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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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yes, we had a good time at the movies in 2016


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What cartoons should come with a trigger warning?

"I think my five-year old was scarred for life after watching Finding Nemo. But, for me, yeah, Dumbo all the way." -Christine

"Graveyard of the Fireflies - we studied this in highschool - a room full of 16 year olds all bawling their eyes out, that shit is traumatic and has had a profound effect on my ability to watch anything from Studio Ghibli since." - Morgan

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INTERVIEWS

Pablo Larraín (Jackie)
Jessica Chastain (Miss Sloane)
Gael García Bernal (Neruda)
Billy Crudup (20th Century Women)
Nicole Kidman (Lion)
Denis Villeneuve (Arrival

 

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Wednesday
Nov042015

Shane Carruth Goes Hollywood...Maybe

Kieran, here. Writer-director and actor Shane Carruth (Primer, Upstream Color) has announced his latest feature. The Modern Ocean (release date still TBA), is slated to star Anne Hathaway, Keanu Reeves, Daniel Radcliffe, Jeff Goldblum, Tom Holland, Asa Butterfield and Chloë Moretz (or Chloë Grace Moretz...we'll never know. It changes with every other movie). His third feature, like his first two directorial outings, will also feature Shane Carruth as part of the cast, though one questions how big his role will be surrounded by an all-star roster. 

Shane Carruth has had an interesting career. For someone whose indies have had a seemingly difficult time breaking out of the arthouse, his films often get cited in year end critical awards. Other directors have taken notice. After seeing the time-travel themed Primer, Rian Johnson consulted Carruth on the script for Looper. Quite a feat for a filmmaker who seems to take a decent amount of time between features (a nine-year gap between Primer and Upstream Color) that don't employ name actors. Will The Modern Ocean be the film that finally clicks Carruth over into mainstream acclaim? How will Carruth handle such a deep well of established actors?

The Modern Ocean is an all star piece about cargo ships searching for trade routes. That's a far cry from his earlier, micro-budget films. There are certainly indie directors who have shown that the talent doesn't dissipate once bigger budget and household names arrive. Then there are directors like Duncan Jones, who breakthrough with a heralded indie (Moon) and follow it up with a studio-funded film with big stars that has difficulty matching the early praise (Source Code). At any rate, it'll be exciting to see in which direction this star-studded new project takes him. Even if you aren't enamored of his earlier films, it's hard to deny that Carruth has a singular directorial voice. His films don't immediately recall the work of any other director working, which will always make him exciting.

How intrigued are you for Shane Carruth's new feature? Have you seen his early work?

Wednesday
Nov042015

HBO’s LGBT History: Grey Gardens (2009)

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

Last week we looked at Outrage, the Kirby Dick documentary on outing U.S. politicians. It’s a fascinating, well-researched doc that, as many of you noted, is all the more groundbreaking for the way it revealed media biases when it came to reviewing the film (NPR famously refused to discuss the documentary’s subjects citing the rights to privacy of the politicians involved). This week, we’re talking about a staunchly camp classic that got the HBO prestige treatment and gave us perhaps the best Drew Barrymore performance to date, one which made great use of her charm and comedic timing shaded with some of the dramatic depth she so rarely gets to show off.

“Inside the incredible world of Jackie O’s relatives.”

Thus reads the film’s tag-line and that, one has to admit, is one way of selling the film. The other, of course, is “Inside the incredible world of one of the greatest documentary subjects ever committed to film.”

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Nov042015

Situation Linky

Arts.Mic Our Manuel dives deep on TV's family sitcom through history and how it does and doesn't reflect our changing world. Fun and depressing stats.
Dark Horizons BBC will try adapting Phillip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" into a franchise. Exciting since those books are so complex and adult (movies were probably never the right approach) but that said... good luck besting Nicole Kidman's Miss Coulter in the aborted movie franchise
Oscar Conversations [video] director, costume designer, and composer talk Beasts of No Nation
Africa is a Country Noah Tsikas with an alternative perspective on the much lauded Beasts of No Nation

Pajiba lists 20 upcoming sci-fi fantasy movies that are NOT from a franchise. How exciting. Original or fresh adaptations. Of course some of these will launch franchises if they're big
Guardian Colin Welland, Oscar winning screenwriter of Chariots of Fire has died. 
People Adele cites Madonna's "Frozen" as an inspirational song in her life. Same. That song rescued me at the time, no joke. (Love it when artists show Madonna respect rather than dissing her)
Little White Lies has a whole freaking issue on Carol ! Beautiful motion cover, too 
Los Angeles Times the ongoing drama of Quentin Tarantino vs the police
Boy Culture somehow I missed this Mommie Dearest night in Manhattan with actress Rutanya Alda (The Deer Hunter, Mommie Dearest) and Michael Musto 
Awards Daily talks to Tab Hunter about the documentary Tab Hunter: Confidential which is really fun if you're into Old Hollywood history
Playbill Here's a project with potential I hadn't heard a peep about: Shirley Maclaine and Amanda Seyfried will co-star in a movie about an old woman who wants to control everything including her own obituary. A young reporter has other ideas.
Variety Brad Pitt & Marion Cotillard (what a lovely pair) are headling Robert Zemeckis next feature and its got an Oscar hungry Thanksgiving 2016 release date 

Beauty Breaks
if you need it -- and who doesn't from time to time?
My New Plaid Pants Edgar Ramirez three times
NY Times amazing never before seen 80s photos of Madonna, Warhol, and Basquiat
Queerty on Empire's Jussie Smollet. Mmmm. Are any of you watching Season 2 of Empire? I don't like it quite as much this year but Jussie & Taraji & Gabby are still great fun
Vogue chooses best dressed: Meryl, Alicia, and someone named... Sienna Miller (sp?)
VJ Brendan Nicholas Hoult in Hero magazine. I saw this mag cover in London but if I'd known the photos were this good. It's a pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty reminder that he was so great in Mad Max Fury Road earlier this year. FYC people.

WHAT A LOVELY DAY!

Wednesday
Nov042015

Topic Du Jour: Female Directors

If you haven't read Vulture's list of 100 female directors Hollywood could be hiring you should. It's a great 'shut your mouth' argument for those suits that hilariously say 'well, we would hire female directors if there were any!' Bless Kyle Buchanan for spearheading this -- though I hope he had interns helping.  Naturally there will be passionate responses. Diversity arguments will always promote some degree of snark -- see Anthony Mackie's recent comments about the Black Panther movie's search for a director -- and nitpicking, including here.

But we nitpick with love.

David Poland argues that "strategy," not shaming, is what's required and that statistics and math won't help. He neglects to detail the strategy though. As for myself I (mostly) love the list and think it's important that a wake up call like this is out there -- what did happen to Laverne herself, Penny Marshall, who directed so many huge hits in the 80s and 90s? It's smart to make the list far reaching and extensive but some of the people are not reasonable for an argument either because their careers have been over for so long or because...wait for it... they aren't good directors. (Obviously there are many bad directors with penises who get lots of work. But we'd like them to find other jobs, too!)  

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Nov042015

In Praise of Blanchett's Curls in Truth

Manuel here. There’s plenty to enjoy in the Dan Rather scandal film, Truth, but at the top of the list is the electric performance by Cate Blanchett who is really wiping the floor with everyone else lately. She was deliciously campy in Cinderella (which we should be taking more seriously Oscar-wise). She is perfection in Carol (few directors work as well with actresses than Todd Haynes). But her work in Truth is something else altogether. I figured we should celebrate a seemingly insignificant aspect of the performance that kept me enraptured: Cate’s gorgeous locks.

See how excited her curls are here?

Look, they even mirror Cate's anger!

So many scenes of hand-wringing that are followed by frantic hair-tussling. You can almost track the character’s state of mind by how carefully shaggy her blond curls are. Especially in comparison to Carol’s sleek and well-coiffed hair (always in its place, as composed as its heroine), Mary Mapes’s ringlets are always threatening to distract and take over the conversation.

Is it frivolous? Perhaps, but Blanchett is a performer who uses everything in her arsenal to build a character, and luscious curls are but another prop with which she created another amazing character to add to her already legendary roster.