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Yes No Maybe So - Beauty & The Beast

"Nice teaser but it going to be hard for Disney to top one of their true masterpieces of animation" - Jaragon

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Entries in LGBT (364)

Thursday
Jan212016

Retro Sundance: 1986 Special Jury Prize Winner, Desert Hearts

Team Film Experience isn't at Sundance this year, so instead we're going back through the years to discover and revisit some Sundance classics. Here is Glenn with the 1986 winner of the Special Jury Prize, Donna Deitch's Desert Hearts.

It was a happy accident that on a whim I picked the 1985 drama Desert Hearts to write about today given we’re still very much wrapped up in the warm bosom of Carol. I had not seen Donna Deitch’s film before and had no idea prior to sitting down to watch it that it shared so much in common with Carol, 30 years its senior. I was aware of course that it was a lesbian romance, and I was also aware that the film is (famously) regarded as the first film to allow a lesbian romance to end without tragedy. Still, there were moments where beat-for-beat the films are almost identical. I would be interested to read the novels side by side and see if they’re as alike as their adaptations.

Adapted from Jane Rule’s novel Desert of the Heart, this Sundance Special Jury Prize winner is also set in the 1950s with two women (Helen Shaver and Independent Spirit Award nominee Patricia Charbonneau) of a significant age difference, the eldest of whom is currently in the process of a divorce, who come together much to the surprise of at least one of the pair – although this time it is the younger of the two who finds herself attempting to coax the older woman out from behind her guard. Most striking is how both end not just on similarly optimistic notes, but with almost identical build. Of course, Desert Hearts differs in the way its romance blossoms under the heat of a Reno sun, Shaver’s impractical clothing choices and sever hairstyle slowly becoming more free and loose as her worldview expands thanks to the frank openness of Charbonneau’s younger casino floor-girl a neat costume-oriented touch among the film's mise-en-scene.

More...

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Wednesday
Jan202016

Linkages: Wondrous Women, Chilly Lesbians, and Academy In-Fighting

Atlantic one of the best defenses of Carol's 'coldness" that you'll read. And as I've been saying since October... "If this is chilly, bring on winter."
Awards Daily has the nominations for the Canadian Screen Awards with Room and Felix & Meara (Canada's Oscar submission) leading the way. Perhaps Canadian readers can tell me about this one: How is it different than the long running Genies? 
Comics Alliance Wonder Woman get a "brassy" logo... which looks exactly like how you'd expect since that W on her breastplate is fairly iconic
Pajiba Wonder Woman has also released a couple of very brief clips including a campy look "disguise" will glasses that will remind you instantly of Lynda Carter librarian sexy look on the TV show. Unfortunately Wonder Woman looks as dark and gloomy as the other DC movies... it's a problem when you have to constantly brighten every still in Photoshop just so you can even see it.  
The Retro Set looks at Broken Lance, that interesting 1954 western we discussed a few months back
Amiresque Amir's "Best of" choices for the film year. A reminder to me that I really should have seen Queen of Earth
The Directors Cut Auteur Paul Thomas Anderson interviews Oscar-nominated Adam McKay on The Big Short
YouTube The Suicide Squad gets a new trailer w/ Margot Robbie looking like the obvious standout

Oscar Fights & Carol Honors after the jump... 

 

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Tuesday
Jan192016

15 Best LGBT Characters of '15

We promised a grand total of 15 "Best of "2015" Lists (apart from the awards -- yeah, we're overplanning crazy) so here's the second to last. Diversity is the hot topic of the week and regardless of any one particularity (like an Oscar nominee list) thing are getting better on television (obviously) and at the movies, too, though you have to look a little bit harder. Still, if you go to a lot of movies and attempt to draw up lists like this you'll find you're spoilt for choice. There are so many more films these days directed by women, for gay audiences, for people of the color and the like. You just have to look beyond Big Hollywood and keep your eyes open for intriguing surprises if you do regularly hit the all wide releases multiplex.

Since 15 is a finite number (damn you math) not every film with an LGBT character can make the list. Some I didn't see only because you can't see everything (Legend, Duke of Burgundy, Cut SnakeEastern Boys) and some just didn't make this particular list (Tom at the FarmSaint Laurent, Gerontophilia, Ricki and the FlashMr Holmes, The New Girlfriend, BoulevardStonewall, Match, and The Danish Girl) though that shouldn't reflect on the film itself because that group has everything from terrible to great movies within it. The most high profile miss is Lili Elbe (Eddie Redmaybe) but that's mostly because The Danish Girl needed to be queerer and because there are several women that were far more fetching on this list.

Without further ado...

15 Best LGBT Characters of The Movies of '15
from Nasty Baby through Star Wars (???) and on up to Carol

15 Freddy (Sebastián Silva) in Nasty Baby
Silva, one of Chile's best known filmmakers, doesn't usually star in his own movies, but this time out he gifts himself the lead role. Freddy, an artist working haphazardly on a new project involving adults pretending to be babies, desperately wants to be a dad and is continually trying to make it happen between his boyfriend (Tunde Adebimpe from Rachel Getting Married) and his best friend (Kristen Wiig). Silva's a fluid filmmaker when it comes to gender, ethnicity, and genre and Nasty Baby is a fluid movie, freely hopping from genre to genre without much warning:  drama, comedy, character study, art world satire, and even thriller. (Bonus points for the cat-loving.)

more after the jump

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Thursday
Jan142016

Oscar Trivia: First Time Lucky

Refresh your screen periodically for updates as this post will evolve

If you missed the Oscar nominations  this morning you can check out the full list at our Official Nomination Index Page. The individual Oscar charts will take some time to update but should go up throughout the day. But while we're all gathered let's have so fun checking off some trivia and stats. This post is dedicated to the first timers in Oscar's club.

Feel free to contribute "firsts" in the comments!

First Time Lucky
Mad Max Fury Road is the first live action sequel ever nominated for Best Picture whose original wasn't nominated. In fact the entire Mad Max franchise had received zero nominations up until this morning. Mad Max is only the second sequel ever nominated for Best Picture whose original wasn't up for the same prize. The only other example is Toy Story 3 (the first Toy Story did receive a special Oscar though, before the creation of the Animated Feature Category) 

First Time Nominees
Acting: Bryan Cranston, Brie Larson, Alicia Vikander, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rachel McAdams, Tom Hardy, and two acting legends, film goddess Charlotte Rampling and stage giant Mark Rylance (whose shelves have all fallen from the weight of various trophies... but he doesn't work in movies much.) 

Directing: Adam McKay, Lenny Abrahamson, Thomas McCarthy... and George Miller, believe it or not. Yes, he is an Oscar winner and previous nominee but in different categories (and two of three previous Oscar trips were for talking animal pictures, LOL, the super classic Babe and the animated winner Happy Feet). As of today he's now been nominated in five separate categories: Best Director (MMFR), Best Picture (MMFR & Babe), Best Original Screenplay (Lorenzo's Oil), Best Adapted Screenplay (Babe), and Best Animated Feature (Happy Feet). 

Pop Star: Lady Gaga follows up her Oscar Sound of Music medley performance with an actual Oscar nomination for songwriting for "Til It Happens To You". Oscar voters seem happy with her which is weird because they've shunned her predecessor Madonna remarkably oftenn in this category with movie songs that becamse big hits like Into the Groove, This Used to Be My Playground, Live to Tell, etcetera. 

Other hit songwriters on their first nods include Sam Smith and James Napier for "Writing's on the Wall" from Spectre. And "Earned It" from 50 Shades of Grey from The Weeknd, whose star went supernova recently. The LA Times on his rise to fame

First Time? Not Exactly but It's Still Cool
The Muse reports that Antony Hegarty (of Antony & The Johnsons fame) is the first trans person to receive an Oscar nomination. Antony is nominated for co-writing the "Manta Ray" the Original Song nominee from the documentary Facing Extinction. But this isn't strictly true. First time in modern era when people are quite aware of such things.

Coincidentally, the only previous example of a trans Oscar nominee also comes from the music categories.  Angela Morley (born Wally Stott) was nominated in the music categories twice in the 1970s for The Little Prince (1974) and The Slipper in the Rose (1976). (Lana Wachowski, Hollywood's most famous trans filmmaker, has yet to be Oscar nominated -- the Matrix (1999) which she co-directed with her brother Andy, was nominated for and won four Oscars but none of them went to the Wachowskis.)

First For Your Country
Colombia and Jordan are enjoying their first Foreign Language Film nominations for Embrace of the Serpent and Theeb respectably. Also though I haven't fact-checked I believe Chile is enjoying it's first animated short film nomination with Bear Story. 

FINALLY...

The First Mean Girl Oscar Nominee
Queen Bee Regina George it is. Rachel McAdams is up for Spotlight. Tina Fey has won Globes & Emmys, Lizzy Caplan has been nominated for an Emmy. Will their be a second Mean Girls Oscar nominee at some point? If so who you think it'll be? 

 

Thursday
Jan072016

Interview: Affonso Gonçalves and the Art of Editing Great Actresses

Affonso Gonçalves with this ACE win for editing True Detective (2014)Affonso Gonçalves is a man that every actress lover ought to both thank and envy. Over the course of his career in TV and film he has been privvy to a consisently vivid series of strong and sometimes downright iconic performances by several of our greatest actress. He's helped shape the way we see them, too.

His career began in earnest with as an assisant editor on Todd Solondz's cult hit about a nerdy teenager Dawn Weiner in Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995) and soon thereafter he was editing multiple films for Ira Sachs and other independent minded directors. In the 20 years since his debut he's edited performances by Tilda Swinton (Only Lovers Left Alive), Kate Winslet (Mildred Pierce), Kerry Washington (Night Catches Us), Michelle Williams (The Hawk is Dying), Kim Basinger (The Door in the Floor), and  Patricia Clarkson (Married Life). More famously he's edited two star-making young performances that went on to be Oscar nominated for Best Actress in Jennifer Lawrence in Winter's Bone (2010) and Quvenzhané Wallis in Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012). Next week he'll likely be able to add two more Oscar nominated performances to his editing triumphs with Cate Blanchett & Rooney Mara's duet in Carol.

I had the pleasure recently of grilling him about watching and shaping these Best Actress performances in Winter's Bone, Beasts of the Southern Wild and Carol. Here's our conversation (edited for length and clarity) with very mild Carol spoilers if you haven't yet seen it. The film opens in additional theaters this weekend. More after the jump...

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Wednesday
Jan062016

Interview: Phyllis Nagy on Patricia Highsmith, Sunset Blvd, and "Carol" 

Phyllis Nagy in Palm Springs with Cate BlanchettMonday night through Tuesday evening was a special 24 hours in the lives of Team Experience. At the NYFCC awards gala, Alec Baldwin, presenting the Best Director prize to Todd Haynes (Carol), quoted a Film Comment piece by our dear friend and podcast mate Nick Davis. That same night Phyllis Nagy was honored for Best Screenplay by the Pulitzer winning playwright/screenwriter Tony Kushner (Angels in America, Lincoln) himself. Though I was not in attendance for the Carol-heavy NYFCC gala on Monday night where the film also took Best Cinematography and Best Film), I had the opportunity to congratulate Nagy the next evening on her fine work adapting the year's best film from the original 1952 Patricia Highsmith novel "The Price of Salt." The occassion was a cocktail event for the movie hosted by former and future Todd Haynes muse Julianne Moore (here are a few photos of that reunion.)

It was our second chat with the sharp and talented Phyllis Nagy, who up until Carol had been best known for her stage plays and the HBO film Mrs Harris (2006) which she wrote and directed.

Here's our original conversation which we hope you'll enjoy...

NATHANIEL: So Phyllis I started this  as kind of a joke to myself but then decided to commit to it and have literally asked every person I interviewed from Carol ... How come you're such a genius? 

PHYLLIS NAGY: Well, practice. [Laughs] In this case, yeah, practice, many years of it. Which ultimately aided it, it didn’t hurt it, it may have felt like that from time to time...

NATHANIEL: You mean the long gestation period?

PHYLLIS NAGY: Yeah, when no one wants to [make a film], it gives you the opportunity to obsessively go over it again and again on your own time, at least make it a document that you’re proud of. So, luckily...

[Patricia Highsmith's interiority, great actors, and tough rewrites after the jump...]

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Monday
Jan042016

Interview: Lucinda Coxon's 11 Years With "The Danish Girl" 

One of this season's most talked about movies, The Danish Girl, set tongues wagging long before anyone had seen a single frame. Years before in fact. It wasn't just the subject matter, though the subject matter would have been enough. The Danish Girl tells the true story of married painters Gerda Wegener (Alicia Vikander) and Einar Wegener (Eddie Redmayne) who struggle to come to grips with Einar's true identity, Lili Elbe. Lili was one of the first trans women to ever undergo gender confirmation surgery which was then an experimental series of surgery. It's a difficult subject to dramatize, and a difficult subject to talk about particularly given how quickly the verbiage and discourse has changed across the decades. People didn't know how to talk about it in 1930 when the story was a very current sensation in Denmark and Germany and do people really know how to talk about it now? A quick perusal of any trans story around the internet will tell you the answer is still no. 

It's always a particular challenge for heavily buzzed pictures to get out into the marketplace and form their own identity outside of everyone's pre-screening perceptions of them. Oscar winner Tom Hooper's (The King's Speech) latest is definitely no exception. Even the casting, which wouldn't have been all that controversial even a handful of years ago other than in a rubber-necking kind of "Oscar bait" way, has been the subject of spirited debates along the lines of "shouldn't a trans actor be playing the part?" But films take a long time to make. Who could have known the happy development in the past few years in regards to trans visibility in Transparent, Tangerine, Orange is the New Black

The Danish Girl's complicated gestation period is where I began when i sat down with the woman who'd been with the project the longest, its screenwriter Lucinda Coxon. Our interview is after the jump... 

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