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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 | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 

 

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Entries in TIFF (88)

Thursday
Aug202015

Beasts of No Nation Character Posters

Another day, another fall movie releases a poster. Murtada here with the details. 

Following the Beasts of No Nation trailer, the character posters for the African war drama have arrived. The trailer told us a lot about the film by introducing its two main characters - played by Idris Elba and newcomer Abraham Atta - and the hypnotic dynamic between them in one brief scene. The striking but simple posters continue the efficient storytelling and with just a few pictures and words tell us all we need to know. For now...

 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Aug132015

Eddie Redmayne starts his Oscar Campaign

Here's Murtada on the first major magazine cover of the 2015 Awards Season.

Our current best actor winner is ready for his second straight nomination. Eddie Redmayne is starting his Oscar campaign for Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl more than 3 months before the movie’s release. This week he covers OUT magazine’s fall preview issue with a lengthy interview that touches on everything from where he keeps his Oscar, to his privileged upbringing, to playing transgender artist Lili Elbe.

Perhaps what people are most curious about is how he handles the potential minefield of his casting as a transgender woman. Elbe, who had sexual reassignment surgery in 1930s, was one of the first known transgender people to transition and a movie about her life has been in the making for more than a decade.

Redmayne and his handlers are obviously trying to get ahead of any potential controversy. Hence the careful choice of the publication to which he gives his first interview about the film, and the inclusion in the article of advocates from the trans community like Paris Lees and Lana Wachowski. Lees is quoted and says about Redmayne's casting “Politically, it makes me groan. But if anybody’s going to do this justice, then I’m happy it’s Eddie. We had a good chat about everything”.

The interview is a good read and he handles some of the thornier issues with deft and careful thought. He comes through as humble while acknowledging his luck and privilege. He recognizes how divisive his portrayal of Elbe might become.

People were so kind and generous with their experience, but also so open. Virtually all of the trans men and women I met would say ‘Ask me anything.’ They know that need for cisgender people to be educated. I felt like, I’m being given this extraordinary experience of being able to play this woman, but with that comes this responsibility of not only educating myself but hopefully using that to educate [an audience]. Gosh, it’s delicate. And complicated.”

As for the movie itself, the verdict will be out soon. It plays at both the Venice and Toronto film festivals in early September. Venice comes first and that will be our first indication whether or not that nomination is happening as we’ve seen many an Oscar campaign start at the Biennale.

In the last 10 years, 8 men and 3 women have won the Volpi Cup for English language performances, a big percentage. Of those performances David Strathairn (Good Night and Good Luck), Cate Blanchett (I’m Not There), Colin Firth (A Single Man), Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix (who won jointly for The Master) went on to land Oscar nominations. Michael Fassbender (Shame) came close but ultimately missed. However the only winner this decade at Venice who went on to win an Oscar is Helen Mirren (The Queen).

Are you looking forward to The Danish Girl? Do you think Redmayne is a good choice to play Elbe?

Tuesday
Jul282015

TIFF Galas Announced

Backstage I'm trying not to panic as I've lost my lodging in Toronto (damn you stranger who cancelled my airbnb!) and so many places are already full. But as I try not to panic and calmly search for other places to crash, TIFF has announced their gala and special presentation programs. "Even if you have to sleep in the street, Nathaniel," they taunt me with this fatefully timed announcement, "you'll still want to come."*

(The initial list of films is rarely fully complete one but here's the bulk of what they'll be premiering)

GALA PRESENTATIONS
These ones get the full red carpet premiere treatment

Jake Gyllenhaal in "Demolition"

  • Beeba Boys (Deepa Mehta, Canada)
  • Demolition (Jean-Marc Vallée, USA) starring Jake Gyllenhaal as an investment banker who can't deal with his grief and starts destroying things. 
  • The Dressmaker (Jocelyn Moorhouse, Australia) starring Kate Winslet
  • Eye in the Sky (Gavin Hood, UK) starring Helen Mirren & Aaron Paul
  • Hyena Road (Paul Gross, Canada) 
  • Forsaken (Jon Cassar, Canada) father and son Don & Kiefer Sutherland star
  • Freeheld (Peter Sollett, USA) starring Julianne Moore & Ellen Page
  • Legend (Brian Helgeland, UK) starring Tom Hardy as the twin Kray brothers
  • Lolo (Julie Delpy, France) Julie Delpy still doing everything for herself! 
  • The Man Who Knew Infinity (Matthew Brown, UK) starring Dev Patel & Jeremy Irons

  • The Martian (Ridley Scott, USA) starring Matt Damon
  • The Program (Stephen Frears, UK) starring Ben Foster
  • Remember (Atom Egoyan, Canada) starring Christopher Plummer
  • Septembers of Shiraz (Wayne Blair, USA) starring Adrien Brody and Salma Hayek about a jewish family during the 1979 Iranian Revolution
  • Stonewall (Roland Emmerich, USA) on the 1969 riots 

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS
Leading filmmakers in some cases. But in some cases they may have played elsewhere but they're still billed as premieres of some kind (North-America premiere or what have you)

Emma Watson and Daniel Brühl are trapped during a Chilean coup in 1973 (Colonia)

  • Anomalisa (Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson) oooh, it's stop motion animation from Kaufman
  • Beasts of No Nation (Cary Fukunaga) before its Netflix premiere I guess
  • Black Mass (Scott Cooper, USA) starring Johnny Depp
  • Brooklyn (John Crowley, UK) reviewed at Sundance
  • The Club (Pablo Larraín)
  • Colonia (Florian Gallenberger, Germany) starring Emma Watson & Daniel Brühl
  • The Danish Girl (Tom Hooper, UK) starring Eddie Redmayne & Alicia Vikander
  • The Daughter (Simon Stone, Australia)
  • Deephan (Jacques Audiard, France) the Palme D'Or winner this year
  • Desierto (Jonás Cuarón)
  • Families (Jean-Paul Rappeneau, France) starring Mathieu Amalric

Jason and Nicole are grown siblings moving back in with their eccentric parents (THE FAMILY FANG)

  • The Family Fang (Jason Bateman, USA) starring Nicole Kidman and Jason Bateman
  • Guilty (Meghna Gulzar, India) starring Irrfan Khan
  • The Idol (Hany Abu-Assad, UK/Palestine)
  • I Smile Back (Adam Salky) starring Sarah Silverman, played at Sundance
  • The Lady in the Van (Nicolas Hytner, USA) starring Maggie Smith
  • Len and Company (Tim Godsall, USA) starring Rhys Ifans
  • The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos) premiered at Cannes
  • Louder than Bombs (Joachim Trier)
  • Maggie's Plan (Rebecca Miller) starring Greta Gerwig, Julianne Moore & Ethan Hawke
  • Mountains May Depart (Jia Zhang-ke, China)
  • Office (Johnnie To, China/HongKong) starring Chow Yun Fat
  • Parched (Leena Yadav, UK)

Brie Larson in ROOM (and Short Term 12 proved she's great onscreen with child actors)

  • Room (Lenny Abrahamson, Ireland/Canada) starring Brie Larson 
  • Sicario (Denis Villeneuve) starring Emily Blunt
  • Son of Saul (László Nemes, Hungary) Hungary's Oscar submission. Premiered at Cannes
  • Spotlight (Tom McCarthy
  • Summertime (Catherine Corsini, France)
  • Sunset Song (Terence Davies) 
  • Trumbo (Jay Roach, USA) starring Bryan Cranston & Helen Mirren in a Hollywood blacklist drama
  • Un Plus Une (Claude Lelouch, France) starring Jean Dujardin
  • Victoria (Sebastian Schipper, Germany) previously discussed by our German correspondent
  • Where to Invade Next (Michael Moore, USA) 
  • Youth (Paolo Sorrentino) the Cannes hit

Which movies are you most curious to read about? 

 

Friday
Jul242015

174 Days Until Oscar Nominations... Here Comes Festival Season!

Are you ready? My body is rehdd-deee. 

As per usual I'll be reporting from the Toronto International Film Festival (Sept 10th-20th). The films are not yet announced but here's a golden tease for you podcast fans: for the first time in recorded human history, Nick Davis, Joe Reid, Katey Rich andd Nathaniel R (c'est moi) will all be attending the same festival. We're quite excited about it even though our paths surely won't cross too often given the sheer volume of things that go on at that festival.

Team Experience will also be out in force again at the New York International Film Festival (Sept 26th-Oct 12th). Opening Night film: Robert Zemeckis & Joseph Gordon Levitt's feature version of the Oscar winning tale of Philippe Petit (Man on Wire); Closing Night film: Don Cheadle's directorial debut (he also stars) Miles Ahead about the lfe of musician Miles Davis. Nathaniel and hopefully our Los Angeles divas (Anne Marie & Margaret) will hit the AFI Festival (November 5th-12th) in Los Angeles again, if all goes well. 

We have no plans (aka funds) currently for Telluride (Sept 4th-7th)Venice (Sept 2nd-12th) Opening Night film is the all star mountain climbing thriller EverestSan Sebastian (Sept 18th-26th) , Fantastic Fest (Sept 24th-Oct 1st), Reykjavik (Sept 24th-Oct 4th) at which David Cronenberg will be the guest of honour!, Zurich (Sept 24th-Oct 4th), or London (October 7th-18th) where Suffragette will do Opening Night honors,  but you never know. Perhaps TFE will finally win a millionaire patron, finally convince hundreds of you to join our tiny circle of patrons that contribute $2.50 a month (a cup of fancy coffee - come on)  to help fund us, discover the secret to cloning so we can be everywhere at once, and/or find contributors in each city.

I ♥ The Film Experience

What are you excited about for the fall prestige season?
Sometimes it's mere existence can be enough after weak summer popcorn seasons.

 

Friday
Nov282014

Amir's Thank Yous

Editor's Note: I asked Team Experience to tell us what they're thankful for this year during the holiday weekend. Here's Amir in the cinematic spirit.

Amir here. As a quick browse through the comments sections on my box office columns can attest, many readers of this website think that I'm the Grinch. It's hard to blame them but the truth is that, if we move away from the dross that Hollywood offers in thousands of theaters, I enjoy quite a healthy relationship with contemporary cinema. Here, for a change of mood, is a positive, complaint-free post.

I'm thankful...

For, first and foremost, TIFF as an organization in Toronto, especially their year-around programming of older films and for the festival that doesn’t just bring great cinema to the city, but great people, too. (If not for this festival, how else could I attract Nathaniel and Nick to town for shared screenings and dinner?) The experience of having all my favourite fellow writers here at home for a few days is what I cherish most about cinema every year.

For courageous filmmakers, this year more than ever, for films like The Look of Silence, Closed Curtain, Citizenfour and Silvered Water: Syria Self Portrait; and for our modern auteurs raising the bar for themselves even further with great works like The Immigrant, Under the Skin and The Grand Budapest Hotel.

For Jake Gyllenhaal challenging himself with interesting roles (and, let’s be honest, thankful that we get to look at him) and Marion Cotillard who delivers masterworks with such frequency that we forget how complicated her performances really are (and, let’s be honest, thankful that we get to look at her).

For the discoveries of Gugu MBatha-Raw and Adam Bakri. And Jenny Slate crossing the border to films with a remarkable debut and for Elisabeth Moss reproving her brilliance on the big screen this time.

For Xavier Dolan finally directing his first good film – oh, look, there I go again, being cynical – and for smart, intelligent films like The Strange Little Cat and A Most Wanted Man.

For, most of all, Nathaniel for keeping me around here and for Team Experience for making compiling all our polls really fun. And you too, readers! If you’ve made it this far, know that I’m really grateful that you’re reading!  

-Amir

 

Related: Nathaniel gives thanks, Jose gives thanks 

Sunday
Oct192014

Podcast Leftover Chat Pt. 1

Better late than never. Our TIFF coverage, was meant to have this podcast attached shortly thereafter but then NYFF got in the way and before I knew it, NYFF was over. To get us back to your weekly in-the-moment podcasts (resuming next Sunday) here is that delayed convo presented unedited because I just gotta get it up and rejoin the now! Starring: Nick Davis, Nathaniel R, and special guests Angelo Muredda and Amir Soltani as we discuss some festival favorites and flops.

Films discussed include but are not limited to:

  • Two Days One Night
  • Foxcatcher
  • Whiplash
  • Miss Julie
  • Still Alice
  • Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait
  • Phoenix
  • Heaven Knows What
  • 99 Homes
  • The Princess of France

You can listen at the bottom of the post or download on iTunes. Continue the conversation in the comments. 

RELATED READING - TIFF REVIEWS IN ALPHA ORDER
1001 Grams | Behavior | Charlie's Country  | Cub 
The Farewell Party  | Force Majeure   | Foxcatcher
The Gate | The Imitation Game  | Kingdom of Dreams...
Labyrinth of Lies  | The Last Five Years   | Life in a Fishbowl   
A Little Chaos  | Miss Julie  | Mommy | The New Girlfriend  
Out of Nature | A Pigeon Sat on a Branch...
Sand Dollars  | Song of the Sea  | Still Alice  
The Theory of Everything   | Wild  | Wild Tales 

TIFF Leftovers Pt. 1

Wednesday
Sep172014

TIFF Jury of One: Nathaniel

Channing & Chastain hit TIFFAnd now, a superfluous but fun-to-write "awards" wrap of the 25 films I saw at TIFF to close out the coverage. I did a little wrap post for Towleroad as well, focused on the LGBT content and the celebs, but if you're a TFE regular I know what you like: awards and lists!

I had intended to see 40 films but with only 8 days of actual screening time (travelling the other 2 days) that proved ridiculous to even try for, impossible really. Especially since I was planning to AND DID write up everything I saw before the festival actually ended. I've never written this quickly so excuse the typos (yeesh).

If you were reading along the whole time this might feel redundant but who doesn't love to box their experiences up in list format? In a festival with hundreds of films everyone has a different experience so this was mine... with nominations only. Don't even ask me to pick winners because I like things to marinate. It's good to get a little distance before bold decrees of "THE BEST!"

BEST PICTURE
links go to the reviews 

Xavier Dolan and Anne Dorval on the set of "Mommy"

  • Force Majeure (Sweden) -Magnolia Pictures. Opens October 24th
  • Mommy (Canada) - Roadside Attractions will release. When though? Unfortunately they aren't exactly a swift distributor. (A headscratcher addendum: Xavier Dolan's Tom at the Farm, which debuted last year at TIFF is still without a US distributor. US audiences just can't jump on the Dolan train without hitting festivals. Maybe that will change with all three of his first features currently winning new fans on Netflix Instant now)
  • A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (Sweden) - Currently without US distributor
  • Wild (USA) - Fox Searchlight. Opens December 5th
  • Wild Tales (Argentina) - Sony Pictures Classics will release. When though?

My favorites at the fest turned out to be this eclectic mix of two Swedish comedies, one hyperstylized the other realistic and intellectually provocative, one Canadian melodrama about a bad seed and his wild mommy, one Oscar bound US solo hiking trip, and an exciting Argentian anthology mixing revenge, thrills and comedy.

Favorite Scenes and Performances After the Jump

Click to read more ...