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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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Saturday
Sep052015

Podcast: Top Tens of Summer 2015

For this week's edition of the podcast, Katey, Joe, Nathaniel and Nick reunite to share their top tens of summer movie season. We allowed ourselves full movies, single moments, general themes. It's a free form top ten roundelay. 

Topics include but are not limited to... 
Mad Max: Fury Road, I'll See You In My Dreams, Jurassic World, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Far From the Madding Crowd, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Diary of a Teenage Girl, Amy, Trainwreck, A Little Chaos, Ricki and the Flash, Joss Whedon, Amy Poehler, Elizabeth Banks, Jada Pinkett Smith, Andie MacDowell, footwear, camera-shaking music, counterprogramming and more...

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Continue the conversation in the comments. Share your top ten anything from the summer movie season!

Summer Top Tens

Friday
Sep042015

Three Hannibals

At some point in the long heated competition between actors for statues each year, someone somewhere will bring up the apples and oranges factor. How do you compare what Actor #5 is doing in movie A about This versus what Actor #3 is asked to achieve in movie Z about That? Which is why this video of three men playing the same exact scene in different films versions of the Hannibal Lecter novel "Red Dragon" is so fascinating.

Any observations?

Friday
Sep042015

Saoirse Ronan, All Grown Up

Behold the new poster for Oscar hopeful Brooklyn (reviewed at Sundance) which arrives in theaters on November 6th from Fox Searchlight. 

Though it's not half as distinctive or even film-representative as the earlier teaser poster, one thing it does aptly convey is the maturation of Saoirse Ronan. Brooklyn is her bridge movie. She was a famous teen (see: Atonement). Now, at 21, she's an actress fully ready for those complicated adult roles that will surely come her way. She's terrific in the film, charting this young immigrant's progress from overwhelmed mouse to confident young romantic heroine.

the earlier more beautiful posterTrivia Alert 
Should Saoirse be nominated in Best Actress at 21, she won't break the record of fastest to two nominations. That record ain't budging since Angela Lansbury has held it for about 69 years now, winning her first two nominations by 20. But she will break the crowded tie for Lansbury's runner up (Kate Winslet, Sal Mineo, and Jennifer Lawrence all got to two Oscar nominations by the age of 22). 

Do you think she'll manage it?

Friday
Sep042015

Team Top Ten: Back to School Edition

Amir here, bringing you Team Experience’s latest top ten list.

It’s hard to think of a genre that gets less respect than the high school film, but try contemplating a list of the best high school films of all time and a never-ending stream of classics seems to rush forward. That’s exactly what our team decided to do this month, and to make things difficult for ourselves, we expanded our horizons to include school films about kids of all ages, from all countries. After all, teenagers aren’t the only ones going back to school next week. What about the younger kids?

As it turned out, our team was more enthusiastic about this poll than any we had done before. With more ballots and more votes than ever before, this list was a real hoot for me to compile; and the range and quality of the films that were left off the final ten only serves to highlight the wealth of options at our disposal. From bonafide classics like Splendor in the Grass and If…, to influential foreign films like Zero for Conduct and Where Is the Friend’s Home?, to more recent films like Elephant and Perks of Being Wallflower, to documentaries like Hoop Dreams, back to school gives everyone with any cinematic taste something to savor. And those are just the stuff that didn’t make the cut! Well, those along with Grease, Boyz n the Hood, American Graffiti, Heathers, Wet Hot American Summer, Back to the Future, Dead Poet’s Society, and… you get the picture.

So, without further ado...

 Team Experience’s Top Ten School Films

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Friday
Sep042015

Location Location Location: Telluride Fest, Hell's Club, White House

Variety Dean Jones, Disney star of the 60s and 70s, dies at 84. RIP
Variety National Medal of Arts recipients this week at the White House include Larry McMurtry, Stephen King and Sally Field! 
This is Not Porn Peter O'Toole playing cricket during The Lion in Winter 
Boston Globe Sienna Miller cut from Black Mass - oh the indignities of how many miniscule roles she gets
Many Rantings of John thinks Game of Thrones will beat Mad Men to the Drama Emmy. Agree? I think I do. I've managed to keep my Mad Men expectations tamped down (but for Jon Hamm who is deserving times a thousand) and four Best Drama trophies for an 8 year series (F*** you F***ing two-part finale TV/movie trend) is nothing to complain about, you know? 
Variety raves Tom McCarthy's Spotlight with the "heftiest roles" belonging to Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo. Move it up your Oscar charts 

AV Club Anne Hathaway on losing roles to early 20somethings-- hey she isn't talking about Silver Linings Playbook is she?
Comics Alliance looks at those unboxed Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys. If you're into that sort of thing 
Pajiba tries to recast Galaxy Quest which is going to become a TV series now. Honestly, in some cases why recast? Missi Pyle needs to be a regular! 
MNPP more new pics from A Bigger Splash with Tilda Swinton. It looks more and more scrumptuous the more we see 
MNPP also believes that Jake Gyllenhaal nudity has been removed from Everest. Boo!
Kenneth in the (212) Henry Cavill apologizes for his boner 
Towleroad Candis Cayne's Curb Your Enthusiasm experience. (I've never told you this but I love Candis Cayne -- since Wigstock in 1995 -- and am so glad she's getting more press via "I Am Cait".) 
Empire I somehow missed the news that Neighbors is getting a sequel (already filming) but maybe I blocked it out since Selena Gomez and Chloe Moretz are the antagonists this time for our hapless marrieds played by Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne?
Variety on a new biography "Can I Go Now?" on outrageous superagent Sue Mengers agent to Barbra Streisand who is having quite a posthumous revival of late
Time Out London Joaquin Phoenix on Irrational Man and why he turned down Doctor Strange 

When I was younger I was probably a bit of a snob about [taking on blockbuster roles]. But they’ve gotten better. I’ve flirted with several of those films, having meetings and getting close, but ultimately it never felt like they’d really be fulfilling. There were too many requirements that went against my instincts for character. I’ve been spoiled. I’ve never had to make those compromises. I’ve not met a director yet with one of those films where we go through the script, they say: ‘You know what, fuck this set-piece, let’s focus on the character!’ I understand, but it’s best I don’t do it.

Video of the Day
Check out this incredible mashup of movie characters in "Hell's Club" starring Al Pacino, Tom Cruise, and John Travolta. I especially like the Collateral on Cocktail staredown and unobtrusive Boogie Nights appearances

Telluride Lineup
The high altitude festival kicks off today with the following 27 film lineup. TFE never attends Telluride because it is against our "deeply held religious beliefs" to pay for the privilege of giving a festival free publicity (unlike most A list festivals you have to pay for a press pass). Titles in red are also playing at TIFF some of which have already played Cannes or Berlinale and some of which will also play NYFF. Titles in blue are playing NYFF but not TIFF which is a roundabout way of saying we'll be seeing most of them within a month, just not this very weekend! They'll also be giving awards/holding tributes to director Danny Boyle (Steve Jobs), Rooney Mara (Carol) -- Nick made a funny -- and documentarian Adam Curtis (Bitter Lake) so Oscar Campaign Season has officially begun. Speaking of Rooney, here's the new poster for Carol. Unimaginative but pretty!

  • CAROL (d. Todd Haynes, U.S., 2015)
  • AMAZING GRACE (d. Sydney Pollack, U.S., 1972/2015)
  • ANOMALISA (d. Charlie Kaufman, U.S., 2015)
  • BEAST OF NO NATION (d. Cary Fukunaga, U.S., 2015)
  • HE NAMED ME MALALA (d. Davis Guggenheim, U.S., 2015)
  • STEVE JOBS (d. Danny Boyle, U.S., 2015)
  • IXCANUL(d. Jayro Bustamante, Guatemala, 2015)
  • BITTER LAKE (d. Adam Curtis, U.K., 2015)
  • ROOM (d. Lenny Abrahamson, England, 2015)
  • BLACK MASS (d. Scott Cooper, U.S., 2015)
    Why anyone would be seeing Black Mass at either fest when it opens on 09/18, I cannot say!  
  • SUFFRAGETTE (d. Sarah Gavron, U.K., 2015)
  • SPOTLIGHT (d. Tom McCarthy, U.S., 2015)
  • RAMS (d. Grímur Hákonarson, Iceland, 2015)
  • MOM AND ME (d. Ken Wardrop, Ireland, 2015)
  • VIVA (d. Paddy Breathnach, Ireland, 2015)
  • TAJ MAJAL (d. Nicolas Saada, France-India, 2015)
  • SITI (d. Eddie Cahyono, Indonesia, 2015)
  • HEART OF THE DOG (d. Laurie Anderson, U.S. 2014)
  • 45 YEARS (d. Andrew Haigh, England, 2015)
  • SON OF SAUL (d. Lázló Nemes, Hungary, 2015)
  • ONLY THE DEAD (d. Michael Ware, Bill Guttentag, U.S.- Australia, 2015)
  • TAXI (d. Jafar Panahi, Iran, 2015)
  • HITCHCOCK/TRUFFAUT (d. Kent Jones, U.S., 2015)
  • TIME TO CHOOSE (d. Charles Ferguson, U.S., 2015)
  • MARGUERITE (d. Xavier Giannoli, France, 2015)
  • TIKKUN (d. Avishai Sivan, Israel, 2015)
  • WINTER ON FIRE: UKRAINE’S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM (d. Evgeny Afineevsky, Russia-Ukraine, 2015)

Off Screen
Vulture smart negative review of Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz. I like the album quite a lot more than this but salient points made 
Broadway Buzz Kathleen Turner to costar in "Would You Still Love Me..." Off Broadway. It's about gender reassignment surgery. But not her characters (sorry, Friends fans). Her child is considering it in the play.
NYT a profile of a "fit-model". I include this because I had never heard of this job until I became friends some years ago with a girl who is one! (Hi, Jenn!) People get this job not from magazine-beauty but from having ideal/average proporations/measurements for clothes-sizes. It's always neat to realize that each industry has jobs you've never imagined that people can actually earn livings from.
Gothamist on the best non Broadway theater companies in NYC 
i09 novelist Don DeLillo to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Book Awards this fall 

Showtune to Go
Since we were just talking about Lucille Ball here's a comic number "Jitterbug Bite" from Dance, Girl, Dance (1940)

 

 

Friday
Sep042015

Lukewarm Off The Presses: About Lucille 

It's surprisingly easy to photoshop Cate's face over Lucille's so basically it works visuallyCate Blanchett playing Lucille Ball in a future biopic has already, rather oddly, taken over two entirely unrelated comment threads so I suppose we should say something official-like? The news of Aaron Sorkin's Lucy biopic to which Cate Blanchett is attached was one of those news stories that happened in those intermittent time periods when I was doing something other than the interweb (shock) for about 12 hours. I think it was dinner with a friend + 2 hours of Netflix's Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp + sleeping. When I woke up it was like the news had always existed and everyone but me was talking about it. These things happen. Even with our kind of news -- read: 'Actressy And How' -- when we're unlucky.

Undeniably this is a weird project on paper. Can you connect Sorkin's rat-a-tat-tat sober pontificating (even though it has a sense of humor) to Lucille's broad slapstick mixed with indefatigable verbosity? The verbosity sure. But otherwise... What's more, Sorkin's work rarely seems all that interested in women.  Neither can I imagine Cate pulling it off without resorting to technical mimicry absent the silly soul -- Cate can definitely do comedy but this kind of comedy? That seems like quite a reach.

with George Sanders in Lured (1947)with Gene Kelly in Du Barry Was a Lady (1943)

Then again, Lucille Ball is a showbiz icon with more sides than just ditzy Lucy from the beloved 50s sitcom. In fact, there are enough movements in that career to suggest that the way to go would be an I'm Not There approach. You've got the savvy businesswoman, the 40s dramatic starlet (see Lured for the improbable sight of glamorous Lucille Ball in a Douglas Sirk directed serial killer drama!), the sitcom superstar, the late career wanderings (Mame anyone? No?). The bio won't cover her whole life, thankfully but looks to focus on 1940 through 1960 and her marriage to Desi Arnaz. If we don't get a scene from the set of Lured (1947) I'll feel personally cheated. 

Thursday
Sep032015

Tim's Toons: Norway (and TFE) salutes Torill Kove

Tim here. It's a good time  to be Torill Kove: the Norwegian-born animator/director, who has spent virtually her entire career working in Canada, received the Anders Jahre Prize in Oslo today (or yesterday, if you want to be strict about time zones). This award is given to artists at home and abroad who have enriched the cultural life of Norway, and while most of Kove's work has been funded by the invaluable National Film Board of Canada, there's no denying the national pride of her delicate, highly personal fables of life in Norway.

The easiest proof of Kove's prominence is to note that all three of the short films she has directed in her career were nominated for the Best Animated Short Oscar, and one won. Since the NFB, in its generosity and wisdom, has made two of those available online, there could be no better opportunity or excuse to wander through the imagination of one of contemporary animation's most vivid creators. [More...]

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