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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R

 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 

 

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Silence of the Lambs Retrospective

"Don't help the man with the broken arm! Don't get in his van! Too late... She does it every time. Which is why this is such a good movie: it really makes us care, and even when we know what's going to happen, we hope it won't."- Edward

"Such a great BP winner. I remember seeing it when I was a teenager and even then I noticed the eyelines being so close to the camera, and the way Clarice was framed in a male-dominated world as though she was being watched and judged." - MSD

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Wednesday
Jul092014

Magnificent Moorehead, son

 

This post is brought to you by guilt at giving her such a poor rating in last week's Smackdown when she's such an eternal favorite.

Tuesday
Jul082014

My Favorite Moment in the "Exodus" Teaser

New Policy. Though The Film Experience invariably prefers teasers to full trailers on account of our spoiler aversion our Yes No Maybe So is one of our most popular features. So herewith we shall always do Yes No Maybe Sos on only the teaser for films we very much want to see and don't want spoiled and we'll just skip the trailers altogether (I am so grateful I did with Snowpiercer). Other films, we'll wait on the full trailer to do our full duty... especially those movies that were spoiled centuries ago like Exodus: Gods and Kings. 

 FYI for those of you who haven't read it, the Bible is full of spoilers. It's practically a reality TV show it's so fond of telling you what's coming up next and then what just happened recapping. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jul082014

Halfway Pt. 4: Top Ten Movies of 2014 (Thus Far)

For today's Tuesday Top Ten it's your last peek at Nathaniel's top ten list for 2014 until the official one at year's end. Only films that have already played theaters in regular release are eligible hence endearing indies like Happy Christmas (currently On Demand) or instant classics like Love is Strange or next weekend's highly raved openers (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Boyhood) cannot yet apply. Herewith my ten favorite pictures of 2014 thus far since we've already looked at favorite sights and favorite sounds. 

You should see all of these movies. How many will stick around for the official top ten of 2014? I haven't a clue. That's half the excitement of drawing these invisible lines in the sand and waiting with hot anticipation for the rest of the year's wonders

TOP TEN FILMS OF 2014'S FIRST HALF
(ALPHA ORDER)

BEGIN AGAIN (John Carney) 104 minutes
Weinstein Co | June 27th| Box Office Rank of 2014 (At This Moment) #85 with $1.7 million

Like a new favorite song you can't stop playing, it's hard to even suss out why it's so damn loveable. My hunch is that its ephemeral endearments are powered by the combo of writer/director John Carney's sincere musicality (he captured lightning in a bottle with Once) and Keira Knightley's wonderfully relaxed but emotionally astute work as an abandoned musician who genuinely doesn't care about fame and fortune but has lots of love for music and people... whether or not they deserve it.

CAPTAIN AMERICA 2 (Anthony & Joe Russo) 136 minutes
Marvel/Disney | April 4th | Box Office Rank of 2014 (At This Moment) #1 $257 million

The best superhero film since the genre's peak in 2004 with that Spider-Man 2 and The Incredibles double-whammy and the best yet from Marvel Studios. I've probably raved enough this year but practically everything works from performance to action to theme and especially the firm sense of identity and character work at its core (here's a fine piece on that). That sense of self saves this superhero film from the generic problems that plague its genre. [Review]

CHILD'S POSE (Calin Peter Netzer) 112 minutes 
Zeitgeist | February 19th |  Box Office Rank of 2014 (At This Moment) #170 with $97 thousand 

Romania's 2013 Oscar submission continues the super annoying but enormously familiar trend of gambling its entire US release strategy around an Oscar nomination that doesn't materialize. Which is a pity since gold statues aren't everything (Ida proves that memorable foreign films don't need any awards buzz at all to find their natural fanbases but more on that in a minute) and this arguably overripe melodrama about a rich bitch trying to cover-up her son's crime is gripping. [Review]

alien invasions, travelling nuns, and mouthy toys after the jump...

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Tuesday
Jul082014

True to the End? A Final Season in Bon Temps

Here's Adam on a show that probably should have ended a couple of years ago but finally has its eviction notice -Editor


It’s been seven years and we’re finally (almost) to the end. I don’t know how many people of you have stuck with True Blood from the beginning. Nathaniel bolted during the show's nadir (season 5) though he's silently returned since. But if you’re anything like me, you believe that season six was, as much as it could be, a return to form, a reminder or the series glory days. 

As I plowed through the first three episodes of this seventh and final season, I could not help but feel that it has all been a prolonged set up to something better... or perhaps 'trimming down' to something better more aptly explains it. While no episode has been an absolute knock out, you can feel season 7 trying desperately to become the show it once was before it meets the true death. 

Lets start at the beginning of the end... 

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jul082014

All That Link

It's been so long since we had a link roundup! You were all partying over the long weekend anyway. But we're back to normal. Please to enjoy these fine, discussable or just fun posts around the web...

Antagony & Ecstasy looks back at Thelma & Louise now that Susan Sarandon is on the road in Tammy's crime spree
VF Jennifer Lawrence meets Emma Watson
Leigh Alexander on internet sexism - the dos and don'ts 
BuzzFeed Matt McGorry and Samira Wiley from Orange is the New Black recreate Matthew McConaughey movie posters. Love.
WSJ Taylor Swift fancies herself a journalist suddenly and writes about the future of fandom, music careers and record sales 
AV Club on that potato salad kickstarter 
Deadline on new controversial strict rules for documentary eligibility at the Oscars. I understand the arguments against the new ruling but I would also like to caution documentarians to think about what they're asking for. The Oscars are larger than your particular craft and they really are supposed to be about CINEMA (i.e. things that play in theaters) so shush. These kinds of rulings may hurt at first but there should be a difference between television and movies. Television has its own awards for you to win if your film is great. Don't be greedy. I do agree with one complaint though: what's fair for docs should also be fair for features so Oscar needs to tighten up its eligibility rules across the board.

Hey, Look

It's the first image of Don Cheadle as Miles Davis in a forthcoming biopic. Filming has just begun. I guess Cheadle hasn't moved to TV for good (i *really* hate House of Lies) but at this point he seems far more likely to win an Emmy than an Oscar. The movie is apparently more about his marriage than his music. The best news about the project by far is that it gives Emayatzy Corinealdi a follow up leading role to her great work in Middle of Nowhere. She plays Miles first wife Francis Taylor.

Bob Fosse and Roy Scheider at Cannes for "All That Jazz"Fosse Fosse Fosse
Sound on Sight has an excellent retrospective of Bob Fosse's astounding but weirdly forgotten cinematic career from Mynt Marsellus. I wish Marsellus hadn't hedged on his ending - Fosse absolutely is equal to the other far more famous auteurs cited (Coppola, Scorsese, Spielberg, etcetera). They are only better remembered / respected I'd argue because they:

a) have comparatively gigantic filmographies
b) are still alive and working twenty-seven years after Fosse's death (Fosse was older than all the other crucial 70s breakout auteurs save Robert Altman and Fosse also died relatively young at only 60)
c) made their best films in genres that are more typically male than the film musical and thus escaped the pervasive destructive sexism that tends to devalue all rich work in more traditionally "feminine" fields like musicals, romances, and melodramas. We see this all the time in film criticism. Still.

Monday
Jul072014

Beauty Vs Beast: The Two Jakes

JA from MNPP here - The year 2014 is halfway over and since Nathaniel seems to be having fun listing his picks for "the best of so-far" I felt like joining in - my favorite movie of the year here at the half-point is Denis Villeneuve's doppleganger creep-fest called Enemy, which stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Jake Gyllenhaal as two men (maybe?) who find each other (maybe?) through chance (uh... maybe?) and the destructive effect that this has on their lives (definitely).

If you didn't catch the film in theaters (I managed to twice but I realize I am extraordinarily priviledged for that; its release was a puzzler) it came out onto DVD and so forth two weeks ago, so hopefully you've set aside the time - as I said when I reviewed it way back when this movie is the dream of a movie I would be able to make if I were a movie-maker. It hits all my buttons and then some, including ones I never even knew about -- Jake Gyllenhaal ordering another Jake Gyllenhaal to take his clothes off? Sure!

On the surface this week's "Beauty Vs. Beast" might seem a trick question (and maybe it is, just like the whole movie might be a trick movie) but Jake's performance in the film does make Adam (the teacher who's with Melanie Laurent) and Anthony (the actor who's married to Sarah Gadon) two distinct men - it's usually not hard to tell who's who because of posture alone, and the differences only seem to branch out (and yes, perhaps double back...) from there. So have at 'em...

 

If you haven't seen the film now before voting my point is go watch the movie right now! And then vote. Of course a vote for Jake, any Jake, is a winning vote all the same. And on top of telling me which Team Jake you prefer in the comments I'd love to hear y'all's theories about the movie. This movie brings them forth!

PREVIOUSLY Last week we got ourselves pre-juiced for Showtime's Masters of Sex, which returns on July 13th, by asking y'all to choose between the Masters & Johnson at the show's heart - I can't say I was surprised to see that Lizzy Caplan bounces the highest on the bedsprings of most of our hearts. She walked away with a full 85% of the vote. Said par, getting a hearty chuckle outta me:

"I love her so much I'd even invite her to a pool party... even if there were going to be girls in bathing suits there."