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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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"Thanks for this. It made me think about the time my dad saw Dr. Strangelove in a theatre in Japan. He was the only person laughing. Different communities can have such opposite reactions to the same movie. This is something I love about movies, and also why they're so important. Movies really do help us see and understand others' experiences, often even better than news report/footage." - Cash

 

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Tuesday
May032016

Linky Nyong'o

The Playlist Guillermo del Toro working on a movie where Richard Jenkins is a merman and Sally Hawkins is in love with him? What? And also: why not! 
Sense 8 returns soon. Here's a fun photo album blog on the making of Season 2
Decider It's the 20th anniversary of everyone's favorite crazy teen bitches and also witches movie The Craft (1996)
Variety because sooner or later every male star is required to play a serial killer, Michael Fassbender will do his duty for Entering Hades based on the John Leake's true crime novel
Vulture Jennifer Hudson gets unexpectedly honest about her lack of a Tony nomination

 

Interview talks with romance-novel-cover ready fantasy man, the Outlander star Sam Heughan
Playbill George C Wolfe and Oprah Winfrey are working on a cool sounding project called The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks about a woman whose cervical cancer cells were harvested without her permission in the 50s and cloned again and again.
Pajiba this is not the angle of Pajiba's story but as with seemingly all biopic subjects Harriet Tubmann suddenly has two competing biopics in the work: Viola Davis's for HBO and one for theatrical release about which we had previously heard nothing. (Too bad that they can't be fused into one with the best elements of both because good luck finding an actress as famous and as talented and as theoretically bankable  as Viola for the actual theatrical version)
Playbill Patti Lupone on Penny Dreadful (uff, she's so great on that show) and her next musical War Paint
Lenny Letter Tony nominee and Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o reveals why she chose a small play as Oscar follow up in a great piece. Here's a brief excerpt:

As an actress, feeling connected to a fully realized, complex character is what I look for first. The size of the role, and the budget, and the perceived "buzz" around the project are much less important to me. As an African woman, I am wary of the trap of telling a single story. I decided early on that if I don't feel connected to, excited by, and challenged by the character, the part probably isn't for me. If I'm ever in doubt, I envision the career choices of artists I admire, like Tilda Swinton, Cate Blanchett, and Viola Davis. They are all fearless actresses who approach every role without ego or vanity. They have a fierce commitment to the moment and the role, whether it's the lead or a character we see for just one scene. They give it their all, and it shows. The thought of having a career that in any small way might resemble theirs excites me.

She has good taste in actress heroes!

To Get It Off My Chest
Collider says the Captain America & Avengers filmmakers, the Russo Bros, are game for an LGBT character in the Marvel-verse and the article praises them accordingly for saying so (sigh). I'm not pinpointing Collider but this is a classic example of something the internet loves: 'filmmakers/actors/authors are for insert progressive thing!' news (this is also happening a lot with Star Wars of late). But here is the thing: it is NOT news but hypothetical speculation and, as such, we should not be praising anyone. Until Marvel (and other studios) and filmmakers actually show diversity we MUST stop giving them credit for suggesting that they will one day show diversity. This is also true of their issues with race. Let's stop congratulating people for hypotheticals and start concentrating on praising filmmakers who already have diversity in their films. It's like everyone praising JK Rowlings for retconning Harry Potter's Dumbledore when she wasn't brave enough to actually have him gay within the books. UNLESS PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY DOING IT, STOP PRAISING THEM FOR SUGGESTING THAT THEY'RE COOL ENOUGH TO DO IT AND THEY MIGHT AT ANY MOMENT. JUST NOT RIGHT NOW 

Tuesday
May032016

Doc Corner: Documentaries at the Box Office in 2016

Glenn here. Each Tuesday we bring you reviews and features on documentaries from theatres, festivals, and on demand. This week we look at the medium's flatlining box office is a sign of 2016's roster of documentaries.

Looking at Nathaniel’s listing of the highest grossing documentaries list of the year so far and I was – to put it mildly – a bit bummed out. Not surprised, of course.

Certainly, the comfort of one’s home is a perfectly fine place to view many of these films, and a necessary advancement given the general downturn in boutique and arthouse cinema-going. But as a lover of movies, going to the movies, and writing about movies, it is frustrating and a worry that no documentaries other than Michael Moore’s disappointing Where to Invade Next and the Christian-themed Patterns of Evidence have made any sort of impact at the box office (and even then, Moore’s film is a dramatic slide from even his most recent film Capitalism: A Love Story at $14m) in four months of the new year.

The reason the doc box office figures particularly worried me was because the first quarter of the year is peak opportunity to take advantage of a quiet marketplace...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
May032016

Tony Nominations: Hamilton, The Color Purple, Etcetera

In what we're choosing to interpret as a "changing of the guard" moment, two Book of Mormon stars (Andrew Rannells and Nikki M. James) announced the Hamilton Awards this morning. Or, rather, the Tony Award Nominations though the bulk of them went to the hot show of the now, Hamilton. In fact it busted the previous record of most nominations which was 15 (held jointly by The Producers and Billy Elliott) by 1 nomination.  Shouldn't Rory O'Malley have been present, too, in this announcement since he's the only Tony-nominated Book of Mormon alum in Hamilton (having just replaced Jonathan Groff)?

The Tony Awards will be held on June 12th and broadcast on CBS at 8 pm EST.

Most Nominations Musicals:
Hamilton - 16
Shuffle Along - 10
She Loves Me - 8 

Can Jessica Lange add a Tony to her trophy shelf for "Long Day's Journey Into Night"? She already has 1 SAG, 2 Oscars, 3 Emmys, and 5 Golden Globes

Most Nominations Plays:
Long Day's Journey Into Night - 7  
The Humans - 6

All the nominees (including several Oscar players) and some errant thoughts come after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
May032016

Newish to DVD & Streaming. What will you make me watch?

It's that time again. If you missed it in theaters or merely want to revisit here are some newish options from the past couple of weeks or just now.

New to DVD & BluRay

The Choice - In which Broadway's favorite bloody bloody musical star, Benjamin Walker, tries his hand at the Sparksverse and even an annoying catchphrase "bother me"
Jane Got a Gun - Does all the trouble that production had (director walk out / cast changes / delays) show up on screen? With Natalie Portman
Joy - Decide for yourself if JLaw deserved a fourth Oscar nomination for this drama about a female entrepeneur
Krampus - This horror flick got surprisingly good reviews. With Toni Collette & Adam Scott
A Royal Night Out -If Diary of a Teenage Girl had you intrigued about Bel Powley check out her other introduction. Co-starring ubiquitous Sarah Gadon
Son of Saul - This drama about a Hungarian sodderkomando who believes he's seen the body of his son among the latest executed is harrowing and it just won the Oscar, Hungary's second win in the category (after 80s arthouse hit Mephisto).

New to Streaming. VOTE!

I realized I haven't written up Crimes & Misdemeanors (1989) yet as commanded last time we did this but I shall and I'll be quicker this time since I'll have a second assignment breathing down its neck. Which film will we discuss? You choose!

 

Also new for May...
Amazon Prime: Benny and Joon, Bitter Moon, The Bounty, Bully, Code 46, Election, Ghost World, The Mod Squad, She's Having a Baby, Vice Versa, and several 007 films back again suddenly (make up your mind AP);
Netflix: PleasantvilleTo Catch a ThiefGreat Expectations, Just Friends, The Nutty Professor, The Replacements, and Things We Lost in the Fire

Monday
May022016

What could have been...

This Michael Thompson photo was taken ten years ago for W Magazine's May 2006 issue.

Monday
May022016

Stage Door: She Loves Me (and Tony Preview)

Overheard whilst exiting Broadway's She Loves Me this weekend:

[surprised] That was just like 'You've Got Mail'!

Bingo, tourist ladies, bingo. She Loves Me, the 1963 musical, currently in the middle of its second Broadway revival, is adapted from the 1937 Hungarian play Parfumerie by Miklós László. It's inspired so many riffs so often you'd think it was a Shakespeare comedy. The play has already resulted in three well-known movies in the form of the touching Jimmy Stewart clasic (The Shop Around the Corner, 1940), an undervalued Judy Garland romance (In the Good Old Summertime, 1949), and the Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks rom-com You've Got Mail (1998). The shop changes as does the mode by which the anonymous lovers correspond without realizing they know and hate each other in real life. Expect an internet catfishing riff on the story in 3...2...1... Anyway, in 1963 the play was adapted into She Loves Me for the musical stage...

Click to read more ...