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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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Guest Actress in a Drama
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"Something I thought I'd never say, but Alexis Bledel deserves the Emmy" -Arlo

"I would give it to Alison Wright who deserved nominations (if not wins) at least for seasons 3 and 4" - Clement

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Friday
Apr012016

Posterized: Tom Hiddleston

Photography by Charlie GrayWelcome to Actors Month. We'll try to concentrate on the men for the next 30 days just for a change of pace. (Though obviously Actresses are never far from our hearts so we won't ignore them entirely).  So let's kick things off with Tom Hiddleston. I Saw the Light, a biopic of Hank Williams expands into over 700 theaters today. While I can't recommend the film which is DOA without any of its own energy or insight and contains every single rise and addictive fall trope from every music biopic ever produced.

BUT at least Tom gets to sing (every note in fact) and he has a fine voice so hopefully we'll hear it again in a future film?

The internet's ex-boyfriend (he's been replaced by Oscar Isaac we hear) has been famous for just five years now having risen to fame very quickly via Thor (2011) and his rendition of lying Loki. 

He has made 14 pictures. How many have you seen?

Click to read more ...

Friday
Apr012016

Never felt so LIVE!

Filmed stage productions are becoming more and more common with The National Theatre in London finding great success streaming their high production shows across cinemas all over the world. Cinephiles and theatre goers are big overlap on the venn diagram. A live TV production seems like the next logical step. As recently reported, Aaron Sorkin’s play-turned-film A Few Good Men is getting the live TV treatment in 2017 on NBC. This follows in the successful footsteps of live musicals The Sound Of Music, Peter Pan, The Wiz and Grease but is certainly an ambitious task without the razzle dazzle of musicals or the tomfoolery of live comedy to smooth over the awkward edges live TV can contain.

Whilst these filmed non-musical stage productions have found success, particularly when big names are headlining, there is always something missing that makes in an incomparable experience to being in the theatre with them. By tailor making the work for at home audiences, this could be overcome. An Aaron Sorkin script seems the perfect vehicle. The pace of his scripts in the hands of a strong cast is edge of your seat viewing, and anyone familiar with his work on stage on screen will be excited by the prospect of seeing those character sparks fly live. There’s no word on cast yet, but so far NBC have (mostly) done a good job of casting their live productions, and have a particular knack for picking up and coming stars.

Should this prove fruitful, there’s an array of plays and films that could be all the more tantalising with the electricity of live performance. Let’s speculate after the jump on some other plays and even films that could make the transition after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Apr012016

Too Spoilery, Too Soon?

How soon is too soon for spoilers?

It's hard to keep the lid on plot details of any film with instant reactions available on Twitter and spreading rapidly. You can try to avoid reading reviews and recaps, but what about the times that a film's marketing campaign gives away too much? It's frustrating to see any new trailer that foretells too much plot, but is it okay to be open with story beats if we've already had time to experience the film?

Recently, 10 Cloverfield Lane has been among the best at teasing us with what it had in store. It's very title alone suggests something more than meets the eye, but it's minimal trailers and posters never dipped more than a toe into the plot elements or scares in this pop-up mini-event movie. Announcing its presence a mere two months before release and never revealing much more was a bold and brave marketing risk that hopefully more studios will be willing to take in the future, for it paid off in spades for the viewing experience.

Less elusive, but still similarly slim on the plot, The Witch came out in February after a year on the festival circuit and a solid block of enticing pre-release materials. General audiences were only promised a chilling horror and remained unspoiled about how it would conclude. The film is getting another push this weekend (to 666 theatres) in the hopes of passing Ex Machina as distributor a24's highest grosser. If you haven't seen it yet, you're missing one of the best of the year thus far!

But to coincide with 10 Cloverfield Lane's international rollout and this final expansion for The Witch, there are a new poster and trailer that kick the bucket into full spoiler territory. If you haven't seen either yet and want to remain unspoiled, stop right here. MAJOR SPOILERS AFTER THE JUMP...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Mar312016

RPDR S8: Roller Boogie & The New Wave

Though we had planned to cover each episode of the constantly movie/pop culture referencing RuPaul's Drag Race it wasn't meant to be. We discussed episodes one and two of the eighth season and since we'll have to cover next week's Snatch Game challenge (mandatory) given both its celebrity impersonations AND the breaking news that it'll have a Madonna inspired runway (I died), let's catch up in brief...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Mar312016

Happy Birthday, Ewan McGregor

Kieran, here. Today, we celebrate the birthday of one of the screen’s most magnetic (and gallingly non-Oscar nominated) stars, Ewan McGregor.

Looking at McGregor’s filmography, there are definite peaks and valleys though that's to be expected with any performer who has been active for over two decades. For McGregor, a lot of the valleys occurred in recent years, but man…those peaks are impressive, aren’t they? The best of Ewan McGregor makes us hopeful for what the future holds for the talented Scotsman. He makes his feature-film directorial debut this year with American Pastoral, which he also stars in alongside Jennifer Connelly, Dakota Fanning and “Orange is the New Black” breakout star (and awards magnet) Uzo Aduba. He also has a sequel to Trainspotting, the role that put him on the map, in the works. Rather than speculating about who he should work with, what projects he should choose and what direction he should take, we do what is done far too seldom for actors who have given us indelible screen performances—we simply say 'thank you' and 'more please'. 


His 5 Most Impressive Turns

5. Big Fish (2003) – I gather this will be a polarizing choice but have any of Tim Burton’s recent outings given us a turn as impressive and lived-in as McGregor’s here? McGregor is versatile, but he shines brightest and shows great skill when he's playing bright-eyed optimism as evidenced by Big Fish (and the top choice below.)

4. Trainspotting (1996) – Confession: I’m not as enamored with Trainspotting as most, but his performance is justifiably lauded and definitely worth your time. He renders addiction believably and charismatically in this black comedy. It’s an understandable worthy introduction to McGregor.

3. Beginners (2011) – It was McGregor’s co-star Christopher Plummer who (very deservedly) won an Academy Award for Mike Mills quirky and plaintive romantic drama, but McGregor anchors the piece so skillfully. McGregor imbues Oliver with beautiful specificity and world-weary warmth. Definitely worth a revisit for anyone who hasn’t seen the film since 2011.

2. Velvet Goldmine (1998) – When McGregor’s Curt Wild enters Todd Haynes’ colorful, electric narrative, a powerful shift is clearly felt. The way Brian’s (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) eyes light up with literal heart graphics when first gazing upon Curt Wild is completely appropriate. McGregor’s magnetism is undeniable. You can hardly take your eyes off of him.

1. Moulin Rouge! (2001) – How McGregor starred in a Best Picture nominee yet failed to land a slot on the 2001 Oscar Best Actor roster (which included Sean Penn for I Am Sam!) is still hard to fathom. Nicole Kidman’s sly, exuberant turn as the mysterious Satine wouldn't work half as well if it hadn't been a duet w/ Ewan McGregor’s career best. He certainly deserved to be a Best Actor nominee and I'd argue the winner. 

Happy 45th Birthday, Ewan! 

What’s your favorite Ewan McGregor performance?

Thursday
Mar312016

The Sisterly Bond Between Leading Ladies of "Togetherness"

When the mood strikes, we'll be sharing our TV MVPs of the Week. Here's Daniel Crooke...

Before last week, Togetherness was simply that great show conducting the most shrewdly hysterical act of open-heart surgery on television. Of course, since then, HBO tragically axed the Duplass Brothers’ tender Northeast LA dramedy after two seasons. On Sunday’s “Geri-ina,” (replaying tonight at 11) Melanie Lynskey and Amanda Peet reminded us how their performances as sisters Michelle and Tina breathe with such a beautifully intimate got-your-backness. When Michelle needs Tina to create a diversion at a snobby fundraiser so she can snoop on her double-crossing charter school frenemy (who also happens to be the host) they exchange a lifetime of ocular shorthand as Peet shoos her along and humiliates herself for her sister’s dream: belting Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” to a roomful of upper crusters. Peet’s berserk timing and Lynskey’s deft, actualized determination belong to one another, fighting dirty in the name of justice.

Amy Jellicoe, you have two fabulous heroines heading your way in HBO Heaven.