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Podcast - 1996 Cannes Competition Revisit

"Never forget Madonna (!!) beating Frances McDormand for the Golden Globe that year" - David

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Entries in LGBT (364)

Tuesday
Feb092016

Bye Instant Watch: United 93, Star Trek, and a Dutch LGBT Gem

Here's another batch of movies leaving Instant Watch services on Netflix of Amazon Prime if you'd like to catch up with them. It also provides us with an excuse to talk about a handful of random movies so why not. We've freeze framed randomly. Let's begin...

UNITED 93 (2006) ends February 11th on Netflix

United 93, Cleveland. Verify your altitude." 

This freeze frame is about 45 minutes in. The terrorists have just taken the cockpit when air traffic control tries to reach them. God this movie is upsetting. 

WERE THE WORLD MINE (2008) ends February 11th on Netflix

-Jonathan. You look luminous.
-I'm in love.  

I dont remember this well beyond its silly everyone straight becomes gay through magic plot. But I think there was a good musical number?  [More films after the jump...]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb022016

Sweet 16 Links: Colette, Noni, Gaga, and a Lynch Reunion

Variety Keira Knightley in talks to star in the biopic about the French writer Colette. Crossing my fingers about this one. Colette is fascinating (she wrote Cheri!)
Comics Alliance on Marvel, politics, and why corporations are not your friend
Towleroad TitanMen has offered disgraced Congressman Aaron Schock (the one with abs and a Downton Abbey fetish) $1 million to star in a porn film. LOL
Variety Clive Owen, Alba Rohrwacher, and more join Meryl Streep's competition jury at Berlinale

Kenneth in the (212) Shirtless Russell Tovey reportedly causes a Broadway audience member to faint. Ha!
Pajiba checks in w/ the Trainspotting cast, 20 years on 
i09 Naomi Watts reunites with Lynch for Twin Peaks S3
i09 Noomi Rapace not returning for the Prometheus sequel
IndieWire thinks "The Chickening," a short film remix of The Shining is insane and genius. Definitely the first part. As for the second... 
Towleroad a first for ESPN, actor Matthew Wilkas (Gayby, You're Killing Me) labelled "Gus Kenworthy's Boyfriend" during the X Games 
Coming Soon Tony winner Annaleigh Ashford (we  her) has joined the cast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show the next TV musical (though this one won't be "live") 
Salon "Where are all the women in American Film?" a SAG-AFTRA member reviews her screeners

I had seen four films, 75 percent of which completely leave women out of the story. But maybe women really don’t feature in West African war zones. Or in the history of NWA. Or in finance.

But of course we feature. It just depends what story you want to tell.

TODAY'S WATCH
Lady Gaga performering her and Diane Warren's Best Original Song nominee "Til It Happens To You" at the PGA Awards

 

LEFTOVER SUNDANCE BUZZ
Variety 19 breakthrough performances from the festival
Film School Rejects talks to the cast and filmmaker of the LGBT Korean-American drama Spa Night
The Guardian Oscar buzz from the fest including Manchester by the Sea, Ira Sach's Little Men and Rebecca Hall as Christine 

TODAY'S MUST (LONG) READ
"Winona Forever" by Soraya Roberts for Hazlitt. It's a great history of the star's youth and her sudden generational iconhood. And how we've trapped her adolescence ever since. 

Winona Ryder arrived at the perfect time. Film scholar Timothy Shary characterizes the teen genre as “cyclical.” Ryder’s first film, Lucas, was released at the end of the hyper-hormonal Porky’s era (AIDS and teen pregnancy ruined it for everyone), five years before the release of Boyz N the Hood. In the period between 1986 and 1990, during her teen career, there were about 250 American films about adolescents, the most memorable being nostalgic thefts of innocence such as Dirty Dancing (1987), Hairspray (1988) and Dead Poets Society (1989). Three of Ryder’s films—Great Balls of Fire, 1969, Mermaids—adhered to this theme. She was in a sweet spot: post sex-crazed, pre-violence crazed—the ideal landing pad for a wide-eyed alien.

“You’d be hard pressed to say who was an average girl in teen movies after the mid-80s,” says Shary. The Brats had moved on, and so had John Hughes (his last teen film, Some Kind of Wonderful, came out in 1987), though no one forgot about them. “[Hughes] showed that you could make sensitive teen films that didn’t have nudity that didn’t pander to the supposed teen sex urge,” Shary says. He thinks this was “a contributing factor in helping set up an actress like Winona Ryder who could come along in the later ‘80s and be taken seriously as a teen actress.” While Hughes muse Molly Ringwald pined for the rich guy, Ryder merely pined for herself...

It's a delicious read and for those of you who didn't live through the Depp/Winona years, a fine encapsulation of the generational fascination with their relationship.

Friday
Jan292016

Retro Sundance: 2006's Quinceañera

Dancin' Dan continues our classic Sundance celebration with a tenth anniversary of a film that should really have a bigger fan base.

Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland's Quinceañera is one of those films that is inextricable from the story of how it was made: The two moved to the Echo Park area of Los Angeles, a primarily working-class Latino neighborhood that was rapidly gentrifying. After being invited to their neighbor's fifteenth birthday party - a Latin American right of passage known as a quinceañera - they were amazed by the elaborate ceremony and thought it would make a great setting for a film. Later, when thinking about making a drama partially based on their experience as a white gay couple in a gentrifying neighborhood, the idea resurfaced. And the rest, as they say, is history: Quinceañera won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award for dramatic feature.

Both of those awards make total sense after watching the film, which is a low-key crowd-pleaser that isn't afraid to tackle some big, complex issues head-on. Thankfully, the film isn't primarily about the white couple moving into the under-privileged area, but rather about Magdalena, a pregnant virgin, and her cousin Carlos, who is gay. Both have been thrown out of their homes for the seeming sins of their lives, and move in with their uncle (or tio) Tomas. The building where Tomas lives has recently been bought by a white gay couple, James and Gary, who move in and waste little time in starting up a ménage à trois with Carlos.

These three separate story threads - Magdalena's, Carlos's, and James & Gary's - combine to make Quinceañera not so much a coming-of-age story, but a coming-of-home story, looking at what makes us feel a sense of belonging both in life and in a specific place. And it's the film's sense of place that really makes the film resonate. The whole thing feels authentic, between the location shooting, the mostly non-professional (though quite talented) performers, and the cozy-looking living places. Everything has a lived-in feel that is more rare than it should be in films, and Glatzer and Westmoreland (who gave us Julianne Moore's Oscar-winning performance in Still Alice, just before Glatzer passed away) keep what little quirk there is grounded enough that it never grates.

This is a small film with a lot on its mind, and it stays true to its modest roots all the way through. It's a Feel-Good Movie that you really can feel good about.

Happy 10th Birthday, Quinceanera! Remind us to throw you a huge party in five years. You'll surely be just as wonderful as when you first premiered.

Friday
Jan292016

Sundance Buzz: Short Film Winners

The Czech queer short "Peacock" won Best DirectorWith the Academy Award short nominees opening in theaters today, it's a good time to note that the Sundance short film jury handed out their awards this week. This year's jury of three was Key & Peele's Keegan-Michael Key, MTV's chief film critic Amy Nicholson, and Amazon Studio's Gina Kwon. Since Sundance is a qualifying festival for Academy Awards you might hear the name of some of these shorts again in about a year. One of last year's big winners, for example, was World of Tomorrow by Don Hertzfeldt. That's an Oscar nominee right now for Best Animated Short. 

The 2016 Short Film Winners are as follows:

 

Grand Jury Prize Thunder Road (USA, Jim Cummings) an officer eulogizes his mother. Cummings is a producer/director with some shorts under his belt.
U.S. Fiction The Procedure (USA, Calvin Lee Reeder) a horror short about a captive man. Reeder has made several horror shorts and directed one of the segments in that anthology V/H/S
International Fiction Maman(s) (France, Maïmouna Doucouré) This one is about a young girl in a Parisian suburb whose father returns from Senegal with a surprise, a second wife
Non-FictionBacon & God's Wrath (Canada, Sol Friedman)  an elderly Jewish woman cooking bacon for the first time and reflecting on her life. This short also received an honorable mention from the jury at TIFF in September so perhaps it's a legit long list contender for next year's Documentary Short competition?


AnimationEdmond (UK, Nina Gantz) see the teaser above. This short has been making the rounds for a bit now. It recently won the BIFA and it's a BAFTA nominee this year but it did not make the longlist cut to 10 finalists for the current Oscar competition
Outstanding Performance Grace Glowicki won for Her Friend Adam (Canada, Benjamin Petrie) in which her boyfriend's jealousy spirals out of control.
Special Jury Award for Best Direction: Peacock (Czech Republic, Ondřej Hudeček). Peacock bills itself as "a twisted queer romance" it's set in the 19th century and has something to do with the birth of an influential writer. The film promises "Suspense, laughter, violence, hope, nudity, sex, and a happy ending—mostly a happy ending."

 

Thursday
Jan282016

Retro Sundance: 2001's Hedwig and the Angry Inch

2001 was the comeback year for the musical. As the massively-scaled Moulin Rouge was reinventing the genre for the post MTV era, John Cameron Mitchell's Hedwig and the Angry Inch was an unassuming small scale success that didn't disappoint its cult following from its Off Broadway run and the cult grew rapidly after its Sundance debut. Still a genre anomaly for Sundance, this musical was awarded the Audience Award (Dramatic) and Mitchell won Best Director for his first time behind the camera.

The dramatic Audience Award winners are typically optimistic, but rarely this uniting - Hedwig is a musical that reflects our deepest human needs. Nothing brings together a crowd of strangers like music (or film) we can all connect to and Hedwig's score is packed with emotional insight. Composer Stephen Trask fills the songs with rage, wit, and a hard-won optimism that burns through whatever baggage we as an audience bring to the table. [More...]

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Tuesday
Jan262016

Retro Sundance: 1991's Poison

Since we're not in Sundance this year, a look back at Sundance classics. Here's David on Poison...

Glenn kicked off our Sundance retrospective with a look at Desert Hearts, a film with more than a passing resemblance to Todd Haynes' Carol; a few years down the line, and we come to Haynes’ own appearance in the Utah festival, with his feature debut Poison. Winner of the 1991 festival’s Grand Jury Prize - Dramatic, Poison is considered a vital film in the ‘New Queer Cinema’ movement of the early 1990s, as coined by B. Ruby Rich the following year. Rich’s theory involved not just the presence of LGBT characters and themes, but the queering of filmmaking form itself. Haynes had already demonstrated his inventive, radical eye in the controversial short film Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, and Poison, with its triptych of homonymic narratives, consolidated the director’s manipulation of nostalgia and classic cinematic forms to produce a strikingly different approach to cinema.

Each segment is presented in an individual and vivid stylistic form. 'Hero', the story of a young boy who shoots his father and literally flies away, comes as an oversaturated tabloid news documentary, containing interviews with scandalised neighbours, incisively lurid narration and tremulous recreations of the event itself. [More...]

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Monday
Jan252016

Sundance Retro: 1990's "Longtime Companion" 

Team Experience is looking back on past Sundance winners since we aren't attending this year. Here's Kyle Turner on an LGBT indie that took the Audience Award and proved so popular in release that it even snagged a Best Supporting Actor nomination (Bruce Davison) at the Oscars a year later.

an early scene in Longtime Companion

In the first fifteen minutes of Longtime Companion, the words “Did you see the article?” fall from around a dozen different characters’ mouths. It’s July 1981, when the New York Times published its piece titled “Rare Cancer Seen in 41 Homosexuals”, and the way news gets around is by press and by word of mouth. These characters, all gay men in their 20s and 30s, shrug it off, try to carry on with their lives. 

To them, this cancer is nebulous, unworthy of their time, and yet something that occupies their thoughts all the same. Thus, the film exists within a particular time, where information is dispersed differently, yet dismissed similarly.

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