And all our Middleburg Film Festival Coverage

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.

Like The Film Experience on Facebook

Powered by Squarespace
What'cha Looking For?
Comment Fun

Comment(s) Du Jour
English Patient Reunion

"This is my all time favorite. I have seen it at least fifty times -I used to watch it after breakup." -John T

"Still so enigmatic & mesmerizing after all these years..." -Claran

Keep TFE Strong



Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience


For those who can't commit to a dime a day, consider a one time donation for an article or a series you are glad you didn't have to live without.


Entries in Reviews (440)


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...

Click to read more ...


Review: "Rocky Horror" Loses Its Edge

by Eric Blume

Last night, Fox TV gave us a remake/update of the cult classic Rocky Horror Picture Show, a staple of midnight movie screenings for decades.  This update, with the tag "Let’s Do The Time Warp Again," aired at the family hour of 8pm, which pretty much sums up everything that’s wrong with it.   

The original 1975 film is the definition of “lightning in a bottle.” There had been nothing quite like it at the time. It was genuinely transgressive, and featured one of the all-time out-there performances by Tim Curry as Frank-n-Furter, everyone’s favorite "sweet transvestite".  While it’s easy to romanticize the original and ignore its weaknesses, the film does deliver as a warm-heated parody of sci-fi and horror movies as intended. What's more it's actually kinky, sexy, unsettling, and fun...

Click to read more ...


NYFF 2016 Wrap-Up. So Many Fine Films!

That's a wrap on the New York Film Festival which hosted the world premieres of 20th Century Women, The 13th, and Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk. But in festival season there's never any downtime. I'm off to Middleburg, Virginia tomorrow to try out a new festival. This one is just a weekend long fest with beautiful scenery -a baby Northeastern Telluride I suppose? LionLoving, La La Land, and Land of Mine (Denmark's Oscar submission) as well as some movies that don't begin with the letter "l" are screening. 

But meanwhile back in New York City, our hometown festival wrapped this Sunday. Here are all the reviews in case you missed any. Thanks again to Jason, Manuel, Bill, and Murtada for bringing this festival to you!

Manchester by the Sea, 20th Century Women, and Aquarius

28 Reviews
13th (Ava DuVernay's documentary on mass incarceration) - Glenn
20th Century Women (Mike Mills '70s beauty with Annette Bening) - Nathaniel
Abacus (documentary from Steve James of Hoop Dreams fame) - Jason
Aquarius (Brazil's starring Sonia Braga) - Manuel
The B-Side: Elsa Dornan's Portrait Photography (documentary) - Manuel
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (Ang Lee's experimental 3D/4K film) - Nathaniel
Brillo Box (3 ¢ off) (documentary on the 60s art world) - Jason
Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt's 3 act) - Jason
Everything Else (Starring Oscar-nominated Adriana Barraza)  -Manuel
Graduation (from the director of 4 Months 3 Weeks and 2 Days) - Bill
Hermia & Helena (Directed by Matías Piñeiro) - Bill
I, Daniel Blake (this year's Palme D'or Champ) - Jason
Jackie (Pablo Larraín directs Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy) - Nathaniel
Julieta (Almodóvar's latest, Spain's Oscar submission) - Manuel
The Lost City of Z (an old fashioned epic from James Gray) - Jason
Manchester by the Sea (Kenneth Lonergan's Oscar hopeful) - Jason
Moonlight (the life of a gay black man) - Murtada/Manuel/Nathaniel
My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea (animated / experimental) - Manuel
Neruda (Pablo Larrain's movie about the poet on the run) - Nathaniel
The Ornithologist (a surreal queer Portuguese journey)  - Nathaniel
Paterson (Directed by Jim Jarmusch starring Adam Driver) - Jason
Personal Shopper (Olivier Assayas & Kristen Stewart reunion) -Jason
Staying Vertical (from the director of Stranger by the Lake) - Jason
Things To Come (starring Isabelle Huppert) - Jason
Toni Erdmann (Germany's comic Oscar submission) - Jason
Uncle Howard (a documentary about a filmmaker who died of AIDS) - Jason
The Unknown Girl (from Belgium's Dardenne brothers) - Manuel
Yourself and Yours (Hong SangSoo's ambiguous romantic drama) - Manuel


Q&As (Adam Driver, Naomie Harris, and Kenneth Lonergan) - Murtada
Q&As (Mike Mills on Annette Bening) - Murtada
Q&As (Pablo Larraín and Natalie Portman) - Murtada
Michelle Williams in Manchester (Her Oscar Moment?) - Murtada 


DVD Review: "Cafe Society"

by Chris Feil

While never reaching the heights of his other showbiz-adjacent comedies, Woody Allen's Cafe Society has charm and gloss to spare. Allen is marking the same thematic territory and era fascinations as he has frequently visited in the past, here with more hidden snideness than much of his recent works. Under its sparkling surface, Society is a subtly mean-spirited film.

Much of that tone comes from Jesse Eisenberg's central performance as Bobby Dorfman, a transplant to 1930s Hollywood under the not so watchful eye of his talent agent uncle (Steve Carell). Bobby is quick to chase girls, ultimately arriving to (or creepily wearing down) secretary Vonnie (Kristen Stewart), who also is secretly having an affair with his uncle. Vonnie becomes Bobby's girl on an eternal pedestal, always more an idea of a person than the woman before him...

Click to read more ...


"Moonlight" in Three Acts

Since Barry Jenkins' new film Moonlight is told in triptych style, we've opted to bring you our NYFF review in the same way with three of us writing it! - Editor

"Little" by Murtada Elfadl
Moonlight is a patient movie that takes its time to give us a full portrait of what goes on in a young man’s mind. Long beautifully rendered scenes provide us pivotal snippets of days in a life. The economy of the scenes mixed with the patience in storytelling means that every gesture and word counts. Barry Jenkins takes Tarell McCraney’s unproduced play "In Moonlight Black Boys Boys Look Blue" and paints it on screen, using his actors’ faces and bodies to deliver singular poetic images.

The languid melancholic tone fits the inner monologue of the main character Chiron (who is called "Little" in this first of three segments),  who is struggling to understand himself...

Click to read more ...


NYFF: Sonia Braga in "Aquarius"

Manuel here reporting from the New York Film Festival and reminding you that Sonia Braga is a goddess of cinema 

Aquarius is the name of a building in Recife where Doña Clara (a resplendent Sonia Braga) has made her life. The apartment she lives in, which is littered with books and old LPs (she was once a famed music journalist), once belonged to her aunt. Indeed, Kleber Mendonça Filho first introduces us to the Aquarius and to the apartment back when Clara was a young woman who’d recently battled breast cancer, a key detail her aunt brings up in the midst of a birthday celebration. In this lively opening sequence, the camera pauses on an old furniture piece before giving us a glimpse of even livelier days of the older woman celebrating her birthday surrounded by family. We see a memory flash before us of a heated sexual encounter, her lingering gaze having triggered an old but cherished memory...

Click to read more ...


NYFF: "My Entire High School..." & "Yourself and Yours"

Here’s Manuel with two more dispatches from the New York Film Festival

My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea
And the winner of most literal title at this year’s fest goes to: My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea. For that is precisely what happens in Dash Shaw’s diverting and visually stunning film...

Click to read more ...