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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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The Gotham Nominations

Get Out (4 nods each), Lady Bird, Call Me By Your Name, Florida Project (3 nods each)

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Entries in Elizabeth Olsen (28)

Monday
Aug282017

Review: "Ingrid Goes West"

By Spencer Coile 

Following the death of her mother, Ingrid Thorburn (Aubrey Plaza) is in a rut. With no one to turn to, she scrolls through Instagram in hopes of finding her ideal friend. She soon finds Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen), a California-based social media influencer -- and Ingrid's latest muse. Captivated by Taylor's seemingly glamorous life, Ingrid packs up her life in Pennsylvania and heads to the sunny West Coast, in hopes of befriending Taylor and catching a glimmer of social media stardom. 

Written and directed by Matt Spicer, Ingrid Goes West is the latest in a long line of films that demonstrate the pervasiveness of technology and the influence social media has on our lives. If you find yoursevles rolling your eyes at that comment, fear not. Ingrid is far more interested in exploring our relationship with the likes of Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc., rather than merely demonizing its usage. Oh, and it is hilarious. 

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Wednesday
Aug162017

Review: Wind River

by Lynn Lee

It should come as no surprise that writer-director Taylor Sheridan, currently hot in Hollywood after his Oscar screenplay nomination for Hell or High Water, is an actual, bona fide cowboy.  Perhaps that’s why his work feels like such a throwback—to an era in which quietly capable men, silently toting unspoken burdens, took on the joyless task of meting out frontier justice.  At the same time, he’s shown a canny gift for placing such old-school archetypes in a distinctly modern, of-this-moment social and political context, making their struggles feel unexpectedly timely or, rather, timeless.  That gift is on ample display in his new film, Wind River, which is now in wide release after nabbing the best directing prize in the Un Certain Regard category at Cannes earlier this year.

Set on a remote, wintry Indian reservation in Montana, the film marks the third installment in a loose trilogy of Westerns penned by Sheridan (the first two being Sicario and Hell or High Water), though Wind River is the first one he directed...

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Monday
May092016

Review: Avengers 3 aka "Captain America: Civil War"

This review was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad. It is reprinted here in a slightly expanded version.

Captain America and his man, the Winter Soldier

Poor Captain America. You know how it is. You’re frozen in a block of ice and when you wake up several decades later the world has gotten so complicated! Everyone you loved is dead except your 96 year old girlfriend with Alzheimers (Agent Peggy Carter) and your brainwashed homicidal boyfriend (Bucky/The Winter Soldier) who is totally ghosting you.

New friends are plentiful but also trouble. Either they have two faces (Black Widow/Agent 13) or they’re constantly vanishing for personal reasons (Thor/Hulk/Hawkeye) so you totally can’t rely on them.

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Sunday
Sep132015

TIFF: I Saw the Light

Hank Williams' legend came from his songwriting with dozens of hits in a short career. Ironically the star-making song was "Lovesick Blues," a tune he did not write that he promised his producer he would make his own in a crucial recording session. He assures that the audience will love it, praising its simplicity. A studio musician snidely compares it to his original compositions which reminds the star that "simple" is not a compliment to everyone. Williams deflates a little, ego punctured, until he steps up to the microphone and gets the job done as promised. There are multiple metaphors in their somewhere about the biopic genre. We shan't try to unpack them all but let's just say that they're not too flattering to the genre as a whole.

I Saw the Light, directed by Marc Abraham a successful producer, has the shape of an extremely traditional bio, charting key moments in Williams (Tom Hiddleston) rise to greatness and subsequent personal and professional failures fueled by his addictions until his premature death at 29. The moments even come with hepful titles of years / places. You've heard this story a million times now -- only the names / dates / music genre change -- which is perhaps why the movie starts so abruptly in media res...

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Sunday
May032015

Podcast (Season Debut): Furious Ultron 7 

The Podcast is Back!

For this season's spoiler-heavy debut episode, Nathaniel is joined by Joe Reid and Anne Marie Kelly who share their feels about the Furious 7 and its home franchise from corny sentiment to Michelle Rodriguez's biceps. We also talk Joss Whedon, crowded and empty theaters, and the various intermittent joys of The Avengers: Age of Ultron from Elizabeth Olsen's elaborate hand gestures to Mjölnir getting around.

Running Time - 42½ minutes
00:01 Intro and "Previously On..."
02:00 Avengers moviegoing: geek behavior, costumes, crowds
09:00 Age of Ultron
33:00 Furious 7

Please to enjoy and continue the conversation in the comments. You can listen at the bottom of this post or download from iTunes.  

Furious Ultron 7

Saturday
May022015

Age of Ultron... And Marvel's Very Long "Connected" Movie

This article was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad

Movies really ought to be seen (and reviewed for that matter) on their own terms. But what if their very terms are -- "it's all connected!?" I had the exhaustive if qualified pleasure this week of attending "The Ultimate Marvel Marathon," in which select theaters across the nation played back-to-back screenings of all 11 of Marvel Studio's films. Those take you from Iron Man (2008) through to the latest superheroic orgy of mayhem known as The Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015). Between the screenings (20-30 minute breaks) were interstitials selling the television program "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" that frequently reminded us that it was 'all connected'. Does the latest film The Avengers: Age of Ultron satisfy all on its own? My early guess -- only time will tell -- is "not so much" but then, is it really intended to? 

Seeing the movies back-to-back threw their problems into sharp relief: the movies are ultimately formulaic, disinterested in women, and have weakly conceived villains (an oddity given that good villains are such a comic book staple). They also betray an unfortunate tendency to end with a battle in which large inanimate objects frequently collide or crumble, mistaking mass destruction as the highest form of entertainment when the figurative character beats as well as, yes, literal character beatings are nearly always the most pleasurable moments.

On the plus side, the marathon was a great reminder of why blockbuster culture has been stampeding all over more intimate cinematic triumphs for a long time now. [More...]

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