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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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Entries in The Film Experience (212)

Tuesday
Apr302019

April. It's a Wrap

April tends to be a slow month here at TFE but we'll hopefully pick back up now for summer movie season which is also Emmy nominating season so expect more Game of Thrones and Fosse/Verdon shortly. If you're just rejoining us here are a dozen highlights from the month...

Donna Lynne Champlin in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2015-2019)

Best of April
Complete West Side Story Casting - Meet the new Sharks and new Jets
Serial Mom 25th Anniversary - Salim looked back at the John Waters classic
• Smackdown of 1972 -Donna Lynne Champlin and more special guests joined us to talk The Poseidon Adventure, stage to screen acting, and the difficulty of playing drunk scenes
• Farewell Crazy Ex-Girlfriend - Dan says goodbye to TV's genius musical comedy
Oscar Rule Changes - Makeup and Hair and Foreign Film get minor adjustments
Howard Keel Centennial - Lynn, Tim, Deborah, and Nathaniel looked back at three of his musicals and one late career sci-fi flick
Beyoncé's Homecoming - Glenn on the hot concert doc
Podcast Questions - Murtada and Nathaniel answer yours!

Most Discussed Posts
Dumbo and Tim Burton - a list heavy look at the auteur's filmography
April Foolish Predictions - Nathaniel's first crack at this year's Oscar charts
Renee Zellweger turns 50 - Eric pens a love letter
The New Classics - Michael's new column kicked off with an ode to Michael Clayton 

COMING IN MAY
Anne Hathaway and The Hustle, Disney's Aladdin, the celebrity fashion doc Halston, Amy Poehler's Wine Country, and Zhang Yimou's stunning wuxia pic Shadow. We'll also celebrate anniversaries for Midnight Cowboy, Julia, The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus, and Anne Heche.

Our 'year of the month' leading up to the next Smackdown (June 2nd, to avoid the holiday weekend at the end of May) will be 2001 so expect a good deal of that film year along with the 'now' of 2019 summer movie season.  Any requests?

Monday
Apr292019

Smackdown Summer Approaches

<-- Geraldine Page would like to know why you didn't vote on the Supporting Actress Smackdown of 1972?  Our annual summer series looking at old Supporting Actress races kicked off its summer season  with a discussion of the 1972 film year with a really cool panel so please read, listen, and share. 

SMACKDOWN DATES FOR YOUR CALENDAR

April 28th SMACKDOWN OF 1972
Poseidon Adventure, The Heartbreak Kid, Pete 'n' Tillie, Fat City, Butterflies are Free
June 2nd SMACKDOWN OF 2001
Iris, Gosford Park, A Beautiful Mind, In the Bedroom
June 30th SMACKDOWN -TBA
July 28th SMACKDOWN -TBA
August 25th SMACKDOWN -TBA 

Pssst. We're still negotiating years and panelists for the three late summer events so stay tuned...

Saturday
Apr202019

The New Classics and the return of Michael C

The Film Experience is very pleased to announce that one of our long-lost contributors, Michael Cusumano, is returning to the fold. After a few years off, he has a new weekly column launching Tuesday and new readers are in for a treat because Michael is a fine and insightful writer. We asked him about where he's been and what we can expect. Please welcome him back with open arms! - Nathaniel R.

Michael, where the hell have you been? We haven't seen you around these parts in 4 (gulp) years! We hope you've been having film experiences without us at least.

I’ve been living in New York doing my own creative writing. I needed to take a step back from online film culture and clear some mental space. I had tried to write a first draft of a screenplay and I ended up with a ranked list of all the meaningful glances in Carol.  

You’ll be relieved to learn I still have plenty of film experiences, although I no longer feel the pressure to stay up to date with everything playing...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar122019

Nathaniel's (Belated) Top Ten List of 2018

by Nathaniel R

Given that we're two months into a new year, the best cinema of 2018 is receding in our mind's eye, still shimmering but moving out of focus. But so much vivid color and feeling remains. Before we are fully blinded to its beauties (until, that is, they are "old films" and we can revisit) by a whole new batch of cinematic images to obsess over, here's one last post to honor the year that was. Here's your host's choices for the 25 best films of 2018.

This year's HONORABLE MENTIONS are a varied bunch taking us from horny self-discovery in Swedish woods to a trash-heap island in Japan. Strangely, grief was the year's most defining theme across genres as diverse as horror, tragicomedy, bopics, thrillers, character studies, and romantic dramas.

The films are listed in loosely ascending order, though we always reserve the right to change our minds where lists and rankings are concerned:

  • Paddington 2 (Paul King, UK) If all franchises were crafted with this much heart and warmth and wit, Hollywood wouldn't feel souless at all.
  • Border (Ali Abassi, Sweden) A refreshing oddity which totally commits to its own hybrid identity as its protagonist discovers hers.
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Ramsey, Persichetti, and Rothman, US) If all superhero movies were this fun, inclusive, and inventive, they'd deserve their now automic success in the marketplace.
  • First Man (Damien Chazelle, US) A nation's epic ambitions paired with a marriage's intimate drama. So elegantly crafted.
  • Burning (Lee Chang-dong) as elusive and mysterious as a cat that doesnt want to be seen, until it saunters boldy into sight to stare you down.
  • First Reformed (Paul Schrader, US) The year's most disturbing drama. Hard to shake and necessary.
  • Widows (Steve McQueen) Overstuffed and strangely paced, but reverberating with provocative ideas and juicy characters. 
  • Capernaum (Nadine Labaki, Lebanon) For all that urgency and visceral feeling, not to mention one of the great child performances.
  • Support the Girls (Andrew Bujalski, US) for its ramshackle charms and subtle character-portrait
  • Hereditary (Ari Aster, US) What a calling card debut, from that dollhouse opening shot all the way through that psychotic break ending, a new horror classic. 

RUNNERS UP. Oh, if there were room in the top ten for all of these...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Mar012019

Our Coverage of the 91st Academy Awards is a Wrap

24 articles later, and with the exception of this Sunday's Podcast, we should probably call it quits on The Film Experience's coverage of the 91st Academy Awards. Whew. Hope you enjoyed! Please sign up for our weekly email, follow us on Instagram (we'll improve that accont soon!), and follow our individual team members too, won'cha? We promise lots of goodies soon in 2019 like the new season of the Supporting Actress Smackdown, an improved podcast, and the usual goodies in our potpourri of new cinema, classic cinema, and the occasional sidebar dips into theater and TV.  Oh, and lots and lots of actressing just the way you like it. 


General
Index of Oscar Charts We went 17/24 on our predictions this year
Reader Poll Results Who you were rooting for
New Oscar Trivia Since we've wrapped up another year
The 5 Musical Performances - Chris Feil, our Soundtracking Man, ranks them
We are the Champions - Deborah on LGBT stories at the Oscars 
Ranking the 20 Acting Clips - from 'cringe-worthy' to 'favourite'

Wins & Losses
Glenn Close's Oscar Curse A 7th historic loss for the great actress
Complicated Feelings about Green Book's Win - Lynn Lee has conflicted feelings
Black Panther Wins - The zeitgeist smash has three historic wins 
Regina King's James Baldwin Tribute - Will we get more adaptations?
Worst Acceptance Speech - Vice wins Best Makeup
Appropriate Speeches? - Should the tone of the speech match its film? 

Oscar night's most unexpected photo: Madonna & Gaga at an after-party

Fashion
Best Dressed Supporting Actress - VOTE! 
Best Dressed Best Actress - VOTE !
Men's Fashion - Chadwick, Viggo, Diego, Henry, Rami, and more
20 More Oscar Lewks - Notable gowns from non-nominees
Joe vs Nicholas - VOTE !

Quickie Takes & Inspired Silliness
"Jenniferhudsoning" How many times did you do it on Oscar night?
Best Reaction Shot Hang this in the Louvre
First Gentleman of the Oscars Chris Evans is love 
Richard Met Barbra - Actors stanning other actors is always fun
Melissa McCarthy & Brian Tyree Henry - The funniest awards presentation
Team Reactions Pt 1 - Horniest & most joyful moments
Team Reactions Pt 2 - MVPs and noticeable absences  

Alison Janney has obviously seen The Favourite.

P.S. And here's a perfectly irreverent post-script to the Oscars... and an unintentional answer, surely, to why Paul Schrader had never before been nominated (his brutal honesty probably pisses off a lot of people in the industry!)  Here he is on Facebook the day after the Oscars...

Friday
Mar012019

Follow Team TFE, please!

Hello, with Oscar season closing up, there is generally some attrition in readership but we're here all year long so dont desert us. In fact, follow more of us on social media won'cha? We have an Instagram and a Newsletter that you should sign up for since they'll start up again about a week from now once we've recovered from Oscar exhaustion. A big thanks to the team here which keeps your host Nathaniel (c'est moi) alive because daily content requires more than just one voice. 

I thought we'd highlight eight team-members today. Get to know us better...

Hi neighbor!

CHRIS FEIL (sample tweet - very Chris)
As one of our most frequent contributors and intermittent podcast guest, you know Chris well. He writes the "Soundtracking" column and just co-wrote a piece with Joe Reid that you really have to read over at Vulture
Instagram | Twitter | Letterboxd | "This Had Oscar Buzz" | Rotten Tomatoes

Bri and I can only relate to women in film (dunno why), so please enjoy our Extremely Long and Incredibly Glenn Close episodes of Broad Appeal about the 2 actress categories at the #Oscars.

SEÁN MCGOVERN (sample tweet - very Seán)
You'll know Seán from film festival coverage here (Berlinale and more), his actress podcast 'Broad Appeal, as well as a Smackdown appearance.
Instagram | Twitter | "Broad Appeal" Podcast

Official holiday portrait

MURTADA ELFADL (sample tweet - very murtada!)
You already know and love Murtada from the podcast. He also does reviews, interviews, festivals
Instagram | Twitter |  YouTube Interview

The Craft (1996) 🥀 #witchesoffairfax

GINNY O'KEEFE
New contributor so we're excited to see what she'll bring us.
Instagram | IMDb 

THE CORPSE BRIDE (2005) | dir. Tim Burton

JORGE MOLINA (sample tweet - very jorge!)
You know Jorge from his Mamma Mia! obsession and the screenplay series "Blueprints"
Instagram | Twitter | Letterboxd

Lovefest trashfest

SPENCER COILE (sample tweet - very spencer!)
If you see a Spencer byline here, it's usually for a review of something currently streaming at you
Instagram | Twitter | Letterboxd 

There were worse ways to spend four months, although the view is somewhat spoiled this weekend by storms

GLENN DUNKS (sample tweet - very Glenn!)
Glenn is our longtime collaborator and currently stationed in Australia. He writes "Doc Corner" here at the site
Instagram | Twitter | Letterboxd | Rotten Tomatoes

She hates me. #catsofinstagram

DEBORAH LIPP
Deborah has been on hiatus but hopefully she'll be back now. She loves James Bond movies and Mad Men and ran the now departed but much beloved Mad Men site "Basket of Kisses" which got frequent attention from Matthew Weiner and the actors themselves.
Instagram  

 

THAT'S NOT ALL OF US -- YOU CAN READ MORE TEAM BIOS ON THE  "ABOUT" PAGE  BUT THAT'S ENOUGH SELF-PROMOTION FOR NOW.  I'm aware that we need more women and more writers of color! Working on expanding the team as the site grows. We're always looking for new contributors especially those with the following five things:

  1. Strong accessible writing skills
  2. Unique takes on current / classic cinema and the arts in general
  3. Interest or obsession with the Oscars
  4. Passion for movies that bleeds into their every day life in some demonstrable or engaging way.
  5. Commitment to contribute once bi-weekly