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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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10th Anniversary: A SERIOUS MAN

"I have never seen a film that mixes laugh-out-loud comedy so intimately with dead serious philosophical questioning. It packs so much into its short runtime. " - Dr strange

"This movie is one of my favorites - Michael Stuhlbarg the biggest reason, he's so heartbreakingly fantastically good in everything." -Rebecca

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Directors (For Sama)
Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

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Entries in Carla Gugino (4)


Would you rather?

Our dumb celebrity-gawking game to get your week off to a silly start. Would you rather...

... have a whiskey at a poetry reading with Martha Plimpton?
... wander the Universal sound stages with Jeff Goldblum?
... snake charm with Anya Taylor Joy?
... take in an art exhibit with Carla Gugino?
... play shadow games with Glenn Close?
... get piggy with Billy Magnussen?
... shop for tasty pastries with Kim Cattrall?
... wear mythological creatures with Juliette Binoche?
... take a drive to Sundance with Olivia Colman, Kaitlyn Dever, Alice Englert, and Thomas Mann?
... pose on the red carpet with Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, and Patty Jenkins? 

Pictures are after the jump to help you decide!

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Throw Me to the Wolves

Team Experience from the Tribeca Film Festival - here's Jason on "Wolves."

After walking out of the screening a good friend asked me incredulously what on Earth drew me, me of all people, to go see the basketball slash gambling coming-of-age drama Wolves - I'm not exactly the choice audience for sports stories. But my answer was quick and easy: Michael Shannon and Carla Gugino, of course! And as such, Wolves is worth seeing. Those two play the parents of Anthony (a solid Taylor John Smith) and if you've ever dug watching them work, here they work! Overtime!

What they have to work with is a bit, as they say, well-worn: Shannon's father figure is a gambling addict and Gugino's mama bear has been putting up with that for too long. The film (written and directed by Bart Freundlich aka Mr Julianne Moore) leans hard on those tropes, but it also stares down with honesty and heart (mostly) and the performers are excellent enough to overcome, and carve their initials on them. It all leads pretty much where you think it will, down the court on the ever counting clock, but the circuitous route's (mostly) worth traveling.

One big exception -- there's an older basketball playing gentleman called (sigh) Socrates that fits the so-called "Magical Negro" mold so rigidly it's like an unironic Mammy suddenly stumbled out of the bushes. Socrates has no reason whatsoever to go out of his way to teach this dopey kid, much less follow him around and dispense wisdom like an automaton, yet there he always is at just the right moment with no life or interests of his own save aiding Saint Anthony. Can we move past this please? Socrates' got his own shit, son.


Tribeca: Three Bizarro Twin Gay Films

Tribeca wraps tonight but we're still writing. Here's your host Nathaniel on three LGBT offerings. Portions of this piece were originally published in his column at Towleroad

The Tribeca Film Festival, founded in 2002 at least in part to help revitalize the Tribeca neighborhood after 9/11, has migrated and grown over the years; in 2014 I saw almost everything in Chelsea. An apt location because there seemed to be a lot of gay movies. Here are three, the first two of which seem like warring fraternal twins and the other which may or may not have psychotic doppleganger issues.

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Take Three: Carla Gugino

Craig here with Take Three. Today: Carla Gugino

Take One: Snake Eyes
Gugino was underused as the social worker in The Lookout, underdressed and all too briefly seen as the parole officer in Sin City, and under De Niro as a delectable detective in Righteous Kill. But one of her earlier roles as the mysterious ringside blonde in Brian De Palma’s Vegas boxing noir Snake Eyes gave her plenty of room to make a dent. There’s a killing about to happen at a big boxing match but is she in on the missile-based murder conspiracy? She’s certainly the focus of maniacally charged Nicolas Cage’s attention – and, by association, ours. Snake’s tricky structure and multiple viewpoints (especially the famous opening tracking shots) allow Gugino to play fast and loose with her character, Julia Costello, who ultimately, like all desperate women of noir, isn’t quite who we think she is.

Gugino’s evasive vixen is a ‘90s variant on the femme fatale or the ‘mysterious blonde’ (aroused via De Palma’s acknowledged love for Hitchcock). Julia Costello should perhaps be filed alongside the likes of Melanie Griffith in Body Double, Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct and Annette Bening in The Grifters as revisionist takes on old noir staples. Gugino brings  sly, slinky qualities and a perfectly deceptive approach to the part. Later on in the film she offers nicely-conveyed and unguarded emotion. It’s a key role in the movie, and she has the ideal voluptuous physique and versatile acting skill to carry it off. Outside of Cage’s OTT presence and De Palma’s bravura camerawork, Gugino was the one to keep your (snake) eyes on.

See also this 8-minute 2010 short, Tell-Tale, where she does actually play ‘Femme Fatale’.

Take two: Sucker Punch (2011)
Outside of its central gang of delusional madhouse girls, Sucker Punch had a few notable faces peppering the supporting cast list.

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