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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 LGBT (426)

Monday
Oct172016

"Moonlight" in Three Acts

Since Barry Jenkins' new film Moonlight is told in triptych style, we've opted to bring you our NYFF review in the same way with three of us writing it! - Editor

"Little" by Murtada Elfadl
Moonlight is a patient movie that takes its time to give us a full portrait of what goes on in a young man’s mind. Long beautifully rendered scenes provide us pivotal snippets of days in a life. The economy of the scenes mixed with the patience in storytelling means that every gesture and word counts. Barry Jenkins takes Tarell McCraney’s unproduced play "In Moonlight Black Boys Boys Look Blue" and paints it on screen, using his actors’ faces and bodies to deliver singular poetic images.

The languid melancholic tone fits the inner monologue of the main character Chiron (who is called "Little" in this first of three segments),  who is struggling to understand himself...

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Tuesday
Oct112016

National Coming Out Day (and other things to celebrate today)

Happy National Coming Out Day! Coming out may be a political act but it's also a personal one, and life-saving for most because who wants to live a lie? It also shifts the world like nothing else when it comes to civil rights for LGBT people. If you had told us in the 1980s how many celebrities would be "out" by 2016 we'd have cried tears of joy. Thanks to everyone who has been brave enough to change the larger world by changing their own. Ripple effects, people. One of my favorite annual events in this regard is Towleroad's "Most Powerful Coming Out" lists for each year. Here's 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012. The most recent celebrity to publicly out themselves is Sara Ramirez of Grey's Anatomy and Spamalot! fame who is bisexual. 

We don't watch Grey's Anatomy but any excuse to share Sara singing "Whatever Happened to My Part?" we'll take it.

IT'S THE UNOFFICIAL ANTHEM OF (SUPPORTING) ACTRESSING

But that's not the only thing to celebrate today, not even within Supporting Actressing. On this day in history as it relates to showbiz after the jump...

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Thursday
Oct062016

NYFF: Uncle Howard & Brillo Box (3 ¢ off)

Here's Jason reporting from NYFF on two docs that deal with a younger generation being affected and influenced by the art dealings of their elders.

It seems like every other gay person that I meet has a gay aunt or uncle who informed their childhood in some way - I never did; the closest I got was a friend of my mother's who was whispered about as a weird bachelor type, but he was out of her life before I was born. But you remember such things, small weird whispers as they are, when they're your singular life-line to a big world actually existing out there where you can figure your own stuff out. 

I don't know or care if director Aaron Brookner is gay himself but you get the same sensation from watching Uncle Howard, his new documentary on his uncle, a film-maker who died at the age of 34 from AIDS - the thirst to eat up all he can about this fabulous person who lived a fabulous life in the margins of his own, and what that was like for him... 

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Sunday
Oct022016

Feeling the "Effects" (One Mississippi, Episode 2)

by Stephen Fenton

When a loved one dies, there’s a flurry of activity; all manner of tasks to be done and arrangements to be made. It’s those first few days after the funeral that are the hardest, when reality starts to kick in, and you realize you to make sense of this new normal. And that’s where we find Tig and family in the second episode of One Mississippi.  

“How was your stay at the hospital? Were you satisfied? Or did things not go so well?...Because you died.”

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Sunday
Oct022016

NYFF: Mysteries of "The Ornithologist"

Nathaniel R reporting from the New York Film Festival 

Would it help if I could speak Portuguese? Perhaps an intimate knowledge of Portugal's history and politics or a Catholic education would do the trick? What is it exactly about films from Portugal that make them so impenetrable? The latest confusion-maker from the Iberian peninsula, on the heels of last year's confounding but intermittently wondrous Arabian Nights, is The Ornithologist by Joao Pedro Rodrigues.

The film begins, literally enough, with a long sequence in which our protagonist Fernando (Paul Hamy, a fine Tom Hardy-like specimen) watches birds for hours in an idyllic lake. He also takes a swim, has cel phone trouble when he tries to take a call, and kayaks further into nature to see rarer birds. The opening act, part nature documentary, part contemplative reverie is superb. Both the cinematography and its subjects are beautiful and irresistibly unknowable. One intuitively right and sustained visual motif is frequent shots from the birds point of view where Fernando looks just as alien to them.

This peaceful wonder gives way soon enough to abrupt danger. From that point forward the film becomes stranger and stranger with each new, well, stranger that Fernando meets in his travels: Chinese tourists, Amazonian hunters, mute shepherds, and more. While clearly allegorical in the telling, the meanings escaped me. 

LGBT cinephiles might know the director Joao Pedro Rodrigues from his disturbing and sexually charged debut O Fantasma (2000) or the trans drama To Die Like a Man which was Portugal's Oscar submission in 2010.  The Ornithologist is similarly suffused with queer eroticism -- Fernando is tied up like Saint Sebastian in his tighty whities in one memorable sequence, and has sex with a shepherd named Jesus in another. The Ornithologist is thankfully not quite as nihilistic as the director's earlier work and even ends on an incongruously giddy (tongue-in-cheek?) note, but it remains a head scratcher despite that inarguably hypnotic pull. 

Previous Reviews from NYFF:
Graduation (from the director of 4 Months 3 Weeks and 2 Days)
The Unknown Girl (from Belgium's Dardenne brothers)
Staying Vertical (from the director of Stranger by the Lake)
Paterson (Directed by Jim Jarmusch starring Adam Driver)
Abacus (Documentary from Steve James of Hoop Dreams fame)
I, Daniel Blake (this year's Palme D'or Champ)
Hermia & Helena (Directed by Matías Piñeiro)

Saturday
Oct012016

Transparent Season 3. Part One 

TV’s best comedy/drama/tragedy, Transparent, is back for Season 3 in all of its sexual/pansexual/transsexual glory as creator Jill Soloway brings us back into the tumultuous lives of the fallible Pfefferman family.  Here’s a look at Episodes 1-3…


Episode One:  Elizah
It’s a bummer that the first show out of the gate is probably the weakest episode of Transparent we’ve seen.  While the show starts promisingly with Rabbi Raquel (the magical Kathryn Hahn, promoted to full-time cast member this season) jogging through misty woods to a soundtrack of Jacques Brel’s “Ne Me Quitte Pas”…this episode is devoted almost entirely to one storyline.  While Maura (Jeffrey Tambor) works one of her first shifts at the LGBT community center hotline, she receives a call from a confused young trans girl named Elizah.  When Elizah hangs up on her, Maura is so moved and involved that she spends the day tracking her down...  

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Thursday
Sep292016

Some Brain Vomiting About "Finding Prince Charming"

By Nathaniel R

Outside of talent-based competitions like Project Runway and RuPaul's Drag Race, I rarely watch reality television. Sure, I've seen an episode here and there of some of the big ones (mostly due to Emmy races or being around friends who were watching them) but I've never seen an episode of anything from the Housewives subgenre or Kardashians anything and never will. I've also never seen an episode of The Bachelor or Bachelorette.

This avoidance is less about artistic judgement than a lifelong aversion to famous people who are famous for no good reason. Celebrity that comes from talent or a contribution to society is easy to respect even if you don't personally admire that particular celebrity. Nevertheless after becoming obsessed with UNReal last season (have you finished S2?) its brilliant acting, disturbing psychology, and its evisceration of The Bachelor I suddenly had all these curiousities about this particular subgenre. 

Enter Finding Prince Charming on Logo which bills itself as the 'first' all gay dating show and is basically The Bachelor with old school Shakespearean casting; men play all the roles...

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