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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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The Greatest Showman Trailer

"Whoever's playing the strong man in the freak show had better hope Hugh and Zac keep their shirts on." - Par

"Looks as entertaining as the Doris Day snorefest Billy Rose's Jumbo." - Tom

"Looks awesome. Surprised how well that song works - wasn't expecting this kind of a take for this movie." - T-Bone

 

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Emmanuelle Devos (Retrospective)
Nicholas Galitzine (Handsome Devil)
James Ivory (Maurice 4K Restoraton)
Betty Buckley (Split)

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Wednesday
Feb242016

HBO’s LGBT History Oscar Break: 2003 Acting Races

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

 Last week we played a fun game of Oscar What If… imagining how Roger Spottiswoode’s And the Band Played On might have shifted the supporting actor and actress categories at the 1993 Academy Awards had it been released theatrically. This week we’re jumping ten years ahead and looking at the 2003 Oscar acting races and trying to suss out whether Jane Anderson’s Normal (which we discussed in depth a while back) could have made waves in the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress categories.

Given that it was released the same year as the towering Angels in America it’s not surprising that Anderson’s Normal (based on her own play) went home empty-handed from all the end of year awards handed out despite featuring two dazzling performances that are usually awards-bait gold: Tom Wilkinson plays Roy Applewood who embarks on a transition to become the person he’s always known herself to be: Ruth; while Lange played his supportive wife, Irma. Indulge me if you will in imagining this Sundance Film Festival-screening title making it to theaters across the country and mounting campaigns that could have jockeyed for nominations the year Lord of the Rings: Return of the King swept the Oscars.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb242016

Judy by the Numbers: "Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart!"

Anne Marie is tracking Judy Garland's career through musical numbers...

The Movie: Listen, Darling (MGM, 1938)
The Songwriter: James F. Hanley (Music & Lyrics)
The Players: Judy Garland, Freddie Bartholemew, Mary Astor, Walter Pidgeon, directed by Edwin L. Marin

The Story: No rise to stardom is without its setbacks. Despite Judy Garland's continuing success teaming up with established stars like Mickey Rooney and Fanny Brice, Listen, Darling marked Judy's first box office disappointment. 

 

Though Judy and Freddie were stars in their own right, when starring in a film together, their chemistry was nil. As a result, the thin 70 minute musical comedy fizzled at the box office, ultimately losing $200,000.

Nonetheless, Listen, Darling did introduce the public to another Judy Garland standard. Though young Judy had been singing "Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart" for years - she actually auditioned for MGM with the song - this 1938 film and a 1939 Decca record added the song to Judy's public repertoire. Judy made the Hit Parade, and would go on to perform and re-record the song throughout her career. Even if Listen, Darling wasn't a hit, Judy Garland and her zing-y song were.

 

previously: "The Land of Let's Pretend" (1930), "The Texas Tornado" (1936), "Americana" (1936), "Dear Mr Gable" (1937), "Got a New Pair of Shoes" (1937), "Why? Because!" (1938), "Inbetween" (1938) 

Tuesday
Feb232016

Voting is a Wrap! Recent Highlights ICYMI

AND JUST LIKE THAT... Academy Award voting has wrapped. So there's nothing left but the big show, the gowns, the accceptance speeches, and the post-mortem frenzy. Which also means February is basically a wrap since the next week is like Brigadoon... only its magic is annual instead of once every 100 years. 

15 highlights from Jan/Feb ICYMI

Original Song Ranking all 80 winners of Best Original Song
Brooklyn TV Bound Why do I keep seeing a Period Facts of Life here with Julie Walters as Mrs Garrett?
Best Actor It's the Year of the Ham. But how do you like your meat?
Q&A the popular series returned with a Leonaro DiCaprio episode
You Can Count on Me the most popular entry in our Sundance retrospective
Silence of the Lambs a five part baton-pass revisit. Did you enjoy?
Costume Design Beauty Break the Oscar nominees + 2 Nathaniel favorites
Podcast Nathaniel & Nick on the best work from this year's Best Directors and Best Actresses before this current nomination
Pansexual my Ass on Deadpool's bark / no bite
Nathaniel's Top Ten List for 2015
The Witch is the first must-see of 2016
Best Screenplay which nominee is the most quotable?
Production Design analysis of the nominees
Forgotten Valentine How good is The Painted Veil (2006)? Very good
Agent Carter the sure-to-be-cancelled show went Hollywood and got even better

And between Nathaniel and Jose we conducted over 50 interviews this past film year!  Hope you enjoyed. Please do like us on Facebook and sign up for a forthcoming weekly newsletter (we really are going to do one this year -- starting very soon) so you don't miss anything.

COMING THURSDAY: Final Oscar Predictions
COMING FRIDAY: Film Bitch Awards Finale
COMING SATURDAY: Indie Spirit Awards
COMING SUNDAY: You know what. Duh 

COMING IN MARCH: Oscar Post-Mortem, the return of Hit Me With Your Best Shot each Tuesday (kicking off with Ghostbusters on March 8th) Zootopia, Sally Field, Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman, and a look back at Oscar winner Mercedes McCambridge for her Centennial 

 

 

Tuesday
Feb232016

Team Experience - Favorite Presenter Moments from the Oscar Show

The Academy has announced the names of many presenters for the big night on February 28th. The list includes the best actress nominee who gave us this often used gifable funny moment, reacting to the makeup in The Wolfman (2010).

A few writers from The Film Experience share 7 more favorite moments from the presenters after the jump, including Meryl, Jim Carrey and Emma Stone...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb232016

5 Days til Oscar. "5" being the Sacrosanct Number.

OSCAR VOTING CLOSES TODAY! CEREMONY THIS SUNDAY.

The Film Experience had quite a scare earlier this season when it was suggested that the Academy might change the number of nominees per category (ostensibly to promote diversity though it would send a terrible message of "now, you might be worthy with more slots. might not" We still don't know if they'll spring this ghastly proposition on us and whether it will ruin every chart and stat for the future. The varying number of nominees in Best Picture already makes for messy comparisons from year to year which used to be half the fun.

The sacrosanct number is 5 and it should not ever change. Any deviation from 5 feels blasphemous as in those years when Original Song or Short Films kept changing the number or the continued satanic tradition of denying the Makeup and Hairstylist branch two of their deserved nominations each year - the only category with 3.

So here's to five, the best number. Five forever. FIVE BY FIVE. Never change the number, Academy! Never.

Just for fun here are the 5 categories this year with the highest across-the-board quality

 

  1. Best Actress - All wonderful. And from mostly great films, too! 
  2. Original Score - When the worst nominee is __ you've got playlist heaven
  3. Adapted Screenplay - Mostly wonderful and filled with films about women: Brooklyn, Carol, Room. And the two most deserving screenplays are written by women, too: Phyllis Nagy & Emma Donoghue
  4. Cinematography - Don't quite understand what Robert Richardson is doing here again but he's no slouch in general and otherwise this is a list for the all time list of great lists in this particular category. 
  5. Visual Effects - It was a toss up for this fifth slot but it's worth including to point out that for once they didn't go "Most" and actually included two films with very convincing effects (Ex Machina & The Revenant) that would work without those visual effects, too. Worthy Best Supporting Visual Effects is a nice change of pace here.

5 of my favorite Oscar nominee interviews this season in case you missed any: Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl), Deniz Gamze Ergüven (Mustang), Phyllis Nagy (Carol), Sandy Powell (Carol), and Jack Fisk (The Revenant)

 

Tuesday
Feb232016

Carol-Loving Hero of the Week: Chris Elena

This story must be prefaced by the fact that we don't condone tweeting during movies but this story was too delicious not to share. Christopher Elena, known Carol lover and apparently Australian prankster, took his young brother and his gaggle of 13 yr old friends to the movies with the promise of Deadpool.

But he bought tickets for Carol instead. On purpose. For your reading pleasure after the jump...

Click to read more ...