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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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"While it doesn't seem groundbreaking, I know I will watch it eventually because of the four legends in the cast." - Rebecca

"Adored both Bergen and Keaton (and Garcia!), liked Fonda and unfortunately, thought Steenburgen kind of drew the short straw here. Overall, had a ball!" - Andrew


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Tuesday
Sep272016

Doc Corner: Two Films Highlight the Outrageous and the Tragic of North Korea

Films about North Korea have an unfair advantage. The country is one of such baffling oddness that films told about it are often either tragic or outrageous, two extremes that make for memorable viewing. On the other hand, the nature of North Korea’s political situation means few films are indeed made about it. Titles like Solrun Hoaas’ Pyongyang Diaries in which the Australian filmmaker ventured to a North Korean film festival and gave us a glimpse of what it means to be a traveller in this land of fake smiles and concrete, and the giddy delight of Anna Broinowski’s Aim High in Creation in which she travels to North Korea to learn how to make propaganda films from the makers themselves.

This year we can add two more entertaining docs. Both are full of surprises that beggar belief at seemingly every turn: The Lovers and the Despot and Under the Sun

The former from directors Ross Adam and Robert Cannan is the most accessible of the pair; an espionage documentary about husband and wife filmmakers who were kidnapped by North Korea and forced to make movies for the country’s dictator leader before their brazen escape from the clutches of Kim Jong-il. Yeah, I know!

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Tuesday
Sep272016

Ava DuVernay's "The 13th" Gets A Trailer

NYFF is about to officially kick off this Friday, and one of the festival's biggest question marks is Ava DuVernay's documentary The 13th. The opening night selection explores our current prison-for-profit system's exploitation of African Americans and its ties to the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery except under terms of punishment for crimes. The festival was something of a surprise opener for the fest (and rare doc to do so) and here is our first glimpse of what DuVernay has in store for us:

Expect an expansive and passionate timely critique from one of out most vital filmmakers. What's more is that you won't have to wait much time past its debut to see it if you're not lucky enough to attend - Netflix will make the film available to stream October 7 as well as giving it a limited theatrical run. Netflix has had some luck breaking through in the Documentary Feature race at the Oscars, so we'll also be waiting to see if DuVernay's added cache could make it a contender this year.

Tuesday
Sep272016

National Voter Registration Day PSA

Today is National Voter Registration Day and Fox Searchlight has partnered with movie theaters to show the following PSA from The Birth of a Nation cast including Nate Parker, Colman Domingo, Aunjanue Ellis, Aja Naomi King and Gabrielle Union. Partnering movie theaters in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, and Kansas will have voter registration in the lobby during promotional screenings of this film and during its opening weekend October 7th-9th. 

The objective for the initiative is to encourage everyone to be a part of U.S. history by highlighting everyone's right to vote, encouraging registration and underscoring that their voices and opinions matter.  Currently 20% of all people who can legally vote in this country are stopped by technical roadblocks when they try to register.  This presidential election will be especially challenging, as many current laws lack the protection of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  The act was passed to overcome many legal barriers that individuals faced when exercising their right to vote but section 4 was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013. 

If you ask us this is a smart and resonant move both for the Fox Searchlight release and the wider unrest around the country.

Monday
Sep262016

Tig Rising in "One Mississippi" (Episode 1)

by Steven Fenton

If you’re a comedy fan, or if you’ve listened to any NPR show in the last four years, you know Tig Notaro. For the uninitiated, the comedian rocketed to fame when she turned her lowest point in life into comedy gold. In 2012, Tig Notaro had a pretty shitty year. Her mother passed away, she ended a relationship, and she was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer. Mere days after her diagnosis, Tig delivered an instantly iconic comedy routine where she mined her personal miserie; spoke frankly about the unbelievable circumstances she’d found herself in; and somehow transformed all that profound pain into poignant hilarity.

Notaro’s brilliance and signature laidback charm have launched her into stardom with albums, HBO specials, cameos on Inside Amy Schumer and Transparent, the Netflix documentary Tig, and now her very own Amazon show. In One Mississippi, Notaro channels her dark, deeply felt humor into a beautifully made, sensitive, and rollicking portrait of a grieving family with a talent roster full of Film Experience favorites...

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Monday
Sep262016

"Silence" to open on December 23rd. Which films can win attention at Christmas?

According to Variety, it's now official: Martin Scorsese's Silence is opening this year after all on December 23rd despite no trailer, no poster, no promotional materials, and a current running time of well over 3 hours. The most curious aspect of this is that Paramount already has an overstuffed plate without it: Arrival should be a major player because it's great, Fences should be a major player if it's any good at all since it has two beloved stars doing award winning roles in the first motion picture based on an August Wilson play, and Florence Foster Jenkins is, I think, underpredicted since it's a handsome production with an unusual angle on the arts that will surely appeal to voters and should expect a boost from Golden Globe attention. 

Curiously, despite twelve years of evidence that Oscar voters are definitely preferring films with October or November bows (no December release has won Best Picture since Million Dollar Baby), despite awards bodies pushing their deadlines even earlier this year, distributors are pushing the other way with force...

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Monday
Sep262016

NYFF: I, Daniel Blake

Here's Jason reporting from the New York Film Festival on Ken Loach's Palme D'or winning drama

Having come from childhood poverty myself I'm always ready to side-eye a movie that directly tackles the subject - for instance I wasn't a fan of Beasts of the Southern Wild because it felt (I know I was in the wilderness on this one) as if it too romanticized Hushpuppy's home-life. But that's just one pitfall for a subject I'm probably overly picky about - if a film's too preachy, if it turns its subjects into ciphers of suffering for its noble cause, well I don't want to go to that place either.

Ken Loach's I, Daniel Blake walks the line. It's very much a Message Movie all capital letters, but as you can tell by its title it does matter to Mr. Loach who these people are...

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