aspect can be a turn-on, and he doesn't have a professorial day job to keep him buttoned-up at any point.

Thursday
Apr142016

First Look: Battle of the Sexes

Murtada here. So you have a new movie about a very popular internationally recognizable person, what to do to announce that your film has started shooting? Why get Billie Jean King herself to tweet a photo of your two stars, right next to the two real life people they are playing. Get everyone talking about the uncanny likeness. Easy peasy, the internet ate it up!

Battle of the Sexes is about the 1973 tennis match between King and Bobby Riggs that made headlines worldwide and still stands in the culture as encapsulation of 1970s changing social attitudes about sport and feminism. Emma Stone is King and Steve Carrell is Riggs and boy do they look the part. Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine) are directing, the supporting cast includes Sarah Silverman, Alan Cumming, Elisabeth Shue and in a Birdman reunion Andrea Riseborough as Marilyn Barnett, King’s girlfriend at the time. It was surprising to see Danny Boyle's name as a producer, although not so much when seeing his Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours partner Simon Beaufoy as the screenwriter.

Barnett during the alimony trial.

Riseborough’s casting hopefully means that the movie will explore the tumultuous relationship between King and Barnett. Their relationship became public in 1980 when Barnett sued for alimony, outing King and putting her in the path of LGBT rights advocacy. That was 7 years after the battle of the sexes, so we are keeping hopes tempered.

The film just started shooting, so we have a long wait before we can see it, perhaps in the second half of 2017. However since this is an awards site, it’s never too early to speculate. We know that playing a real life person - with that person making the campaign rounds alongside the actor - is a surefire way to win an Oscar. The movie has to be good of course, this one at least has the pedigree. Will this be Emma’s moment? 

Thursday
Apr142016

Steven Spielberg and Mark Rylance's Shotgun Wedding

After two consecutive casting announcements from Amblin Entertainment, it’s official: Steven Spielberg and Mark Rylance are, like, totally BFFs! As if collaborating their way to a Best Supporting Actor Oscar and finally bringing the Roald Dahl classic The BFG to the big screen weren’t enough, it looks like this dynamic duo – what are we calling them - Stark? Ryberg? Spylance? – are gonna shack up for two more big screen ventures. You won’t see us complaining. If Bridge of Spies was any indication, this fusing of sensibilities has the makings of a director-actor partnership for the ages.

While we’re on the subject of theatre and film titans merging, the plot thickens. As spilled on Twitter by Mark Harris, the entertainment industry’s atom-splitter emeritus, Lincoln’s dream team of Spielberg and Pulitzer Prize (and, in a just world, Oscar) winner Tony Kushner is triangulating with Rylance to bring The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara to theaters in 2017. Rylance will portray Pope Pius IX in this custody tale of a young Jewish yet baptized boy torn from his Italian family and thrust into a life in the Vatican. Giving Francis a run for his money in the saying a lot with a little department, one can expect Rylance to cheekily intone conflicts of dogma and birthright with a little more papal pomp and circumstance than his Academy Award-winning role. While the pedigrees will likely be polarized, one can’t help but think of the captor or savior complex of John Goodman in 10 Cloverfield Lane …but with much more silver-tongued, gold-hatted gravitas, to be sure.

And then yesterday, the Hollywood Reporter filled us in on the fact that Rylance is set to join Spielberg’s sci-fi actioner Ready Player One as an “enigmatic figure with shades of Howard Hughes and Steve Jobs.” Get a room, you two! Per the chronological tradition of Indiana Jones, by the time the credits for Ready Player One are about to roll – this, the fourth in their series – expect the pair to tie the knot with guest Shia LaBoeuf awkwardly linking arms on the side. This fistful of rice is about to explode.

As Steven Spielberg and Mark Rylance prepare to team up in cinemas again and again and again, what are some of your favorite director-actor combos in film history?

Wednesday
Apr132016

Interview: 'The First Monday in May' Director Andrew Rossi, on the Met Gala, Anna Wintour and Why Fashion is Like Performance Art 

Jose here. The very first time I went behind the scenes at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, there was an image that immediately caught my attention. A big, bright yellow sign commanding walkers to yield to the works of art in transit. It didn’t only make me wonder how many pieces by Da Vinci, Rodin, Renoir, Van Gogh, Warhol, Kahlo and many other established legends had travelled through the corridors I was walking in, it also made me wonder how many Alexander McQueen and John Galliano gowns had followed them. If the idea of fashion as art remains to some a topic of debate, it has never been so at the Met where it plays an essential part in raising awareness of the Museum’s outreach through the Costume Institute.  

 

A photo posted by Jose Solis (@josesolismayen) on Jan 19, 2016 at 8:20am PST

For decades, the Costume Institute has been holding a Gala to raise funds to preserve and expand its collection of over 30 thousand costumes and accessories that range from centuries old furs, to iconic dresses worn by Jackie O. The Gala is at the center of Andrew Rossi’s documentary The First Monday in May which was chosen as the Opening Night selection at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. Our conversation with Rossi after the jump...

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Wednesday
Apr132016

YNMS: The Lost City of Z

Laurence here. Many people were disappointed by the way James Gray's The Immigrant went mostly unnoticed beyond critics' groups. From the story to the stars, it seemed like a fairly strong prospect to garner Gray some mainstream awards attention, but the Weinsteins never seemed confident in it. Now Gray is making a decidedly more bombastic play to voting members with his new film, The Lost City of Z. This time he's paired up with Jennifer Aniston's former production company, Plan B, which has become very good at producing Best Picture nominees.

Based on David Grann's non-fiction bestseller of the same title, The Lost City of Z stars Charlie Hunnam as Percy Fawcett, a British explorer in the 1920s who led an expedition to the Amazon rainforest in search of a mysterious lost city. Grann's book chronicles the numerous attempts over the years to follow Fawcett's footsteps, with evidence emerging in 2005 that the city perhaps did, in some form, exist. The film seems to primarily function as a biopic of Fawcett, whose obsession with Z's existence led him to the heart of darkness. 

Let's break down the now hard-to-find trailer after the jump...

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Wednesday
Apr132016

HBO’s LGBT History: Larry Kramer in Love and Anger (2015)

Manuel is working his way through all the LGBT-themed HBO productions.

Last week we looked at the recent doc Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures which works as a nice primer on the famed photographer and, as is par for the course for films on gay icons from a certain era, as a portrait of a man working tirelessly to make the most of his ever winnowing time: Mapplethorpe died at age 42 of AIDS complications. We’re not going too far afield this week, as we’re focusing on a documentary on “America’s angriest AIDS activist” in Jean Carlomusto’s Larry Kramer in Love and Anger.

Kramer should be familiar to you. We’ve previously encountered him and talked about his righteous anger when we talked about The Normal Heart, and by that point he had already made HBO appearances in The Out List, Vito, and Outrage. That enough should be a reminder that there’s no way of talking about American gay rights activism of the last three decades without talking about Larry Kramer. Carlomusto’s film expediently moves through Kramer’s biography; from his time at Columbia Pictures, to Women in Love and Faggots, through the Gay Men’s Health Crisis group and The Normal Heart to ACT UP and his latest health scares and marriage...

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