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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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yes, we had a good time at the movies in 2016


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The Next La La Land?

"It looks like fun and Hugh and Zac make a cute couple" - Jaragon

"Why do we keep treating La La Land like some sort of longsuffering, put-upon, misunderstood underdog? It's like making time to assure the prom queen that she's pretty and popular.." -Hayden

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Entries in List-Mania (153)

Friday
Jan132017

Best of Year: Nathaniel's Top Ten

We've reached the end of our Year in Review List Making if not the end of the year in review list making -- wait wha?!. Which is to say that we still have our own awards nominations (both Oscar and fun extras) in some 40 categories to come. That's right. It's time for the annual Film Bitch Award Nominations -- our 17th annual prizes (gulp) -- which begin with the age-old tradition of the top ten list.

But first...

HONORABLE MENTION

If The Salesman borrows too liberally from Asghar Farhadi's masterpiece A Separation so be it (let's face it -- all the great auteurs steal from themselves. This is how we recognize their films). It's a riveting drama exposed by destabilizing cracks in the foundations.

Sing Street was the year's most rewarding nostalgia piece causing flashbacks of teenage identity experiments and that usually short lived  'i could be a pop star!' phase. And what a fantastically fresh cast.

Viggo Mortensen's uniquely out of place and time persona (think about it: he could be from any country or era) is a huge boon to the thought-provoking Captain Fantastic. Writer/director Matt Ross harnesses Viggo's energy for a head-first sprint into the woods of non-conformity but those idealogical woods thin out and soon enough we're face-to-face with reality.

The Fits' unique character as something of a mystical movement film had us levitating. Its hard-to-pin-down allegory wasn't so much tentative and amorphous as thrillingly ambiguous...

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Sunday
Jan012017

Celebrate the 100 Oldest Living Oscar Nominees & Winners

The recent death of beloved showbiz icon Debbie Reynolds will back us up on something we've repeatedly proclaimed here at The Film Experience: Don't wait to celebrate the greats! Appreciate their gifts while they're still with us so they can feel the love. Oscar just barely recognized Debbie in time and even then her health was too poor to be there for her big night at the Governor's Awards in 2015. You never know when each journey ends. The Academy especially shouldn't be waiting around until it's too late for important artists. There are so many worthy contenders for Honorary Oscars (some of them on this list below - and we've noted that to nudge AMPAS) that are now in their 80s and 90s!


Our point is this, dear reader: Cherry pick a few people on this list and watch a few of their movies this year to appreciate their gift or learn about it for the first time. Our very best wishes of good health and happiness to the following actors, directors and craftsmen of all kinds in this new year.

100 OLDEST LIVING OSCAR NOMINEES/WINNERS
If they are halfway or more to an EGOT we've noted that, too

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Friday
Dec302016

A Year with #52FilmsByWomen

Year in Review. Every afternoon, a new wrap-up. Today Glenn on his year with #52FilmsByWomen

The hashtag ‘52FilmsByWomen’ was started by Women in Film as a means of getting people to consciously watch at least one film a week directed by a woman. It seems like a simple mission considering the number of films many of us watch for both work and pleasure, but I have no doubt that of the 10,000+ people who pledged to do it, many didn’t reach the goal. That’s all right, though, because I saw enough for two.

No, really. In 2016, I watched 105 titles including feature films, shorts, and documentaries. They cover classics, new releases, hidden gems, animations, comedy, horror, and from all over the world. Here are...

TEN OBSERVATIONS FROM MY YEAR OF #52FILMSBYWOMEN

Subverting Toxic Masculinity
We don’t just want more women making films for their fine-tuned insights into the lives of women – Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women and Anna Rose Holmer’s The Fits being perhaps the most obvious examples among this year’s releases that I saw – but also for their unique takes on men and masculinity.

Look no further for Athina Rachel Tsangari’s Chevalier for a film that couldn’t have been made by a man, but which has so much to say in this year of “toxic masculinity”. What a shame it didn't catch fire with arthouse audiences and award voters. I wasn't too taken by Tsangari's Attenberg, but I responded to Chevalier more than any of Yorgos Lanthimos' works so far, so make of that what you will.

I’ll Go Anywhere with Andrea Arnold
From the surveilled streets of Scotland in Red Road, the council estates of Essex in Fish Tank, the moors of Wuthering Heights, and now, apparently, the American Midwest...

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Thursday
Dec292016

The 16 Greatest Music Videos of '16

Every day, different angles on a 2016 wrap up. Tonight Nathaniel with the year's best musical short films...

It's true. They're more commonly referred to as "Music Videos" but since they have their roots in the Movie Musical, we think of them as short film descendants of that greatest of film genres. Music videos, which exploded so spectacularly in the 1980s with the dawn of MTV but experienced something like a midlife death rather than crisis, when MTV dropped the music part of music television, have roared back to life in the past decade with YouTube Vimeo and other saviors. The medium is alive and well and arguably healthier than ever (until the next platform crisis at least).

Though Beyonce's Lemonade dominated the conversation, 2016 actually produced a remarkable number of musical shorts that one might include under the umbrella of "Women Gone Wild," a subgenre equal parts political, erotic, and psychological...

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Thursday
Dec292016

City of Link

ET First pic of Pixar's Coco though the text is greatly irritating as they seem to be very anti-musical "Don't call it a musical!"
Filmmixtape "if 2016's worst films were drag race competitors"
Playbill George S Irving, the voice of Heat-Miser for the Bankin Rass TV classic "The Year Without a Santa Claus" has died at 94. 
The Guardian why 2016 was a big year for female sexuality in film and on television 

Carrie Fisher & Debbie Reynolds and infinite list-making after the jump...

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Monday
Dec262016

George Michael (RIP)

As a general rule of thumb, we love list-making and recapping of the year's significant moments and events but the exception is the work of the grim reaper. Death has claimed so many icons recently, particularly from the music world, that 2016 is starting to feel like a parody of its apocalyptic self as we reach its conclusion.

On Christmas day, of all days considering that one of his most enduring hits is "Last Christmas," George Michael was taken from us. Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou (better known as George Michael) was born in East Finchley London in 1963. By the age of 19 he'd charted his first hit with his friend Andrew Ridgeley (the other half of Wham!) called "Young Guns (Go for It!)". Two years later he was world famous by way of the global smash "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go." Which is when little Nathaniel first fell in love. But that initial fame wasn't the half of it. In fact the early hits I loved so much only hinted at the artist he'd become. He proved himself one of the great pop singers and composers over and over again. "Listen Without Prejudice Vol. I," released in 1990 is surely his masterpiece (and one of the greatest pop albums ever recorded) but he continued to be brilliant even when record contract troubles and personal problems overshadowed his talent with the public. His career had been quiet for some time but it's worth noting that he made one last significant contribution to pop culture that people don't regularly attribute to him -- he was the first star to sing with James Corden whilst driving around in a car back in 2011 which eventually became the ubiquitous "Carpool Karaoke" series of the here and now. 

Given his death this weekend, the lyrics and defiance of one of his very last records "White Light" (recorded in 2012 and inspired by his near death in 2011) are suddenly so much sadder.

There is no white light
and I'm not through
I'm alive I'm alive
and I've got so much more that I want to do.

Was it music or science that saved me? 

After the jump 16 favorite songs from his career...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Dec252016

336 Films Eligible for the Oscar Race

Oopsie. In the Holiday rush we forgot to share one of the most important lists, the list of which films can be nominated for Oscars (in regular categories -- speciality categories like "best foreign language film" having their own rules). Every year the list is a wee bit odd if you really take a deep dive at it because it's filled with movies you haven't heard of as well as missing a few movies you have. Why is that? Because the list is made up of films which met two requirements.

1) Each film played for a week long engagement in Los Angeles that you could buy tickets to like you would any movie (i.e. not a festival engagement alone) and...
2) Films which did that and then ALSO submitted paperwork to the Academy to be eligible.

The most important film that is missing this year (apparently due to requirement #2) is acclaimed Aquarius starring Sonia Braga. Of films I personally saw in movie theaters or noted when they came out in movie theaters that weren't submitted the list is mostly foreign and indie though there are strange cases where wide releases didn't submit either. Another section of films that's often missing from these lists are films which were submitted for Oscar's foreign race the year prior but were not nominated and then released in the current calendar year when they theoretically would be eligible for any category BUT foreign film according to Oscar rules. ANYWAY. Of those missing films that could have been eligible there's no: Bang Gang: A Love Story, Best Worst Thing That Ever HappenedEl ClanEl Club , The Family FangGlasslandGods of Egypt, Lazy Eye, Morris From America (which got a Spirit nomination for Craig Robinson), Transpecos, and Under the Shadow and so on. The full eligible list is after the jump...

Click to read more ...