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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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TOM JONES + LIZ TAYLOR + SIDNEY POITIER
deep dive podcast with the '63 smackdown 

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Friday
Apr082016

YNMS: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

If any of you readers were bummed that we're not celebrating The Force Awakens for next week's Hit Me With Your Best Shot, feast your eyes on the first look at this year's trip to a galaxy far, far away! Coming on the heels of the franchise's massively successful beginning to a new trilogy, we have our first look at the series's first spin off: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Set between the events of the prequel trilogy and our original favorites, Rogue One (let's just drop the strange post-title, shall we) features the uprising of the rebels to steal plans of the Death Star. The cast is an unexpected and enticing ensemble of global talents and the Oscar annoited: Felicity Jones, Forest Whitaker, Ben Mendelsohn, Diego Luna, Mads Mikkelsen, Donnie Yen, and Riz Ahmed. If that cast doesn't already have you on board for any film containing them all, the future blockbuster is also director Gareth Edwards follow-up to the visually sumptuous Godzilla.

And this first teaser is just as much a visual powerhouse:

Let's break down the Yes No Maybe So of it all after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr072016

April Showers: Blue Valentine

In April Showers, Team TFE looks at our favorite waterlogged moments in the movies. Here's Kieran Scarlett on Blue Valentine (2010).

What are you doing?

-What does it look like I'm doing?

Getting all wet and naked.

A shower scene between two clearly beautiful lovers (even with the aging makeup) has rarely felt less erotic and more heartbreaking. This exchange manages to perfectly illustrate the tragic state of Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy’s (Michelle Williams) relationship in Derek Cianfrance’s modern masterpiece, Blue Valentine. Dean is still obliviously playful, too willing to overlook the realities of his disintegrating marriage in favor of ham-handedly ginning up passion and romance. Cindy feels trapped and hopeless, unable to seek refuge from her husband’s obtuse adulation even in the shower. Her voice drips with the weary impatience often heard in response to a child’s incessant questioning, which frankly is not too dissimilar to how Cindy regards Dean at this point. It’s very much an extension of the first time we see Cindy. She’s lying in bed in the early hours of the morning. Her husband and young daughter, very much equals in their oppressive childlike exuberance bound in and snap her from the slumber into the harsh reality that is this life in which she has found herself.

The traditional (and very valid) reading of Blue Valentine’s two-ply structure (the birth of a romance intercut with its slow, painful death) is that Dean and Cindy have lost something. Their love, once ideal and passionate has been suffocated under the stresses of parenthood and a whirlwind courtship turned into a long marriage. However, there are clear indications in the earlier years that bumps in the road litter their future. Dean wants to be whatever Cindy needs him to be, but lacks the motivation or introspection to figure out how to do so. And Cindy, still unsure of herself can’t begin to know exactly what it is she needs from Dean.

As satisfying as it is to watch them fall in love in their earliest interactions, this is clearly the dynamic from the beginning. As deeply enamored with one another as they are, Dean and Cindy enter each other's lives as solutions to a problem. This problem is bigger than her unremarkable relationship with the lug, Bobby Ontario (Mike Vogel), her eventual pregnancy or her desire to leave her abusive father’s house. It's bigger than Dean's aimlessness paired destructively with his need to be a savior. It’s a problem neither of them can identify, which makes the solution frustratingly out of reach.

So, in this moment, Dean and Cindy take a shower that’s anything but romantic. In the “future room” of this kitschy lovers’ motel, it’s the last gasp of a romance that may well have no future at all. Only a past, looked back upon with unreliable rose-colored glasses and a present where these two lovers, once white hot with passion, can hardly seem to look at each other. Even in the confines of a shower.

Thursday
Apr072016

Dearest Reader

Dearest reader,
Would you possibly be free to meet for tea and a screening of Carol on this evening?

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr072016

Does A24's Swiss Army Man Trailer Sink Or Swim?

When the raucous survival film Swiss Army Man set Sundance aflame this January – aided in no small part from some infamously inflammatory methane – the only tidbit more shocking than hearing secondhand strands from its preposterous plot was the news that indie dynamo distributer A24 picked up its check to jet ski it across cinemas nationwide. Prompting walkouts that don’t sound too dissimilar from recently announced Tribeca juror and enfant terrible Sebastian Silva’s 2015 submission Nasty Baby, Swiss Army Man was immediately accused of churlish, childish, and undeniably crass crimes against good taste – what else would one expect from a buddy film about Paul Dano enduring starvation and isolation on a desert isle thanks to the multipronged malleability of Daniel Radcliffe’s flatulent, tumescent corpse? Certainly not a Directing Award, which the film’s directors Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinhart scooped up nonetheless; together, they go by the monicker Daniels…please make us proud.

Well, the trailer landed this week and it’s a doozy. Alternating between the bracing and bizarro, its Robinson Crusoe by way of Weekend At Bernie’s vision is sure to split audiences, test their endurance, and leave them wondering if it belongs with the sublime or subpar. Feast your eyes; clutch your stomach.

A few stray thoughts…

  • Surely I can’t be the only one clamoring for a Moonrise Kingdom beachside boogie with those two dudes amongst the sand and rocks. I have plenty of quibbles with both of their heavily mannered works the past few years but that almost makes it more enticing.
  • On that same point, their chemistry makes me long for their buddy cop film. Let's call it Love & Mercy.
  • While Radcliffe’s face is sort of frozen in that I’m A Conflicted Man! way that featured heavily in the post-puberty Potter films, at least MacGyvering him into a karate chop trebuchet, bulletproof vest, and eternal spring puts it to good use.
  • I know it’s the tongue-in-cheek inspirational tune, but the combination of fun house imagery and unconventional companionship warms my heart.
  • If a Paul Dano screams in the woods with no living soul around to hear it, does it still make a sound?

Gotta say, I’m kind of into it. The slapdash inventiveness, bold visuals, and blowing up of the rote genre volleyball hooked me. Does this look like a page one wash or does the audacity strike a chord with you?

Thursday
Apr072016

Curio: The Neon Demon

Murtada here. Making the rounds online is fan art for Nicolas Winding Refn’s summer release The Neon Demon. Taking inspiration from Refn’s own “neon noir” aesthetic, the posters looked the part so much so that I first thought they were the real thing. They are not, they just are really good.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Apr062016

RPDR S8.5: Like a *Blank*

Chris here, filling in for Nathaniel's weekly recap of RuPaul's Drag Race. This week was everyone's perennial favorite: Snatch Game! Past seasons have made this celebrity impersonation challenge a complete game changer, catapulting contenders like Jinkx Monsoon and Chad Michaels straight to the finals. In fact, only one Snatch Game winner has ever placed less than fifth place: season three's Stacy Layne Matthews (performing as Mo'Nique via her Oscar-winning Precious performance).

You could easily argue that this challenge is more anticipated than the season finale's crowning, and after last season's unmemorable edition, fans were hungry for this year's queens to bring the laughs.

S8.05 "Supermodel Snatch Game"

And it brings me no joy to tell you that the episode was an unfortunate dud.

Click to read more ...