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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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Rosemary's Baby (50th Anniversary Retrospective)

Part 1 | Part 2Part 3

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Blueprints: Moonlight 

"No wonder Moonlight is so beautiful - it's all right there in the Screenplay. The lyricism, the poetry, the deep feeling... " - Dan

"This movie is poetry." - Sawyer

 

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Friday
May202016

Posterized: Writer/Director Shane Black

Shane Black with Ryan Gosling at the Cannes premiere of Nice Guys this weekSince we've already done "Posterized" episodes on both Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling, who co-star together in this weekend's new comedy Nice Guys, let's look at the man behind their bantering bros curtain, Shane Black. The 54 year-old director hit the big time with his very first produced screenplay 29 years ago, the smash hit buddy action flick Lethal Weapon (1987).

He's stuck to the high-concept action/comedy genre like glue thereafter making obscene amounts of cash during the heyday of that genre (the early 90s). If he's not interested in stretching, at least he does them better than most. Eleven years ago he finally moved into the director's chair for the underseen critical darling Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005). Strangely for a successful creator in a lucrative genre that isn't exactly relegated to the arthouse, he's not been that prolific in his 29 year career. (If you're curious about how it all shook out this old piece at Grantland is a must read)

Boy movies, least of all buddy comedies, aren't a thing TFE is known for so it's a little bit of a curveball today in Posterized but we're curious:  How many of his 8 films have you seen? 

Screenplays: Lethal Weapon (1987), The Monster Squad (1987), The Last Boy Scout (1991), The Last Action Hero (1993), The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996); Screenplay & Directing: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005), Iron Man 3 (2013), and Nice Guys (2016).

And which is your favorite?

Friday
May202016

Cannes's Latest Booing Victims

It wouldn't be Cannes without the reports of boos from the always feisty crowd. While reviews and early word from the festival's first days were mostly positive, the jeers are just starting to begin. This year's unluckiest victims have been Personal Shopper and The Neon Demon.

If the reported response to The Neon Demon is to be believed, it may be one for future Cannes lore. The most vocal detractors were hurling obscenities at the screen and many responses were repulsed by the film's more twisted, violent elements and shallow veneer. But the question remains: What else did they expect from a Nicolas Winding Refn horror film? Perhaps the boos themselves could have been expected as well, given the reaction to his previous effort Only God Forgives.

Personal Shopper reunites director Olivier Assayas with his Clouds of Sils Maria star Kristen Stewart as an assistant suffering from ghostly visitations. Its many early fans have defended it as misunderstood, ambiguous, and difficult to categorize, and Stewart has garnered some Best Actress buzz for the festival. By my estimation, the film has inspired some of the best writing of the festival, like Richard Lawson's aching take over at Vanity Fair. The first international trailer promises something unique indeed:

Neither film needs to worry: they join the long tradition of films that have been booed at the festival, including Taxi Driver, Marie Antoinette, The Tree of Life, and Inglourious Basterds. Not every film booed at Cannes turns out like Vincent Gallo's The Brown Bunny - so consider our excitement for both Shopper and Demon increased.

Have you ever experienced booing in the cinema?

Thursday
May192016

Who or what is the MVP of "Sing Street"?

Sing Street, the latest film from our most musician obsessed auteur John Carney, has been expanding with more theaters each week at a fairly strong clip. Six weeks in, there's no expansion (a very crowded weekend) but its fanbase keeps growing exponentially as more people "discover" it. Like Carney's previous music-based indies, the Oscar winning, transcendently low-fi Once and the more mainstream but surprisingly rewatchable Begin Again, whatever you might want to say about Sing Street an adjective that could safely and accurately describe all three films is "endearing"...

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Thursday
May192016

Happy Birthday Grace Jones

Kieran, here wishing the happiest of birthdays to one of our most talented, specific, peculiar and mysterious pop culture icons--the great Grace Jones.

There are countless pop music mainstays today who owe a great debt to the trails blazed by Grace Jones and many have gone to great pains to cite her as a predecessor. Her signature, striking style, her unique music, her fascinating, inimitable look are incredibly influential. Make no mistake--a lot of your favs (and I take nothing away from them by saying this for it's the best artist that borrow from other artists) can be traced back to Grace Jones.

Jones has made forrays into film here and there, though she's arguably most known for her appearances in Boomerang where her character brashly declared...

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Thursday
May192016

FYC: Kate Dickie and the Raw Emotion of "The Witch"

Out this week on blu-ray/dvd is Robert Eggers's The Witch. Warmly received by critics, but divisive for general audiences, the film is a marvel of craft and inescapable dread. But the film is more than its horror elements and immaculate period detail - at the center is a potent family tragedy as well-developed as any drama you'll seen this year. And the bruised soul of that tragedy is actress Kate Dickie.

Dickie stars as the matriarch of a Puritan family banished from their New England settlement in the 17th century. Her Katherine begins the film essentially wordless during the excommunication, then is defined by her off-screen sobs after the film's first punishments. Once Katherine collects herself, she quickly reveals herself to be a devout believer firmly planted in her role as wife and mother. As things quickly turn from bad to worse, her agony surges with authentic depth until she becomes willingly deluded by her own suffering.

Dickie's portrayal is a prime example of The Witch offering more than its horror contemporaries...

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Thursday
May192016

Throwback Fun: Favorites of 1994?

Tuesday's revisit to the essential and apparently sorely underseen Queen Margot (1994) and the comments thereafter had me thinking about favorite films from 1994. This website wasn't around back then of course (I think the internet was just in listserv mode at that point?) but I was already making lists. So what would I have nominated had our Film Bitch Awards been around back then? What would you have nominated had you had an Oscar ballot?

The answers (fluid as they are should rewatching ever occur) are after the jump...

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