Film Bitch History
Oscar History

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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Soundtracking: Hustlers

"YES, this soundtrack was soooo good!!! The Fiona Apple 'Criminal' dance, instantly iconic." - JWB

"Does anyone remember Demi Moore in STRIPTEASE? They had her dancing to sad Annie Lennox songs. smh." - David

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Directors of For Sama

Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Wanuri Kahiu (Rafiki)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

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Entries in Los Angeles (58)


Octavia Spencer is a Class Act

Octavia in Hidden Figures painting by Stella Blu

Octavia Spencer posted this painting above with the following message for screenings TONIGHT at the Rave in Baldwin Hills, Los Angeles

I've bought the 8 PM showing of Hidden Figures... if you know a family in need that would like to see our movie but can't afford it have them come. It's first come first served. My mom would not have been able to afford to take me and my siblings. So, I'm honoring her and all single parents this MLK weekend. Pass the word.

Very cool gesture from a very cool actress.


Viola Davis Joins the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Chris here. You might think that richly earned (and incredibly likely) Viola Davis's Fences Oscar march will officially begin this Sunday at the Golden Globes, but you would be wrong. It has already begun. Get ready for lots of love all around for one of our greatest actresses alive. She was just awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Davis was tributed by pal, idol, and devotee Meryl Streep at the unveiling, calling her "possessed of a blazing, incandescent talent".

You can call it an archaic pastime or doubt its significance, but a star on the Walk of Fame is a more than fitting achievement for a titan like Davis, especially as our time-honored institutions need to reflect diversity. With a hit television show, two Oscar nominations thus far, and a franchise on the books, it's surprising that it's taken so long for the honor. But just consider it the kickoff for the victory tour (let's call Critics' Choice the warmup). She's simply the person this Oscar season that you couldn't be happier for - unless maybe she'd be rightfully winning as a lead. Details.


The 42nd Annual LAFCA Winners !

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association stretches back to 1975, a very great year in cinema history with one of Oscar's all time best Best Picture lineups (Dog Day Afternoon, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Nashville, Barry Lyndon, and Jaws). They gave four of those pictures awards in their first year, ignoring only Jaws. Though we normally despair that all film critics awards seem to be viewed through the prism of Oscar influence or prediction (critics groups should have their own identity / agenda or else what good are they?) in the LAFCA's case it's difficult to avoid. Los Angeles is an industry town and these are their local critics. So go crazy when you're looking at this list and want to think of it in terms of Oscar; It's easy to argue that its the single critics list that Oscar voters take most seriously since the bulk of the membership lives there.  You can especially see this influence lately in LAFCA's choices for "career achievement" which are not so infrequently named as Honorary Oscar winners the following year or three thereafter as happened recently with Anne V Coates, Gena Rowlands, and Frederick Wiseman!

For a refresher last year's big LAFCA winners were Spotlight and Mad Max Fury Road which were of course very popular with Oscar, too. They sometimes get creative in the Best Actress category but their Best Picture winner tends to go to an obvious and highly competitive future Best Picture nominee or winner with rare exceptions like WALL•E (2008), American Splendor (2003), or Do The Right Thing (1989).

This year's prizes were bathed in Moonlight though La La Land put up a fight.


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Noirvember: Kiss Me Deadly (1955)

It's Noirvember. Here's Bill Curran on a Robert Aldrich's neo-noir

The world turned upside down, inside out. Film noir depends on following innate impulses to that most ultimate, unthinkable, irrational end: death. Noir explores that nasty thing called "human nature, revealing (and revelling in) the elemental urges that really make us tick. Noir unmasks the mechanics of this crazy world with some variation on a guy, a girl, and a gun. Upending sexual-patriarchal dynamics, leveling the tenants of justice and who is responsible for carrying it out, filming what we do in the shadows in the half-light: when you flip the script on taste and convention, you can learn a lot about how topsy-turvy this whole mess called Earth can be. 

Kiss Me Deadly stews in and subverts these genre contradictions more brazenly than almost any other film noir before or since, perhaps because it is, in the end, about the dawn of the end of the world. Gonzo and sophisticated in equal measure, from the backward title scrawl to the A-bomb finale, this loose 1955 adaptation of the Mickey Spillane novel could be called the first neo-noir and what the Cahier du cinema crowd dubbed, "the thriller of tomorrow.”

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Middleburg Finale: "Loving" & "La La Land"

Lynn Lee here stepping in for Nathaniel, on his way back to NYC, for the final day of the Middleburg Film Festival which was Sunday. As a D.C. area resident, I’ve been observing the rising profile of this local-ish film festival over the past few years with great interest.  Festival founder Sheila Johnson seems bent on making Middleburg a lower-altitude Telluride of the East, and she certainly has the Hollywood heavy-hitter connections to do it!  This year’s lineup was easily the most impressive so far in the festival’s short history; it’s as if the program was constructed specifically to highlight likely Oscar contenders.

The Lovings in the beloved Virginia.

In both that ambition and its picturesque Virginia setting, there was no more fitting film to cap the festival than Loving...

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Issa Rae: A Star is Born

by Kieran Scarlett

It’s an incredibly exciting thing to watch the emergence of new on-screen talent whose charisma and star quality cannot be denied.  It’s difficult to describe clearly, but it’s clear to a watchful viewer when it happens.  Such is the case with Issa Rae, star and co-creator of the new HBO comedy “Insecure” set to debut next month (the pilot episode is already available online via HBO Now). The series, which is co-created by Larry Wilmore (formerly of “The Daily Show”) announces Rae as a force to be reckoned with, both in front of and behind the camera.

The show is, in some ways, an extension of Rae’s 2011 web series “The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl”...

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