Oscar History

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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Janelle Monae's Breakout Year

One of my favourite artists of the decade. I've had the pleasure of seeing her live twice. I would've loved to see more of her in Moonlight. Loved that role and loved seeing her. -Roger

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Maria Schrader (Stefan Zweig...)
Boo Junfeng (The Apprentice
Gianfranco Rosi (Fire At Sea)
Chris Kelly (Other People)
NWR (Neon Demon)

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Entries in HBO (99)


Doc Corner: Slenderman, David Lynch and More at Doc NYC

By Glenn Dunks

Doc NYC begins this week in (where else?) New York City. This year's festival, running from November 10th to November 17th, features 110 feature titles (now on sale), 44% of which are from women directors proving that #52FilmsByWomen is perfectly achievable if you're a fan of non-fiction.

After the jump notes on four new titles including a horror movie ready documentary and a look at David Lynch's creativity offscreen...

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A Conversation About "Westworld" - Part 2

A conversation between Lynn Lee and Kieran Scarlett. At the end of Part 1 of the discussion, Lynn left us to wonder just how long "Westworld" can keep this story going. We pick up where we left off.

Warning: Spoilers Ahead

Kieran:  That’s an excellent point about Marsden and Wood’s performances that I hadn’t considered. I did think Wood was much more compelling in the second episode than she was in the pilot. I found myself adjusting to the tonal rhythms of her performance, which are quite specific. I appreciate that there isn’t a rigid uniformity to how the actors portray AIs. Each has their own texture and we’re not just watching actors play mindless automatons, which would have been so boring. That we get insight into their creators and programmers based on how each AI behaves is also an intriguing facet to the performances that I suspect will be explored more fully as the series progresses.

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A Conversation About "Westworld" - Part 1

This week, Team Experience members Lynn Lee and Kieran Scarlett have tackled the first two episodes of new HBO sci-fi drama, "Westworld," which has captured the interest, fascination (or ire, depending on who you talk to) of audiences. Here's Part 1 of the 2 part discussion...

Warning: Spoilers Ahead

KIERAN: Watching the “Westworld” pilot and then the second episode, my immediate reaction—even in thinking that the pilot was relatively strong and an intriguing opening statement to the show—was that these two episodes should be reversed.   I might even go so far as to say that the pilot, with all of its beautifully creepy, world-establishing glory (more on this later) is missable when held up against the power (both narratively and stylistically) of the second episode...

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Issa Rae: A Star is Born

by Kieran Scarlett

It’s an incredibly exciting thing to watch the emergence of new on-screen talent whose charisma and star quality cannot be denied.  It’s difficult to describe clearly, but it’s clear to a watchful viewer when it happens.  Such is the case with Issa Rae, star and co-creator of the new HBO comedy “Insecure” set to debut next month (the pilot episode is already available online via HBO Now). The series, which is co-created by Larry Wilmore (formerly of “The Daily Show”) announces Rae as a force to be reckoned with, both in front of and behind the camera.

The show is, in some ways, an extension of Rae’s 2011 web series “The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl”...

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The Duplass Brothers are Coming to HBO...Again

Kieran, here. Those who were saddened by the cancellation of the Jay and Mark Duplass-helmed HBO series "Togetherness" (if you haven't seen it, get thee to on demand and join in the mourning) may be at least a little bit heartened to learned that the writer-director sibling duo is returning to HBO. Their new project is an anthology series currently titled "Room 104" about a hotel and the different characters who occupy the room at different times. As if reacting to the now wide array of anthology series both on premium and basic cable (some excellent, others...not so much), the Duplass brothers will inject their brand of low-concept, observational human drama and comedy into the format. “We’ve all seen stories set in seedy motels and high-class international resorts, but for years we’ve been fascinated by the funny, weird, sad, scary, absurd things going down in that corporate chain hotel near the airport. That’s what ‘Room 104’ is after… finding some magic in the seemingly mundane," stated the brothers in a recent statement.

With the announcement of this new Duplass brothers outing as well as the upcoming "Divorce" (starring and executive produced by Sarah Jessica Parker) and "Insecure" (created by and starring Issa Rae, creator of the very funny webseries "The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl") it seems that HBO is trying to make a narratively bold statement with their programming choices. Despite the fact that the network's arguable flagship show is a high-concept genre series, they're not making the mistake of many feature film executives, which is to do lowest common denominator versions of what they think is successful. Yes, television and movies are two different industries and the latter relies much more heavily on mercurial but instant and quantifiable financial success. HBO isn't just looking at the success of "Game of Thrones" and saying "More of this and ONLY more of this." This is not meant to denigrate the quality of "Game of Thrones," so fans please retire your torches and pitchforks. Even "Game of Thrones" fans can agree that we don't need a watered-down version that's simply trying to capitalize on the show's popularity. While our excitement about "Room 104," "Insecure" and "Divorce" may vary, it's heartening to see a major cable network making a concerted effort at this particular kind of storytelling. 

Melanie Lynskey and Mark Duplass on HBO's "Togetherness"

No cast information has been released for "Room 104" which is slated to air in 2017. This leaves the door open for the fun game of casting expectations and wishlists. The plot of the series is so open-ended, one can easily imagine a wide array of actors inhabiting this new Duplass universe. 

Which actors would you like to see pass through "Room 104"?