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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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Wednesday
Aug052015

HBO’s LGBT History: Normal (2003)

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

Last week we looked at Moisés Kaufman’s adaptation of his own play, The Laramie Project, based on the aftermath of the Matthew Shepard murder in the small town of Laramie, Wyoming. I raved about Laura Linney’s bit scene, continuing an unexpected but welcome line of actressy write-ups that this project has allowed. You see back when I envisioned this project, I worried we’d be stuck talking solely about gay men-driven stories and male actors for months, but looking back, it turns out we’ve talked about Stockard Channing, Lily Tomlin, Glenn Close, Angelina Jolie, Vanessa Redgrave and Michelle Williams! Not too shabby considering gay men have been at the center of more than half the titles we’ve looked at. This week, we continue to add another acting goddess to our list as we reach our first main trans storyline in an HBO production in Jane Anderson’s Normal.

More after the jump...

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Wednesday
Aug052015

Beauty Break: John Huston & The Huston Dynasty

Today is the 109th birthday of the famed director John Huston. Of course he died long ago, just a few weeks after this picture with his daughters Allegra and Anjelica was taken in fact, at the age of 81. But what a filmography! And what a showbiz family.

The Hustons are one of the rare families with multiple Oscar-winning generations. They're also ridiculously photogenic, with faces that march straight past traditional pretty with strong noses held high as if they can't be bothered with generic beauty standards. Their faces fascinate. They have character. They're ideal for storytelling. More...

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Wednesday
Aug052015

New DVD: Is this unofficial costume drama week or something?

Question: Do you ever look to the left sidebar to see "new on dvd"? That's our handy way of referencing older articles once a movie reemerges in its new format. Release dates used to be so much simpler. Now in addition to tortured theatrical patterns, it's super complicated afterwards, too: rental before or during theatrical, streaming only, digital release, cable release, exclusive rental windows at one place before it's available elsewhere, blu-Ray/DVD editions (sometimes on separate dates), etc. It's all so exhausting. Movies are meant to be seen; they shouldn't be playing hide & seek or 'Where am I now?' games. This is why we gave up trying to have a devoted DVD column.

This is all a long way to say that a weird coincidence prompted this post. This week's DVD releases are heavy on the actressy costume dramas. Unofficial Corset Convention! So, naturally our eyes here at TFE flashed a little. You've got Kate Winslet in A Little Chaos, Carey Mulligan in Far From The Madding Crowd, and Mia Wasikowska in Madame Bovary all at once.

It's like a spontaneous Who Wore It Best party. 

Also on DVD this week and with links if we've written something about them: The Affair S1, Child 44, Chocolate City - the no-budget urban response to Magic Mike but with even less nudity (it's like they don't even know why people watch cheapie ripoffs), The Divergent Series: Insurgent (the first was too boring to bother with the second), Every Secret Thing an actressy mystery with Diane Lane, Dakota Fanning, and Elizabeth Banks, How to Get Away With Murder S1 - which I gave up on early, True Story, and something called The Salvation which I'll admit I've never heard of but it stars two creepy great actors Mads Mikkelsen and Eva Green so for a moment visions of gonzo supernatural fantasy loomed but it turns out it's just a bloody western (sigh). On the other hand the director Kristian Levring did that Dogme 95 movie The King is Alive (2001) back in the day and that was heavy on the ALL CAPS ACTING so maybe we should check this one out? [UPDATE: EEEeeek. We reviewed it right here a full year ago from a festival. Thanks David!]

Tuesday
Aug042015

Link Nation

Deadline gross. They're making Animal Kingdom (2010) into a tv series? Ellen Barkin is in the Jacki Weaver role so there's that but leave great things alone!
Out talks to Judy Greer about playing girlfriend to Lily Tomlin in Grandma
AV Club another underappreciated actress Carla Gugino has taken over lead role duties from Christina Hendricks in Cameron Crowe's Roadies
MNPP Director John Curran leaves the Lewis & Clarke miniseries so Casey Affleck and Matthias Schoenaerts are without a director. (Naturally there are cute shirtless set photos this being MNPP) 

Deadline Billy Crudup won the top male role in 20th Century Women, though it's not the lead. That belongs to The Bening (yay!) and the film is from the undervalued but excellent writer/director Mike Mills (Beginners)
Demanders looks back at My Beautiful Laundrette which recently got a Criterion release 
Variety happy news: Season 2 of Transparent arrives in time for Christmas
i09 Ridley Scott still planning on filming a Prometheus sequel next year. (And with Michael Fassbender. How exactly will Fassy be able to squeeze that into his ever busy schedule?)
NY Times Christopher McQuarrie on the anatomy of the Opera scene in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation 
MNPP Jai Courtney is... um... enjoying himself 
AV Club The legendary Max Von Sydow joining the cast of Game of Thrones. That's quite a get for the series. Related but not at this link. /Film also covered this story and were shameless traffic whores enough to not even include von Sydow's name in the headline but merely referred to him as "Star Wars Rogue Nation" actor. That's so disrespectful... and just tacky. End of times.  

Woody 2016
Woody Allen has announced the cast of his next Untitled Film (2016). We rarely get anything but a cast list and location as the projects are secretive and/or Woody is not a chatterbox. This one shoots in LA & NYC and will reunite Woody with Parker Posey (Irrational Man), Corey Stoll (Midnight in Paris) and Jesse Eisenberg (To Rome With Love) and first timer in Woody's world newbies: Jeannie Berlin (who does not work enough, she was last seen on the phone with Joaquin Phoenix in Inherent Vice), Blake Lively, Kristen Stewart, Ken Stott, Bruce Willis, Anna Camp, Stephen Kunken, Sari Lennick, and Paul Schneider

About The New Banner
"Anonny" gave me two options for banner topic when he won the theme-choosing with Question of the Week. Though "sweaty" would have been truly new, I promise y'all that it wouldn't have read in black-and-white closeups up top. Unless it was comically drenched sweating and there's only, what, Airplane (1980) for that?

So the new banner is "GRUMPY". I'm not feeling grumpy so I really had to work on my own pose. I'm hesistantly elated. Toronto International Film Festival plans seem settled and I had such a great time last year. I can't truly expect it to be that good every year but it's my favorite festival so cross your fingers that a lot of masterpieces emerge. 

THR Emmy Drama Actress Roundtable (in full)
I'd embed it here but we have a policy against "autoplay" videos. Too noisy. Too disruptive to readers. But if you're interested watch it at THR: Viola Davis, Jessica Lange, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Lizzy Caplan, Taraji P Henson, and Ruth Wilson. Kind of strange that they waited until after nominations to release the full versions of these (the others arrive throughout August) when some of the people in each roundtable weren't nominated. Naturally Taraji P Henson is the most entertaining.

Tuesday
Aug042015

Curio: Bad Dads in New York

Alexa here. Each year for the past 5 years, San Francisco-based Spoke Art has held a Wes Anderson-themed art show titled Bad Dads. I would be remiss not to mention that this year marks the first time the show will be held in New York.  The gallery described the move as a natural one:

Although Anderson's films take us everywhere from a fictional pre-war Europe to the far reaches of India and even out to sea, New York City is home to one of Anderson’s first real successes, The Royal Tenenbaums. His palpable connection to New York is only made stronger by the fact that he resides there as well, and as the exhibition enters its sixth consecutive year, it only makes sense to host it in such an exciting and diverse city.

More info on getting tickets and a preview of some of the work that will be on display after the jump

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Tuesday
Aug042015

Yes No Maybe So: Stonewall 

The director Roland Emmerich left his preferred world of dumb fun cheesy explosions behind briefly a few years back for the crass Shakespeare conspiracy theories of Anonymous. But at least it was something different for him and we applaud stretching.

He ventures out of action movie land again for Stonewall which is about an explosion of a very different kind. Here's the poster and our Yes No Maybe So on the trailer is after the jump...

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Tuesday
Aug042015

Review: Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation

Tim here. After Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol came out in 2011, it seemed that the series had finally figured out how to become the best version of itself and could go on forever doing the same thing. And that's exactly what has now happened: Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation is slightly worse than its immediate predecessor in nearly every way, slightly better in a couple of others that are especially important, and is light years beyond the first three movies released between 1996 and 2006.

Like every M:I film, Rogue Nation is an almost perfect standalone object, with a couple throwaway lines referencing previous adventures and the assumption that you already know and like brash, middle-aged Impossible Missions Force agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise, the series' producer as well), but otherwise assuming that it needs to make its own case for existing (it's enormously gratifying in this age of shared universes and heavily choreographed multi-film narrative arcs that there's still one franchise out there that's willing to just make movies that work solely in reference to themselves. And it does this splendidly, throwing us right into the action with that "Tom Cruise hanging from the side of a plane" setpiece that has been the the focal point of the ad campaign, and building up to bigger and better things from there. [More...]

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