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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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Q&A: AFI Tributes, Noirs & Westerns, "Strong" Females

"AFI... My predictions (not necessarily based on merit) are that AFI will honor Julie Andrews, Jodie Foster and Julia Roberts.." - Marie

"Wonder Woman is one of the best movies of the year - it would be foolish for the Oscars to ignore it." - Jaragon

 

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Monday
Dec212015

Beauty vs Beast: Red & Green & Tangerine

Jason from MNPP here, wishing you and yours a Ha Ha Happy Holidays with a Ho Ho Ho in your heart -- since it's Christmas Week I figured what better way to celebrate the festive mood than with the hilarious and heartfelt brand new Christmas classic, right up there with Batman Returns and Eyes Wide Shut, that is Sean Baker's Tangerine. Like Keiran argued recently my favorite character in the film is also Alexandra (played by a lovely Mya Taylor), but for "Beauty vs Beast" purposes its gotta be Sin-dee (the very funny Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) versus her pimp-snatching rival and "real fish girl" Dinah (Mickey O'Hagan's hilarious performance should be getting more attention too)...

PREVIOUSLY Two weeks ago we looked back at the 25th anniversary of The Grifters and set two of TFE's fave actresses against each other in a con-woman cage-match -- well repeating history it was tough mama Lilly (played by a maybe never better Anjelica Huston) who shoved her way to the front with over 70% of your vote! Said kermit_the_frog:

"I choose Huston here - Tthe Grifters is a far more sinister and unpleasant film than I first thought it was. That Huston makes you actively root for the character is achievement in itself. By the way, I nominate Huston twice in Best Actress 1990 - this and The Witches (I've never understood the annoying 'one nomination per category' rule!"

Monday
Dec212015

Best of '15: Co-Star Chemistry, the Great Intangible 

These are the 15 relationships that really crackled for us on screen this year with an electric snap... or familial/platonic warmth... or sexual combustibility... or tense reserve ... or  lived-in authenticity ...or any combo thereof depending on what the relationship called for. Kudos to the actors, directors, screenwriters, and casting directors who all obviously contributed to capture lightning in a bottle. The following examples of screen chemistry told us so much about the characters within the story and sometimes outside of it from long before the events of the movie or projecting out after the narrative. Do I find it troubling that the SAG and BFCA nominations for Best Ensemble avoided ALL of these films save Spotlight? Why, yes --- yes I do! Thanks for asking. 

Note: I opted not to include Carol in the list primarily because the obsession is too strong and every single relationship in the movie is fascinating (yes even Therese & Richard's! Even Harge & Abby who only get one scene together) and it wouldn't be fair to the other pictures with its web of relationships, new, old, soured, fresh, complicated and all superbly rendered. Joy, which is better than the initial response suggests, also has fine pockets of chemistry within a bustling cast (something David O. Russell excels at) but I couldn't settle on any one relationship.

The list is presented without commentary... but for what you have to say in the comments. 

15 Sylvester Stallone & Michael B Jordan in Creed (trainer/trainee and surrogate something)

14 more couplings after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec212015

Michelle Williams (x2) Heading to Sundance

Manuel here. Michelle Williams has been surprisingly absent from our screens since she played Glinda in Oz the Great and the Powerful (2013). Though if you were abroad you apparently got to see her alongside Kristin Scott-Thomas in something called Suite Française? (No, it never opened in the US). That looks to change this year. The actress has two projects that will be unveiled at Sundance next month.

First up we'll see her reunite with Wendy and Lucy director Kelly Reichardt in Certain Women. Adapted from Maile Meloy’s short stories, the film will make its debut at Sundance and follows three intersecting stories of women in Montana. It co-stars Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, James Le Gros, Jared Harris, and Lily Gladstone.

She also has a role in Kenneth Lonergan's follow-up to Margaret, Manchester by the Sea. The fillm follows Lee (Casey Affleck) as he returns to his Boston suburb hometown after a family death, coming to terms again with his estranged wife (Williams). Kyle Chandler and Lucas Hedges also star.

It'll be a nice one-two punch of a return for the actress, especially coming from two such exciting writer/directors; Williams thrives in these low-key indie films so welcome her back with open arms. And, of course, if either of these films get her glowing reviews, might the actress be angling for Oscar nom #4?

Monday
Dec212015

It's CAROL Week!

Interviews, images, requests (if you have any), and pet obsessions daily*

* Please no snarkiness that it's always Carol day around these parts. We promise to keep up non-Carol posting as well since there is a lot going on, it being Christmas week.

Sunday
Dec202015

National Film Registry: A Sirk, Some Ghostbusters, and Zorro

Nooooo. I almost forgot to share the National Film Registries new titles. Each year they add 25 pictures  that are deemed historically, culturally or aesthetically important. Each year I suggest that we should watch all the titles together. Well, the ones we can find at least. Perhaps we'll actually do that for 2016 -- you never know! Getting a spot on the National Film Registry is more symbolic than active. It does not guarantee preservation or restorations but it does suggest that these films should all be preserved and/or restored.

The 2015 additions are:

 

  • Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze (1894) - watch it now. it's six seconds long... the earliest surviving copyrighted film
  • Dream of a Rarebit Fiend (1906) -watch it now. (7 minutes) from a short Winsor McCay comic strip
  • A Fool There Was (1915) -watch it now. (66 minutes) Theda Bara tempts a married man! It's always the woman's fault, don't you know 
  • Humoresque (1920) - not the Joan Crawford film inspired by this story!
  • The Mark of Zorro (1920) -watch it now (88 minutes) the Douglas Fairbanks version
  • Black and Tan (1929) -watch it now -(15 minutes) short jazz film with Duke Ellington
  • Dracula (1931) - the Spanish language version
  • Our Daily Bread (1934) - King Vidor's socialist drama
  • The Old Mill (1937) - animated short Oscar winner
  • Hail the Conquering Hero (1944) - Preston Sturges comedy
  • The Story of Menstruation (1946) - documentary short
  • John Henry and the Inky-Poo (1946) - animated short Oscar nominee
  • Winchester '73 (1950) -western with Jimmy Stewart and Shelley Winters
  • Imitation of Life (1959) - Douglas Sirk's awesome melodrama
  • Seconds (1966) -thriller starring Rock Hudson
  • Portrait of Jason (1967) - LGBT documentary
  • Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One (1968) - a documentary about filmmaking
  • The Inner World of Aphasia (1968) -documentary about aphasics
  • Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer (1975) - a biographical doc
  • Being There (1979) - the Hal Ashby dramedy with Peter Sellers
  • Ghostbusters (1984) - the comic blockbuster currently undergoing a gender flip
  • Top Gun (1986) -you feel the need. the need for speed
  • Sink or Swim (1990) - documentary about formative childhood
  • The Shawshank Redemption (1994) - that insanely beloved prison drama
  • LA Confidential (1997) - the awesome neo noir

 

Big thanks to Matthew Rettenmund of Boy Culture for pointing out this insanely cool bit of trivia about the list:

Of special note: Mother and daughter Lupita Tovar (the world's oldest living actress at age 105) and Susan Kohner were in the Spanish-language Dracula (1931) and Imitation of Life (1959), respectively.

You may recall that Mexican actress Lupita Tovar recently took up the throne or oldest living screen star after the death of Luise Rainer. The super cool thing to know about Lupita Tovar is that she is the grandmother of Chris Weitz and Paul Weitz, both filmmakers (Paul wrote and directed Grandma this year) so her cinematic legacy lives on.

Though the titles are selected by the National Film Preservation Board and Library staff, the public can nominate titles here if you wanna get a jump start on their 2016 list. The movies have to be at least 10 years old so no "OMG THE FORCE AWAKENS WAS AMAZING!" because they will shut that right down. 

Sunday
Dec202015

Year in Review: The 15 Biggest Box Office Hits of '15

There's not much of a story this weekend beyond Star Wars: The Force Awakens which broke all available records without even breaking a sweat this weekend with a $238 million opening. And that's even before the lucrative Christmas week. Jurassic World currently tops the 2015 box office globally with $1.6 billion in revenues with Furious 7 tailing it with $1.5. Surely The Force Awakens has its eyes on even greater prizes though. Like James Cameron's top two records Titanic's 2.1 billion and Avatar's (2009) 2.7 billion worldwide gross.

The Force Awakens is a good movie so the audience wins. Or do we? Let's talk about the Dark Side of the box office as we look at the biggest hits of the year in five separate categories after the jump... 

Click to read more ...