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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
Jul012015

YNMS: "Steve Jobs" & "Creed"

Films celebrating their over achieving male protagonist are par for the course come fall movie season each year as Oscar competition heats up. But Steve Jobs and Adonis Creed both got trailers in the same 24 hours or so and I couldn't resist conjoining them since they both also star actors named "Michael". They make both an odd couple and perfect pair: Mind and Body. Michael Fassbender plays real life computer genius Steve Jobs for Oscar winner Danny Boyle; And Michael B Jordan, reuniting with his Fruitvale director Ryan Coogler, plays fictional Adonis Creed, the son of dead boxer Adonis, in an attempt to reboot the stalled Rocky series.

Yes No Maybe So on both trailers after the jump...

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Wednesday
Jul012015

HBO’s LGBT History: 1998, The Year in TV

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

 Last week we revisited one of Angelina Jolie’s best performances in Gia, the first HBO film to center on a female LGBT protagonist. Today we're focusing solely on TV in a pivotal year for HBO: 1998, a year before a certain mob guy would redefine a network and the TV landscape in general.

1998. What a year! The months apart premieres of Sex and the City and Will & Grace could easily cement it as one of the gayest years in recent memory, but that would tell only part of the story. The year after Ellen’s “The Puppy Episode,” gays were, seemingly, “going mainstream.” Yes, the troubled production and distribution of 54 showed there was still hesitancy over telling openly queer stories in Hollywood (especially those that stepped outside known gay narratives), but films like The Object of my Affection, High Art, Gods and Monsters, Wild Things, Velvet Goldmine (Gia even!) would continue to pave the way for Hollywood’s embrace of an exploration of gay suburban desperation in Sam Mendes and Allan Ball’s American Beauty the following year.

And on TV? Well, HBO offers us a great cross-section of how networks were diversifying its stories to include more (if not broader) LGBT representation.

Oz, Sex & The City and more after the jump...

Tracey Takes On… “...Marriage.” (January 4 1998)

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Wednesday
Jul012015

HMWYBS: Join The Wednesday Night Party!

Reminder that there's no "Best Shot" tonight due to the holiday week - but you should watch July 8th's topic soon -- Crouching Tiger leaves Netflix Instant on July 4th! 

CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON (2000)
Wed July 8th 

This wuxia blockbuster leaves Netflix Instant on July 4th so choose your shot before then if you don't own it! I've been eager to leap gracefully back into this one for ages and the possibly ill conceived sequel arrives in August so join me.

SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950)
Wed July 15th 

Mr DeMille would like to know if you're ready for your closeup? But here's the catch --  you can't use it! It's a special episode: "Hit Me With Your (Second) Best Shot" since one of the all time most perfect (final) shots in a movie cannot be your choice -- because wouldn't it be everyone's?! The whole movie is awesome and memorable so this has the makings of a great episode. For younger readers: if you haven't seen it (gulp) fix this huge gap in your budding movie love.

[safe] (1995)
Wed July 22nd
Since 1995 is our 'year of the month,' we're revisiting Todd Haynes much puzzled over drama. The movie, initially barely noticed, has been growing steadily in critical estimation for two decades now. See the origins of the cult of Julianne Moore fanaticism in the disturbingly placid surfaces of this mysterious classic. 

3 final episodes in August TBA

How to play:

1) watch the movie

2) pick your "best shot"

3) post it wherever your online presence may be with an explanation as to why you chose it 4) let us know and we link you up in the visual index roundup on Wednesday night each week!

Tuesday
Jun302015

Yes No Maybe So: Secret In Their Eyes

It might be time to revisit the last Argentinian winner of the Oscae which triumphed over an absurdly strong Foreign Language Film shortlist in 2009. For those still smarting from the losses of Un Prophete and The White Ribbon, bad news: The Argentinian film could be coming back for more Oscars.

Not really.

Sort of.

It's been remade for English language marketplaces as Secret In Their Eyes. And though extremely mainstream genres like murder thrillers generally don't pique Oscar's interest (unless there's the patina of class via subtitles or world class filmmakers behind the camera) you never know. Though we generally disdain remakes of foreign films -- we can read so who needs 'em? -- they've cast three very watchable actors as the central trio: Chiwetel Ejiofor in the Ricardo Darin role, and Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman as the women in his life / workplace. 

Let's break down the trailer after the jump...

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Tuesday
Jun302015

Guardians Up, Captain Down at the Saturn Awards

The Saturn Awards, which began in the 1970s, get increasingly more confusing each decade. When they first began they were very sci-fi/fantasy niche and now they regularly seem to honor films that don't have anything at all to do with once geeky now mainstream genres like that. Consider that they have nine best picture type categories and they're expansive enough in their definitions that at least half of Oscar's Best Picture nominees were nominated for something and Whiplash and The Theory of Everything even get to be Best Film winners -- neither of which seem at all "genre" though I suppose The Theory of Everything is kinda cosmic in that it has a genre icon in Stephen Hawkings as its subject.

The big winners at the annual event were Interstellar and Guardians of the Galaxy. The big loser was Captain America: Winter Soldier which had the most nominations of all (11) and managed to lose them each one. Complete list of winners after the jump...

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Tuesday
Jun302015

June. It's a Wrap

We're about to start a week long "halfway mark" review of 2015. But first let's wrap up June itself. My birthday month is over *sniffle* so if you've been offline and out in the sun this summer, here are a baker's dozen highlights from the month that was, in case you missed 'em.

Kate, Corseted - Winslet's best period piece performances
The Many Tears of Pixar - Inside Out is here to remind us that the great studio loves to make us cry
The Red Shoes - A theatrically audacious masterpiece
Bold Giddy Pop Art - Dick Tracy's 25th Anniversary
The Gleaners and I - Anne Marie looked back at one of the greatest and most personal films of Agnes Varda's fascinating career. I hope you all will seek it out.
'Gobbledygook' - Michael had words for Cameron Crowe's ill conceived Aloha. Loved this bit:

Bradley Cooper is escorted on his mission by Emma Stone. The pairing generates all the romantic sparks of a guy babysitting his rambunctious younger cousin on a weekend road trip.


1979 Discussion - Discussing the most hand-wringing battle of the sexes movie year
Gia - Revisiting Angelina Jolie's white hot HBO breakthrough
Sense8 - Tim reviewed this odd Wachowski Siblings experiment in global trans sci-fi psychic cluster connection
Best of TV in 2015 (Series) - We shared our favorites and discussed well over a dozen series 
Sing Along - Best movie songs of the 1990s - this list got you talking!
Rising Like a Phoenix - Glenn checked out the recently reedited and reonfigured flop '54 and found it a much better film 17 tears later (I concur. I was able to see it recently and it's so much more focused and enjoyable than it was back then with studio-mandated reshoots lopped off and original material reinserted.)

P.S. And one more round of applause for this month's very special in-house guests!
Cara Seymour talked The Knick, American Psycho and her favorite films 
Ann Dowd talked The Leftovers and how she fell for acting  

COMING IN JULY
Tangerine, Trainwreck, Ant-Man, the films of Kathryn Bigelow in Anne Marie's "Women's Pictures", and looks back at Angels in America and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. Reminder: 1995 is our "year of the month" as we prep for another Smackdown on July 26th.

Tuesday
Jun302015

1948: The Incredible Introduction of Montgomery Clift

The Smackdown may have ended but here's one last 1948 piece from abstew on TFE's favorite classic dramatic actor to close out the year of the month. - Editor

Before there was Brando and James Dean there was Montgomery Clift. And while those actors are often credited for bringing a new type of leading man to the big screen, through a mix of masculine machismo with feminine vulnerability, without Clift paving the way, the future of acting might have looked far different. The country was just emerging from the hardships of WWII. After seeing the travesties of war firsthand, they were ready for something more realistic and Clift was the answer to the change they were seeking. Having worked as a stage actor for over 10 years (where he made his Broadway debut at age 15 in the Pulitzer Prize-winning There Shall Be No Night), Clift was a serious actor that had honed his craft and emerged fully-formed in Hollywood with his first two films, both released in 1948, the western Red River and the post-war drama The Search

Having caught Clift in a production of the Tennessee Williams play You Touched Me!, director Howard Hawks convinced the young actor to bring his unique set of skills to his western. John Wayne, an actor so synonymous with the genre that he was practically its patron saint, was already headlining and Hawks felt that Clift, who didn't even know how to ride a horse, would bring a different energy and dynamic to the stoic western figure. Wayne needed some convincing and laughed at the thought of the slender Clift being able to hold his own in the film's final throw down confrontation against him. But Clift, ever the professional, worked tirelessly to master the demands of the role and gives a performance that pays homage to cowboys past but is entirely its own creation. [More...]

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