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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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Lessons from the success of "It"

"The marketing was smart...they did a good job of using a "less is more" approach" - Jakey

 "This is a rare case of a movie that was perfect to remake: has a strong nostalgic following but which also kind of sucks and has a lot of room for improvement. You get the pre-installed fan base but don't have the pressure of re-creating and improving on a legit classic." - MJS

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(Maurice Restoraton)

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Friday
Sep152017

First Look: Elizabeth Debicki as Virginia Woolf

by Murtada

click to embiggenHere’s our first look at Elizabeth Debicki as Virginia Woolf in Vita & Virginia, currently shooting in Ireland. The film will tell the story of the love affair between the noted author and socialite Vita Sackville-West (played by Gemma Arterton). Set in 1920s London, Vita & Virginia is the sophomore feature of director Chanya Button, following 2015 comedy drama Burn Burn Burn.

The clincher here though is the involvement of Dame Eileen Atkins, a Woolf scholar and the definitive authority on the famous writer...

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Friday
Sep152017

Review: Darren Aronofsky's "mother!"

This review contains mild spoilers from the first half of the film since everything is essentially a spoiler given the cryptic promotions. The review was previously published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad

“Baby?” is the first line spoken in Darren Aronofsky’s new film mother!  but not its first image. The film begins with a defiant girl burning in a house consumed by fire. Javier Bardem collects a gem from the ashes. He places it on a shelf with other less brilliant but similar gems and we watch as the house restores itself from blackened ash. What to make of this rebirth… or is it a timelapse reversal of the destruction? Are we seeing the future or the past?

Cut to Jennifer Lawrence, waking up suddenly in bed. Where is her husband?

Baby?

While Lawrence is the star she’s a cypher-like presence in this particular film (new for her) a mostly passive figure to whom the action happens... We learn very little about her marriage besides the fact that he is a writer and she spends her time restoring their massive home.

Then a knock on the door…

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Thursday
Sep142017

TIFF: "Disaster" is James Franco's Best Performance

by Chris Feil

It takes a particular kind of cinematic appreciation to love bad movies. For some, there can be a special charm to misguided clunkers and turkeys of only the best intentions. There is a stark difference between laughing at something and laughing with something. The Room has been one of the more recent additions to the beloved trash cinema pantheon and stands as a fascinating psychological testament to its creator and star Tommy Wiseau. As told on the page by Wiseau’s costar and close friend Greg Sestero, the making of the film was as haphazard as you expect.

The risk of The Disaster Artist, adapted from Sestero’s book, is confusing the affection or morbid fascination of The Room’s fanbase for something mockingly mean-spirited. Luckily the film is built on love for its subject, as directed by James Franco who also stars as Wiseau...

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Thursday
Sep142017

TIFF: Glenn Close is "The Wife"

our ongoing adventures at TIFF. An abdriged version of this review was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad.

Film festivals nearly always provide curious dialogues between films that you weren't expecting. On the same day on the exact same screen at TIFF I managed to see two films about female writers and the male writers in their lives who take up all the oxygen (and praise) in the room. Who would have thought that a film about the origins of Frankenstein (just discussed) and a star vehicle for Glenn Close in Stockholm would have so much in common? 

THE WIFE (Björn Runge)
Joan Castleman (Glenn Close) is a longsuffering wife who would bristle at that very description. She's married to a famous novelist Joe Castleman (Jonathan Pryce) and their homophonic names are no coincidence. The silver-haired couple have been together for nearly half a century and are inseparable if not quite interchangeable...

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Thursday
Sep142017

TIFF Discovery: A Shirley Henderson Master Class and a Wild Argentinian Family

by Sean Donovan

The films featured in TIFF’s ‘Discovery’ section are sometimes given short shrift by the festival at large. Already arriving with the disadvantage of being announced last, and thereby with the least amount of time for anticipation to brew, these small modest productions (many of which are debut features for their directors) are easily buried underneath the hype of awards season giants and glitzy red carpets. If that’s the macro view of things, in micro the audiences that find their way to ‘Discovery’ films are incredibly eager and excited, anxious for the chance to look at films that may never find healthy distribution outside of festival spaces. Here are two of the absolute highlights of TIFF’s ‘Discovery’ program:

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Thursday
Sep142017

Review: Brad's Status

by Murtada

Brad’s Status, the new film from Mike White (the creator of Enlightened and the writer of Chuck And Buck) is about a forty-something man’s emotional crisis. That information made me giddy with anticipation. Could White have come up with the male version of Amy Jellicoe in Ben Stiller’s Brad Sloan? Are we in for an emotional ride with a polarizing but endearing character with rough but compulsively watchable qualities?

Alas, no. If you were expecting all that, I’d say go in with tempered expectations...

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