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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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Handmaid's Tale ep 1 & 2

"Margaret Atwood's novel is superb. If this is half as good, it will be great!" - Marcelo

"My one concern is how much of the novel is covered so quickly. Even in the first episode, they pulled a lot of events from the middle of the novel right in there to establish the universe. The pacing works onscreen, but what are they going to have left to cover by episode 9 and 10?." - Robert

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Entries in interview (193)

Tuesday
Jan102017

Interview: Gael García Bernal on Neruda, Zorro, and Other Characters

This weekend at the Golden Globes, an unexpected but not all that surprising reunion of the best friends / stars of the Oscar nominated road trip classic Y Tu Mama Tambíen (2001) occured. Both Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna came to international fame together in the early Aughts and they're both still riding high in movies from Hollywood and outside of it.

I had the opportunity to speak with Bernal a month ago about his sturdy career, its auteurist origins, and his current busy playfulness. He's now juggling streaming television stardom (Mozart in the Jungle), occasional directing gigs, frequent producing duties, upcoming starring roles (Zorro?) and still doing what he was doing in his very first years of fame: headlining artistically ambitious Spanish language Oscar submissions. Though neither of his current films (Mexico's Desierto and Chile's Neruda) made Oscar's finalist list, Neruda did receive a well deserved Golden Globe nomination.

Gael full plate is just rewards for his sturdy talent and impressive range but it's also a very happy reminder that some mesmerizing debuts like his own in the Oscar nominated Amores Perros (2000) don't result in flash in the pan quick fades but long and beautiful careers.

NATHANIEL R: Your first movie Amores Perros was an international success and you've been busy ever since. How much of this career did you imagine for yourself back then?

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Monday
Jan092017

A Cocktail with Nicole, Always Our Leading Lady.

UNICEF held a screening of Lion this past week in Manhattan with stars Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel and Sunny Pawar (who share the protagonist role of Saroo). I finally had the pleasure of getting some face time with Nicole at the party afterwards. The Monkey Bar's main room has restaurant tables and chairs circling the a big slightly lower open area where the stars enter and are then typically bombarded by press, photographers, and industry wellwishers.

The crowd gave adorable little Sunny plenty of space, looking so tiny and a bit overwhelmed while taking press photos, before he headed to a private table. Dev Patel worked the room shaking hands at tables. Nicole, at least from my vantage point, stayed in the center; you came to her. As it should be.

The statuesque star towered over me (she's only 1" taller, but, add heels)...

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Thursday
Jan052017

An Interview with the Founder of the Seattle Film Critics Society

Please welcome Brian Zitzelman, our newest contributor. He's a member of the newly formed Seattle Film Critics Society and for his first post he's interviewing the founder of that society Michael Ward. A little inside peak for you. - Editor

Michael Ward of "Should I See It"by Brian Zitzelman

Beyond being a genuinely kind, smart man, Michael Ward has done what few have; he's created a film critic's society. The Seattle Film Critics Society to be exact.  

Despite being home to a near month-long film festival, a multitude of cinemas devoted to older movies and generally being pretty comfortably snobby about the arts, the city of Seattle hasn't had a proper Film Society for over a decade. Mr. Ward changed that with months and months of work dealing with studio reps here and cavalcades of other oddities. In between tallying the final votes and writing sensationally for his own site Should I See It, I spoke to Mike about the joys, troubles and curveballs of what it takes to develop something that’s usually an established institution in other parts of the country. 

BRIAN ZITZELMAN: Let me start with the obvious question; How happy are you to have this first year of the Seattle Film Critics Society behind you?

MICHAEL WARD: Well, it feels premature to say that we have a full year under our belts. We are still working with a team to complete the infrastructure but I am comfortable in saying that lots of people have put in lots of time to make this a reality. We are planning on voting in a Board of Directors in February 2017, and at that point, more than two years of hard work will definitely have paid off. 

Moonlight took 6 prizes including Best Picture at the first official Seattle Film Critics Society awards

Can you walk us through the whole concept? I think most people assume every major metropolitan city has its own film critics circle, especially those with a history of the arts like Seattle. 

While this iteration of a Seattle Film Critics Society is new, there was an organization that existed from 2001-2004. Unfortunately, when they disbanded it was an ugly dissolution, and people are still reeling from how that all apparently went down.  But you're absolutely right Brian, most major cities have a film critics society or organization which most people typically only hear about during awards season...  

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Friday
Dec302016

Billy Crudup won't tell you this but he's terrific in "20th Century Women"

20th Century Women, now playing in limited release, is named after its complicated women. There are three of them to be exact played by Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig and Elle Fanning. To the movie's great credit, the two male characters are no less fascinating. Take note, men: while the men have their own distinct characters, half of the reason they're so interesting is their empathy and curiousity about the women they share their lives with. One of the guys is a teenager just getting started in life (Lucas Jade Zumann) and eager to soak it all in. The film's quietest character is William (Billy Crudup). He's moving into middle age but headed nowhere in particular; the women have always come to him but he still doesn't know where he's going.

On a very busy day just before the holidays I was able to catch Billy Crudup for a few minutes at the tail end of his press duties for 20th Century Women. While far more articulate than his character, he was similarly self-effacing, deflecting praise more often than not to pass the achievement on to co-stars, directors, and writers. Suddenly his theorized resistance to being A Movie Star (a long-since forgotten topic of discussion from the early days of his career when he turned down high profile gigs) made a great deal of sense. And since he won't say it himself, let it be known that this modest actor is very good in a tricky part in this wonderful film.

lost William in 20TH CENTURY WOMEN (2016)

Here's our conversation...

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Saturday
Dec172016

Interview: Jessica Chastain on playing "Miss Sloane"

If you haven't yet seen Miss Sloane about a formidable political mastermind and the sure-to-lose case against the gun lobby that she takes on to the surprise of DC, you'll want to catch it soon. It's rather a classic star vehicle in that the glamorous leading lady is front and center and steering all the juicy twisty drama. That leading lady is, of course, the tireless Jessica Chastain. Chastain shot to stardom with seven films in 2011 (including The Tree of Life and her Oscar nominated role in The Help) and she seemingly hasn't left movie theaters. She's starred in everything from moody business thrillers (A Most Violent Year), gothic horror (Crimson Peak), fiery military dramas (Zero Dark Thirty), and more.

I sat down to talk with her in NYC a month or so ago about how far she's come since that explosive debut year, how she recharges between movies, and how she approached her Golden Globe nominated role as the amoral steely Miss Sloane.

NATHANIEL: One of the things that stuck with me from the first time we talked years ago was how many questions you write into each script about your character. With this character in particular, she is really a complicated woman

JESSICA: So complicated.

NATHANIEL: So was your script just buried in notes? 

JESSICA: Oh my gosh, it was insane...

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Tuesday
Dec132016

Interview: Belgian Oscar Submission 'The Ardennes,' Testosterone, and Building Characters

By Jose Solis.

Belgium’s Oscar submission The Ardennes feels like Drive by way of Fargo and Bullhead, i.e. it’s a gritty neo-noir that thrills and disturbs in equal measures. The quasi-Biblical (or Greek) plot follows two brothers who are like night and day, Dave (Jeroen Perceval who wrote the play the film is based on) is a kind soul who works in a carwash and is trying to set up a home with his girlfriend Sylvie (Veerle Baetens), the problem is she was his brother Kenneth’s (Kevin Janssens) girl before he went away to prison. His release brings the family happiness and pain, as they try to help him adapt to the new situation. First time director Robin Pront crafts a smart thriller with colorful characters and testosterone to spare. I sat down with the director and leading man Janssens to discuss the film’s themes, the Oscar race and Belgian cinema.

Read the interview after the jump.

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Tuesday
Dec132016

Interview: Babak Anvari on British Oscar Submission 'Under the Shadow'

By Jose Solís.

At first glance, Babak Anvari’s Under the Shadow seems to announce itself as a fine Iran-set social drama, as we meet Shideh (Narges Rashidi) a young mother who discovers her political past - she protested the war against Iraq - has deemed her ineligible to return to medical school. When her husband (Bobby Baderi) gets sent to a battle zone for work, she is left behind with her daughter Dorsa (Avin Manshadi) trying to make sense of her life, while their city is under the constant threat of Iraqi missiles. If that wasn’t enough, strange things begin to occur in their home as Dorsa is convinced there is a presence that wants to take her away.

Even though this is Anvari’s first feature film, he displays a mastery of horror techniques that would put others to shame...

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