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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 | letterboxd


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"Looking"'s Final Episode *sniffle*

"I'm crushed over this news but it appears "Looking" has been cancelled (confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter). But at least HBO will be giving it a special movie to wrap up the storylines." -Stan

We're also crushed. But thanks to Manuel for recapping this beautiful second season.



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We Can't Wait #1: Carol

Team Experience is counting down our 15 most anticipated. Here's Matthew Eng with our #1 choice, which incidentally also topped this list last year when we used wishful thinking to pretend it would be done early...

Who & What: Living genius Todd Haynes directs playwright and Mrs. Harris scribe Phyllis Nagy’s adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s gently subversive lesbian novella (originally published under the much grittier-named The Price of Salt) about a sensitive shopgirl (Rooney Mara) who falls in love with the lonely society dame of the title (Cate Blanchett) in lush 1950s New York. 

Why We’re Excited About it: The cinematic “comeback” of Haynes, returning to the big screen a full eight years after I’m Not There (despite a six-hour pit stop at HBO for Kate Winslet’s Mildred Pierce), is obviously incentive enough. But he’s also compiled a cast so charismatic, it basically makes you salivate: Mara and Blanchett, of course, but how about Ace Team Player and Perpetual Dreamboat Kyle Chandler as Blanchett’s snooping husband?

Lots more and several photos after the jump...

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Bite Sized Tweet Roundup

It's a mini-tweets o' the week roundup because I didn't spend much time on social media this week. But I do feel the need to share these yummy morsels featuring Tilda Swinton (Not Tilda), Little Women, Hugh Jackman, Crimson Peak, and Cate Blanchett after the jump...

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10th Anniversary: Joan Allen, Family Struggles, and 'The Upside of Anger'

a special anniversary tribute from Adam Armstrong

Are you close with your father?”

This was asked of me recently at a social gathering for a graduate school program I may attend in the fall. Not knowing how to respond, or rather, unwilling to respond honestly, I answered by saying, “Yes, you could say so.”

This is the scenario people who come from a family in which the dynamic has been disrupted from a parent abandoning the unit loathe, yet know all too well its inevitability in conversation.

So does The Upside of Anger, which is celebrating its tenth year in release. The film chronicles the means by which a family copes and moves forward with their lives after the patriarch has left them, presumptuously thought to have run off with his younger secretary to live in Sweden. The family, one all too relatable in this modern familial climate of increasing divorce rates, is comprised of a bitter mother and her brood of children, all of whom in some way fail to meet her and each other’s expectations. [more...]

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Posterized: Shailene Woodley

Shailene breaking glass againWith the excruciatingly titled The Divergent Series Insurgent upon us -- and already garnering terrible reviews even before one of those shameless audience-hating cash-grab two-parters -- it's probably time to talk about the slightly mystifying rise of its leading lady Shailene Woodley. While she's certainly easy to look at (but aren't most actors?) that doesn't really explain the career. I've been mostly quiet about this because I'm aiming for positivity in 2015 but I believe I'm developing a severe allergy.

Let's discuss why and her six major performances (How many have you seen?) after the jump...

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The Rise and Fall of DreamWorks Animation, Part 1: Rise

Tim here. It's not often that we come upon a movie which could be even semi-plausibly described as holding the fate of a studio in its hands, but next week we'll have just such a release, as DreamWorks Animation release its 28th feature (31 if you count their collaborations with Aardman), the sci-fi comedy Home. This comes at a perilous time for Dreamworks: after two and a half years of underperformers and outright flops, the company has been forced to slash its staff, write-off costly upcoming projects, and shutter the PDI DreamWorks studio, one of its main production hubs.

What brings a formerly prosperous studio, the biggest name in animation for a little while, just a decade ago, to such a precarious state? This week and next, we're going to try to answer that question with a little history of DreamWorks Animation, its greatest successes and its most sobering failures.

The company began when Steven Spielberg, newly-ousted Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen joined forces in 1994 to form DreamWorks SKG, an ambitious attempt to create a major movie studio right out of the gate. Katzenberg had been instrumental in overseeing the Disney Renaissance, which had just seen its biggest success in the form of The Lion King, and with animation riding high at the box office, it made sense for this new Hollywood megaforce to have a cartoon studio all its own. With Spielberg's Amblimation and the newly-acquired PDI forming the spine of DreamWorks's 2-D and CGI animation divisions, respectively, the company immediately threw itself into competing directly with Disney.

Directly with Disney.

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Women's Pictures - Ida Lupino's The Bigamist

Joan Fontaine was married to Ida Lupino’s husband. That is both the plot of Ida Lupino’s melodrama The Bigamist and the truth of the two stars’ relationship in 1953. Of course, Lupino had already divorced her writing partner and co-producer Collier Young when he married Fontaine in 1952. All three remained friends, and Young maintained his professional relationship with Lupino, even writing The Bigamist for his ex-and-current wives to star in. Unfortunately for the gossip mongers, there’s very little drama in the behind-the-scenes story of The Bigamist, but that’s probably for the best, because the movie is practically drowning in drama.

The Bigamist is relatively straightforward story of how one man ends up with two wives. Though it preys on the possible unspoken fears of a stay-at-home wife – What if my husband sees another woman when he says he’s at work? What if his ‘business trips’ are to spend time with her?The Bigamist does not qualify as a Women’s Picture. On the contrary, it’s told from the polygamist protagonist’s point of view.

The story is related mostly in flashback as traveling salesman Harry Graham (Edmund O’Brien again) explains to an adoption agency worker (Edmund Gwenn, aka Santa Claus!) how he was trapped into two marriages by his middle class morality and sense of duty. Poor Harry loves his career woman wife, Eve (Fontaine), though she is distant, and communicates only over breakfast tables or telephones. He finds comfort with a waitress named Phyllis (Lupino), and decides to do the honorable thing when she discovers she’s in the family way. As the judge explains at the end (melodramas use courtrooms so a judge can tell the audience the moral of the film), Harry is not a bad man. Just a confused one.

(Side note: It’s possible that I’ve been watching too much Empire, but I spent all movie waiting for Ida and Joan's characters to discover each other’s existence and claw each other’s eyes out. I was disappointed.)

 Do bigamists have more fun? After the jump...

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Ask Nathaniel

For Monday's Q&A, let's do things a little differently. No questions about actresses! (GASP!) I know it's slightly bewildering and terrifying and confusing to talk about other things but let's stretch past our natural impulses for a night. See if our brains work like that? If you're prepared to try, ask a question in the comments and I'll pick a handful plus to answer on Monday evening. Remember you're more likely to be picked if your question wouldn't require a 1000 word article on its own to answer.

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