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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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Team Experience's Emmy Ballot

"Love the premise of Feud, but the execution of it? Oof. Molina, Davis and a smattering of technical nods (ex. those opening credits!) would be more than generous, IMO." - Mareko

"Not enough Orange is the New Black mentioned." - Brad

 

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Interviews

Emmanuelle Devos (Retrospective)
Nicholas Galitzine (Handsome Devil)
James Ivory (Maurice 4K Restoraton)
Betty Buckley (Split)

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Sunday
Dec272015

Podcast: Joy & Star Wars: The Force Awakens

In this week's podcast Nathaniel and Nick return happily to that galaxy far far away and go off consensus to enjoy the Jennifer Lawrence hit Joy. (Plus miscellania but you'll have to listen to see how Carol and Batman v Superman show up since you know how we do...)

43 minutes 
00:01 Written on the Wind (1956)
03:00 David O. Russell's Joy feat. Isabelle Rossellini, Virginia Madsen, Robert De Niro and Elisabeth Röhm
12:00 Loving Star Wars: The Force Awakens and sexy Oscar Isaac.
27:00 Childhood fascinations with the original trilogy and minor quibbles with the new/old plot and the First Order. 
36:15 Nasty Baby & Mississippi Grind (2015)
40:10 The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989)

Further Reading for Context:
Nick's Oscar Isaac Theory & Ordinary People Tweet
David Ehrlich's A24 Article

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes

 

 

 

Star Wars and Joy

Sunday
Dec272015

Haskell Wexler, 1922 - 2015

David here. As time runs out on 2015, the world sees the loss of another cinematic great. Cinematographer Haskell Wexler, double Oscar winner, passed away today. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Dec272015

Box Office: Jennifer Lawrence Generates Her Own Light in the Shadow of Star Wars.

Jennifer Lawrence's Joy starpower couldn't match the double-teaming bankability from Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg for the comedy Daddy's Home but she's still got nothing to worry about as Hollywood's current most popular actress pulling in 17.5 million in Joy's opening weekend despite middling reviews, a glut of new wide releases, and two hot button limited bows, all hoping for those same Christmas dollars.

Meanwhile every movie in theaters is trying to stay visible under the galactic-sized shadows of The Force Awakens which has already topped half a billion in the US box office in record time and should leapfrog Jurassic World's once unthinkable $652 domestic gross pretty soon at this rate.  We'll also know fairly soon if the Star Wars saga's sheer cultural size affects the Oscar race. The question is not fully restricted to whether it will be nominated for this or that or a wholla lotta that like the '77 starter-kit, but whether it will drown out conversations about the newer or the more struggling Oscar campaigns and we end up with less movement in the Oscar race from where we were in say, October, because people are thinking of little else than Star Wars right now.

BOX OFFICE WIDE
(Christmas Weekend)
01 Star Wars: The Force Awakens $153.5 (cum. $544.5) Review, parody fun Emo Kyle Ren
02 Daddy's Home $38.8 *new* 
03 Joy $17.5 *new*
04 Sisters $13.8 (cum $37.1) Review 
05 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip  $12.7 (cum. $39.3)
06 Concussion  $11 *new* Review
07 The Big Short $10.5 (cum. $16) Review & SAG Ensemble 
08 Point Break $10.2 *new* 
09 The Hunger Games Finale $5.3 (cum. $264.6)  Hunger Games & Oscar 
10 Creed $4.6 (cum. $96.3) Review

Christmas proved to be a death wish for many awards hopefuls since behemoths like STAR WARS and talking points like HATEFUL EIGHT & THE REVENANT sucked all the oxygen out of the room for other films

BOX OFFICE LIMITED
Excluding previously wides
01 The Hateful Eight $4.5 100 screens *new* Twitter Review, Worst of Year
02 The Danish Girl $1.5 440 screens (cum. $3.2) Eddie Redmayne
03 Carol $1.0 180 screens (cum $2.8) Reviewish, Podcast, Its Genius
04 The Revenant  $.4 4 screens  *new* parody fun Revenant Bear
05 Youth  $.3 149 screens (cum. $1) Review, Podcast, Jane Fonda
06 Mr Six  $.2 30 screens *new*
07 Trumbo  $.2 30 screens *new* Podcast, SAG Ensemble 
08 Room $.08 100 screens (cum. $4.7) Premiere, FYC Production Design
09 45 Years $.06 3 screens *new* Charlotte Rampling
10 Macbeth $.04 30 screens (cum. $.8) Review, Podcast

 

WHAT DID YOU SEE THIS WEEKEND?

 

Saturday
Dec262015

Interview: The Discipline and Humanity of "Bridge of Spies" Costume Design

Mark Rylance and Spielberg on the set of "Bridge of Spies"Costume Designers are among the great unsung heroes of the cinema, regularly helping actors to define their characters and directors to create those images audiences get lost in. The latter achievement comes in tandem with the other creatives most connected to the mise-en-scène, the cinematographers and the production designers. It's perhaps not surprising that when you sit down with the behind-the-scenes professional they are often disarmingly modest, used to serving and enhancing the vision of the director. General moviegoers might not know their names but cinephiles, critics, and industry professionals are wise to learn and love them for the unique contributions they make to fine movies. 

I recently had the opportunity to speak with the Polish designer Kasia Walicka-Maimone, who designed two high profile projects this year: Scott Cooper's gangster drama Black Mass and Steven Spielberg's cold war drama Bridge of Spies. The latter was her first collaboration with Spielberg but the designer is no stranger to auteurs. She's worked with Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom) and Mira Nair (Amelia) and is best known for her work with Oscar fixture Bennett Miller having costumed all three of his narrative features (Capote, Moneyball, Foxcatcher).

It's perhaps unsurprising, given the temperament of Miller's filmography, to find her disarmingly modest and low key and not all that excited about the more glamorous aspects of costume design. At one point she even gave your host, a self-confessed costume nut, a coronary with a casually dropped "I don't care about the costumes" though she quickly revived me with an interesting explanation of what she really meant.

See for yourself in our interview after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Dec262015

Team Experience: The Best of 'Doctor Zhivago' (1965)

With Star Wars: The Force Awakens breaking box office records daily we thought we'd look back at another colossal hit, which is celebrating its 50th birthday this week. Though it places in the the ten all-time biggest movie blockbusters, David Lean's adaptation of the best seller Doctor Zhivago is oddly among the least celebrated/remembered of those record-shattering successes. But it wasn't always so. Drop it right between 1939's Gone With the Wind and 1997's Titanic and you have the complete trilogy box set of 3 hour plus epic doomed romances that movie audiences obsessed over and obsessed over and obsessed over. (Binge screen them all now and you'll be done in about 11 hours!) 

Though Omar Sharif (who plays the title character Yuri Zhivago) recently passed away, the other three members of Zhivago's political/romantic quartet are still very much with us: Julie Christie is, of course, one of the all time greats and though she's resistant to working much since her last triumph in Away From Her (2007), Lara is just one of many standouts in her great filmography; Oscar nominated Tom Courtenay co-stars as Pasha, Lara's idealogue husband (and you can and should see Courtenay in theaters now as Charlotte Rampling's confused husband in 45 Years); and Geraldine Chaplin (who did fine work recently in the Dominican Republic Oscar submission Sand Dollars) completes the romantic quartet as Zhivago's wife Tonya.  

For the 50th Anniversary, four members of Team Experience agreed to share their favorite scenes after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Dec262015

Link Wars Episode ∞: The Blog Awakens

Guardian has a piece on the 7 best financial films for the release of The Big Short. Confession: I'm always surprised when internet lists remember that films existed before 1990. And this list has 4 of them [gasp]
CHUD Have you heard Radiohead's Spectre theme. The studio went with Sam Smith instead for the latest Bond
Variety Tupac Shakur biopic All Eyez On Me is coming your way (and filming already). Given the massive success of Straight Outta Compton expect more hiphop/rap biopics 

Gothamist Oooh. AMC Village 7 has reopened in Manhattan with spiffy new seats and bathrooms. I haven't been there in years but will have to return now. Now if only Film Forum and Village East would get renovations and they'd burn down the Angelika, Cinema Village, and Lincoln Plaza and build new non-tiny, non-crappy, subwayrumble-free arthouse theaters somewhere else... wouldn't that be swell?! 
MNPP the only recap of the recent Tom Hardy junket journalist dustup that you need is right here. Seriously who cares?! Stars cancel or push back interviews ALL THE TIME. 
Comics Alliance prepare for your heart to melt with these photos of Chris Pratt visiting a children's hospital 

Best of '15
Florida Film Critics went with Mad Max Fury Road as best of the year in 4 categories and gave Daisy Ridley Breakthrough for Star War: The Force Awakens
Movie Scene Kyle Turner's top 15 from Appropriate Behavior (yay!) to Mistress America (say what?)
Playbill 10 biggest social media moments for Broadway this year. Naturally Hamilton made the biggest splash
Theater Mania names the 9 best Off Broadway shows... i dont understand this number 9? It has to be 10 or 15 this year. I mean, MATH. SYMMETRY. LIST RULES. 
The Film Stage names 50 "Overlooked" films... though the criteria for overlooked is sligthly murky. Tangerine and James White, for example, didn't get even a tiny percentile of the box office they deserved but they did win spirit and gotham nods and in Tangerine's case a lot of press... which has to count for something. Very happy to see Appropriate Behavior (which you'll remember I loved nearly two years ago at its festival debut) and Victoria on the list though. Hopefully Mustang's inclusion (Team Experience loves it) will look silly after the fact if the Academy nominates it and it proves a late-bloomer at the box office. But for now with only $100,000 in the bank at only 3 theaters, it deserves this list placement.

More Star Wars... The Force Won't Go Back To Sleep
Digital Spy People will post ANYTHING about Star Wars for traffic. Here we consider the possibility of a gay Star Wars romance between Finn & Poe 
Gizmodo award winning interactive fan animations - Love the Grand Prize winner on Tattooine.
Vulture polls several celebrities about the best order to view the 7 Star Wars films in. The correct answer is obviously 4,5,6,7 (ignoring 1,2,3) but there's a lot of variety in the responses
/Film concept designs for BB-8 
American Leather Jacket for only $209 you can try to look at cool as Finn or Poe from Star Wars with the jacket they trade off onscreen
Academy Conversations the filmmaking team talks about production - I haven't watched it in full yet but it's nice to see Michael Kaplan represented there. He's one of the great costume designers and has had ZERO academy attention. That's probably because his best work comes in stylish contemporary film (Fight Club, Burlesque, Flashdance, Mr & Mrs Smith) or genre films (Blade Runner, Star Trek, The Force Awakens) and we know how Oscar feels about both of those kinds of pictures.

And if you haven't checked out the Emo Kylo Ren twitter page, do so. Laugh, you will. Know that it's more fun than a yub-nubbing Ewok treehouse party. This is my favorite but there were many many choices for that honor...