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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 TV (311)

Wednesday
May202015

HBO’s LGBT History: Tidy Endings (1988)

Manuel is working his way through all the LGBT-themed films and miniseries produced and distributed by HBO.

Last week we gave a brief overview of the purpose of this small miniseries and we went down memory lane as we reminisced about our favorite LGBT characters from HBO TV shows. All of your comments made me want to pop in episodes of The Wire, The Comeback, Oz, Sex and the City, The Larry Sanders Show, Game of Thrones and True Blood, even! Unsurprisingly, though, most of you singled out Six Feet Under’s David Fisher (Michael C. Hall), definitely one of the most well-rounded gay men that has ever graced our television screens. How appropriate then that we officially kick off the series with a death and a metaphorical haunting.

Tidy Endings (1988)
Directed by: Gavin Millar
Written by: Harvey Fierstein
Starring: Stockard Channing, Harvey Fierstein.

By 1988, when HBO first aired Tidy Endings, its first gay-themed TV film, the cable network was still in the process of breaking away from being merely another cable provider. After successfully building from its subscriber base in Pennsylvania and New York by becoming one of the first cable providers to transmit their signals via satellites in 1975, HBO entered the 1980s understanding that while Hollywood reruns were its bread and butter, it would need to create its own content if it wanted to distance itself from other rising networks like Showtime and The Movie Channel. [MORE]

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Tuesday
May192015

Mad Men Series Finale "Person to Person"

EDITOR'S NOTE: Abundant intelligent movie references were what first prompted the "Mad Men at the Movies" series. Though this series finale had no movie references, the great series' best episodes, hell even its minor ones, have had the richness of cinema both visually and thematically. That said, I personally enjoyed the unprovoked flashback to Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969) a fitting companion film to see this week, for many reasons: its time period, its troubled romances, self-discovery retreats, and especially its gorgeously sly double-sided satiric/genuine "EPIPHANY!" and hippie-love musical finale. Here's new contributor Lynn Lee to wrap up as we raise our glasses (of Coke naturally) to the greatest TV show of all time - Nathaniel

It’s been less than 24 hours since the series finale of “Mad Men” aired and a vigorous debate is already raging over the last few minutes of it.  What, we wonder, was the meaning of the cut from Don’s closed eyes and beatific smile to the classic 1971 Coke commercial that introduced “I’d like to buy the world a Coke”? 

Is this where Don’s inspiration leads – back to McCann and Coca-Cola’s signature advertising hook?  Or is the juxtaposition an ironic commentary on the enlightenment he thinks he’s found?  Or is it a non-ironic contrast between the enlightenment he truly has found and the ersatz version that Coke would peddle as a substitute for the real thing?

more...

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Tuesday
May192015

Q&A: Summer Classics, Best 'Action' Acting, and Late 70s Silliness

Yay, reader question time! I did two public appearances, with mic in hand, this weekend which is rare for me. First up was the Q&A with David Dastmalchian for the Animals opening at Village East Cinemas and then on Sunday, a very stressful pre-screening trivia for the Mad Men Finale at The Astor Room restaurant in conjunction with The Museum of the Moving Image. I am always terrified if I'm miked but here at home on TFE, no terror. I type at you, no miking necessary.

Let's take 9 reader questions. I suggested 1979 related questions (our year of the month) but let's do some general questions first on action film acting, summer movies, Oscar sweeps, and classic novels on the screen...

BHURAY: What are your five favorite novels of all time and if they've been translated to film how would you rank the films?

NATHANIEL: I don't feel all that well-read I confess. I spend so much of my time with movies that it's hard to carve out several hours for a book. But when I do read I try to alternate between one for fun and one because-it's-classic when I do read. These are the five best novels I've ever read:

Beloved and lots more questions after the jump...

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Monday
May182015

Review: Bessie 

TFE's newest contributor Angelica Jade Bastién on HBO's latest biopic

For over two decades Queen Latifah has been trying to bring the life of Bessie Smith, the legendary "Empress of the Blues" who found success in the 1920s and 1930s, to the screen. Despite Bessie's life being a perfect mix of glamour and tragedy that seems tailor made for a biopic I'm not surprised it has taken Latifah this long to bring her story to life. Bessie Smith (Queen Latifah) is a rough hewn, country, bisexual, and passionate broad. The film doesn't sand off her edges or shy away from her contradictions instead it embraces them. Bessie tracks the legend from her early days as a singer with her older brother/manager, Clarence (Tory Kittles) always in her corner to the Great Depression when all her personal and professional success falters. 

Anyone familiar with women's pictures knows the emotional terrain Bessie is covering. But what makes this women's picture downright transgressive is its sympathetic,multi-layered portrayal of black queer desire...

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Sunday
May172015

Goodbye To Dear Loved Ones

I'm too distraught at the moment to truly process it but my favorite television show of all time ends tonight. End of an era, indeed. In just a few short hours at that. I'm off to co-host a finale party at the Museum of the Moving Image. (We will surely discuss later and probably through the Emmys so awards seasons have their blessings in keeping conversation relevant and alive.)

But to those who are also in mourning, you are not alone. This show has fascinated so many and inspired such wonderful writing on the web for seven years at many different sites. Let us cry on each other's virtual shoulders. Favorite episode. Favorite character. Favorite season in the comments please!

Wednesday
May132015

HBO’s LGBT History: The Beginning

Manuel here kicking off a mini-series of sorts focusing on HBO's decades-old commitment to telling quality LGBT stories. I spent much of this spring recapping Looking here at The Film Experience and as polarizing as many (both here and elsewhere) found the show, it remained the sole American television show centered on the gay male experience to air last year. As we all know, shortly after the season 2 finale, HBO understandably pulled the plug; the show garnered a mere 0.298 million viewers for that episode, a mere pittance when compared to their Westeros-set hit, but also nearly half of what Lena Dunham’s show metered that same evening. And so, to fill the void and build up to a very gay-friendly upcoming HBO film roster (Queen Latifah’s Bessie, that rumored Matt Bomer/Montgomery Clift biopic, the Looking wrap-up film), we’re diving headfirst into a crafting an oral LGBT history of the network that gave us Patrick, Richie, Kevin, Agustin, and Dom, but which had clearly paved the way for such a show with a long storied list of LGBT stories even before it became the ratings giant it is now.

To say HBO, as a cable provider, as a television network, and as an independent film producer, has changed the media landscape is perhaps a bit of an understatement. Its long-running tagline, “It’s not TV, it’s HBO” spoke to the core of what has made HBO such an institution. Despite various attempts at replicating its successes, HBO remains staunchly and idiosyncratically itself. Netflix and Amazon may be sniping at its heels but with a bucket load of Emmys, a gigantic and zeitgesty fantasy series on hand, and its new streaming service (anyone sign up for HBO Now, yet?), the cable giant is showing no signs of aging.

[Angels in America and Your Requested Participation after the jump...]

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