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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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yes, we had a good time at the movies in 2016


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The Next La La Land?

"It looks like fun and Hugh and Zac make a cute couple" - Jaragon

"Why do we keep treating La La Land like some sort of longsuffering, put-upon, misunderstood underdog? It's like making time to assure the prom queen that she's pretty and popular.." -Hayden

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INTERVIEWS

Pablo Larraín (Jackie)
Jessica Chastain (Miss Sloane)
Gael García Bernal (Neruda)
Billy Crudup (20th Century Women)
Nicole Kidman (Lion)
Denis Villeneuve (Arrival

 

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Entries in Directors (226)

Friday
Jan132017

Interview: Pablo Larraín on his recent triple - Jackie, Neruda, and The Club

Portman and Pablo at the premiere of JACKIE (2016)by Nathaniel R

Pablo Larraín, currently Chile's most celebrated director, first broke into the festival circuit via his second film, the violent and disturbing Tony Manero (2008). I found it so upsetting that I thought I'd never risk another one of his features. That resolve didn't last long. His international breakthrough No (2012), was a hit with audiences, critics, and the Oscars and surprisingly enjoyable too. But due to the always unpredictable release dates of movies, we didn't see his work again until 2016 and then there were three movies at once, the sex predator priest drama El Club, the playful writer on the lam whatsit Neruda, and of course the outstanding Oscar hopeful Jackie.

You might call this Pablo's Year but for the fact that he doesn't coddle the audience and his films are as likely to unsettle and challenge as they are to reward you with their significant pleasures like fascinating performances, strong themes, unexpected humor, and emotional acuity.

When we found an opportunity to talk I figured I'd jump into the deep end about the unsettling nature of so many of his features. Our interview follows...

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Thursday
Jan122017

Interview: Denis Villeneuve on "Arrival" and his Future with Sci-Fi

by Nathaniel R

Though awards season is a roller coaster of emotion each year, one of its purely happiest annual trends is the sudden recognition of talent that have been doing consistently fine work all along. This year's "it's about time!" contender is surely 49 year old French-Canadian director Denis Villeneuve. A famous director at home with six wins at Canada's own Oscars, "the Genies," people are still learning his name in Hollywood and beyond. His international breakthrough was Incendies (2010) about twin siblings journeying to the war torn Middle East. It was nominated for the BAFTA and the Oscar for Best Foreign Language film. Since that breakthrough his profile in Hollywood has steadily risen and he's shown a gift for directing movie stars, versatility with genre, and a particularly refined skill at building and maintaining tension at feature length which has provided thrilling moments in all of his recent films from Prisoners (2013), Enemy (2013), Sicario (2015), and on to his current biggest hit yet  Arrival (2016).

Today he received a DGA nomination for Best Director, the surest awards season sign that a movie will be a Best Picture contender at the Oscars. Our conversation follows...

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Thursday
Jan122017

DGA Nominations: Lion, La La, Manchester, Moonlight, and Arrival

The Directors Guild of America announcement was once the single most crucial nomination in understanding the Oscars to come. It famously meant "these films will be nominated for Best Picture"... more than it even meant "these films will be nominated for Best Director" statistically speaking. In ye olden times that would mean that your five strongest best picture contenders, given today's DGA nominations were La La Land, Moonlight, Lion, Manchester by the Sea and Arrival.

But that was in the days of 5 nominations. Times are different now and have been since 2009...

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Thursday
Dec292016

City of Link

ET First pic of Pixar's Coco though the text is greatly irritating as they seem to be very anti-musical "Don't call it a musical!"
Filmmixtape "if 2016's worst films were drag race competitors"
Playbill George S Irving, the voice of Heat-Miser for the Bankin Rass TV classic "The Year Without a Santa Claus" has died at 94. 
The Guardian why 2016 was a big year for female sexuality in film and on television 

Carrie Fisher & Debbie Reynolds and infinite list-making after the jump...

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Sunday
Dec182016

Who's Joining Jenkins & Chazelle in the Best Director Shortlist? 

While working on Oscar chart updates, Best Director suddenly felt quite loose and ripe for shifting favor. While the Directors Guild Nominations will surely clarify that race to an extent those aren't until January 12th, a week after Oscar nomination voting begins. Right now though the coveted nominations for Best Director look fairly up in the air beyond the two thirtysomething wonder boys who have been showered with the most honors already: Damien Chazelle (La La Land) and Barry Jenkins (Moonlight). 

La La Land is only Chazelle's third feature (though many would mistake it for his second) and Moonlight is only Jenkins second (though many would mistake it for his first) so they're relative newbies. Oscar, however, is an octogenarian institution and they aren't always comfortable handing everything over the reigns to fresh blood. In fact the Best Director's race isn't usually that amenable to multiple fresh faces. You have to go back to 2009 to find an Oscar year with two directors nominated that were this green in their filmmaking careers (Jason Reitman's Up in the Air was his third feature and Precious was Lee Daniel's second) and they definitely weren't the frontrunners. For a long this year we were predicting a shortlist of all first-time nominees in the directing category but that hasn't happened since 1999. It's not a common occurrence.

Oscar's love of long-since proven directors suggests good news for Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge), Eastwood (Sully) or Scorsese (Silence) but the only one of those films with any noticeable precursor heat is Hacksaw Ridge and are they really going to welcome Gibson back in the year of angry white men upsetting the world with their prejudices? 

Kenneth Lonergan and Denis Villeneuve both have heat with Best Picture probables Manchester by the Sea and Arrival respectively but performance pictures like Manchester can sometimes suddenly be absent when the director's nominations are read out and critically acclaimed sci-fi pictures can also stumble come nomination morning due to genre biases. They might be in but they might not.  In a year when the buzz hasn't totally settled on a handful of auteurs, Oscar can sometimes surprise with a left field foreign or indie choice but even that seems hard to parse this year since so many different pictures have small passionate devotees but not huge mouthy legions of them. 

Are we overthinking this? Check out the New Best Director and Best Picture chart and report back. 

Wednesday
Nov232016

Best Director Chart Revisions

by Nathaniel R

This morning's update - the Best Director chart. And just as I'd finished those chart updates the Silence trailer arrived so we'll discuss that later today. So much happens all at once.

Speaking of. You don't want to see the way my doorman looks at me whenever I walk into the building - there's always a new stack of packages from the studios to sign for. Today alone there have been 4 deliveries of multiple packages. Why must campaign teams wait until the day before Thanksgiving to send everything? It's overwhelming really. It's the same as the studios waiting until the second half of December to release all movies ever. 

But back to the topic at hand - Best Director Hopefuls. We'll divvy them up into 3 categories after the jump...

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Thursday
Nov172016

AFI Winners: Divines, Land of Mine and More

We weren't able to attend the AFI this year due to lack of funds but we shan't skip sharing the winners. The literal winners we mean. Obviously the AFI is a great last second Oscar launching pad for the big titles (like American Sniper and Selma and such in year's past) ...

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