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Entries in foreign films (232)

Tuesday
May272014

Cannes Diary: 3 Men Against The System – Leviathan, Lost River & The Rover

Diana Drumm reporting from Cannes... or rather flying home from Cannes as you read this...

As people, we are defined by how we cope with the world’s cruelty, injustice and unfairness. In a leap of metaphysics, the same can be said about films, being judged by how they handle the subject and in turn how their protagonists handle their conflicts and struggles. At this year’s Cannes, there were more than a few films in the thick of existential waters and questions of morality, with protagonists leading the way against a larger society. In Timbuktu, a farmer and his family grapple with a newly inserted regime to dire results. In Amour Fou, a young poet stakes the life of himself and his “lover” on an escapist higher philosophical notion he’s concocted. In Foxcatcher, an “ornithologist, philatelist, philanthropist” attempts to fabricate a more successful legacy for himself and melts down after reality and other people’s free will gets in the way. Here are three more that tackle the issues of male insecurities when faced with a larger, opposing system (from the great to the already infamously bad to the steady).  

Andrey Zyvagintsev’s Leviathan, Ryan Gosling's Lost River, and David Michôd's The Rover after the jump...

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Saturday
May242014

Cannes Closing Ceremony - Live Blog

Cannes closes tomorrow and Diana still has a couple more pieces to share with you I believe, but now the prizes are handed out - here are quick notes from the ceremony.

12:45 PM EST the Jury has arrived which means the show is about to begin. Jane Campion is too busy to stand with her jury (at least at this second in the screencap)... and how have I never noticed how toweringly tall Nicolas Winding Refn is (far right)? I love his "who, me?" pose here as if he's aware of the disparity. This image alarmed me so much that I looked up photos of him with Ryan Gosling his 6'2" muse and Refn is yet taller.

12:49 Uma Thurman arrives with Quentin Tarantino and is wearing something like a white winged dove across her bosom... ooh, baby, ooh, said "ooh" ♫. Gorgeous as ever and I've always admired how bold her color choices are. Bright yellow at the Pulp Fiction 20th anniversary screening at Cannes and pure white today.

12:59 Timothy Spall, Mr Turner himself, has arrived which means we know where Best Actor is going (there didn't seem to be much competition for that this year (unlike Best Actress). Best Actor, Oscar Division, will have much more competition.

1:04 Xavier Dolan arrived looking very pleased with himself #whatelseisnew (I kid. Mostly. I enjoy his work. Intermittently he looks nervous but Mommy is definitely winning something)

1:05 Sophia Loren just had some sort of near wardrobe malfunction and is now holding tightly to her gown (perchance she tripped on the train on the steps). MORE...

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Tuesday
May202014

Tuesday Top 10: Best Godzilla fights

Tim here. The new Godzilla is [insert joke based on large animals destroying cities] the box office, while receiving generally mixed reviews that all agree on one point: the climactic monster battle in the film is aces. One of the best in the while 60-year, 30-film franchise, in fact, standing proudly alongside such classic moments as Godzilla and fellow icon King Kong pummeling each other, Godzilla being lacerated by the deadly vines of a giant mutant plant, or Godzilla using his atomic breath to fly after a levitating tadpole made of toxic waste.

The Godzilla films, they are silly.

Still, there’s enough B-movie popcorn fun in enough of them that, in honor of the new film and it’s triumphant climax, we are happy to present this highly subjective list of the best monster mashes in the giant lizard’s history.

TOP TEN MONSTER FIGHTS IN GODZILLA HISTORY

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Saturday
May172014

Cannes Diary Day 3: Mr Turner & Timbuktu

Diana Drumm is reporting from Cannes for The Film Experience on two new films that have won strong reviews.

Timothy Spall as Mr. Turner

Mr. Turner
Mike Leigh’s latest (and the current Palme d’Or frontrunner though we're only a few days into the festival) opens on a pastoral landscape of seemingly neverending fields. A windmill in the middle-ground and sunlight speckling through the vastness give hints of perspective. As the camera lingers, two women ease their way into frame and jolt the viewer into the 19th century. Chatting back and forth and carrying their errands’ loads, they breathe human life into the painterly image (lensed by Leigh's regular cinematographer, Oscar nominee Dick Pope). The camera follows this humble pair until it spots a graying stout figure staring off into the field and sketching near-furiously. Sticking out like a sore crooked-toothed thumb in this panorama, this is J.M.W. Turner (Timothy Spall), the controversial but influential British painter best remembered for his Romantic oil painting landscape and seascapes though he also worked in watercolor.

Spanning the final quarter decade of the artist's life, Mr. Turner eases through the artist’s autumn loves, losses and disappointments. The film opens with Turner leading the life of a discontented bachelor. His ex (Ruth Sheen who led Leigh's last, Another Year) and two daughters live elsewhere, though they call on him regularly enough to nag and harbinger guilt about his lack of involvement in their lives. His two main companions are his father (Paul Jesson), who acts as his studio assistant buying paints and hosting potential clients, and his housekeeper (Dorothy Atkinson), who he occasionally rogers from behind. Their relationship resembles a bizarrely reticent S&M relationship more than institutionalized employer-employee rape.  

More after the jump...

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Sunday
May042014

Podcast: Cannes Preview

On this week's podcast Nathaniel R (The Film Experience) grills Cannes enthusiast Nick Davis (Nick's Flick Picks) on the difference between the competitive slate, un certain regard, and director's fortnight. We discuss the complete competition lineup for 2014 and answer reader questions, too. 

00:01 Jane Campion and her jury
04:30 Un Certain Regard vs. Director's Fortnight 
08:00 Camera D'Or & The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby 
13:00 Ronit Elkabetz & Ryan Gosling's new films
16:00 Olivier Dahan's Grace of Monaco troubles 
18:00 The Competition Lineup
With sidebar chat on Olivier Assayas, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Mike Leigh, Dardenne Bros, Xavier Dolan, and Mike Leigh
37:30 Which directors should Cannes take a break from?
39:45 Hilary Swank and Best Actress
42:45 Nick and Nathaniel name least favorite Palme D'Or Winners
46:00 Juries of yore: Tilda Swinton, Sydney Pollack, Sally Field, Kathleen Turner, Quentin Tarantino

Who could have ever imagined this trio? Cannes 2004

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download the conversation on iTunes. As always you should continue it in the comments so we can feel you out there in the dark. What's your favorite Olivier Assayas? Your favorite Dolan? And which Palme D'Or win baffles you?

Related Articles
Cannes Line-Up | Meet the Jury | Jessica Chastain in Vogue | Nathaniel's review of The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby Parts 1 and 2 


 

Cannes Preview 2014

Thursday
May012014

50th anniversary: Mothra vs. Godzilla

Tim here. As the Film Experience’s resident giddy Godzilla fanboy, I’m as excited as anybody else for the increasingly buzzy new movie starring the world’s most famous giant lizard opening in just two weeks. But with 60 years of history, there’s more Godzilla to love than just one more CGI-driven popcorn epic in a sea of them.

I bring this up because on top of all the other Godzilla-related anniversary antics going on right now (including, in several cities, revivals of the series-starting1954 film in its original Japanese version), this week marks the 50th anniversary of what many of us consider to be the best of all the Godzilla sequels: Mothra vs. Godzilla, also known in English as Godzilla vs. the Thing and Godzilla vs. Mothra, because nothing can ever be easy, least of all fantasy movies about people in rubber suits. It was the last film in the series until the 1980s that presented Godzilla as a real, significant threat, and not a lovable anti-hero or out-and-out protagonist; it was also the first movie whose American cut was largely identical to the one seen in Japan. Though it’s still worth watching it in Japanese, and getting the weird mental disconnect between watching a subtitled movie (which typically reads as “classy”) and watching a movie about giant monsters (which… doesn’t).

Tiny women, giant moths, and more after the jump...

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Tuesday
Apr292014

Tribeca: The Best Film I Saw Was "Bad Hair" (and Other Oscar-Related Thoughts)

I hope this is Venezuela's Oscar entry!

This article is an expansion of a brief piece originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad

The best of the LGBT lot at Tribeca this year was surely Love is Strange, which I reviewed at Sundance. I didn't see all the gay titles but that's a safe assumption since Ira Sach's drama about newly married seniors (John Lithgow & Alfred Molina) who lose their longtime apartment is already feeling like a future classic. But though the other titles I took in were lacking, Mariana Rondón's spanish-language Bad Hair is a worthy runner-up to Love is Strange's crown.

The film opens next month in Venezuela and it would be a worthy Oscar submission from that country which has yet to secure a Best Foreign Language Film nomination. A submission is certainly possible as Rondón was submitted once before for Postcards from Leningrad in 2007 and most countries tend to favor directors they've previously embraced with submissions. [More...]

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