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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R


 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

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The Greatest Sci-Films. A Top Ten

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Entries in Reviews (286)

Thursday
Apr232015

Tim's Toons: The new short "The Alchemist's Letter"

Tim here. It's been a good few weeks for animated short films about the fluctuating nature of memories and the complex relationship we have with the past: the warm glow has hardly faded from the online premiere of World of Tomorrow, and this week has seen the premiere on Vimeo of The Alchemist's Letter, written and directed by Carlos Andre Stevens, a Student Academy Award nominee for his 2008 debut, Toumai.

It's transparently a calling card for Stevens, an employee of commercial animation studio HouseSpecial -- that's a former division of Laika, some of whose designers and effects animators have hopped over to help guide the uncommonly lush and appropriately fussy look of the short -- but what a calling card! It's a brilliant little jeweled egg of a short, evocatively sketching out a whole human life in less than five and a half minutes, and doing it through some utterly beautiful design and animation.

more...

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Wednesday
Apr222015

Tribeca: Grab the Raid Lest You Get Stung

Tribeca coverage continues - here's Jason on a Giant Bee Creature Feature.

We're living in the middle of a miniature horror renaissance right now. Instant classics like The Babadook and It Follows are twisting previously well-worn genre elements into strange new beasts that linger far after the credits fall, focusing on atmosphere and performance over cats jumping through windows. Those are just two of the biggest buzziest titles though - there have been loads of smaller examples, movies like Justin Benson's Spring and Adam MacDonald's Backcountry - movies made on miniscule budgets that nevertheless managed to wedge the morbid and unexpected experience of watching them unfold tight into my brain.

And there are the movies like Stung...

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Tuesday
Apr212015

Tribeca: "The Adderall Diaries" and "Hungry Hearts"

Tribeca Festival coverage. Here's Joe Reid, who you know and love from the podcast...

The Adderall Diaries
We sometimes joke around about James Franco's insane output over the last five years -- he's been in WELL OVER 30 movies since 127 Hours, with a whopping 21 of them playing film festivals. That's an average of five films a year playing in some festival or another.

For a lesser-known actor, this kind of heavy indie output might be a better idea. Throw yourself into as many projects as possible, increasing your odds that one of them will hit. Franco's already established, though. He's had his hits. What starring in so many festival indies does for him it's the opposite: it ups his odds that he'll end up in at least a few total stinkers, every year. It's gotten to the point where Franco's presence in an indie feels like the promise of disappointment.

New Franco and new Adam Driver after the jump...

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Friday
Apr172015

Review: Ex Machina

Michael C.   returning for review duties. 

Science fiction stories have wondered for ages if people will accept technology that simulates human behavior, but honestly, it probably won’t be much of a struggle. The robots will win in a walk. The urge to empathize is hard wired into the human psyche. I can remember when I was young, watching other kids develop deep emotional bonds to plastic eggs with crude blinking pixel displays just because they were called digital pets. What chance does the species have when a robot arrives with supermodel looks and a subtle range of emotion, one that can take you by the hand, gazes deeply into your eyes and say, “I love you” like it means it? Game over, man...

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Friday
Apr172015

Tribeca: Relating to "The Wolfpack"

The Tribeca Film Festival 2015 kicked off this week and we'll be bringing you our screening adventures. Here's special guest Joe Reid on a buzzy documentary...
 

I thought a lot about Yorgos Lanthimos' Dogtooth during Crystal Moselle's Sundance winning documentary The Wolfpack, now playing at the Tribeca Film Festival. How could I not? The Wolfpack tells the story of the Angulo family, including the seven siblings whose extreme home-schooling meant they were rarely permitted outside their modest Lower East Side apartment. That kind of forced isolation of children is always going to make me think of Lanthimos' dark comedy.

Knowing the premise, you might expect the Angulo kids to end up as warped as those kids in Dogtooth, but they're decidedly not. They speak about their unusual childhood with uncanny emotional intelligence and articulation. And the more you watch The Wolfpack, the more you might want to chalk it all up to the power of the movies.

The dynamite opening to the film sees the Angulo boys' filmed reenactment of Reservoir Dogs (1992), complete with costumes, props, and honestly? Some pretty decent line-readings. You immediately get a sense of how long the boys have had to perfect this production. It helps when you're never allowed to leave your home. These boys are no mere dabblers; they're movie fanatics, with hand-drawn movie art papering their walls; with lists at the ready ranking their personal favorites. They're shown transcribing Pulp Fiction, studying Blue Velvet, poring over Scream. I found myself leaning forward, relating so hard.

More...

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Saturday
Apr112015

Daredevil 1-2

I fell in love with Daredevil as a young boy when Frank Miller, pre Dark Knight, took over the comic. It wasn't just the sexiness of a blind superhero (what?). Miller's run in the early 80s brought us famous characters like Bullseye and Elektra and Stick and a dangerous physical immediacy that other comics just didn't have. Naturally the Frank Miller run, plot-wise, was what the execrable 2003 movie tried to cover, jamming it all together with spectacularly disastrous and silly results. Marvel's first foray into Netflix territory gets so much right in its first few episodes that people need no longer fear The Man Without Fear but embrace him. Instead we need only fear, together whilst binge-watching, that Daredevil won't be able to keep this quality up for for its whole first season.

Herewith thoughts on the first two episodes...

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