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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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Months of Meryl: THE RIVER WILD


"Great post and comments. Yes, Streep had to navigate the rough waters of being in her 40's! I do think she smashed through the glass ceiling for women since she persevered and then became an even bigger star in her 50's." - Sister Rona

"One of my favourite movies from my teen years - I'm shocked at how long ago this was released. It was Meryl that sold this movie for me and is the reason I saw it. At the time, and I still feel this way, she is the reason to watch and believe this film." -Filmboymichael


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Wednesday
Sep282016

Instagram Battles: Juliette, Naomi, or Jess?

Would you rather 

...play foozball with Juliette Lewis?
...eat birthday cakepops with Naomi Watts? 
...go horseback riding with Jessica Chastain? 

 

Meet my set horse, Amigo. "And amigos we'll forever be." #womanwalksahead #NMfilm #gettingmyrideon

A video posted by Jessica Chastain (@jessicachastain) on

 

 

Wednesday
Sep282016

Review: Queen of Katwe

by Eric Blume

Usually adjectives like “inspirational” and “crowd-pleasing” make most serious moviegoers want to go running straight for the hills, and indeed the trailer for Disney’s Queen of Katwe made me shudder.  This true story of a poor Ugandan girl (played here by newcomer Madina Nalwanga) who becomes a candidate master at chess has all the markers of the usual Disney underdog story, and you expect all the typical manipulation that comes with it. 

But most films aren’t directed by Mira Nair, and she turns Queen of Katwe into something rare:  a true story that plays authentically and simply.  Nair shot this film in the actual slums of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda, and her love for the place, the people, and the culture is unmistakable...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Sep282016

Interview: Director Elite Zexer on Israel's Oscar Submission 'Sand Storm'


Jose here. Elite Zexer’s Sand Storm takes place in a Bedouin village where men have all the power, even if it’s evident it’s women who should be running things. Within this community we meet the young Layla (Lamis Ammar), a free spirited young woman who is secretly dating a local boy, aware that her parents might want to marry her to someone else. Even though the premise might seem familiar, what’s remarkable is how Zexer crafts a study about the structure of this village, making the film feel more like an anthropological study than a traditional drama. After successful showings at Sundance and Toronto, the film went on to win the top Ophir Award making it Israel’s official submission for the Oscars. I spoke to Zexer about the origins of the story, her curious background, and whether she thinks her film is a political work.

Read the interview after the jump. 

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Sep282016

NYFF - Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

Here's Jason reporting from the New York Film Festival with the latest doc from the director of Hoop Dreams.

At first Abacus: Small Enough to Fail plays like a game of chicken that director Steve James is playing with our sympathies - Bankers, the premiere villains of the 21st century, who might as well come with their own lightning strike and accompanying thunder-crack on the soundtrack, are here our Heroes. You'd be forgiven for spending the first act or so asking yourself, as the drama unfolds - am I really sympathizing with these people?

And James doesn't mess around, aiming straight for our sentimental jugulars...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Sep282016

Judy by the Numbers: "I Hear Music"

Anne Marie has been chronicling Judy Garland's career chronologically through musical numbers...

Sometimes, something just flat out cool and unexpected pops up. Something like, say, a titan of jazz music popping up for the second episode of a TV show starring a titan of movie musicals. Though it wasn't reflected in ratings at the time (how good was Bonanza really?), this is one of those moments of pop culture kismet. Though it wouldn't be aired for almost seven weeks, in just the second episode of this small Sunday night variety program, Count Basie guest starred on an episode of The Judy Garland Show.

The Show: The Judy Garland Show Episode #2
The Songwriter: Irving Berlin
The Cast: Judy Garland, Count Basie, Mel Torme

The Story: As TV intros go, it's pretty basic, but this gives audience and artists the chance to build momentum. What makes this clip so very great is that it caters to both its' stars talents, and in the process stretches both past what audiences were used to hearing from them. The opening number (arranged by Torme) is a quietly jazzy version of Roger's and Hammerstein's "The Sweetest Sounds" that builds to a big climax. Starting with just Judy and a drummer and a bassist, Garland gets to show her dynamic range by singing sweetly to herself. Meanwhile, Count Basie's band enters behind her, gradually building the sound until it matches her intensity, leading to the revelation of Basie himself and a crackling version of "Strike Up The Band." As one of the more music-heavy episodes, this one stands out.

Wednesday
Sep282016

Greer Garson, Peter Finch, Zoolander, and more...

1916 Happy Centennial to Best Actor winner Peter Finch (Network), one of only two posthumous acting winners in Oscar history. The other is Heath Ledger. (Curiously they were both Australian)
1924 Marcello Mastroianni (La Dolce Vita, 8½) is born in Italy. Becomes one of the all time great movie stars by his mid 30s. His career spans over 50 years of cinema.
1933 Greer Garson weds Edward Snelson, first of three husbands, though the cohabitation is brief. Ten years later she famously marries her screen son in Mrs Miniver.
1934 ...And God Created Brigitte Bardot in Paris

1945 Mildred Pierce opens. Joan Crawford will win Best Actress for this fabulous noir melodrama
1949 Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis first film together My Friend Irma
1950 American indie icon John Sayles is born in New York. Among his most famous films: Return of the Secaucus 7, Passion Fish, and Lone Star
1951 Franchot Tone marries Barbara Payton, his third wife, a disastrous marriage for both. And he survived Joan Crawford.
1957 The great cinematographer Harris Savides is born. Credits include Zodiac, Milk, and Birth. His last gorgeous film The Bling Ring was released posthumously

Greer Garson is Oscar's 7th Most Beloved Actress

1960 Sunrise at Campobello premieres at the movies. Greer Garson will snag her seventh and final Best Actress nomination as Eleanor Roosevelt. She'll lose to Elizabeth Taylor in BUtterfield 8 though their fates were reversed at the Golden Globes.
1961 Shirley Booth starts her run as Hazel a TV sitcom that lasts five seasons. The next summer she wins the Lead Emmy making her a Triple Crowner after her Tony & Oscar for Come Back Little Sheba.
1964 Janeane Garofalo is born. We don't appreciate her comic brilliance in Reality Bites (1994) enough. 
1967 Supporting Actress winner Mira Sorvino is born. If you never read our 1995 Smackdown it was a good one so check it out.

1968 Nicole's bestie Naomi Watts is born (curiously neither were born in Australia but moved there as children). Also "Hey Jude" by the Beatles hits #1 and stays there for 9 weeks 
1976 Israeli star Ohad Knoller is born. Credits include Yossi & Jagger, Yossi, Munich, and The Bubble
1984 Jessica Lange's Country opens. Exactly one week after Sally Field's Places in the Heart in the year of the farm wife
1987 Hilary Duff who comes to fame as "Lizzie McGuire" is born. Currently co-starring on the underappreciated Emmy worthy comedy Younger
1992 Keir Gilchrist, who was so wonderful as a gay teenager on The United States of Tara and was last seen in It Follows is born 

1994 Tim Burton's Ed Wood premieres. Do you still love it?
1997 Chad Lowe & Hilary Swank marry. Two years later she wins the Oscar and forgets to thank him. She remembers the second time but why was their a second time again. ARGH! (Old wounds - editor)
2001 Ben Stiller first delivers "Blue Steel" in movie theaters in Zoolander
2012 Looper hits theaters. That was a good one though perhaps it was a warning that Joseph Gordon Levitt was always going to try to "alter" himself in some way (face, voice, body whatever) for his future leading roles shaving off parts of his charisma in the process.