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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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Guest Actress in a Drama
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Entries in Directors (244)

Saturday
Jan162016

Best Picture Chart Fun: Rankings, Nomination Formulas, Stats, Etc...

We love who what we love. And one of the things we love is Stats. And Charts! Oh god do we ever    charts. Why don't you marry them then? Okay. I will. Call city hall. I'll throw a veil over my laptop for the big day.

The new charts are now walking down their virtual aisles to you. First up Best Picture. If you smoosh them all together you have a 131 minute violent R rated drama in which a captive mother tells her son the fantastical story of a grizzly fur trapper and a lovely Irish lass who attempt to survive on a harsh inhospitable planet called Mars where a raving band of warboys pursues them relentlessly... but we never hear how the story ends because suddenly a  lawyer negtotiates the mom & son's release and a crack team of Boston journalists swoops in to investigate just what the hell happened and why no one knew about this story until now. 

But that's just a synopsis.

Click to the chart to see how these movies got nominated, how would we rank or compare them and trivia. It was fun working the angles on this charts so please take a look and consider your own rankings in the comments. 

Housekeeping Note: You'll notice the reader poll is no longer part of the Oscar charts. Since we lost our favorite poll site Twiigs... we have yet to find a suitable easy to access poll site that works well for embedding without interrupting the site in question or being ugly or forcing you to leave the site (you'll notice their fun absence on other former poll loving sites like Fug Girls - why is it so hard to find a good poll site?). But I'll keep an eye out and hope some new service emerges. 

Friday
Jan152016

"Perhaps Margot Robbie in a Bubble Bath Could Explain This One To Me"

Now that we've had 24 hours to process the Oscar nominations I polled Team Experience for one last Oscar Nomination reaction roundup. Which nomination did each of our contributors find most mystifying? Here are their answers which amused me so I hope you feel the same. 

Please bear in mind that these items do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the management. We each have our pet peeves and our "achievements" we just can't with. Share your headscratchers with us in the comments. What's still antagonizing you this morning a full 24 hours after getting used to it as an "Academy Award Nominee" 

Individual targets after the jump...

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Tuesday
Jan122016

The DGA Nominees. Other directors still blind to the genius of Todd Haynes

Weep with me now my fellow people of good taste for the continual shunning of Todd Haynes at awards shows. Save one. Haynes will always have the Independent Spirits as loyal cheering squad. They've miraculously nominated him for his direction on every single one of his feature films.

Yes well before even the bulk of cinephiles realized he was going to be a legendary filmmaker. They nominated him for his strange triptych debut (Poison) and his then quite divisive/confounding but now universally admired sophomore effort ([safe]) and they've been true ever since. I bring this up to quench the tears and prepare for the worst on Thursday in case Carol is barely acknowledged which is what usually happens with Todd Haynes films on Oscar nomination morning. Even Far From Heaven (2002), his biggest hit, got a weak 4 nominations despite having the kind of "Spectacular Spectacular!" craftsmanship that at least nets filmmakers Moulin Rouge! honors (nope - Far From Heaven was stiffed in both Art Direction and Costumes. Hilarious to contemplate but true.) 

The Academy's directing branch is much more exclusive in numbers and arguably more sophisticated than the much larger voting body of the directors guild, but it's best to lower expectations; the world is often a mysteriously cruel place! Nevertheless it's frustrating that an auteur as singular and consistently wondrous as Todd Haynes has trouble getting honors from peers. He's in good company at least. Great artists in every field throughout time have had to decades for people to catch up with their greatness. Sometimes it didn't even happen until after they died. Remember that Alfred Hithcock never won a Directing Oscar and Douglas Sirk, one of of Todd Haynes's greatest influences, was never even nominated for one. Curiously Sirk, who specialized in the melodrama (those are often about women and you know how Oscar feels about women's pictures - Ewww!) was nominated by the DGA once, for Imitation of Life but an Oscar nomination did not follow. Generally Oscar will boot one of the DGA nominees for someone else but since they haven't gone 5/5 for awhile we're probably due for another year of exact crossover. 

We should probably talk about the actual nominees not just one of our all time favorite auteurs. So let's do that after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan072016

Sicario's Hell in Harmony

Chris here. Available this week on DVD/Blu-ray is Denis Villeneuve's Sicario, a controlled descent into the cartel battles being waged between the Mexican and American borders. Like the ongoing war on drugs, Villeneuve's film presents a complex landscape of violence wherein rulebooks have been forsaken - and on both sides. It's a masterful piece of filmmaking (recently nominated by the PGA, ADG, and WGA), and Villeneuve has assembled an intimidating group of craftspeople working harmoniously to create a living hell.

Front and center is Emily Blunt's idealistic and by-the-book agent Kate Macer, straining composure and grasping for opportunity while in over her head. Blunt is ferociously present and flummoxed, giving as much subtlety and nuance as she has in her broader roles like The Devil Wears Prada. She's so believably rattled that you're reaching for fistfuls of cigarettes along with her. It's a performance that deserves to be right in the thick of the Best Actress conversation, even in such a deep field as this. While many have claimed her to be far too passive, her lack of control is just another element of Villeneuve's all-pervasive synthesis.

more after the jump...

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Thursday
Dec312015

Women's Pictures - Celine Sciamma's Girlhood

In Yes Please, Amy Poehler writes,

If you ever want to see heaven, watch a bunch of young girls play. They are all sweat and skinned knees. Energy and open faces.

Celine Sciamma's 2014 film Girlhood opens with just such a small slice of heaven: a group of French teenage girls play American football in an empty stadium. Unobserved by outside eyes, the girls throw, and tackle, and sprint. If not for the flashes of eyeliner and braids peaking out of their helmets, you'd be hardpressed to figure out who these young athletes were at all. This brief but intense scene is the last time these young women will be so carefree and unwatched. The rest of Sciamma's film is about growing up watched and watching, as one girl tries to break free of the constraints placed on her by class, gender, and race.

Marieme is a tall, shy tomboy living in the outskirts of Paris. Played with openfaced observance by Karidja Touré, Marieme is a frustrated dreamer. Told by her counselor that she doesn't have the grades for 2 years of high school, she leaves school rather than accepting vocational training. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Friday
Dec252015

Ava DuVernay, the Year's Best Christmas Gift

One of TFE's cinematic heroes Ava DuVernay -- she made our top ten list with both of her recent films in 2012 & 2014 respectively -- had a tremendous year in 2015. She kicked it off with a Golden Globe Best Director nomination, a hit film in theaters (Selma) and she ended it immortalized in collector Barbie doll form via Mattel. The Mattel doll sold out in less than an hour earlier this month. And when Amazon briefly offered more of them they sold out just as quickly. 

More...

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