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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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Visual Effects Oscar Semi-Finals 

"All I know is that if I had worked on A Monster Calls, I'd be pretty pissed that I didn't get in but Sully did." -The Jack

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INTERVIEWS

Maria Schrader (Stefan Zweig...)
Boo Junfeng (The Apprentice
Gianfranco Rosi (Fire At Sea)
Chris Kelly (Other People)
NWR (Neon Demon)

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Saturday
Apr252015

"Something Rotten" and/in Adapting "Doctor Zhivago"

Does the classic film / novel translate well to the stage? Stage Door, our theater review series, is in hyperdrive, it's difficult to keep up what with shows opening left and right. The Tonys, like the Oscars, have a glut problem right before the eligibility deadline. Nominations are announced this coming Tuesday.

The Twin Perils of Snark & Earnestness
If you want to be a massive musical comedy hit, the current fever is to be slightly self-deprecating about the thing that you are. Something Rotten, which is expected to do well at the Tonys and already a hit, is a new musical comedy that doubles as an anachronistic in-on-the-joke Shakespeare comedy and a spoof of Broadway song & dance. The actual plot centers around a poor playwright (Tony-winner Brian d'Arcy James) with the surname of "Bottom" -- and yes, that leads to exactly the crass jokes you might expect it does -- who struggles in obscurity while his contemporary William Shakespeare (Tony-winner Christian Borle from Smash doing a full Tim Curry) is treated like a rock star.

More Something Rotten and a new Doctor Zhivago after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Apr242015

A.I. "Ghost in the Shell"

Artificial Intelligence Week, our way of saying "hey, Ex-Machina and soon Age of Ultron are in theaters so it's trending, sort of" continues with Tim Brayton on an anime classic...

If we're going to talk about artificial intelligence in animation - sci-fi in animation generally, to be honest - we can't help but eventually find our way to the wonderful world of anime. Something about the combination of Japan's willingness to see animation as a medium for all kinds of storytelling, not just kiddie flicks, along with Japan's longstanding obsession with high-tech toys, makes Japanese animation a miraculous breeding ground for complex, philosophically overheated stories of life in the future and the impact of technology on humanity.

And possibly no movie in all of anime is so eager to explore the weirdest, thorniest issues of human vs. robot life, of consciousness vs. the electronic simulation of consciousness, and of self-determined identity as it is constrained by or transcends the body, as director Mamoru Oshii's Ghost in the Shell...

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Friday
Apr242015

Open Thread

You've been awfully awfully quiet this week.

What's on your cinematic mind? What movie, actor or director have you been thinking of a lot lately? Don't be shy. Tell us everything. 

Friday
Apr242015

Superman v Batman v Fantastic Four v Spider-Man v Indifference

Tom Holland for Spider-Man?We all know that eventually the superhero bubble will burst. But until then, they will dominate cinema. Still, even in their new golden age of popularity, there is a growing semi-intangible resistance out there to caring about each and every one of the films. I've been feeling that about Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice especially and it's a little strange that the Fantastic Four reboot has been so non-buzzy since the internet loves talking superheroes like little else. (Both films recently got new trailers, t'was time to discuss)

Spider-Man
Not that this indifference or in some cases outright hostility affects the box office mind you. Everyone seemed to hate The Amazing Spider-Man 2 last summer but it didn't stop the movie from making $708 million globally and it certainly hasn't dampened enthusiasm at Sony or Marvel for Spider-Man as a cash cow. They're already busy recasting Spider-man for the third time in less than 14 years. They've supposedly narrowed it down to five actors...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Apr242015

"Listen to Me Marlon"

The Hot Docs 2015 Film Festival started in Toronto yesterday. Our Canadian correspondent Amir is on hand to cover the proceedings.

The best film of last year’s Hot Docs festival was Robert Greene’s Actress, a rich and moving film about the life of The Wire’s Brandy Burre. It went on to become one of the most praised films of the year; and it’s easy to imagine the same level of acclaim for this year’s buzziest title at the festival, the similarly actor- centric Listen to Me Marlon. As the title suggests, British director Stevan Riley’s film is about Marlon Brando, and it defies any expectation one might have going into a documentary about a deceased actor.

That this film has been made is something of a miracle to begin with. Brando apparently recorded more than 200 hours of audiotapes about himself, of which none has been available to the public heretofore. Riley has been granted access to these by Brando’s estate and has assembled and edited them for the voice-over narration of his film. There is no new footage and no interviews shot for this film, only archival material from Brando’s performances, his television interviews and some behind the scenes footage and rare videos of his personal life. The result, a raw and immensely personal look at the actor’s life, is absolutely mesmerizing...

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