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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R


 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 film festivals (261)

Thursday
Aug132015

Eddie Redmayne starts his Oscar Campaign

Here's Murtada on the first major magazine cover of the 2015 Awards Season.

Our current best actor winner is ready for his second straight nomination. Eddie Redmayne is starting his Oscar campaign for Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl more than 3 months before the movie’s release. This week he covers OUT magazine’s fall preview issue with a lengthy interview that touches on everything from where he keeps his Oscar, to his privileged upbringing, to playing transgender artist Lili Elbe.

Perhaps what people are most curious about is how he handles the potential minefield of his casting as a transgender woman. Elbe, who had sexual reassignment surgery in 1930s, was one of the first known transgender people to transition and a movie about her life has been in the making for more than a decade.

Redmayne and his handlers are obviously trying to get ahead of any potential controversy. Hence the careful choice of the publication to which he gives his first interview about the film, and the inclusion in the article of advocates from the trans community like Paris Lees and Lana Wachowski. Lees is quoted and says about Redmayne's casting “Politically, it makes me groan. But if anybody’s going to do this justice, then I’m happy it’s Eddie. We had a good chat about everything”.

The interview is a good read and he handles some of the thornier issues with deft and careful thought. He comes through as humble while acknowledging his luck and privilege. He recognizes how divisive his portrayal of Elbe might become.

People were so kind and generous with their experience, but also so open. Virtually all of the trans men and women I met would say ‘Ask me anything.’ They know that need for cisgender people to be educated. I felt like, I’m being given this extraordinary experience of being able to play this woman, but with that comes this responsibility of not only educating myself but hopefully using that to educate [an audience]. Gosh, it’s delicate. And complicated.”

As for the movie itself, the verdict will be out soon. It plays at both the Venice and Toronto film festivals in early September. Venice comes first and that will be our first indication whether or not that nomination is happening as we’ve seen many an Oscar campaign start at the Biennale.

In the last 10 years, 8 men and 3 women have won the Volpi Cup for English language performances, a big percentage. Of those performances David Strathairn (Good Night and Good Luck), Cate Blanchett (I’m Not There), Colin Firth (A Single Man), Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix (who won jointly for The Master) went on to land Oscar nominations. Michael Fassbender (Shame) came close but ultimately missed. However the only winner this decade at Venice who went on to win an Oscar is Helen Mirren (The Queen).

Are you looking forward to The Danish Girl? Do you think Redmayne is a good choice to play Elbe?

Tuesday
Jul282015

TIFF Galas Announced

Backstage I'm trying not to panic as I've lost my lodging in Toronto (damn you stranger who cancelled my airbnb!) and so many places are already full. But as I try not to panic and calmly search for other places to crash, TIFF has announced their gala and special presentation programs. "Even if you have to sleep in the street, Nathaniel," they taunt me with this fatefully timed announcement, "you'll still want to come."*

(The initial list of films is rarely fully complete one but here's the bulk of what they'll be premiering)

GALA PRESENTATIONS
These ones get the full red carpet premiere treatment

Jake Gyllenhaal in "Demolition"

  • Beeba Boys (Deepa Mehta, Canada)
  • Demolition (Jean-Marc Vallée, USA) starring Jake Gyllenhaal as an investment banker who can't deal with his grief and starts destroying things. 
  • The Dressmaker (Jocelyn Moorhouse, Australia) starring Kate Winslet
  • Eye in the Sky (Gavin Hood, UK) starring Helen Mirren & Aaron Paul
  • Hyena Road (Paul Gross, Canada) 
  • Forsaken (Jon Cassar, Canada) father and son Don & Kiefer Sutherland star
  • Freeheld (Peter Sollett, USA) starring Julianne Moore & Ellen Page
  • Legend (Brian Helgeland, UK) starring Tom Hardy as the twin Kray brothers
  • Lolo (Julie Delpy, France) Julie Delpy still doing everything for herself! 
  • The Man Who Knew Infinity (Matthew Brown, UK) starring Dev Patel & Jeremy Irons

  • The Martian (Ridley Scott, USA) starring Matt Damon
  • The Program (Stephen Frears, UK) starring Ben Foster
  • Remember (Atom Egoyan, Canada) starring Christopher Plummer
  • Septembers of Shiraz (Wayne Blair, USA) starring Adrien Brody and Salma Hayek about a jewish family during the 1979 Iranian Revolution
  • Stonewall (Roland Emmerich, USA) on the 1969 riots 

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS
Leading filmmakers in some cases. But in some cases they may have played elsewhere but they're still billed as premieres of some kind (North-America premiere or what have you)

Emma Watson and Daniel Brühl are trapped during a Chilean coup in 1973 (Colonia)

  • Anomalisa (Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson) oooh, it's stop motion animation from Kaufman
  • Beasts of No Nation (Cary Fukunaga) before its Netflix premiere I guess
  • Black Mass (Scott Cooper, USA) starring Johnny Depp
  • Brooklyn (John Crowley, UK) reviewed at Sundance
  • The Club (Pablo Larraín)
  • Colonia (Florian Gallenberger, Germany) starring Emma Watson & Daniel Brühl
  • The Danish Girl (Tom Hooper, UK) starring Eddie Redmayne & Alicia Vikander
  • The Daughter (Simon Stone, Australia)
  • Deephan (Jacques Audiard, France) the Palme D'Or winner this year
  • Desierto (Jonás Cuarón)
  • Families (Jean-Paul Rappeneau, France) starring Mathieu Amalric

Jason and Nicole are grown siblings moving back in with their eccentric parents (THE FAMILY FANG)

  • The Family Fang (Jason Bateman, USA) starring Nicole Kidman and Jason Bateman
  • Guilty (Meghna Gulzar, India) starring Irrfan Khan
  • The Idol (Hany Abu-Assad, UK/Palestine)
  • I Smile Back (Adam Salky) starring Sarah Silverman, played at Sundance
  • The Lady in the Van (Nicolas Hytner, USA) starring Maggie Smith
  • Len and Company (Tim Godsall, USA) starring Rhys Ifans
  • The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos) premiered at Cannes
  • Louder than Bombs (Joachim Trier)
  • Maggie's Plan (Rebecca Miller) starring Greta Gerwig, Julianne Moore & Ethan Hawke
  • Mountains May Depart (Jia Zhang-ke, China)
  • Office (Johnnie To, China/HongKong) starring Chow Yun Fat
  • Parched (Leena Yadav, UK)

Brie Larson in ROOM (and Short Term 12 proved she's great onscreen with child actors)

  • Room (Lenny Abrahamson, Ireland/Canada) starring Brie Larson 
  • Sicario (Denis Villeneuve) starring Emily Blunt
  • Son of Saul (László Nemes, Hungary) Hungary's Oscar submission. Premiered at Cannes
  • Spotlight (Tom McCarthy
  • Summertime (Catherine Corsini, France)
  • Sunset Song (Terence Davies) 
  • Trumbo (Jay Roach, USA) starring Bryan Cranston & Helen Mirren in a Hollywood blacklist drama
  • Un Plus Une (Claude Lelouch, France) starring Jean Dujardin
  • Victoria (Sebastian Schipper, Germany) previously discussed by our German correspondent
  • Where to Invade Next (Michael Moore, USA) 
  • Youth (Paolo Sorrentino) the Cannes hit

Which movies are you most curious to read about? 

 

Monday
Jul272015

Elizabeth Banks' 2015 World Domination Tour Continues. Next Stop Venice

As previously noted, Team Experience won't be covering Venice Film Festival (no funds *sob* but I've wanted to go to Venice ever since I saw virginal Madonna singing on that gondola on MTV as an impressionable young lad) but we have planned a couple of Venice-related treats for you this year. And speaking of treats. The Venice juries were just announced and loaded with so many big names, you'd be hard pressed to guess which among them was the President of the Jury at first glance. But killing the suspense... the main jury's president is Alfonso Cuarón.

COMPETITION JURY MEMBERS:

ALFONSO CUARÓN, PRESIDENT (Mexico)
of The Gravity, Children of Men, Y Tu Mama Tambien fame

THE ELIZABETH BANKS WORLD DOMINATION TOUR (USA): Previous Tour Dates: Directing and Co-starring in Pitch Perfect 2; Best Reviews ever for Love & Mercy; Co-starring in Magic Mike XXL; Next Stops: Netflix Binge-watching Dominance with Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, Conquering Venice Red Carpet Coverage, and wrapping up a phenomenon with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2...

Lynne Ramsay and more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jul262015

Ask Nathaniel (and Sundance Delayed)

It's time for another Q&A round. Ask some questions in the comments, get some answers. Maybe. I'll choose a handful or two to answer for Tuesday. 

Meanwhile: Sundance Delayed
Last night I took my two besties to Tangerine and they both l-o-v-e-d it. We had such a good time (and I finally figured out what the title refers to though I'm not saying because it's such a good easter egg in the movie). Hopefully some of you have seen it by now. It was just as hot the second time, so funny, so lived-in, so authentically seedy LA, so high energy, so sneakily moving. We discussed it on the podcast last week in case you missed it.

Isn't it weird how randomly festival titles hit movie theaters?  Several films from this year's Sundance have arrived or will arrive by the end of August (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Lila & Eve, Strangerland, Tangerine, Dope, Grandma) but we're still waiting on hard-to-get tickets from January's fest like The Witch (which A24 bought if I recall) and also had several titles from 2014's fest emerge with tiny or VOD releases in 2015. And if Xavier Dolan's Tom at the Farm arrives as currently scheduled in August, we'll even have a title from TIFF 2013. I wish distributors wouldn't be so weird and wishy washy about their pickups and release dates but what can you do? 

Friday
Jul242015

174 Days Until Oscar Nominations... Here Comes Festival Season!

Are you ready? My body is rehdd-deee. 

As per usual I'll be reporting from the Toronto International Film Festival (Sept 10th-20th). The films are not yet announced but here's a golden tease for you podcast fans: for the first time in recorded human history, Nick Davis, Joe Reid, Katey Rich andd Nathaniel R (c'est moi) will all be attending the same festival. We're quite excited about it even though our paths surely won't cross too often given the sheer volume of things that go on at that festival.

Team Experience will also be out in force again at the New York International Film Festival (Sept 26th-Oct 12th). Opening Night film: Robert Zemeckis & Joseph Gordon Levitt's feature version of the Oscar winning tale of Philippe Petit (Man on Wire); Closing Night film: Don Cheadle's directorial debut (he also stars) Miles Ahead about the lfe of musician Miles Davis. Nathaniel and hopefully our Los Angeles divas (Anne Marie & Margaret) will hit the AFI Festival (November 5th-12th) in Los Angeles again, if all goes well. 

We have no plans (aka funds) currently for Telluride (Sept 4th-7th)Venice (Sept 2nd-12th) Opening Night film is the all star mountain climbing thriller EverestSan Sebastian (Sept 18th-26th) , Fantastic Fest (Sept 24th-Oct 1st), Reykjavik (Sept 24th-Oct 4th) at which David Cronenberg will be the guest of honour!, Zurich (Sept 24th-Oct 4th), or London (October 7th-18th) where Suffragette will do Opening Night honors,  but you never know. Perhaps TFE will finally win a millionaire patron, finally convince hundreds of you to join our tiny circle of patrons that contribute $2.50 a month (a cup of fancy coffee - come on)  to help fund us, discover the secret to cloning so we can be everywhere at once, and/or find contributors in each city.

I ♥ The Film Experience

What are you excited about for the fall prestige season?
Sometimes it's mere existence can be enough after weak summer popcorn seasons.

 

Sunday
Jun212015

Sydney Film Festival: Unconventional Creature Features

Glenn here offering some final thoughts on films at the Sydney Film Festival...

Let's talk about a couple of new documentaries and a horror-romance hybrid. 

The Russian Woodpecker
Chad Garcia’s The Russian Woodpecker is fascinating. It’s a wholly unexpected surprise from this debut director that not only presents an involving story that links the nuclear devastation of Chernobyl to the modern day revolution of Ukraine with plenty of conspiracy theory intrigue, but also presents it in a formally adventurous way. The film’s central figure is the eccentric artist Fedor Alexandrovich and he’s the sort of man that would drift through a party before promptly leaving and making everybody turn to each other and say, “Well he was a character!” If this wasn’t a documentary he would almost be too hard to believe as he rattles off his (as it turns out, not entirely absurd) theory that the Chernobyl nuclear disaster was a planned plot by the Russian government to disguise the failure of a nearby Soviet-built radar tower that emitted a persistent clicking sound known as “the Russian woodpecker”.

Alexandrovich’s amateur sleuth skills are hardly credible, but his growing unease at his proposed discoveries – his interviews with former workers of the radar tower seethe with barely contained tension – leads brilliantly into a navigation of the current political unrest on the streets of Kiev and his growing unease with choosing to bring these Russian grievances to light. Visually arresting, Garcia’s film is an uncomfortable must-see.

Oscar? I'd like to think it can find a general release and compete for Oscar. After a few years of music and sport films winning, perhaps last year's win for Citizenfour will turn them back to politics. Barring The Look of Silence, nothing has emerged out of the festival circuit looking like a winner so it's an open playing field.

Horror on the Italian seaside and an elephant in Hawaii after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jun192015

The Troubled Musical Tribute to 'Amy'

Glenn here offering some thoughts on films at the Sydney Film Festival. Here he is discussing the music documentary 'Amy'.

Given what director Asif Kapadia was able to accomplish with the otherwise (to me) uninteresting world of vroom vroom speed racing in Senna, logic would dictate that when handling a subject of great interest to me that the results would be even more outstanding. That doesn’t quite prove to be the case with Amy, another scrapbook collection of archival footage presenting the life of somebody who lived fast and died young, Amy Winehouse, but one which lacks quite the same verve of the director’s predecessor.

Kapadia is in the unique position of making a documentary about somebody whose life isn’t just rife for the Hollywood biopic treatment, but which actually feels like it already has been. Is her story not almost note-for-note for Mark Rydell’s The Rose with Bette Midler? It’s curious as a viewer of a documentary to feel as if I’d seen it all before in a fiction film (albeit one highly inspired by a real life person) and being disappointed because it comes off second best.

The Rose, Kurt Cobain and more after the jump...

Click to read more ...