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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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Wednesday
Nov042015

Situation Linky

Arts.Mic Our Manuel dives deep on TV's family sitcom through history and how it does and doesn't reflect our changing world. Fun and depressing stats.
Dark Horizons BBC will try adapting Phillip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" into a franchise. Exciting since those books are so complex and adult (movies were probably never the right approach) but that said... good luck besting Nicole Kidman's Miss Coulter in the aborted movie franchise
Oscar Conversations [video] director, costume designer, and composer talk Beasts of No Nation
Africa is a Country Noah Tsikas with an alternative perspective on the much lauded Beasts of No Nation

Pajiba lists 20 upcoming sci-fi fantasy movies that are NOT from a franchise. How exciting. Original or fresh adaptations. Of course some of these will launch franchises if they're big
Guardian Colin Welland, Oscar winning screenwriter of Chariots of Fire has died. 
People Adele cites Madonna's "Frozen" as an inspirational song in her life. Same. That song rescued me at the time, no joke. (Love it when artists show Madonna respect rather than dissing her)
Little White Lies has a whole freaking issue on Carol ! Beautiful motion cover, too 
Los Angeles Times the ongoing drama of Quentin Tarantino vs the police
Boy Culture somehow I missed this Mommie Dearest night in Manhattan with actress Rutanya Alda (The Deer Hunter, Mommie Dearest) and Michael Musto 
Awards Daily talks to Tab Hunter about the documentary Tab Hunter: Confidential which is really fun if you're into Old Hollywood history
Playbill Here's a project with potential I hadn't heard a peep about: Shirley Maclaine and Amanda Seyfried will co-star in a movie about an old woman who wants to control everything including her own obituary. A young reporter has other ideas.
Variety Brad Pitt & Marion Cotillard (what a lovely pair) are headling Robert Zemeckis next feature and its got an Oscar hungry Thanksgiving 2016 release date 

Beauty Breaks
if you need it -- and who doesn't from time to time?
My New Plaid Pants Edgar Ramirez three times
NY Times amazing never before seen 80s photos of Madonna, Warhol, and Basquiat
Queerty on Empire's Jussie Smollet. Mmmm. Are any of you watching Season 2 of Empire? I don't like it quite as much this year but Jussie & Taraji & Gabby are still great fun
Vogue chooses best dressed: Meryl, Alicia, and someone named... Sienna Miller (sp?)
VJ Brendan Nicholas Hoult in Hero magazine. I saw this mag cover in London but if I'd known the photos were this good. It's a pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty reminder that he was so great in Mad Max Fury Road earlier this year. FYC people.

WHAT A LOVELY DAY!

Wednesday
Nov042015

Topic Du Jour: Female Directors

If you haven't read Vulture's list of 100 female directors Hollywood could be hiring you should. It's a great 'shut your mouth' argument for those suits that hilariously say 'well, we would hire female directors if there were any!' Bless Kyle Buchanan for spearheading this -- though I hope he had interns helping.  Naturally there will be passionate responses. Diversity arguments will always promote some degree of snark -- see Anthony Mackie's recent comments about the Black Panther movie's search for a director -- and nitpicking, including here.

But we nitpick with love.

David Poland argues that "strategy," not shaming, is what's required and that statistics and math won't help. He neglects to detail the strategy though. As for myself I (mostly) love the list and think it's important that a wake up call like this is out there -- what did happen to Laverne herself, Penny Marshall, who directed so many huge hits in the 80s and 90s? It's smart to make the list far reaching and extensive but some of the people are not reasonable for an argument either because their careers have been over for so long or because...wait for it... they aren't good directors. (Obviously there are many bad directors with penises who get lots of work. But we'd like them to find other jobs, too!)  

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Nov042015

In Praise of Blanchett's Curls in Truth

Manuel here. There’s plenty to enjoy in the Dan Rather scandal film, Truth, but at the top of the list is the electric performance by Cate Blanchett who is really wiping the floor with everyone else lately. She was deliciously campy in Cinderella (which we should be taking more seriously Oscar-wise). She is perfection in Carol (few directors work as well with actresses than Todd Haynes). But her work in Truth is something else altogether. I figured we should celebrate a seemingly insignificant aspect of the performance that kept me enraptured: Cate’s gorgeous locks.

See how excited her curls are here?

Look, they even mirror Cate's anger!

So many scenes of hand-wringing that are followed by frantic hair-tussling. You can almost track the character’s state of mind by how carefully shaggy her blond curls are. Especially in comparison to Carol’s sleek and well-coiffed hair (always in its place, as composed as its heroine), Mary Mapes’s ringlets are always threatening to distract and take over the conversation.

Is it frivolous? Perhaps, but Blanchett is a performer who uses everything in her arsenal to build a character, and luscious curls are but another prop with which she created another amazing character to add to her already legendary roster.

Tuesday
Nov032015

The Honoraries: Dancin' Debbie Reynolds

For the next two weeks we'll be celebrating all three of the Honorary Oscar Recipients at TFE. Here's Dancin' Dan to kick things off... with musical numbers. - Editor

Debbie Reynolds may not have started out as a dancer, but she sure made a great one on film. I can be (and honestly have been known on occasion to be) somewhat churlish and point out the exact moment from the legendary "Good Morning" number in Singin' in the Rain where the 19 year-old ingenue starts cheating her steps... but it's my favorite movie, and we're here to honor the unsinkable Ms. Reynolds, so why would I want to?

And besides, she's already proven herself the cat's meow in her first number in the film, the perfectly pretty in pink "All I Do is Dream of You". (more...)

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov032015

YES, NO, MAYBE SO: Anomalisa

Coco here, ready to talk about the trailer for Charlie Kaufman's Anomalisa

YES

- Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine... Even if you don't love Synecdoche New York, a Charlie Kaufman project deserves enthusiasm.
- We don't get enough stop-motion animation in our screens, and even fewer animated movies aimed at adult audiences.
- In a sea of computer generated mediocrity, it's always nice to see a strong voice be inspired by the medium of animation, which seems to be a good way for auteurs to find revitalizing force. Think, for example, of Wes Anderson's wave of success after Fantastic Mr. Fox. 

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov032015

Small Screen MVPs: Damaged Surgeons, Haunted Houses, Coming Out

Who or what was your MVP of this past week on your tv screens?

A couple of weeks ago we polled Team Experience to share their MVPs from shows they were currently watching. You liked it so we'll attempt to do it weekly or at least bi-weekly. In this new world of infinite screens and schedules, whether you're bingeing, right up-to-date, or on demand surfing, we're all probably on different time tables so please do share yours as well.

If you watch these shows would you pick the same most valuable player?

MVPs of the Week

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Director
It's taken this show a while to get to a place where it feels confidence in taking artistic risks, but last week’s episode, ‘4,722 Hours’, saw the once meek show taking its most audacious move yet under the helm of director Jesse Bochco. When Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) was snatched by the Monolith in season two’s brutal stinger, I never expected that the show would tackle the aftermath in such sober, thoughtful form. Bochco even dares to omit the regular title card, using a simpler, more elegant logo atop a vista of the deep blue planet.

Immediately, then, Bochco marks ‘4,722 Hours’ as a singular artistic endeavour, a quite remarkable thing in a Marvel Studios empire that has continually driven away individualist directors. Alright, so the episode still fits within the show’s larger template and is constructed with tropes familiar from many lone survivor sci-fi tales, but it feels full of personality, submerged in the midnight blue light of eternal night, allowing Henstridge to dig into Simmons’ psychological trauma that the show had presented to us in the previous episodes. It’s an episode full of confidence and trust in both character and audience. Let's hope it’s one that signals an even brighter future for a series going from strength to strength. - David Upton

The Walking Dead's Executive Producer
Thank you, Robert Kirkman, for backing the hell off. [More...]

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