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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 


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Entries in Colin Farrell (16)


AFI Fest: 5 Reasons to See 'The Lobster'

Margaret here, reporting from AFI Fest in Los Angeles..

The Lobster is the first English-language film from director Yorgos Lanthimos, Academy Award nominee for unsettling black comedy Dogtooth. The buzz since it debuted at Cannes (where it won the Jury Prize) has largely focused on its eyebrow-raising premise: in a society where being part of a couple is mandatory, the perpetually or recently single are rounded up and sent to The Hotel where they must either pair off or be turned into an animal. It's offbeat and biting and not for everyone, but it's also captivating and dryly hilarious. Here are five reasons you should check it out:

1) A bonkers premise improbably well-executed. The setup is so very odd that its ambition alone would make it worth seeing; the fact that the movie sells it without ever straining under the weight of exposition is masterful. In Lanthimos' bizarro world, where existing social rituals around courtship are both flattened and taken the extreme, lonely people scrutinize and reject each other with laughably trivial reasons and deadly serious consequences. Interactions are stilted, and many scenes sound for all the world like they've been dubbed over with a foreign-language translation, except what we're hearing are the actual words coming out of the actors' mouths. But the universe feels fully realized: odd as the relationship dynamics are, they're both internally consistent and recognizably human.

four more reasons after the jump...

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NYFF: The wonderful absurdities of "The Lobster"

About five disorienting minutes into The Lobster, all pretense of disorientation for disorientation's sake is stripped flatly away as the headmistress of the hotel (a terrific Olivia Colman) where Colin Farrell's character has found himself lays out the movie's premise. And oh how small the word "premise" seems in relation to what The Lobster has up its sleeve: Singletons will be turned into an animal (meaning a literal non-human creature) if they cannot find a mate in an ordained amount of time! 

It's a moment as surprising as it is funny (her notion of what is and what isn't absurd is the definition of absurd itself). While director Yorgos Lanthimos' previous films Dogtooth and Alps both reveled in their inscrutable rules, forcing the audience to pick up the fragments of what's offered and chase behind the film, trying to cram them together, everybody in The Lobster instead can't stop telling us exactly how this insane world works ("Didn't you read the guidebook?" is asked multiple times), and the more they lay it out the funnier and funnier it all gets.

And The Lobster is a very very funny film, seemingly finding all new ways to be funny that have never been found funny before - I wouldn't want to spoil its dark surprises but let's just say some of its punchlines got several audience members at my screening up on their feet and right out the door with madcap quickness. 

But for all of its laugh-out-loud cynicism about the way our own world works, refracted through the not-so-fun-house mirrors of how its own world works, Lanthimos' film has a heart, maybe black but beating hard, under its strange shape. He manages to make the old-fashioned obstacles of another sad love story hum with newness, scraping the gunk off romance and holding this bright shiny new thing high and proud. It's a marvel, like nothing else, singular from every single stupefying angle.

Alchemy will distribute The Lobster in the US. No date has been announced. For previous posts on the Lobster click here. Follow Jason on Twitter and read his blog MNPP


We Can't Wait #5: The Lobster

Team Experience is counting down our 15 most anticipated for 2015. Here's Teo Bugbee...

Who & What: The Lobster is the latest from Yorgos Lanthimos, writer-director of Dogtooth. It's his first film in English, and his cast is an exciting hodgepodge of both art house and multiplex stars, including Rachel Weisz, Colin Farrell, Léa Seydoux, John C. Reilly, Ben Whishaw, Olivia Colman, Ariane Labed, and Angeliki Papoulia.
As for what they'll be doing, it's all very hush hush, but what we know is that The Lobster is set in a dystopian future where all the single people are rounded up and brought to a hotel, where they are given 45 days to find their mate, or else they are turned into animals and released into the woods.

Why We're Excited About it: Lanthimos' Dogtooth is one of the best movies of the last decade. It's so weird and it's so fun and it's so specific about the kind of cinema that it wants to be—no matter what, we should be excited for what else he has up his sleeve. But that cast! That amazing tease of a plot description! The fact that all the characters have crazy names like Loner Leader and Limping Man and Biscuit Woman! And to be honest, it's more than a little encouraging that Sony has stepped onboard so soon as the film's international distributor, even if US rights are still up in the air. Rare for an art film to be afforded that kind of confidence before a premiere, and it's only making the anticipation greater.

What if it all Goes Wrong? Well, what if indeed? Does it matter if this movie is good or bad at all so long as it fuels the artistic energy of its collaborators? Lanthimos's last film Alps was not particularly well received, but it's always nice to know that there are artists in this industry who are still able to get their films made. It's not hard to imagine The Lobster being bad—if it is, it'll probably be because there are too many elements and too many ideas that aren't being corralled together. But even if it isn't the great film we're hoping for, it's almost impossible to imagine a version of this movie that wouldn't be worth seeing, and that's exciting in its own right.

When: No word on this yet, as the film has yet to premiere or pick up a US distributor. But considering it finished production last year, and considering Lanthimos's friendly relationship with the Cannes Film Festival, it seems likely it will appear there this May.



Would You Rather, With Tina and Amy

JA from MNPP here, taking the bait since Tina and Amy were nice enough to ask and there's not much we enjoy more than playing silly games involving good-looking celebrity fellows. First off, the Colins...



(Those pictures up top are via the Globes official Instagram btw; lots of great pictures over there.)  And secondly...



Interview: Liv Ullmann on 'Miss Julie', Jessica Chastain ...and Carrie Bradshaw?

Jose here. The first thing I tell Liv Ullmann is that I remember being ten years old and having my father introduce me to the work of Ingmar Bergman. 

That Swedish legend directed her in more than ten films including Persona, Cries and Whispers, and Face to Face for which she was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar. She offers me a warm smile, touches my shoulder and says “oh, thank you”. During our conversation I realize how much she “talks” with her hands, which she uses to draw figures on a table, to mimic camera moves and also to touch her face in an expression of awe, as she talks about the work of the actors she directed in her adaptation of August Strindberg’s Miss Julie (opening today in NYC).

She hadn’t directed a film in almost fifteen years (since 2000’s Faithless), but was compelled to return behind the cameras when she was given carte blanche by producers who asked her to make a film about a femme fatale. She chose Strindberg’s classic because she felt there was much that still hadn’t been said about the title character. As played by Jessica Chastain Miss Julie is a rebellious soul who pretends to be in control, but has little self awareness. She finds her true self through the way she treats her servants John and Kathleen, played by Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton respectively.

Ullmann moved the story to 1890 Ireland where she felt the socio-economic inequality between the characters made more sense than in Sweden. She unleashes the three characters in a castle straight out of the most existential version of Hamlet and infuses the text with color, both literal and figurative, to make the most compelling version of Miss Julie to be put on screen, a tribute to Bergman, Strindberg and a reminder that Ullmann’s work both behind and in front of the camera is always a pleasure to watch. She talked about her cast with passion, explained her thoughts on conveying physical space on film. And she even talked some Carrie Bradshaw! [after the jump]

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TIFF: Miss Julie or, Acting: The Movie! 

The 2014 edition of TIFF ends tonight and so will Nathaniel's review coverage with Still Alice. Wrap-ups and Oscar updates coming shortly thereafter. Now Liv Ullman's Miss Julie... 

"Kiss my shoe!" Colin Farrell reenacts critical reaction to Chastain's debut film year

This review contains 126 year-old spoilers if you’re not familiar with August Strindbergh’s one act play, which has been adapted to film frequently. The play is about the bored, lonely, and loveless daughter of a Baron, Miss Julie (Jessica Chastain) who enjoys toying with the servants, especially with John her father's valet (Colin Farrell). She flirts shamelessly even in front of his fiancé the cook (Samantha Morton) ordering him to perform sometimes demeaning and not very valet-like duties, like kissing her shoe or bringing her flowers. The story takes place in a single night in which the valet and the lady of the house will consummate their extremely uncomfortable and scandalous attraction with incredibly disastrous results... especially for Miss Julie. If 19th century Swedish country estates had been unionized John surely would have told her what wasn't in his job description. 'Not that. Not that. Definitely not that. You're playing with fire, Miss Julie!'

We understand Miss Julie's maddening hypocrisies straightaway as, when the story begins, she's already ordered the cook to feed her dog "Diana" an abortive dinner since the naughty girl has had sex with the gate keeper's mongrel dog. Foreshadowing 101 anyone? Diana is played by an adorable pug so we'll ignore, for Jess's dignity, that the play indicates that the dog ought to resemble Miss Julie! The pug laps down the meal hungrily and then proceeds to whimper through the entire first scene. This too proves foreshadowing, as yours truly began to do the same. If only Samantha Morton could have scooped me up, as she mercifully does with the confused pup, to carry me out of the screening room! 


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Gone for a Swim