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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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Best Supporting Actress - Predictions

"Not enough leading performances in your roundup. I mean a supporting actress lineup made up of only supporting roles? Now that's crazy talk!" - Sarah

Interviews

Betty Buckley (Split)
Michael O'Shea (The Transfiguration)
Filmmakers (Cézanne and I)
Melissa Leo (Most Hated Woman in America)
Ritesh Batra (Sense of an Ending)

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Thursday
Feb052015

Best Animated Short - The Nominees

Tim here, with a look at one of those Oscar categories that always screws up everybody's office pool. It's time for the Best Animated Short Film nominees, now playing in a theater... maybe not "near" you, depending on where you live. But they're supposedly hitting VOD in the next couple of weeks, along with the live-action and documentary shorts. Anyway, let's dive right in!

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb052015

Meryl is a Rock Star

First image of Meryl Streep as a rock star in Jonathan Demme's Ricki & The Flash via People magazine. Very Melissa Etheridge. (Is it just me or is Meryl getting younger?) So excited for this movie. Demme is always at his best when he focuses on actresses (Married to the Mob, Rachel Getting Married, Silence of the Lambs) and who doesn't love to hear La Streep sing?

Uh oh... I feel a list coming on

10 greatest silver screen uses of Meryl's astounding pipes...
01. "You Don't Know Me" - as Suzanne Vale in Postcards from the Edge (1990)
02. "He's Me Pal" - as Helen Archer in Ironweed (1987)
03. "Stay With Me" - as The Witch in Into the Woods (2014)
04. "I See Me" - as Madeleine Ashton in Death Becomes Her (1992)
05. "Amazing Grace" - as Karen Silkwood in Silkwood (1983)
06. "My Minnesota Home" - as Yolanda Johnson in Prairie Home Companion (2006)
07. "I'm Checkin' Out" - as Suzanne Vale in Postcards from the Edge (1990)
08. "The Winner Takes It All" - as Donna in Mamma Mia (2008)
09. "The Last Midnight" - as The Witch in Into the Woods (2014)
10. "Goodbye to My Mama" - as Yolanda Johnson in Prairie Home Companion (2006) 

Meryl was singing before she ever hit the movies... here she is on stage in her Drama Desk nominated Broadway role in 1976's "Secret Service" the year before her first movie came out (Julia).

Heartily agree with Louis Virtel that she should have released an album by now. I mean, come on. I'd be fine with "Meryl's Greatest Hits" so I didn't have to build my own playlist. How reinforced are her shelves at home do you think what with the 3 Oscars, 8 Golden Globes, 8 People's Choice Awards, 2 Emmys, 2 SAGs, 2 BAFTAs, 2 Critics Choice, 1 Cesar, 1 Theater World, and multiple festival and critics prizes (though those are often less statues than scrolls or certificates or whatnot)? Despite being an awards & nominations magnet she hasn't had much luck with theater or music trophies so she hasn't made any progress on her EGOT since her Oscar win for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) which followed her Emmy win for Holocaust (1978). She's received four Grammy nominations (all for Children's records) and 1 Tony nomination (and multiple Drama Desk nominations) but no wins from those.

 

Thursday
Feb052015

Link: The Director's Cut

The Film Stage talks to the team behind Tangerine, the iPhone shot movie that was my favorite from Sundance
Pajiba green screen Jean-Claude Van Damme clips for you to make your own movie with
T, The New York Times Style Magazine profiles Xavier Dolan
Entertainment Junkie looks at the visual effects Oscar race
The Dissolve The Voyage of Time Terrence Malick's forthcoming film will have two versions. One with Brad Pitt's voice and one with Cate Blanchett's. I'm getting tired of multiple versions of the same thing, I must admit. It seems so indecisive. But maybe I'm just smarting because today I learned that...
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby arrives on DVD and Blu-Ray on Tuesday and I keep hearing conflicting things. Some say it has all three versions of the film and some say it just has "Them" (which from everything I've read is the disappointing compromise). Should you be lucky enough to have access to the original two parts, which I recommend, watch "Him" first. 


Awards Daily The Visual Effects Society Winners a complete list but the three key big screen wins are Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Big Hero 6, and Birdman
Film School Rejects want Edward Norton to win Birdman's acting Oscar
/Film Baz Luhrmann is developing a music-related series for Netflix called The Get Down which focuses on the rise of hiphop, punk and disco in the late 70s. Could be amazing. Cross your collective fingers
Guardian wonders which modern actresses are channeling their inner Hepburn.

(True story. Last night I had a dream in which I was doing a sisyphean task of loading and unloading bags of ice. And Katharine Hepburn was my grandma in that dream.)

Retro Pleasures
Comics Alliance a look back at the awesome production design of Batman Returns which plays that stinkin' city like a harp from hell
The Dissolve "all the weird angles of Fritz Lang's M"
Medium a piece on Gene Kelly's death two decades ago and various tributes 

Off Screen
Vox has a fascinating long read on the Men's Rights Activism and social media debates about persecution and privilege
Playbill Anthony Rapp of Rent fame has co-created the first ever BroadwayCon for theater fans. The first annual event will be held next January!

This Week's Must Read
Kyle Buchanan at Vulture demonstrates beautifully how indie Sundance break-outs and subsequent career offers for their no-budget scrappy directors are a microcosm of Hollywood's White Guy Problem. It's so true!  A young white man can go from directing an indie for less than a million to helming huge blockbusters in one short step. Buchanan has examples and no such offers greet the directors of color or those with vaginas whose breakout films are just as mainstream leaning and just as popular.

Thursday
Feb052015

Sad Stories

Found myself thinking of this the other day and became teary. Teary right now posting it. *sniffle*

Thursday
Feb052015

Posterized: The Wachowski Siblings

Lana and Andy WachowskiWe have an early contender for movie that's most fun to read about this year. Andy and Lana Wachowski's latest, their lucky (?) number seven,  Jupiter Ascending has arrived. It is apparently a doozy and your definition of that word will vary. Between insane costumes, insaner plot, insanest characters including Channing Tatum as a some sort of wolfish alien, and Eddie Redmayne as Glenn Close (?) with gigantic mouth and abs for days it promises to be memorable at least. Even if the memories are mostly of "What is Happening To My Eyes?"

But then the Wachowskis have been doing that since their blockbuster breakthrough The Matrix (1999). Indeed the only film of theirs that seems "controlled" in the classic sense of 'this movie is perfectly constructed, awesome, and insanely watchable without being actually insane' was their very first: the lesbian noir Bound  (1996). For my money it's still their very best and still criminally underappreciated possibly because it's so atypical in that the only visual effects are how impossibly sexy and clever Gina Gershon and Jennifer Tilly are.

How many of their seven oddities have you seen?

I've seen them all -- or rather I will since I'm hitting Jupiter tomorrow or Saturday. The Wachowskis have the singular dinstinction of being the only directors in history to earn both an "A" (Bound) and an "F" (Cloud Atlas) grade within their filmography from yours truly.

I'm kind of hoping that Jupiter Ascending earns both.

 

Wednesday
Feb042015

Sundance. That's a Wrap for 2015

Michael and I had a lot of fun covering this year's Sundance for you, though we definitely missed Glenn this time around resulting in less films covered. The more is always the merrier with movies. Here is a complete list of our 29 reviews in alpha order by film in case you missed any or to use as a reference guide when the films reemerge in the real world.

Tomorrow we'll talk favorite performances and Oscar (we realize it's way too early) but that's a separate conversation. Here's to Sundance 2015!

The Movies We Screened
10,000 Saints (Michael) Manhattan in the 80s with Hailee & Asa
Brooklyn (Nathaniel) Saoirse Ronan grows up in this lovely adaptation of the bestseller
The D Train (Nathaniel) comedy starring Jack Black & James Marsden
Dark Horse (Nathaniel) documentary on breeding race horses
Diary of a Teenager Girl (Michael) sexual coming-of-age drama
Dope (Nathaniel) a hip hop lovin' comic treat
Entertainment (Michael) a comedy from the man behind The Comedy
Experimenter (Michael) not as fascinating as the real experiment
I Am Michael (Nathaniel) James Franco as an ex gay pastor
I Smile Back (Michael) Sarah Silverman in a downward spiral
It Follows (Michael) on the festival horror hit. Will it ever open proper?
Glassland (Nathaniel) mother/son alcoholism drama with Toni Collette & Jack Reynor
Grandma (Nathaniel) Lily Tomlin on a road trip in this great feminist miniature
James White (Michael) Self-destructive character study starring Christopher Abbott
Last Days in the Desert (Nathaniel) Ewan McGregor as Jesus & Satan
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Michael) on the crowd-pleasing Sundance winner
Nasty Baby (Nathaniel) Dramedy from the writer/director of The Maid
The Overnight (Michael) swingers ensemble comedy 
Results (Michael) Guy Pearce in a rom com?
Slow West (Michael) an ambitios western starring Kodi Smit-McPhee & Fassbender
The Stanford Prison Experiment (Nathaniel) true story + rising star ensemble

 

Strangerland (Nathaniel) Nicole Kidman's kids go missing in the Australian desert
Tangerine (Nathaniel) comedy about transgendered hookers in LA
True Story (Michael) Jonah Hill & James Franco in dramatic cat & mouse
A Walk in the Woods (Michael) Redford & Nolte take a hike
The Witch (Michael) This 1630s set Salem horror film took the fest by storm
World of Tomorrow (Michael) another miracle from animating genius Don Hertzfeldt
Z For Zachariah (Michael) post apocalypse with three fine actors
Zipper (Michael) Patrick Wilson in an infidelity drama

Also
Jury & Audience Awards Slow West, Me and Earl, and More...

Wednesday
Feb042015

What's Next for the Best Actress Class of 2014?

Manuel here to talk some more about that actress quintet Nat was just gushing about (we really can't get enough of our fave category!) With news that a certain franchise has nabbed one of our Best Actress nominees for an upcoming film, I figured we should check in and see when we’ll see each of our leading ladies next...

Click to read more ...