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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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Entries in Team Experience (70)

Wednesday
Apr292015

Team Top Ten: Best Sci-Fi Films (Post-1977)

Welcome back to April’s Team Top Ten. If you missed our show last week, we chose the best science fiction films made before 1977, the landmark year when both Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Star Wars were released. This week, the masterworks after that milestone.

Although you won’t be shocked to find that we managed yet again to have a tie at number 10 – a three-way tie, no less – our selection otherwise sprang a few surprises. There were omissions of high profile titles – David Cronenberg's The Fly *sniffle* – but we did otherwise cover all decades, multiple genres and even animated films. Long-time readers will not win bonus points for guessing what film came first. Still the margin by which it won was unexpected. It topped half of all ballots and won more points than the second and third films combined. Without further ado…

Team Experience Top Ten
Best Science Fictions Film Produced After 1977...

10. The Iron Giant (1999)
Even fifteen years after I have first seen it The Iron Giant is still one of those films that will light up my face with excitement when I read its name, or see an image from it somewhere. And it's no doubt the same excitement that so many people feel about Brad Bird's first film that has secured its lasting presence in popular culture, and now on this list. I have always been thrilled to introduce new audiences to The Iron Giant - watching it with friends who haven't seen it has become a bit of a tradition for me - so to think that its inclusion on this list might prompt a few of you to see it for the first time, or see it again with someone who doesn't know it yet, fills me with great joy.
–Sebastian Nebel

replicants, extra-terrestrials, and time travellers after the jump...

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Wednesday
Apr222015

Team Top Ten: Best Sci-Fi Films (Pre-1977)

Amir, welcoming you back to Team Top Ten! We are returning after a long hiatus with not one, but two top ten lists for April. In connection to our theme of the week, Artificial Intelligence on the big screen, we are here to celebrate science fiction cinema. As with the horror genre and to help ourselves a bit by narrowing down our options, we're cutting the list in two halves. Our dividing point is 1977, when two of the cinema's most enduring science fiction films were released: Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Star Wars ushering in an era of huge advances in popularity and visual effects technology. And yes, those are both science fiction films and your contrarian arguments will not be heard.

We were spoilt for choice for the second part of this poll, for the simple reason that far more science fiction films have been produced since 1977 than before it. Still, this first list is comprised of eleven films that have all become part of the canon and among the best in film history in any genre. Without further ado...

Team Experience Top Ten
Best Science Fictions Film Produced Before 1977...

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Saturday
Mar142015

We Can't Wait #6 - Crimson Peak

Team Experience is counting down our 15 most anticipated for 2015. Here's Jason...

Who & What: Guillermo Del Toro directs a script he co-wrote with Matthew Robbins (the two have worked together several times but Robbins' most important credit is clearly having directed the seminal-to-me The Legend of Billie Jean - "Fair is fair!"); British playwright Lucinda Coxon (who also wrote the script for the upcoming The Danish Girl) was brought in to add "the proper degree of perversity and intelligence" to the tale.

Mia Wasikowska plays an aspiring novelist named Edith Cushing (I have to share the character names, they're too juicy not to) who gets swept off her feet by the dashing and dark Sir Thomas Sharpe (played by the dashing and dark Tom Hiddleston) and subsequently carried off to his sinister Gothic mansion full all of the requisite spires and shadows with an incestuous-seeming Jessica Chastain as the Lady Lucille Sharpe sneaking amongst them. Charlie Hunnam plays an old friend of Edith's (named "Dr. Alan McMichael" and it doesn't get much more "decent" and "boring" and "doesn't stand a chance in hell" than that) who warns her against the lot of it.

Why We're Excited About it: Del Toro's said that this is his stab at making one of his small Spanish-language movies in English and, while I'll defend the Hellboys and Pacific Rim plenty, there's no denying his greatest works have been the smaller character-based oddities of The Devil's Backbone and Pan's Labyrinth. The list of influences he cites on Peak - The Haunting, The Innocents, and The Shining - are all the precise titles we want to hear mentioned, while at the same time he says his aim is to deconstruct our genre expectations. Plus the cast is as talented as they are gorgeous (which is to say plenty) and if you've watched the pitch-perfect trailer then you've seen the spectacular costumes (those poofy sleeves!) they're running up and down the haunted staircases in as a storm blows the curtains and the fireplace goes out and man oh man do I love me a good old-fashioned Gothic haunted house movie!    

What if it all Goes Wrong? As small as Del Toro kept saying he wanted this movie to be, the trailer is BIG, full of CG ghosts rising through floors and sets seemingly built all the way up to the thunderstruck heavens -  even if it's contained to mostly the titular house and grounds I do worry that the filmmaker's well-documented giddiness over his subject might've maybe carried him away on a storm-cloud of everything-but-the-haunted-kitchen-sink and we'll lose the characters underneath those gorgeous poofy sleeves.

When: Carve your pumpkins and throw on your best velvet cape and head straight to the theater - the movie hits right when the movie should, just in time for All Hallows. Universal's got it slated for October 16th in the US.

Previously...

#7 45 Years
#8 Bridge of Spies
#9 Taxi
#10 Freeheld
#11 A Bigger Splash
#12 The Dressmaker
#13 The Hateful Eight
#14 Knight of Cups
#15 Arabian Nights
Sidebar 3 Animated Films
Sidebar 2 Tomorrowland
Sidebar 1 Avengers: Age of Ultron
Intro Pick a Blockbuster

Tuesday
Mar102015

We Cant Wait! #12 "The Dressmaker"

Team Experience is counting down our 15 most anticipated for 2015. Here's abstew...

Who & What: Writer/Director Jocelyn Moorhouse adapts Rosalie Ham's 2000 novel about a 1950s Australian dressmaker named Myrtle "Tilly" Dunnage (Oscar winner Kate Winslet) who returns to her rural Outback home to care for her ailing mother (Oscar nominee Judy Davis). Tilly has not been home since she was 10 years old and forced to leave when she was accused of murder. With her return, she plans to bring the power of haute couture to the village...and seek revenge against those that wronged her.

Moorhouse has described the film as "Unforgiven with a sewing machine" and in addition to Winslet and Davis, stars an impressive Australian cast that includes Liam Hemsworth as Tilly's love interest, Hugo Weaving as the town's police officer, and Sarah Snook and Sacha Horler in supporting roles originally cast with Isla Fisher and Elizabeth Debicki. Creating the film's '50s fashions are Emmy nominated costume designer Marion Boyce with Margot Wilson in charge of Tilly's clothes and 2 custom-made gowns by French designer Sophie Theallet.   

This is apparently what she wears to a rugby game...DIVAWhy We're Excited About It: We love Kate Winslet here at TFE, but just last year I wrote about how Winslet was in need of a career comeback. Divergent was a hit with its built-in YA popular novel source material, but it was hardly her involvement in the project that made it so. (Can you even remember anything she did in it?) This year, on paper, is looking much more promising: the Divergent sequel is a likely hit; she has a supporting role in the all-star cop drama Triple Nine; and then there's a potential awards-buzzy role in Aaron Sorkin's Steve Jobs (directed by Oscar winner Danny Boyle). Her lead role in this film is most intriguing and will hopefully be a return to form for Winslet who hasn't received an Oscar nomination since her win. 

What If It All Goes Wrong? The fact that director Jocelyn Moorhouse hasn't directed a film since 1997's failed awards contender A Thousand Acres doesn't seem like a good sign. And she never really lived up to her exciting breakthrough with 1991's Australian film Proof. And it could be a tough balancing act tonally as a comedic revenge drama (those seem like 3 different genres). But at least one thing is certain - the clothes will be to die for! 

When: The film finished shooting back in late 2014 and this past February had footage shown to potential European distributors at the Berlin Film Festival. No US date is confirmed yet, but Universal Pictures International has already confirmed an October 1st release date for Australia. If buzz is strong, expect it at fall film festivals in time for awards season.

Previously...
#13 The Hateful Eight
#14 Knight of Cups
#15 Arabian Nights
Intro Pick a Blockbuster

Monday
Feb232015

Team Experience: Oscar's Best & Worst Moments

Neil Patrick Harris' big musical opening had fun shadow effectsAre most of you over your Oscar party hangovers now?

I polled Team Experience (and myself) on their very favorite moment and their "Agony!" bit alike from last night's show of shows and here's what they had to say about the 87th Academy Awards. Please do share your single Best & Worst moment in the comments, too as we work our way through putting this film year behind us.

BEST MOMENTS

Timothy: Pawel Pawlikowski muscling right on through the play-off music in order to pay due tribute to his late wife.

Julien: That opening song was really some... Oh who am I kidding ? Watching Julianne finally clutch that Oscar was a dream I thought would never come true. 

Nathaniel: Once you get past Julianne I'd go with 1) Emma Stone reaction shots  2) "Glory" 3) Jessica Chastain saying "Chivooooo" 4) the insanity of "Everything is Awesome" - particularly the fake Oscars and the Batman interruption 5) Patricia Arquette's infectious righteousness (sub-shoutout to Meryl & JLo). I understand that people are up in arms the day after but that's called 'missing the point because people love to be outraged' which is an epidemic online that distracts the world from progressive goals like eradicating inequality and sexism. 6) "because you're rich"

More heartfelt applause (and then some jeers) after the jump...

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Wednesday
Jan212015

...And the 3rd Annual Team Experience Award Goes To: 

Amir here, to welcome you to the third edition of Team Experience Awards, one of the most prestigious critics’ prizes around the world, bestowed on the best in cinema by members of this website sans Nathaniel. We previously honoured Leos Carax’s Holy Motors (with a lot of support for The Master) and Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave (with several awards for Gravity). There was a similar situation this year, with two films gaining most of our attention across the categories. Our pick for best picture, however, was a clear consensus favourite and won by a very comfortable margin. 

As always, individual ballots proved a lot more interesting than the final results, making the otherwise tedious process of making up spreadsheets really exciting for me. Though there is no sign of it on the list of winners here, there was passionate support for films as varied as We Are the Best!, Norte, the End of History, The Babadook, Godzilla, A Most Wanted Man and The Last of the Unjust. We will get to some of those titles in the trivia section at the bottom of the post, but for now, here are the Team Experience Awards’ winners:

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