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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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Review: Crazy Rich Asians

"I loved it! Simple, but by no means dumb. Light, but with enough emotional beats and such attention to character detail to keep it from being fluff." - Val 

"If Michelle Yeoh actually gets an Oscar nomination for this, I'll probably cry. (Tears of joy, of course.)" -Cash"

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Entries in musicals (457)

Thursday
Aug162018

Months of Meryl: A Prairie Home Companion (2006)

John and Matthew are watching every single live-action film starring Meryl Streep. 

 

#33 —Yolanda Johnson, a Midwestern songstress and longtime staple of the titular radio show.

MATTHEW: Two of the most revered artists in American cinema history, Robert Altman and Meryl Streep each built their lauded careers by probing into characters from countless corners of the world, driven by an ardent and undiminished interest in the micro — but never minor — idiosyncrasies of collective human behavior. For those who believe in the supernatural forces of fate, there is something undeniably kismetic in Streep and Altman’s first collaboration, which would turn out to be this mighty auteur’s valedictory effort. A Prairie Home Companion, Altman’s final film, is a moving backstage comedy that sketches out the (fictional) final broadcast of the historic and beloved Minnesota radio variety show of the title, created and hosted by Garrison Keillor, who also scripted the picture. (Keillor was fired from his program in November of last year over allegations of sexual misconduct.) Brimming, like all of Altman’s work, with an abundance of people and all their peculiarities, A Prairie Home Companion relies on the character-inhabiting talents of an irresistible and excitingly-paired ensemble, whose every member gets ample opportunity to ingest spirit and specificity into a wide array of oddballs and straight-men, from Woody Harrelson and John C. Reilly’s ribald cowboys to Maya Rudolph’s quietly panicked and heavily pregnant stage manager to the pair of aging songbirds brought to fanciful, rueful life by Streep and Lily Tomlin.

As Yolanda and Rhonda Johnson, the two surviving members of a four-sister singing act, Streep and Tomlin are, quite simply, a match made in acting heaven...

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Sunday
Aug122018

"the air is humming..."

...and something great is coming. 🎵"

 

Wednesday
Aug082018

Soundtracking: "Chi-Raq"

by Chris Feil

Few filmmakers understand the power of the soundtrack as well as Spike Lee. The full force iconography of Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” in Do the Right Thing is an integral part of the American cinematic lexicon. But there’s also the era authenticity of Summer of Sam, the haze of jazz over Mo Better Blues, and the largely undiscovered but brilliantly precise filming he did of Broadway’s Passing Strange. It’s a wonder that the closest he’s come to a true musical is Chi-Raq.

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Friday
Aug032018

Cabaret Pt 3: 'From cradle to tomb...'

Occasionally Team Experience will take a classic movie and pass it around for a deep dive. This week Cabaret (1972) which is currently streaming on Filmstruck. But if you're in NYC don't miss your chance to see it in an actual movie theater at the newly renovated gorgeous Quad Cinema.

In Part One, Nathaniel investigated the way the musical's major players are introduced at the cliff end of the Weimar Era in Germany.

In Part Two, Dancin' Dan watched as two couples (Brian & Sally, Fritz & Natalia) fell in love and lust and into "money!". It makes the world go round. When we left off, Brian and Sally's new lover, a rich baron, has taken Brian out to lunch when a song interrupts their not-so-innocent idyll. - Editor

Part 3 by Chris Feil

1:18:16 - Out of nowhere, we hear a tenor breaking into the nationalist anthem “Tomorrow Belongs to Me”. We pan from his angelic face to see his Nazi uniform, realizing we've fallen into a musical number that is about to be a harsh reality in more ways than one.

It matters that “Tomorrow Belongs to Me” is a very different kind of song than what we have been given thus far, and the only number outside of the cabaret. Entirely without nuance, a straight-shooting melody that purposefully tries to pull you into its grip as we watch in horror while its grim subtext shows itself...

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Wednesday
Aug012018

Cabaret Pt 1: 'You have to understand the way I am, mein herr.'

Three-Part Mini-Series
Occasionally we'll take a movie and baton pass it around the team and really dive in. If you missed past installments we've gone long and deep on Rebecca (1940), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966),  Rosemary's Baby (1968), Silence of the Lambs (1991), Thelma & Louise (1991), and A League of Their Own (1992). Now... Bob Fosse's Cabaret (1972) which is showing this weekend at the Quad Cinema in NYC - Editor

Team Experience is proud to present a three-part retrospective deep dive into Bob Fosse's Cabaret (1972), winner of 8 Oscars, and one of the most singular films ever made. Though it takes place on a stage it's entirely cinematic in a way many film musicals --even the ones that don't involve actual stages -- ever even think to be.

Part 1 by Nathaniel R

00:01 Cabaret begins in total silence with white text credits on a black screen. Countless movies begin this way, but not musicals. There is no bright and colorful title card, no overture to prep you for its famous song score. Cabaret takes place at the dead end of the Weimar era in Germany, and emerged onscreen at the dead end of the musical genre's dominance of movie culture. This is not lost on the genius dancer/choreographer turned film director Bob Fosse, who throws us immediately into a dark and dingy underworld... as if we've already eaten pomegranate seeds and sealed our fate...

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Wednesday
Jul252018

Still shook about "Cats" becoming a movie

by Nathaniel R

Betty Buckley in her Tony-winning role as "Grizabella, the glamour cat"By now you've heard the comic news (oh no wait, they're serious!) that "Cats" is being turned into a movie. The news took me so off guard that I was silent for five days. Cats got my tongue. (I'm sorry). The Andrew Lloyd Webber megahit from the 1980s was based on T.S. Elliott poems and as such it has no real story to speak of. It's basically a very successful song cycle (albeit with only one famous song "Memory") elevated by utter nonrealism in the form of humans pretending to be cats in campy makeup, tights, and acrobatic dancing. It's so hard to imagine as a movie that they made the potential of the making of one into a running joke in the play turned movie Six Degrees of Separation (1993). 

Grizabella the glamour cat is the marquee role but, in fact, it's a "featured" role since it's truly an ensemble show...

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