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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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Viola's Speech

"If she'd said "We're a profession that celebrates what it means to live a life" instead of "the only profession" it would have been a truer, less self-aggrandizing statement. But what she said about exhuming stories from those who are dead - ordinary lives that should be illuminated on film - was powerful and is worth remembering" - Hustler

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Tuesday
Mar102015

We Cant Wait! #12 "The Dressmaker"

Team Experience is counting down our 15 most anticipated for 2015. Here's abstew...

Who & What: Writer/Director Jocelyn Moorhouse adapts Rosalie Ham's 2000 novel about a 1950s Australian dressmaker named Myrtle "Tilly" Dunnage (Oscar winner Kate Winslet) who returns to her rural Outback home to care for her ailing mother (Oscar nominee Judy Davis). Tilly has not been home since she was 10 years old and forced to leave when she was accused of murder. With her return, she plans to bring the power of haute couture to the village...and seek revenge against those that wronged her.

Moorhouse has described the film as "Unforgiven with a sewing machine" and in addition to Winslet and Davis, stars an impressive Australian cast that includes Liam Hemsworth as Tilly's love interest, Hugo Weaving as the town's police officer, and Sarah Snook and Sacha Horler in supporting roles originally cast with Isla Fisher and Elizabeth Debicki. Creating the film's '50s fashions are Emmy nominated costume designer Marion Boyce with Margot Wilson in charge of Tilly's clothes and 2 custom-made gowns by French designer Sophie Theallet.   

This is apparently what she wears to a rugby game...DIVAWhy We're Excited About It: We love Kate Winslet here at TFE, but just last year I wrote about how Winslet was in need of a career comeback. Divergent was a hit with its built-in YA popular novel source material, but it was hardly her involvement in the project that made it so. (Can you even remember anything she did in it?) This year, on paper, is looking much more promising: the Divergent sequel is a likely hit; she has a supporting role in the all-star cop drama Triple Nine; and then there's a potential awards-buzzy role in Aaron Sorkin's Steve Jobs (directed by Oscar winner Danny Boyle). Her lead role in this film is most intriguing and will hopefully be a return to form for Winslet who hasn't received an Oscar nomination since her win. 

What If It All Goes Wrong? The fact that director Jocelyn Moorhouse hasn't directed a film since 1997's failed awards contender A Thousand Acres doesn't seem like a good sign. And she never really lived up to her exciting breakthrough with 1991's Australian film Proof. And it could be a tough balancing act tonally as a comedic revenge drama (those seem like 3 different genres). But at least one thing is certain - the clothes will be to die for! 

When: The film finished shooting back in late 2014 and this past February had footage shown to potential European distributors at the Berlin Film Festival. No US date is confirmed yet, but Universal Pictures International has already confirmed an October 1st release date for Australia. If buzz is strong, expect it at fall film festivals in time for awards season.

Previously...
#13 The Hateful Eight
#14 Knight of Cups
#15 Arabian Nights
Intro Pick a Blockbuster

Monday
Mar092015

25 Years Later: Joe Versus the Volcano (1990)

Tim here. When Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan were paired off in 1998's instantly-dated time capsule You've Got Mail, the ad campaign – and, indeed, the entire film production – hinged on the can't miss idea that everybody would be thrilled to have another chance to see the stars of Sleepless in Seattle in a romantic comedy. What nobody seemed to recall at the time was that You've Got Mail was, in fact, the third team-up for Hanks and Ryan, not the second. Their first collaboration was the underperforming fantasy comedy Joe Versus the Volcano, which opened 25 years ago today, and has spent the subsequent quarter of a century assembling a smallish cult that hasn't remotely completed the task of restoring its reputation.

As a longtime member of that cult, I find that horribly disappointing. Joe Versus the Volcano is nobody's idea of a flawless film comedy, but it has the undeniable merit of being incredibly weird. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Monday
Mar092015

Sing-Alongs & Fight Clubs, Divas & Heroes

Awards growing like mushrooms as we race like mad to finish out the film year that just was since we've already started the 2015 celebration.

Musical Sequences
With actual musicals like Muppets Most Wanted, Into the Woods and "performance" musicals like Begin Again, Beyond the Lights, and Get On Up it's a decent time to be a fan of musicals. And since some of the most memorable sequences in non-musicals are musically inclined (think The Lego Movie's boisterous kick-off) and so many non-musical films have the musical spirit via awesome soundtracks (think A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night), we have a category for that, too. Musicals for everyone! Sing-along with these ten nominees. 

Action Sequences 
Guardians, Katniss, and a sniper may have reigned supreme at the box office but Captain America: The Winter Soldier housed the year's best action sequences albeit not quite the most beautiful. The most ravishing was, incongruously, the ones starring two nuclear-slurping insect like abominations and that lizard king of monsters, Godzilla.

Divas 
Two of them stop their films cold for self-important monologues. Three more regularly bring the house down. (Okay, sticklers, The Witch technically only brings the bakery door down but it's a figure of speech. Indulge me. And them; divas demand your full attention)

Heroes
2014 had not one, not two, but three moving odes to solidarity and everyman heroism in Pride, Selma, and Two Days One Night. But since this is the cinema there are heroes all over for us to live vicariously through, some of them "super," others historical. And we can't forget the year's most badass warrior, the "Full Metal Bitch" herself (Emily Blunt) in Edge of Tomorrow

"I just thought there would be more," you say? Well there is. Also added: Best Line Reading and Breakthrough of the Year nominees and Best Movie Poster. Which mean only 5 categories are left to announce and then the medals! 

Can you believe I'm actually going to finish the awards this year????? "TO VICTORY!"

Monday
Mar092015

Looking for Glory: “You’re not what’s wrong in the gay community”

Manuel here wishing I could borrow Kevin’s puppy sweater to discuss this week’s Looking episode. “Looking for Glory” begins just as “Looking for Returns” did, with the blissful domesticity of Kevin and Patrick, though the latter’s breakfast in bed disaster lets us know this won’t be a smooth return to normal after the events of the last two episodes. 

Thus, in an attempt to begin telling people that they’re now “a thing,” we get to witness the awkwardness that follows during a work meeting when they finally spill the beans. “I just hope it won’t affect our company culture of fairness and that heterosexuals won’t be discriminated against” says Meredith who later went to chat with HR; might this be a sign of more drama for Kevtrick? (Pattin? There really is no good couple portmanteau for them, is there?)

More...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Mar092015

Beauty vs Beast: Vamp Thru The Heart

It's Monday which means it's time for this week's "Beauty vs Beast" - Jason from MNPP here again to talk us in. Did you know that tomorrow is the 18th anniversary of Joss Whedon's television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer's premiere on the WB? I'd say Buffy's old enough to graduate from High School but we all know what happened the first time around (SNAKES) so let's not. Coincidentally over the weekend Buffy star Sarah Michelle Gellar was asked what she thought about revisiting the character, what with all these series (The X-Files, Twin Peaks) of yore getting brought back - she doesn't seem terribly keen on the idea, sadly. Anyway I don't know if anybody noticed but Joss is kind of busy right now.

But we can look back! So look back we shall. I've already used "Buffy vs Faith" for this series before so let's turn our eyes unto the main menfolk of the show - yup, I speak of Buffy's undead amours Angel (David Boreanez) and Spike (James Marsters). Put on your shipper hats and go!

Whose team are you on?
Team Spike0%
Team Angel0%

As usual you've got just one week to vote, so dust off your pointy things and prepare to make some hard choices. 

PREVIOUSLY Last week we were All About Eve... actually make that all about Margo, since it was Bette Davis who took the wheel and drove right over Anne Baxter (talk about a bumpy ride) taking a whopping 86% of the vote. Bette will not be denied. Said Akash:

"All About Eve is an ensemble that ends up feeling like a one woman show. THAT'S how powerful Bette Davis is is in every gesture, quip and sashay. One of the greatest performances in American film history and it's unbelievable that one of her Oscars wasn't for this iconic role."

Monday
Mar092015

New Tomorrowland Poster in Hashtags

Manuel here trying to help the social media-savvy Disney marketing team with their latest poster. Nathaniel discussed five would-be blockbusters while kicking off our We Can’t Wait series and one which was conspicuously absent (perhaps because of its constant date-shifts?) was Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland for which we got a brand new poster this past week. While I’m coolly reserved on this May 22nd film, I couldn’t help but come up with hashtags while staring at this bad boy:

#LookUp #CloudPorn #MalickMeetsDisney #ClaudioMirandaFilter #Wheatstagram #RememberTomorrow #CanBirdGoFiveForFive #DisneySynergy #MysteryPlot #StillDoNotKnowWhatThisIsAbout #InterstellarFlashbacksAnyone #BlueSkies #NotSoEmeraldCity #Normcore #Overalls #GeorgeMcQueen #LiveActionPixar #WhitherTheLeadGirl #InBirdWeTrust (or would you be an #InClooneyWeTrust kinda tagger?)

Are you excited for Tomorrowland? Gotta say, unless that new trailer totally spills the plot, I’m enjoying this “withhold everything” policy Disney & co. have been playing with this property? Might it be all smoke and mirrors, though?

 

Monday
Mar092015

We Can't Wait! #13: The Hateful Eight

Team Experience is counting down our 15 most anticipated for 2015. Here's Michael...

Who & What: Fresh off the biggest box office hit of his career (and a second Oscar for writing) Tarantino returns for another go at the western genre. This story set in Wyoming a few years after the Civil War, involves eight outlaw types holed up in a mountain pass to wait out a blizzard.

The auteur promises The Hateful Eight will be no less than a cinematic event with exclusive 70mm engagements explicitly designed to remind people of the power of the theatrical movie experience and stave off the tide of digital projection. So, yeah, not lacking for ambition.

Why We're Excited About it: Love them or hate them, it is hard to deny Tarantino’s films are always worth seeing, discussing, dissecting. It's worth noting that while everyone has been focused on Quentin's film’s flashier, button-pushing aspects, the jittery auteur has managed the neat trick of getting mass audiences to line up for some daring, experimental filmmaking. On top of which he can always be counted on to give movie stars the material to reach new career high points. This time out the cast is a thrilling mix of old Tarantino favorites (Tim Roth, Kurt Russell, Sam Jackson, Michael Madsen) Django bit players with beefed up roles (Bruce Dern, Walton Goggins) and Tarantino newcomers who could do wonders with the right role (Demian Bichir, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Channing Tatum). 

Samuel L Jackson tweeted this photo in November from a rehearsal. From left to right: Dern, Jackson, Leigh, Tarantino, Bichir (back to camera), Russell, Goggins, Madsen, and Roth

What if it all Goes Wrong? The loss of Tarantino’s brilliant, longtime collaborator, editor Sally Menke, was felt in Django, particularly in that film’s shaggy final act. Here’s hoping he manages to regain the sharpness this time. Also, if you are one of those fading fans who believe it’s been all downhill since Jackie Brown, there is no sign that Hateful Eight is anything like a return to maturity. On the other hand, a story about criminals holed up together told through a series of interlocking flashback does give off a strong Reservoir Dogs vibe. 

When: Currently slated for November 13 by The Weinstein Company. (Will it stay there? Django Unchained didn't open until Christmas.)

Sunday
Mar082015

We Can't Wait! #14: Knight of Cups

Team Experience is counting down our 15 most anticipated for 2015. Here's Jose...

Who & What: Knight of Cups is The Terrence Malick Show ft. Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Freida Pinto, Antonio Banderas and Joel Kinnaman (and whoever else made it out of the cutting room). The story, as far as we can tell, involves a screenwriter (Christian Bale) and the temptations, celebrity and excess of Hollywood. The title comes from a story about a royal prince who drinks from a cup falls into a deep sleep, forgetting his mission and that he is the son of a king.  We've already discussed the trailer and here's the teaser poster...

 

Why We’re Excited About It: Remember a time when Terrence Malick took decade-long breaks between films? Suddenly after The Tree of Life he treated us to news that he would be making up to three new consecutive films within the next five years? This is why we're excited. The more Malick, the merrier..

What If It All Goes Wrong? What can go wrong in a film shot by Emmanuel Lubezki and featuring, wait for it, Fabio (!!!) among the credited cast? Well, they were filming it a full three years ago whatever that might mean. Malick isn't everyone's cup of tea and To the Wonder, was certainly divisive and if you have a low tolerance for wheat or allegories, you already know you're skipping this one. 

When: December 11th. Does this mean Broad Green Pictures thinks it'll actually win Oscars?