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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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Cameraperson is the best film of the year. Nothing else is even close. -Mark

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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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Monday
Apr202015

Ten Thoughts I Had While Staring at The Walk Poster

Manuel, who is deathly afraid of heights, here to discuss the newest poster for Robert Zemeckis's upcoming film The Walk.

1. This looks like a dolly zoom waiting to happen.
2. I miss Death Becomes Her/Back to the Future Zemeckis. Heck, I even miss Cast Away/What Lies Beneath Zemeckis. Might this be the film that restores my faith in his kinetic filmmaking after over a decade of losing him to performance capture (and that Denzel film which everyone seemed to warm up to but which left me cold)?
3. Oh, this is giving me vertigo.
4. The poster doesn’t really draw attention to it, but the blue-eyed, strawberry-blond Joseph Gordon-Levitt from the trailer still haunts me.
5. God, my palms are sweaty. And this is just a poster! Bring back that gorgeous minimalist teaser!
6. Can this live up to Man on Wire, James Marsh’s Oscar-winning documentary about this very “walk” which I saw through my sweaty palms but remember liking a lot?
7. “Every dream begins with a single step” suggests the marketing will be pushing this as an uplifting “true story." One hopes Zemeckis offers us a tad more. Related: will they really be billing it as The Walk: A True Story, and if so can we just call it TWATS for short?
8. The more I stare at this the dizzier I get and now my toes are tingling.
9. Snowden or Petit; which Joseph Gordon-Levitt “based on a real person” performance are you most looking forward to?
10. Will I survive watching this on IMAX 3D? he typed while wiping his sweat-stained keyboard.

I can’t look at this anymore without finding a nearby paper bag but I’m curious what those less heights-averse folks have to say about this poster and upcoming film. Will you take the first step with Zemeckis and JGL when this opens in October?

Sunday
Apr192015

The Lumière Brothers' First Public Screening

Sebastian here, stealing sharing a great find by Slate's Dana Stevens, who tweeted out a video of the ten short films by the Lumière Brothers that were first shown to the paying public of Paris on December 28, 1895.

On their website, the Institut Llumière offers a look at the screening's program, handed out to the patrons of Le Salon Indien, a room in the basement of the Grand Café on Boulevard des Capucines.

Unfortunately the Institut's image is tiny and barely legible. So presented here, brought to you with the help of all the latest text-formatting technology, a reproduction, updated to include links to watch the films on YouTube:

 

LE CINÉMATOGRAPHE
SALON INDIEN
GRAND CAFÉ

14, Boulevard des Capucines, 14
PARIS


Cel appareil, inventé par MM. Auguste et Louis Lumière, permet de recueillir, par des séries d'épreuves instantantées, tous les mouvements qui, pendant un temps donné, se sont succédé devant l'objectif, et de reproduire ensuite ces mouvements en projetant, grandeur naturelle, devant une salle entière, leurs images sur un écran.



SUJETS ACTUELS


Sunday
Apr192015

Tribeca: Go Slow West, Where The Skies Are Blue

The Tribeca Film Festival 2015 kicked off this week and we'll be bringing you our screening adventures. Here's Jason on Michael Fassbender's new Western.

Jay Canvendish (Kodi Smit-McPhee) sees the world through rose-colored lenses - that is to say, the name of his on-the-lam paramour is Rose and he sees the world colored by his love for her. In flashbacks we come to sense that Rose's feelings towards Jay are somewhat different, but that's not slowing him down. He will find her and everything will be fine, for their love is a grand and true thing.

Slow West ekes its enviable tension out of dropping Jay's love-dumb perspective down into the Movie Wild West we all know only too well - or think we do, until this movie gets to toying with it - with its brutes and indifference to beauty; what bubbles up is a bizarre, Coen-esque journey of colorful characters marching tho their own drumbeat... usually right across the open wound of Jay's ever-singing heart. 

Nobody more than his protector and companion Silas (Michael Fassbender), who signs up for a hefty price (namely every last cent in Jay's designer wallet) to get him safe along the long road westward to his lady love and spends the the first half of the trip trying to carve some hard sense into the boy. Jay's romanticism, which infects every frame of director John Maclean's gorgeously lensed film (New Zealand stands in for Colorado and it shows in the fantastically-spiced landscape - if Tolkein had dreamed up Shane this is what we'd maybe have seen), eventually proves too much for Silas to true grit his teeth against though, and even the hardened gunslinger softens a bit in the face of such steely porcelain sweetness.

Fassbender and Smit-McPhee have an appealing oddball chemistry, two lanky scarecrows bouncing along on horseback - one china-doll clean, the other bronzed and whittled down by the desert winds. They could be brothers, from another alien mother. The actors find unexpected ways to play off each other, keeping the film's main relationship surprising at every turn, much like the fascinating and arch world around them keeps us guessing at what's coming around every bend. By the time Ben Mendelsohn shows up in his foot-thick bear coat waving around a bottle of absinthe it's pretty clear we've all signed on to a gorgeous but deadly fever dream.

Saturday
Apr182015

Revisiting Rebecca (Pt 5): Burn It Down, Mrs Danvers

Previously on "Revisiting Rebecca"
Pt 1 - a whirlwind de Winter courtship
Pt 2 - return to Manderley, meet Mrs Danvers
Pt 3 - feel up Rebecca's lingerie
Pt 4 - attend a costume ball but don't jump out the window, young lady!
 

...And here is Jason, with our final installment.


1:44:50 We fade up from a kiss to a sign reading "Kerrith Board School 1872." It seems so exact it made me wonder if this is a real place, but a quick google comes up with nothing. I assume this, like most everything save the more obvious natural exteriors (the beaches filmed on the California coast, for example), was a set. It seems an odd detail to so prominently focus upon though. My guess is Hitch liked the connection to The Past, with it hanging over everyone – he was never exactly the most subtle with his themes.

In the Hitchcock/Truffaut book the two filmmakers discuss how "the location of [Manderley] is never specified in a geographical sense; it's completely isolated." Hitch actually talks at length about how he sees this possibility of isolation as an "American" thing -- that if Rebecca had been filmed in Great Britain he'd have shown the countryside surrounding the house but filming it in America gave him the possibility of this "abstraction." It certainly helps that whenever we’re seeing the mansion itself it’s always a miniature, and not an actual location. Anyway, here we are... Where ever here is!

Continue on to the final installment

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Saturday
Apr182015

Tim's Toons: Star Wars - the Animated Misadventures

Tim here. A good cinephile would be able to look around the world and think about the whole range of possible movies in all their splendid variety. Me, I haven't been able to stop thinking about Star Wars ever since the new Episode VII trailer dropped yesterday. That's the poisonous fever bog of nostalgia for you.

So, as long as I'm not going to get my head right anyway, how about we take a little wander through the corridors of Star Wars and animation? Because, golly, talk about being gripped by a dubious affection for a brand name...

At some point, people subjected themselves to all of these things just to get a little tiny bit more of a Star Wars fix. And even if The Force Awakens can't live up to the awesome pileup of top-shelf fanservice in that trailer, there's not any chance in hell that it can be as bad as some of these:

The Star Wars Holiday Special (1979)
Two and a half years after the original film redefined what blockbuster box office could look like, the very first expansion of the universe came in the form of this legendarily wretched variety show that starts with ten damn minutes of people in terrible shaggy suits barking at each other in unsubtitled Wookiee-ese. After which it proceeds to get worse. The solitary highlight, and that's almost solely because of the lowlights surrounding it on all sides, is a short animated sequence by Nelvana in which Luke, Han Solo, and Chewbacca fall for the most transparent con job in the universe and future fan-favorite Boba Fett is introduced. He rides a dinosaur. [More...]

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