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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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Months of Meryl: Adaptation 

"This film is in my all time great top 10. I love everything about it. The acting, the plot, the crazyness of life itself." - Sonja

"I'm not wild about the film - but Cooper is super and I'd be inclined to put this in Streep's top 5, maybe top 3, performances. It's so unexpected, and works perfectly. For a few years this was often the performance I first thought of when I thought of her." - Scott C

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Entries in racial politics (109)

Thursday
Jul052018

Months of Meryl: Music of the Heart (1999)

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

#27 — Roberta Guaspari, a real-life violinist and instructor who brought music education to the classrooms of Harlem.

MATTHEW:  One of the pitfalls that tends to come with occupying such a prominent position in the highly public realm of moviemaking is a gradual inability to disappear into the most straightforward of roles. I’m not talking about the magical acts of self-vanishing that allow Daniel Day-Lewis to seemingly become figures as disparate as Bill the Butcher and Abraham Lincoln nor the larger-than-life personas achieved through virtuosic, full-scale deglamorizations by the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Charlize Theron, but rather the everyday characters who may achieve great things but whose lives are decisively rooted in reality, their appearances neither remarkable nor particularly conspicuous. No matter how hard a performer tries to shed her star persona and immerse herself in distinctly un-Hollywood settings, it is often up to us, the viewers, to forget everything we know about a star in order to actually believe her as, more or less, one of us...

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Tuesday
May152018

Yes No Maybe So: BlacKkKlansman

by Nathaniel R

Why you acting like you don't got skin in the game."

What a treat. Just as Spike Lee's latest joint was premiering at Cannes we were got the trailer. The movie is a true story about a black officer who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan. Spike Lee's given it a comic spin and it looks like a potentially huge hit. 

Let's do the Yes No Maybe So™ breakdown and take in some Cannes reactions after the jump, shall we... 

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Monday
May142018

Smackdown '70 Companion Podcast Pt 2: "Five Easy Pieces" and "The Landlord"

Smackdown in 3 Parts
 The Write-Ups
Podcast Companion Part 1
And now the conclusion!...

Pt 2 (39 minutes)
On the second half of the Supporting Actress Smackdown podcast we discuss Hal Ashby's debut film The Landlord (1970) starring Beau Bridges and Lee Grant. We theorize about why it's not more famous and what would have happened with the great African-American actress Diana Sands if she hadn't died so soon after the movie. We also make some time for the Best Picture nominee Five Easy Pieces and its abundance of actressing, not just Karen Black! 

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Thanks again to the panelists: Mark BlankenshipDan CallahanDenise GraysonLena Houst, and Bobby Rivers . Continue the conversations in the comments, won't you? 

Pt Two: The Landlord and Five Easy Pieces (1970)

Friday
Nov242017

Will this year's Best Director Oscar race be the most diverse ever?

by Nathaniel R

from left to right: del Toro, Guadagnino, Wright, Peele, Jenkins, Rees, Nolan, McDonagh, Aronofsky, Baker, Spielberg, Gerwig, Scott, Bigelow, Coppola, Villeneuve

While I was updating the Oscar charts for Picture and Director it occurred to me that the Academy's directing branch could well come up with their most diverse shortlist ever. Generally speaking when the Best Director lineup has had some variations from its usual five middle aged white American directors it's been with older white European auteurs. But in the past twelve years things have been shifting for that category quite a lot despite frequent complaints that they aren't changing at all. Or at least that they're not changing fast enough.

Consider that the following things have all happened in the past twelve Oscar races:

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Tuesday
Nov212017

Will "Wind River" Find a Second Life?

by Nathaniel R

Last night word spread round that this summer's sleeper success Wind River, about a rape/murder investigation on an reservation, had possibly found a new lease on life. It was a Weinstein Company release this summer -- their only "hit" this year actually -- and that connection was thought to have obviously doomed its chances this awards season following Harvey Weinstein's banishment from Hollywood after the numerous sexual harrassment and rape allegations. 

If you remove that associative stain, though, the film is, in essence, a non-genre sleeper hit aimed squarely at adults and thus theoretically Oscar compatible...

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Saturday
Nov042017

Streaming: "Brawl in Cell Block 99"

by Ben Miller

Everything does not have to be filet mignon.  Sometimes, you just want a hamburger.  There is nothing wrong with a burger, and it can be really well made.  There’s a difference between the two and burgers will not be any good if you expect them to be filet mignon.

The new film from director S. Craig Zahler, Brawl in Cell Block 99, is a great burger.  And like any great burger, there are so many chances for it to go very wrong, very quickly...

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