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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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What did you see this weekend?

"Colossal - has a great hook but doesn't live up to that promise. Kind of likable, but no part of it really excels" - Dave

"A Quiet Passion! I did not expect such piercing wit and laugh-out-loud humor from Terence Davies. "- Jonathan

"The Zookeeper's Wife, Jessica Chastain looking glamorous while resisting the nazis, not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon" -Choog

Interviews

Betty Buckley (Split)
Michael O'Shea (The Transfiguration)
Filmmakers (Cézanne and I)
Melissa Leo (Most Hated Woman in America)
Ritesh Batra (Sense of an Ending)

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Tuesday
Aug182015

ICYMI 

Hello all. Nathaniel, returned home, back from vacation. You may not have even noticed that I'd gone but I was almost completely offline for the past 5 days. I was in Austin, TX to visit a friend I hadn't seen in a few years and we had a ton of fun. While travelling I read "The Devil in the White City" and y'all were right -it's absolutely gripping. It's also so dense with information and fascinating details that Leo & Marty may well have a tough time pulling it off. Especially if they make it a star vehicle since the book screams for more of an Altman Ensemble feel. 

On the trip home my friends and I discovered we were sharing the flight with Pearl (from RPDR) so the return to NYC felt even more glamorous than usual. This long weekend vacation was the last movie and computer free moment before The Season which, roughly speaking, consumes my entire life from mid-September to late-February each year. Thank you to Jose and Manuel for keeping the lights on while I was out and to Murtada, David, Kyle, Glenn, Sebastian, Amir, and Margaret who also pitched in.

Why not catch up on anything you missed this morning? I'll be doing the same. 

A Heaping Handful of Highlights
Chris Eigeman talks Metropolitan - This uniquely pleasurable 1990 indie just turned 25
100 Things I Love About Movies - off the top of my head
HBO LGBT: "Normal" - Manuel's great series is revealing that HBO has really been ahead of the curve
Bergman Kisses - a grand swooney journey through Ingrid Bergman's onscreen love life - she may be well be the greatest romantic heroine of the movies
Mr Robot and Humans - we started a new weekly TV discussion series with these two paranoid examples of our current communal disconnection. The series continues tonight with Masters of Sex
Smackdown 1995 - that's how we started the month and Smackdown 1954 is how we'll end it 
Disney's Upcoming Slate - Moana, Zootopia and more 

Meanwhile in Oscar Land
The forthcoming Oscar race is all starting to feel very real what with the releases of Hateful Eight's trailer, Germany's long list, Carol's teaser, and that image of Tom Hiddleston in a big hat...

Reviewed Recently
Fantastic Four (Tim), The Gift (Jose), Man From U.N.C.L.E. (Kyle), M:I - Rogue Nation (Tim), Ricki & The Flash (Nathaniel) and Woman in Gold (Nathaniel) 

Tuesday
Aug182015

Curio: Too Cool For School Supplies

Alexa here. This year was the first year I had to get school supplies for my daughter and it was pretty depressing. She isn't allowed any choice, even in the color of her folders! As a form of rebellion by proxy, I've been searching for the coolest supplies out there to keep things weird at home.  Some for my daughter and, of course, why not choose a few for myself, too?  Here is a selection of film-themed supplies that could help my cause.

After the jump: Werner, Duckie, Cher, and more...

 

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug172015

"Carol" is a tease

Just gorgeous. We'll Yes No Maybe So it with the full trailer but obviously we're all in. It's Todd Haynes. It's actressy. And the cinematography, by Edward Lachman who previously shot Far From Heaven, Mildred Pierce, and I'm Not There for Haynes, is suitably ravishing.

The song, for those who are curious, is Margaret Whiting's rendition of "My Foolish Heart". Add it to your every playlist in anticipation. Whiting was a famous singer in the 40s and 50s and even had her own television series in the 50s with her sister. Margaret provided Susan Hayward's singing voice in Valley of the Dolls (1967) as well.

Monday
Aug172015

'Queen of Earth' and the Films of Alex Ross Perry

Glenn here to discuss Alex Ross Perry whose latest film opens in cinemas and VOD next week. He is a curious one who we haven't discussed much about here at The Film Experience. He's made four films, not one which is alike, yet which all feature obvious hints of the same creator. Impolex, his debut, is made with such a strong and unwavering idea of what it wants to be that it’d be a perfect calling card for a director if it wasn’t so different to the rest of his output. It is both a curious fascination and a frustratingly inert experimental concoction of a film with mumbled dialogue and absurd comedy (there is a talking octopus, if I remember correctly) that doesn’t so much predict Perry’s future career as it does suggest recurring ideas. If all one watched was the expert scene late in the film, dearly acted by Kate Lyn Sheil – unsurprisingly, a common figure in Joe Swanberg’s equally confounding and experimental genre-tripping films Silver Bullets, AutoErotic and The Zone from the same era – as she opens up to our dope of a lead character you might be forgiven for thinking it was something far less esoteric than the full film really it.

As that 2009 film was being released in the most limited of releases two years later, The Color Wheel was causing mayhem on the festival circuit. The much ballyhooed film was an Independent Spirit Award nominee in the blessed John Cassavetes category is the sort of that could bring about illusions of a particularly prickly Brooklyn-born twentysomething version of Woody Allen if it weren’t, you know, for that whole incest thing. It’s use of black and white 16mm filmstock was inspired and it was meticulously scripted with no improvisation and structural hints to classic cinema, highlighting Perry’s very dialogue-focused style that navigates in very specifically modern contexts the way people can change and challenge us emotionally and physically in ways we might not want or expect.

Listen Up Philip, Queen of Earth & Mad Max: Fury Road (!) after the jump

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug172015

Two Guys and Two Gals from U.N.C.L.E.

Here is Kyle with a review of Guy Ritchie's The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

 
Last week, if you told me that I’d be in love with a Guy Ritchie film, I’d have snatched you by your smoking barrels and given you what for. Yet here I am, utterly enamored of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. In a summer bloated with franchises and (ugh) reboots that willfully avoid originality—save Mad Max: Fury Road, of course—Man from U.N.C.L.E. is a welcome demonstration that a flick can be fun without being dumb. The film subverts the formula of “action” blockbusters to make us feel tense or anxious most of the time. Fight/chase scenes are not suspenseful tent poles but undercut by humor or condensed through stylish montages. Indeed, style is the subject of the film; the narrative is so patently pat that it shifts focus to the way it’s told. It’s upsetting that audiences did not flock to it in its all-important opening weekend, though it may almost be a compliment these days that the name recognition of the original property is so low that it didn’t push audiences into theaters. If Man from U.N.C.L.E. succeeds—and I still hope it will—it will be based on its own merits, of which it has plenty...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug172015

Beauty vs Beast: Who's The Poo 

Jason from MNPP here... wait, that's not much of an introduction. I should do better. Ahem. One, two, three -- I'm sexy, I'm cute, I'm popular to boot. I'm bitchin', great hair, the boys all love to stare... I'm major, I roar, I swear I'm not a whore! ROLL CALL. It's "B-b-b-Beauty vs B-b-b-Beast" time and seeing as how tomorrow marks the 15th anniversary of the little cheerleading-movie-that-could called Bring It On I figured we'd slip into our team-colors and take sides on the greatest Cheer-Off of our times.

PREVIOUSLY Last week we celebrated the anniversary of Norma Shearer and with a wade into George Cukor's The Women -- Joan Crawford's trampy shopgirl pulled out in front early on, and while the lead narrowed with time it just wasn't Norma's time; Crawford dug her heel into 53% of the vote. Said Someone:

"To those of you not voting for Crystal, as she herself would say, "There's a name for you ladies, but it isn't used in high society... outside of a kennel. So long, ladies!""

Monday
Aug172015

D23: Disney Animation News

Manuel here to talk Disney Animation. As you can see Disney has a very busy (if, yes, remake friendly) slate ahead, and while Pixar will be offering mostly sequels (hey there unnecessary Cars 3, Toy Story 4, and long-awaited The Incredibles II!) with only the Day of the Dead-themed Coco as its original entry in 2017, Disney Animation looks to be picking up the slack. And so, let's look at three images from their upcoming films:

Zootopia (March 4, 2016)

We’ve already seen the teaser and with its release day fast approaching we’ll surely get a full-length trailer soon (perhaps attached to Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur?). And as I worried this might be Disney’s first full-length Dreamworks animated film, the folks at D23 surprised us with a new casting announcement. While Jason Bateman and Ginnifer Goodwin play the leads (he a fox, she a bunny; might it be a screwball-ish rom-com?), Shakira will be lending her voice to “Gazelle, the biggest pop star in Zootopia.” I kind of love this? But perhaps it’s just memories of Shakira’s early Colombian soap opera beginnings rushing back and reminding me of her pre-worldwide fame persona.

Moana (November 23, 2016)

Disney is surely taking its pledge for diversity in stride. Moana is being directed by John Musker & Ron Clements (Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Hercules) and centers on an adventurous young woman who yearns for the sea. Set in the South Pacific, it currently boasts Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as its main voice cast (I wonder what’s kept them from casting its female lead?) who was ecstatic during the D23 presentation, clearly thrilled to be part of this story. I am particularly excited about this film, especially given the artwork that was shown. That she's reminding me of Lilo and Nani (two of my favorite Disney gals in recent memory) makes me all that more hopeful for this film.

Gigantic (2018)

Tangled, Frozen, and now Gigantic. There’s something to be said about re-branding fairy tales, but this new way of Disneyfying titles makes me happy we got The Little Mermaid and not Soaked, Beauty and the Beast and not Cursed. Tangled director Nathan Greno says this will be the “definitive” Jack and the Beanstalk adaptation. Oh, and if you haven’t guessed from that artwork, Jack is a Spaniard during the Age of Exploration who befriends an 11 year old girl giant, so clearly this isn’t your parents’ Beanstalk tale. 

Has the one-two-punch of Frozen and Big Hero 6 amassed enough goodwill to keep you excited about Disney animation’s prospects? Do you have any suggestions as to who Musker & Clements should be casting as Moana?