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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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Diane Kruger does Hedy Lamarr?

"Hedy's is a fascinating story. The only real drawback is that Diane Kruger while a lovely woman looks nothing like Hedy Lamarr." - Joel

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Wednesday
Nov112015

AFI Fest: Disorder

Kieran, here reporting from AFI Fest in Hollywood.

There's a moment of in Alice Winocour's Disorder (French title Maryland) where Jessie (played by Diane Kruger) tentatively and almost wordlessly embraces Vincent (Matthias Schoenaerts) from behind. It's a brief, but completely earned emotional beat, perfectly emblematic of the film's power. The film is billed as a "home invasion thriller," a description that betrays Disorder's rich textures and laser-like focus on character. 

Vincent is a former soldier turned security guard working at a villa in France, inhabited by Imad, a wealthy businessman (Percy Kemp), his wife, Jessie and their young son, Ali (Zaïd Errougui-Demonsant). Vincent is suffering from PTSD and auditory problems, a result of his time in combat, which leads to bouts of paranoia. After some kind of international business deal goes awry while Imad is out of the country, Jessie and Ali become the target of hitmen, with Vincent left to protect them. This plot description could have very quickly led to something in the vein of Taken really quickly. What we get here is something far more interesting and cinematically daring.

Matthias Schoenaerts is, in many ways, the perfect actor to put at the center of this story. More...

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Wednesday
Nov112015

Oscar Scuttlebutt: Hateful Eight, Best Actress, and More

Nathaniel, popping in from a busy AFI schedule to gossip with you!  

One of the best things about this annual trip to Los Angeles, besides meeting West Coast fans and spending time with rarely seen LA friends, is hearing the gossip around the Oscar campaigns and individual opinions on the movie. As I suspected Youth resonates with a lot of people in the industry. I've always thought the Oscar conversations on the internet are sleeping on this one because it's a) not in theaters yet and b) skews older than active rooting interests of typical online communities. Also extremely happy to report that people in town seem more confident in Charlotte Rampling's prospects for a 45 Years nomination than I have previously been. She's getting a tribute at the AFI and Kirsten Dunst is even hosting a party in her honor this weekend.

Now, one must always take every anecdote and opinion with a whole block of salt since one man's treasure is another's junk, some assumptions will always be proven wrong, and depending on who is talking there may be an agenda floating around, visible or well hidden. Here are some tidbits you may be interested in though keep in mind that it's all just hearsay after the jump...

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Wednesday
Nov112015

HBO’s LGBT History: Sex on TV

Manuel is working his way through all the LGBT-themed HBO productions.

Last week we had a ball spending time with Big and Little Edie at Grey Gardens. This week, I wanted to do something a little different so I picked out six key gay sex scenes from HBO’s TV history to talk about the network’s unabashed attempts at indulging its audiences in rather raunchy scenarios.

HBO, untethered to the whims of the FCC and its attendant parochialism, has often flaunted its ability to depict sex openly. From its Real Sex docs to Game of Thrones, this has been a great selling point for the network: “It’s not TV, it’s HBO… and that means we can get away with some serious nudity, guys!” Thus, while LGBT representation on network television was often chided for closeting actual sex (think Will & Grace, Ellen), HBO was able to offer titillating scenes that openly addressed and even represented sex as an integral part of these character’s lives.

In an era where every other American Horror Story episode will offer plenty of skintastic gay sex, and where network dramas like Empire and How to Get Away with Murder have been giving us hot and heavy scenes that keep pushing what’s allowed on prime time, some of these scenes may look quaint, but it is undeniable that they definitely paved the way for the embarrassment of riches we are now confronted with. Lots of NSFW goodies ahead!

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Wednesday
Nov112015

'Sherpa' and 'Only the Dead' Capture the Escalation of Tragedy

Glenn here to discuss two Australian films on Oscar's documentary long list.

Jennifer Peedom’s Sherpa began life as an otherwise unassuming documentary about a man most people would never get to know. If the production of this Australian-made documentary about Mount Everest’s most revered guide had continued as planned, it would have no doubt been an informative and satisfying portrait of Phurba Tashi and his people – the Sherpa are an ethnic group – as well as their quiet village life in the mountains of Nepal.

But the production didn't go as planned...

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Wednesday
Nov112015

We didn't need dialogue. We had FACES (1968) 

Tuesday
Nov102015

The Honoraries: Debbie Reynolds in "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" (1964)

This week we're celebrating the three Honorary Oscar winners. Here's abstew on Debbie Reynolds' favorite role.

Molly Brown is my favorite of all the roles I've played. I love something about almost every part I've done, but I identified with Molly as soon as I met her. In the sometimes blurry line between art and and real life, Molly is the woman I've become as the years have passed. I'm right there with her when she declares, "I ain't down yet!"

-Debbie Reynolds Unsinkable: A Memoir

In her decades long show business career, amid the watchful eye of media scrutiny, Debbie Reynolds has endured trials and tribulations and come out the other side of it stronger. Caught in a Hollywood scandal, the original jilted girl-next-door (long before Jennifer Aniston was even born), Reynolds stood by while then husband Eddie Fisher left her and her two young children for screen siren Elizabeth Taylor. Her luck with men didn't improve later as second husband Harry Karl spent years gambling away her hard-earned money, leaving her with mounting debts to cover. Even her dream of finding a permanent home to house her legendary collection of movie memorabilia never came to pass and forced her to put them up for auction. So you can see how playing a character like the real life Molly Brown, who survived the sinking of the Titanic, earning her the moniker "Unsinkable", would find a kindred spirit in the guise of feisty spitfire Debbie Reynolds. The actress, like the legendary woman, simply doesn't know what it means to be defeated...

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