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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R


 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 

 

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Entries in LGBT (297)

Wednesday
May132015

HBO’s LGBT History: The Beginning

Manuel here kicking off a mini-series of sorts focusing on HBO's decades-old commitment to telling quality LGBT stories. I spent much of this spring recapping Looking here at The Film Experience and as polarizing as many (both here and elsewhere) found the show, it remained the sole American television show centered on the gay male experience to air last year. As we all know, shortly after the season 2 finale, HBO understandably pulled the plug; the show garnered a mere 0.298 million viewers for that episode, a mere pittance when compared to their Westeros-set hit, but also nearly half of what Lena Dunham’s show metered that same evening. And so, to fill the void and build up to a very gay-friendly upcoming HBO film roster (Queen Latifah’s Bessie, that rumored Matt Bomer/Montgomery Clift biopic, the Looking wrap-up film), we’re diving headfirst into a crafting an oral LGBT history of the network that gave us Patrick, Richie, Kevin, Agustin, and Dom, but which had clearly paved the way for such a show with a long storied list of LGBT stories even before it became the ratings giant it is now.

To say HBO, as a cable provider, as a television network, and as an independent film producer, has changed the media landscape is perhaps a bit of an understatement. Its long-running tagline, “It’s not TV, it’s HBO” spoke to the core of what has made HBO such an institution. Despite various attempts at replicating its successes, HBO remains staunchly and idiosyncratically itself. Netflix and Amazon may be sniping at its heels but with a bucket load of Emmys, a gigantic and zeitgesty fantasy series on hand, and its new streaming service (anyone sign up for HBO Now, yet?), the cable giant is showing no signs of aging.

[Angels in America and Your Requested Participation after the jump...]

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Wednesday
May132015

New To (Some of) You: Still Alice, Futuro Beach, Beloved Sisters

Thanks to everyone who answered last week's open question about DVD coverage. We won't fuss too much about switching things up but we will do a little more than we are doing for the second and third wave audiences.

NEW DVD / BLURAY
This is your weekly reminder that Julianne Moore is now an Oscar winner! The film that finally did the job (in conjunction, of course, with goodwill from a dozen undeniable acting triumphs in her past) was Still Alice, a minimalist drama about a linguistics professor suffering from early on set Alzheimers which is now out on DVD and BluRay for you stragglers. Who still hasn't seen it? You owe it to Julie so, rectify.  For those that did see it two questions:

  1. Which scene do you think cemented Julianne's Oscar traction or even her win?
  2. If it's different, what scene or moment do you still think about?

Also recommended: Germany's most recent Oscar submission Beloved Sisters didn't win much press or Oscar traction despite an actual theatrical release in the December glut but it will satisfy those of you that love a good costume drama and don't mind a long running time. It's about two sisters whose mother hopes for them to marry rich but they both fall in love with the same penniless poet. Perhaps they'll share him? Here's the complete review if you missed it.

Also new though good luck finding someone who recommends them: Mortdecai (Johnny Depp + Gwyneth Paltrow + moustaches?), Blackhat (Michael's review), The Cobbler (the scathing reviews were something of a surprise since writer/director Thomas McCarthy is usually beloved), and Taylor Lautner in Tracers (though I'm never going near one of those again post-Abduction

Two recommended Instant Watches after the jump...

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Wednesday
May062015

10th Anniversary of 'Mysterious Skin' and Joseph Gordon-Levitt: Actor

Glenn here. Look, we all know Joseph Gordon-Levitt was a child actor, and a pretty good one, too (that scene where he got skate in the face in Halloween: H20 is very memorable). But let's not kid around here. It wasn't until the release of Gregg Araki's Mysterious Skin in 2005 that most really started to take him seriously. One year later he starred in Brick and he's only continued to rise up the ranks as a popular and critically respected actor. Looking back, I can't recall if his presence was as exciting to me in this film as Michelle Trachtenburg from Buffy, but looking back now he's certainly one of the reasons the film holds up.

It's actually rather appropriate that the 10th anniversary of Mysterious Skin should occur now at around the same time as New York Magazine's article entitled “Why You Should Go to the Movies (and Do Other Stuff) Alone” has been getting shared around on social media. You see, Araki's film was the first film I ever went to see at the cinema by myself. I travelled to Melbourne all on my lonesome, without friends or family who I usually convinced to join me for a day at the arthouse, and caught a screening of the movie that had amassed so much controversy in the local media. There were threats of it being banned after a 'family organization' (code for fundamentalist "won't somebody think of the children" noddies) demanded a review of its already very restrictive R18+ rating which is the Australian equivalent of an NC-17. Given the history of sexually graphic films being banned after similar action - titles like Romance and Baise-Moi - I knew I had to see this film. And fast!

MORE...

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Wednesday
Apr292015

Belinda the rain is falling. Belinda your link is calling ♪ ♫

The Onion "I only like movies where the whole cast dances in the end credits"
Pajiba Hayley Atwell continues to enjoy her Agent Peggy Carter awesomeness even without news of a renewal yet
Esquire an interview with Chris Evans who talks his friendship with the other Chris and his insane Marvel schedule
NY Times Actress Jayne Meadows (1919-2015) RIP
In Contention the moment Michael Keaton knew he would lose the Oscar
Interview talks to Sam Shepard, still acting, writing, and being cool 


Sesame Street The Aveggies: Age of Bon Bon. The Avengers spoof peaks early with the line reading "What happened to my asparagus!?" which sent me into lolz
The Dissolve looks back at Ang Lee's Hulk (2003) 
Variety looks at Netflix streaming data. Daredevil S1 being the biggest immediate hit but House of Cards having a longer tail for streaming. Or something? What does it all mean? It's meaningless without Orange is the New Black data if you ask me.

Happy They're Working But... Sigh
Film School Rejects Wild Tales Damian Szifron's next project is... writing The Six Billion Dollar Man reboot movie for Peter Berg. Frustrating because he can direct circles around Berg if Wild Tales is any indication
Jezebel Viola Davis to star in a Harriet Tubman biopic. Sadly for the Viola Needs An Oscar Fan Club (President: Nathaniel R) it's for HBO and she'll probably already have an Emmy by then

Beefcake
MNPP Why does Zac Efron have a huge bumblebee on his crotch -- What the hell?
Boy Culture Joe Magianello Magic Mike XXL Poster. Co-sign on the blog post title! 
MNPP sharing gifs and the trailer for the Magic Mike ripoff Chocolate City 

Bruce Jenner (in half shirt) and friends in Can't Stop the Music (1980)Former Beefcake
Kenneth in the (212) dedicates "Belinda" (i had totally forgotten about this song but used to love it) to Bruce Jenner
Boy Culture on Bruce Jenner coming out as a... Republican. 

The unfolding Bruce Jennfer story is another reminder, like the superb documentary Prodigal Sons by former high school football star turned trans documentarian Kimberly Reed, that external presentation does not always equal internal truth. Bruce became famous as such a traditionally masculine person in the late 70s, gold medal athleticism and all, which is I think why this whole thing surprised so many people. Including myself. In case you missed it we revisited Bruce Jenner's 1980 movie Can't Stop the Music this very month last year.  

Speaking of Hit Me With Your Best Shot.... does anyone know what happened to the guy RJ who ran "(Home) Film Schooled"? The blog vanished some time ago without a trace but there was good writing there!

Bright Star is Brightest Thursday Night/Friday Morning...
Because of a forgotten scheduling conflict involving, um, superheroes (mom, they're oppressing us again!)  I had to postpone Jane Campion's poetic flowery romance for 'BEST SHOT' which was originally tonight. But here are 4 early entries for A Fistful of Films (which you have to agree is one of the best blog titles ever), Lam Chop Chop, Coco hits NY, and Zitzelfilm to whet your appetite for its visual splendor. 

Wednesday
Apr222015

X-Man Comes Out!

Manuel here fanboying over the increasingly diverse Marvel COMICS universe which recently outed original X-Man Iceman in the newest issue of All-New X-Men. If we must succumb to a superhero-filled world, we might as well celebrate these types of storylines:

I love her shrug

That’s Jean Grey sort of breaking the news to gorgeous Bobby Drake (played in the films by Shawn Ashmore) who seems taken aback by this realization. Marvel has always been at the cutting edge of progressive diverse representation, especially the X-Man whose central conceit has lent itself to so many subtextual storylines about discrimination and persecution. Indeed, when I first heard the news of Bobby’s “coming out” I couldn’t help but remember the following scene from X2 (arguably the best of the X-Men films precisely because it so skillfully mines the mutant-as-gay metaphor while offering great action set pieces that feel generous towards all its characters and not just the franchise’s golden boy Wolverine):

The question now becomes: will the Marvel Cinematic Universe ever catch up? With Black Panther and Captain Marvel (now with writers attached!) coming soon, Michael B. Jordan’s Johnny Storm coming our way this summer and a number of non-white members of the X-Men cast in the upcoming Apocalypse storyline (here’s hoping Bingbing Fan’s Blink gets a chance to shine!) we may be slowly moving towards a superhero slate that isn’t entirely lily-white (I’ve yet to catch up on Daredevil past the pilot but I couldn’t shake off the whole “white guy vs foreigners/immigrants” storyline it seemed to be painting) though it seems it’ll remain straight for the foreseeable future.

How long until we get a prominent LGBT character in the MCU? With total media domination (Netflix shows! ABC* spinoffs! Movies scheduled until 2098!) it's a matter of time, yes? 

*Is this the part where I'm informed that there's such a character already in either Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and/or Agent Carter, two shows I started watching but grew tired of midway through? And if so, does this just add further credence to the idea that television continues to be more open to representing diversity than the box-office beholden franchise world of cinema?

Tuesday
Apr212015

Stage Door: "Fun Home" & "An American in Paris"

The Tony Award Nominations are exactly one week from today, so we really ought to talk about the musicals that might be vying for top honors. Both of today's shows have movie connections, albeit one more tenuous than the other. Both are also likely nominees in the Best Musical category, which is the Best Picture of the Tony Awards. Yes, there are 3 other top prizes (Play, Revival of a Play, Revival of a Musical) but Musical is the most coveted prize and the one with arguably the biggest impact on legacies and box office. Ten musicals are eligible in this category for the 2014/2015 season and I'd be surprised if these two won't comprise half of the four-wide nominee list. 

Two fine "new" musicals after the jump...

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