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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 (165)

Wednesday
Nov302016

November. It's a Wrap

November's most fun exercize was a ranking of the "1 and done" actors and actresses who've won Oscars in their only competition, and updating the Oscar charts for 2016, too. The key awards events were the Indie Spirits which Moonlight and American Honey led with six nominations apiece and the Gothams which went big for Moonlight and also loved all over Isabelle Huppert. Here are 16 key posts from the month in case you missed any of them.

8 Favorites
• Best Young Performers - which child stars and teen actors deserve kudos? 
• Happy Anniversary to the Pfeiffer-Kelleys - a couple for 23 years now 
Tree of Life Revisited - with a live orchestra no less 
Noirvember: Kiss Me Deadly - a "thriller of tomorrow" that still packs a punch 
"Get Happy/Happy Days Are Here Again" -Judy & Barbra's classic duet 
The Furniture: Hell or High Water - I always see the movie in new ways after these columns
Noirvember: Bound The Wachowski's debut 
We Give Thanks For...- Team Experience gave thanks for this film year.

8 Most Discussed
• Current Oscar Charts - the four acting categories. Volatile or set?
It's Not Supposed to Happen This Way - we're in mourning about our country
Oscar-Less Actress Wonders - which 5 do you love most?
Yes No Maybe So: Silence - the trailer for Scorsese's latest
Actress Roundtable - thoughts on the magazine cover
Meryl Streep and the Cecil B DeMilles - Golden Globe history
• Fences: His & Hers - Denzel and Viola are both sensational
Posterized: Ang Lee - How many of his films have you seen?

COMING IN DECEMBER
La La Land, Jackie, Fences, Kirk Douglas Centennial, and The Year in Review party begins. Any requests?

Friday
Nov252016

Nathaniel Gives Thanks !

Since it's Thanksgiving weekend and your presumably still digesting all that pie, let's stay reflective about gratitude, cinematic and otherwise. You've already heard from positivity-spreading volunteers among our team (Manuel, Jose, Daniel, Murtada, and Chris) so now it's my turn. I shall try very hard to come up with a few new things for which to be thankful since they stole so many of my items! 

Here are 16 things I am deeply grateful for in defiance of how awful 2016 was trying to be to all of us...

- The way Meryl Streep's eyes dart around desperately for validation during her wobbly notes in Florence Foster Jenkins. Girl, I feel you. Same.

- Brave endings that really land through force of vision and artistry from The Fits to The Witch through The Lobster and La La Land

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Nov242016

Murtada gives thanks

Hi, it’s Murtada. Despite “the world being in such turmoil”, I will take inspiration from my favorite awards speeches from actresses and get on with the job at hand. After setting up a monthly donation to the ACLU, and signing up to volunteer helping new immigrants, I’m ready with my happy movie face”. First I will thank The Film Experience because when you leave it to the end, they play them “off with the music” or put them after the jump.

I'm thankful for….

- The Film Experience, its kind ringleader Nathaniel, its fantastic writers, its engaged readers and frequent commenters, a community, a breathing space, a respite.

And because the world is round, people” let’s appreciate some amazing women for what they gave us this year, and while we're at it let's throw in “a few for the men as well”.

- the great big fuck you and “truth telling” Octavia Spencer gives to racists everywhere in Hidden Figures, for her warm, funny and compassionate performance.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Oct312016

October Highlights

October was busy busy busy with two festivals, the classic NYFF and the new Middleburg and our semi-annual Oscar Horrors (though a fourth season is somewhat unlikely given that we're running out of nominees outside of music and sound categories!). Here are 16 highlights from the spooky best-weather month in case you missed any of them. The fall is too too short, don't you agree?

8 Favorites
re: Isabelle Huppert's emails -Nick's scandalous discovery
Kiss Me Kate the peak of George Sidney's fluffy fun as a director? 
Loving those 20th Century Women a first impressions top ten 
Moonlight in Three Acts a tag team review 
Janis Joplin Biopics an incomplete history 
Judy & Liza "Together Wherever We Go" 
Oscar Horrors: Flatliners' Sound a confession of love for Schumacher 
Lion at Middleburg  a new festival, a winning film

8 Most Discussed
Viola Davis will be an Oscar record breaker in January
The Departed 10th Anniversary Oscar Look-back
Glenn Close is The Wife a new fim lined up
Pablo Larrain's Great Year Jackie and Neruda
Gwyneth Goes Grocery Shopping a photoshoot 
Michelle Williams Oscar Moment? Manchester by the Sea 
Oscar Horrors: The Sixth Sense Do you remember your first time? 
Posterized: Emily Blunt are you a fan?

Coming in November:
Jessica Chastain as Miss Sloane, the wonders of Lion and Arrival, Cape Fear's 25th Anniversary, Warren Beatty's Rules Don't Apply, The Honorary Oscars, Disney's Moana and a look back at our favorite film noirs. Any requests? 

Wednesday
Oct192016

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

and

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 

Friday
Sep302016

September. It's a Wrap

While the world continued to be horrifying this past month was a partial joy thanks to TIFF ushering in prestige film season, our favorite time of year, and a particularly good one from the looks of it. Here are a baker's dozen highlights from the month at the blog in case you missed these...

7 Favorites
Isabelle Huppert is Elle -the French icon slays in this tricky movie
Blue Velvet - 30 memorable things on its 30th anniversary 
Memories of The Blair Witch Project - Team Experience looks back
The Red Turtle & Courgette - animation is not a genre 
I Could Go On Singing (1963) - Judy Garland's final film 
The Furniture: Love & Friendship - the country charm of the hit comedy
Moulin Rouge! the musical numbers we're most eager to see reinvisioned for the stage musical version 

7 That Spurred the Most Conversation
Fences & 20th Century Women -they're finally teasing us 
Oscar Chart Updates -these always spur plentiful conversation
Tom Hanks in Sully - what does he have to do to nab another Oscar nom?
Amy Adams Times Two - Oscar's girlfriend in Arrival & Nocturnal Animals
The Black Dahlia (2006) - looking back at this curiousity 10 years later
Natalie Portman in Jackie - Fox Searchlight plans a December bow
Emmy Afterglow - what was your favorite win... other than Sarah Paulson?

7 Things Coming in October
• More from NYFF including 20th Century Women & Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
• A Marie Antoinette theme party
• 1963 Supporting Actress Smackdown: Tom Jones, Lilies of the Field, and The VIPs
• Fall TV: Crisis in Six Scenes, Divorce, Westworld, Crazy Ex Girlfriend
• New Films: Birth of a Nation, Moonlight, The Handmaiden
• The return of "Oscar Horrors"  
• ...and a new series on Costume Design 

Sunday
Sep182016

TIFF 2016: Winners & Review Index

TIFF just ended crowning La La Land with the coveted People's Choice Award (runners up: Lion & Queen of Katwe) and Jackie with their new juried prize. We haven't totally closed up shop - we've left the door ajar because there are a few articles left to come. It takes time processing all of this art that's rushing over us! Films give us so many feelings! The Toronto International Film Festival is my personal favorite film festival in the world:  easy to attend, friendly, well organized, less prohibitively expensive than other festivals. I saw and enjoyed 27 movies and would have seen a few more but for getting sick in the rain and rush. But the festival experience is such that even mediocre or bad movies can be remembered with positive associations.

Here are all the reviews and articles (thus far) in one place in case you missed any or would like a handy index.

my ten favorites from TIFF '16 (in no particular order)

Reviews from TIFF 16
The Apprentice - Singapore's Oscar submission
Arrival - Denis Villeneuve's gripping superbly crafted sci-fi journey
The Bad Batch - Ana Lily Armipour's cannibal wasteland satire
Blind Sun - Visual paranoia in Greece
Catfight - Anne Heche vs. Sandra Oh three times
Colossal - Anne Hathaway is a Kaiju in this cult oddity
The Commune -Thomas Vinterberg's wonderful 70s drama
Death in Sarajevo -Bosnia's politically fired up Oscar submission
A Decent Woman - Argentinian whatsit about a nudist maid
Elle - Paul Verhoeven & Isabelle Huppert serve up twisted cerebral comedy
Frantz - François Ozon's black & white drama of grief & guilt

Handsome Devil - coming of age at a rugby-mad boarding school
A Monster Calls - a visual fantasy about a young boy losing his mother
My Life as a Courgette - Switzerland's animated/foreign Oscar submission
Nocturnal Animals - Tom Ford's lurid meta movie
• Pyromaniac - a Norwegian thriller
(re) Assignment - Walter Hill's ill advised gender surgery noir
The Red Turtle - a mute magical beauty, sure to be Oscar-nominated
Sand Storm - an Israeli drama about female oppression and marriage
Santa & Andres -a Cuban political drama about LGBT oppression
Strange Weather - Holly Hunter returns!
The Wedding Ring - a Nigerian romantic fable 

Non Review Articles
A Cocktail with Sigourney - tall, beautiful, funny
Michael Fassbender Tribute - He has some regrets 
Moonlight's Oscar buzz - a note of caution 
Jackie Bought by Searchlight - watch out Oscar race 
• Hidden Figures Brunch Pt 1 - Glen Powell 

Still to Come
There are a few more articles coming, as stated and Oscar charts will be updated shortly to reflect all this new knowledge. We'll also have plenty of chances to discuss Moonlight, The HandmaidenLa La Land, and Jackie, (opening in that order October through December) since they'll all be up for either Oscars or our own prizes at TFE. I didn't review them properly (yet) because it's always hardest to write about films you love. You want to do them justice and festival schedules are rushed. But know this for now: they are all excellent and it's going to be an amazing Fall Film Season if any of the as yet unseen titles like Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk or Fences or Silence (if that even opens) deliver on this level, too. That's got to be reassuring after that truly terrible movie summer we all endured. I purposefully skipped Toronto titles that will also be playing at New York Film Festival (which begins September 30th) or are opening during it but soon we discuss these films, too: Julieta, Aquarius, Birth of a Nation, Neruda, Queen of Katwe, Magnificent Seven, Manchester by the Sea, Certain Women, My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea, Sieranevada, The Ornithologist, Toni Erdmann, Edge of Seventeen and Personal Shopper