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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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Soundtracking: Hustlers

"YES, this soundtrack was soooo good!!! The Fiona Apple 'Criminal' dance, instantly iconic." - JWB

"Does anyone remember Demi Moore in STRIPTEASE? They had her dancing to sad Annie Lennox songs. smh." - David

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Directors of For Sama

Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Wanuri Kahiu (Rafiki)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

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Entries in Hunchback of Notre Dame (5)


Beauty Break: Notre Dame


Last Chance Streaming: Married to the Mob, Alice, Carmen Jones

There are 120+ titles leaving either Netflix or Amazon Prime this week as December arrives so if you've been meaning to see any of these, now's your chance. As is our practice we'll freeze frame a few selected titles at random and display what we found. Which will you be watching?

The list and screenshots after the jump...


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The Honoraries: Maureen O'Hara in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)

In "The Honoraries" we're looking at the careers of this year's Honorary Oscar recipients (O'Hara, Miyazaki, Carriere) and the Jean Hersholt winner (Belafonte). Here's Nathaniel...

Sanctuary ! Sanctuary !

You often feel like you've seen the classics, even if you haven't. Victor Hugo published "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" 183 years ago and like most enduring classics, including Hugo's other culturally imposing masterwork "Les Miserables,"  it feels familiar even if you have no first-hand experiences with it. Hunchback, like Les Miz, has been adapted several times but has actually been musicalized more often. I regret to inform that I had never seen the 1939 RKO version starring Charles Laughton and Maureen O'Hara until now so the Disney version was my only true cinematic reference point, at first forcing comparisons where I didn't want to see anyway.

The easiest comparison to shake off was Esmeralda, since Maureen O'Hara's fresh faced  breakthrough slipping through crowds and dancing in circles with her tambourine, beats Disney's Gypsy princess voiced by Demi Moore instantaneously. [More...]

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Rite of Link

straight outta Cannes
Guardian wonders why Sofia Coppola is so obsessed with pole dancing. The pole is back for Bling Ring
MCN David Poland has several capsule thoughts on Cannes films. This is my favorite type of festival review since I find that festival environments are not good for full length reviews and yet people persist in lengthy split second reactions anyway. Let the movies marinate. But he hates the explicit gay sex drama Stranger by the Lake and thinks it wouldn't be in the festival it it were hetero explicit 
In Contention gives the same film fuller consideration
Apple Daily Tony Leung Chiu Wai -at Cannes for his wife's new film -- meets Ang Lee for dinner. Chinese press follows but the Lust, Caution pair are not reuniting any time soon (shame). Tony tells the reporters that he's seen Zhang Ziyi already, too.  
Ultra Culture lists ten selfless acts committed by the protagonist of Fruitvale Station. Just in the first hour! I was kind of worried about a lack of nuance in this buzzy tragic drama and if the character is a complete angel, I wonder if the movie will experience a huge critical backlash when it opens. Most interesting characters are not 100% anything. 

speaking of Michael B Jordan
...who is the lead in Fruitvale. You may not know this since I don't talk about TV much but I'm most definitely a fan. He's already done really sensitive affecting work in both Friday Night Lights and Parenthood. /Film  is revisiting the rumor that they want him for the Fantastic Four reboot as Human Torch. I'm usually all for color blind casting since it should be about who is the best actor for the job, you know? But there are some cases where it doesn't seem like a great idea and this, to me, is one of them. In fact, I'd pick The Fantastic Four dead last, along with like The Black Panther and Storm, as Marvel Universe roles that should be color-blind casted. One of the peculiarities of FF is its kind of dated nuclear family WASPy feel (I think director Peyton Reed's original concept ten years back about doing it as an early 60s retro-stylized thing would have been so interesting and right for the material). Since they went with Allison Williams as Sue Storm (I like her just fine but she seems as weird of a fit for Sue Storm as Jessica Alba was!) I have no understanding of what they're new concept is. Other than just "reboot and make money!"

Sundance Now revisits Disney's weird sorta wonderful Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) - those mid90s post Lion King/Aladdin movies are as underrated as that duo is overrated if you ask me
Guardian Antonio Banderas will headline the flick about the Chilean miners rescue. His career seems to be back on the upswing. Can we blame the reunion with Almodóvar?
CHUD is doing a series of 15 great actors who haven't starred in a comic book film and they started with Philip Seymour Hoffman. (Although really shouldn't that Mission: Impossible 3 movie kinda count?)  
Filmmaker Kurt talks with Julianne Moore, "cinema's modest chameleon"
New York Times congratulations to my friend Tom, who composes for musical theater (more on him right here
at TFE soon if...well, I'm not allowed to say just yet), who is now married. His engagment is commemorated with this cute NYT Video!  
/Film thinks a limited Christmas opening with a platform rollout in January for the Jason Reitman Kate Winslet Labor Day picture shows faith in the movie for the Oscars. Hmmm. to me the shy December openings with January rollouts are more hedging your bets than total confidence. If there's so much faith you go wide (see Django & Les Miz last year) to get the holiday money. 

Oh and don't forget...
Tomorrow night (and the following Wednesday night) are the last episodes of Hit Me With Your Best Shot before a hiatus in June. So if you've been meaning to join us, now's the time. Tomorrow night is Disney's experimental FANTASIA (1940) which were doing as sort of an offhand centennial tribute to Igor Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" which turns 100 years old this month. So pick one image from the Rite of Spring section and your favorite from the movie as a whole. (Or one for each of its six musical sections if you're feeling into it). Next Wednesday is the brilliant Paul Newman as HUD (1963) which I want everyone to see it because it's one of the best movies of that decade. Even if you're not doing a "best shot" rent it so you can experience it in full before reading the articles.


Burning Questions: When Will America Get Animation For Adults?

Day of the Dead comes with Lively ColorMichael C. here. Eyebrows were raised when Pixar recently announced their slate of upcoming films. After two projects we already knew about – a dinosaur focused film now titled “The Good Dinosaur” (May 30th, 2014) and the film that takes place inside the mind – there was a new project, intriguingly described as Untitled Pixar Movie About Dia De Los Muertos.

The idea of the full resources of Pixar set to work on an animated film about the Mexican Day of the Dead is enough to get any film lover’s expectations soaring. Obviously, there is no promise the film will be any more artistically daring than the spooky yet family-friendly likes of Henry Sellick’s Coraline. But for now it is reason enough to hope we will soon have an affirmative answer to the question animation lovers have asked for decades:

When will mainstream American cinema finally accept adult animation?

I will not subject you to another rendition of that familiar tune about the rest of the world not holding our country’s prejudices about cartoons being just for kids. Suffice it to say the end of American animation’s extended adolescence is long overdue. 

Disney appeared poised to take the plunge back in the Nineties. I am still stunned anything as mature as the tortured Catholicism of Hunchback’s “Hellfire” sequence found its way into a film with Happy Meal tie-ins. More after the jump


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