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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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Review: Beauty & The Beast (2017)

"I found much of this version charming, diverting and moving. But it's not a patch on the 1991 masterpiece" -Ian O

"I begrudge the decision of executives when it comes to casting a movie like this. They didn't need a 'star' to fill the seats. They needed someone who could elevate the material..." -Jones

Interviews

Ritesh Batra (Sense of an Ending)
Céline Sciamma (My Life as a Zucchini)
Asghar Farhadi (The Salesman)

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Tuesday
Jan062015

Link is Strange

THR Grease Reunion! Olivia Newton-John sings with Didi Conn
Vanity Fair Rosamund Pike talks about that scene in Gone Girl (no, not the overrated nothing shower scene. the other one)
The Daily Dot offers up a chart of superhero films and the Bechdel test 
Awards Circuit Clayton shares his personal ballot. He has some weird notions about what "supporting" means (John Lithgow in Love is Strange. smh) but it's fun to see personal favorite lists. They're always more idiosyncratic than critics groups: lots of love for Wild Tales and Eleanor Rigby 
The Atlantic an article on a shift in Madonna's provocation... it's negative but interesting
Grantland has an even better piece on Madonna's consistency and her new old #unapologeticbitch phase. I'm always happy when Madonna inspires cultural thinkpieces. This Girl will never be Gone.

Coming Soon Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone will be back in April 2016 with Michelle Darnell, a comedy about an insider trading excon. I'm rooting for them but please be more taut and more focused and funnier and just better than Tammy. PLEASE. 
Critic Wire asks us to stop paying attention to the Razzies
EW has an Ant-Man cover. Paul Rudd looks good but I have to be honest I'm a little tired of superhero outfits being these butch armorish leather things which has been going on for over a decade now. Let's bring back the bright spandex! 

Speaking of I do love the new poster...

Two Things I Never Tire of Loving About MNPP
Jason's love of Dominic Cooper
Jason's hatred of Jane Wyman 

Follow Ups
Frontiers Matthew Warchus comments on the Pride DVD debacle (discussed earlier)
Flavorwire defends the NSFC for their left field Best Picture choice (discussed earlier) though I myself would be far more eager to come to their defense if they'd exhibited any imagination at all in the other categories 
The Stake remembers some really great Meryl Streep quotes that reflect poorly on Russell Crowe's absolutely obnoxious comments about aging actresses (which we linked up earlier). Ageism is so pernicious and when combined with sexism its extra odious. I'm gearing myself up for another round of this when the new Madonna album comes out and all the people who hate the inevitability of their own eventual death will say she should "act her age" instead of still being a vibrant entertainer in her 50s.

Tuesday
Jan062015

Curio: Under Their Skin

Alexa here with your weekly film art and craft. Nathaniel is not alone in the way Under The Skin (his pick for the top film of 2014) slid into his consciousness: every day there are more and more indie posters cropping up celebrating the the film's special hypnosis.  It is second only to The Grand Budapest Hotel as the most posterized film of 2014 (but Wes takes that prize every year). Here are my favorite visual celebrations of the film so far; I'll be streaming it for the umpteenth time today to continue the mood (thanks to Margaret's Amazon Prime tip).

fan posters after the jump 

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jan062015

Jessica Biel Speaking For Us All... 

(a blog post title I thought i'd never write but... Gyllenhaalism. It runs deep)

The trailer to the long-delayed never-finished David O. Russell picture Nailed (2010) which is now called Accidental Love (2015) and debuts in February is after the jump.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jan062015

Interview: "Virunga" Producer Joanna Natasegara

 Here's Jose with an interview with a PGA nominee on her Oscar finalist in Documentary

Virunga chronicles the battle being fought in the beautiful Virunga National Park in Congo, where a British oil corporation is putting in peril the lives of the world’s last mountain gorillas. The gorillas are defended only by a group of brave rangers, led by Prince Emmanuel de Merode, who dedicate their whole lives to defending the cause. Shot with urgency by first time feature filmmaker Orlando von Einsiedel, few other films last year felt as alive as this, as it combined thriller elements with an important call to action. It's available on Netflix.

The film continues earning mentions in non-fiction categories this awards season. First it was shortlisted among the documentary films that made it to the last round before Oscar nominations are announced, and now it has also earned a Producers Guild of America award nomination. We spoke to one of its producers, Joanna Natasegara, about working in the jungle, the role of a producer and why it’s essential for us to help Virunga National Park.

JOSE: How did you get involved in the project?

JOANNA NATASEGARA: Originally Orlando had been working on the film for about a year with Emmanuel, and based on their discussions they realized that their ambitions around the objectives of the film, meant they had to bring someone on board who could make sure all their goals could be achieved and I have a history of working in social impact films, so we were introduced at an event in the UK, and at the time we talked about it and Orlando realized he wanted me to be the producer, because the scale of the film meant he needed an extra pair of hands.

JOSE: I’m sure this was one of those projects that made you go “I have to do this”...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jan052015

Best of the Year: Nathaniel's Top Ten

Previously we looked at ten runners-up -- practically an alternate top ten if you will the year was so good. Now on to the list you've been waiting for as our own awardage begins. 

The years best films marched in the streets in London and Alabama, cruised Scotland with nefarious intent, uncovered skeletons in Poland, and jogged around DC. They performed on the stages of Manhattan while also house hunting there; neither activity is for the faint of heart. Only two of them sprang from books though another cast its biggest spell while holding one. Two taught us about history in ways that felt absolutely relevant and useful to how we live now and one let us watch 12 years of it unfold. The thing that unites all ten is the imagination, fine judgement (when to employ a light touch and when to hit hard) and technical prowess of the filmmakers and actors, lifting their scenes, themes and stories however mundane, silly, deep or fanciful to greater heights that we could have reasonably expected.

With deep appreciation...

NATHANIEL'S TOP TEN FILMS OF 2014

CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER
(Anthony Russo & Joe Russo)
Disney. April 4th
138 minutes 

The public has been more than generous with Marvel Studios over the years as they stumbled into surprising glory given that they were playing with a half deck having sold so many key characters. Ten films in: perfection! Captain America: Winter Soldier artfully dodges nearly every typical superhero movie problem (as well as general sequel problems) with a stunning grasp of mood, total commitment to a "square" character, a smart choice of villain, and thrilling action scenes that feel authentically dangerous (a complete rarity in blockbusters) rather than like stop-and-gawk "setpieces" with no actual stakes. Add in Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson both embracing their supersized charisma and physical perfection (while deepening their rapport and characterizations) and you have the year's best popcorn entertainment.

 

THE BABADOOK
(Jennifer Kent)
IFC Films. November 28th 
93 minutes 

You can't intellectualize away its terror, though reviews and many a future masters theses will try. This alarming horror film, a brilliant debut for Australian director Jennifer Kent, is as hard to shake as its title character whether you take it as a straightforward monster film, a mental illness or grief allegory, or get hung up on its minefield of taboos (mothers who don't much like their children / over-medication of children / weapons in schools). It's as rich and imaginative a study of depression in its own creepy-crawly way as Lars Von Trier's Melancholia so it's wonderfully apt that Jennifer Kent once apprenticed with the Danish provocateur

Eight with more than enough Great after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jan052015

Looking Back: Season 1 Recap

Manuel here bringing us up to date on Andrew Haigh’s first season of his HBO show Looking in preparation for the weekly recaps that will take up this space starting next week. 

“You know how I know you’re gay? You’re boring,” With those nine words, Mick Stingley (writing for Esquire) summed up his reaction to Looking, one which continued to be echoed even as Andrew Haigh’s low-key San Francisco-set show about a group of gay men blossomed into a fascinating (if, yes, clipped and narrow) show, ably experimenting with the long-form storytelling of TV to offer mundane snapshots of the contemporary gay male experience. “Boring” became a code word for viewers (both gay and straight) who for the first time found themselves exposed to gay characters on screen who didn’t mince or flounce (no Wills or Jacks here), nor who aimed to become a banner ad for a movement (no Michaels or Emmets here). It was also an HBO show hard to pin down. It doesn’t have Sorkinean monologues, or Dunhamesque sex scenes. It doesn’t have the acidic comedy of Veep nor the pathos of Enlightened. There’s a level of mundanity in Haigh’s show that's decidedly un-HBOish; this is no Westeros nor Bon Temps. In many ways, it feels like an indie film with its closest kin being Haigh’s 2011 film, Weekend. [Full disclosure, I hated that film, but that’s neither here nor there].

I bring this all up front to showcase what it is that interests me about Looking; its rather transgressive indifference towards politics of representation. There’s transgression in the very banality that so characterized the show's first season which, while climaxing with a wedding, a hook-up, a breakup and a pitch-perfect Golden Girls shout out, nevertheless seemed quite content in what Haigh & co. bill their show as: merely looking, observing really how these young able-bodied (and damn good-looking) gay men navigate their lives. It’s not surprising then that the best episode of the first season was solely focused on Patrick & Richie in a long, romantic date around San Francisco.

So, before next’s week’s premiere episode, let’s briefly recap/meet our boys:

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jan052015

Beauty vs Beast: The La-Di-Da Lady

JA from MNPP here, back from the holidays and welcoming everybody to the year 2015 with a brand new round of "Beauty vs Beast." This week we're tackling one of our most favorite actresses and her maybe probably most definitely most iconic role - yup it's Diane Keaton's 69th birthday today and so la-di-da la-la y'all...

 

So all of you left-wing Communist Jewish homosexual pornographers have got one week to make your voice heard - vote and then tell us in the comments which neurotic you wanna chase lobsters with. And happy birthday, Diane Keaton!

PREVIOUSLY I wasn't here last week and so Nathaniel took over and man, did he come up with a doozy - in The Battle of the Tildas, the winner was... Tilda! Snowpiercer Tilda, to be specific - the Minister Mason made like a good shoe and trounced over Wes Anderson's old-lady-drag competition. (For the record, Mason's my pick too.) Said commenter Marsha Mason:

"I think Tilda in Snowpiercer was the supporting performance of the year. Showy and even a little cartoonish maybe, but it meshed perfect with the art design and surreal feel and everything else about that movie. It was perfect for a fantasy world take on real sociological problems."