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 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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"Thank you to all the contributors & commentors for teaching me about movies!" - Andrew

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Entries in TV (369)


Annie Awards Give Love to Pixar (and "Judy" in The Revenant!)

The Annie Awards, now in their 43rd year, seemed to have stabilized after their controversial laden years when people felt they were to beholden to Dreamworks Animation (am I remembering this correctly?) within their voting ranks. But their nominations often still feel quite random as in voice acting where Richard Kind was shut out for "bing bong" in Inside Out. Or Tom Noonan, who voices almost every character in Anomalisa, being ignored. Or their character design and visual effects nominations sometimes specifying individual scenes or categories and sometimes just labelled "all". And the varying number of nominations per category.

In short: their executive body really needs to sharpen up their rules so they feel more respectable / consistent.

But it was a good morning for Pixar since Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur dominated with 14 and 10 nods respectively. As for their competition for Oscar gold, good showings for Anomalisa, Shaun the Sheep and Peanuts with 5 nominations each. The low profile but reportedly excellent Brazilian feature Boy and the World received 3 nominations.

Even some live action films get honored by the Annies since most films get computer animated assists these days so... what's that? The Revenant was nominated? See more after the jump...

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Manuel Gives Thanks

Manuel here. Has it really been a year since the last time I gave thanks (not coincidentally with another pic of Ms Blanchett)? I feel as though I should be giving thanks in front of some sort of food, so imagine I’ve come with a full dozen donuts from Donut Time.

I’m thankful…

- For unabashedly queer Christmas flicks featuring fab ladies.
- For having had the chance to see over twenty-four films at the New York Film Festival (and having been in the same room as Kate Winslet!!)
- For Wiig, in all and every incarnation
- For Joy and Joy (and consequently, Amy Poehler and Brie Larson).

- For all the delicious food on Please Like Me, a show you should all be watching!
- For Mad Mens beautiful and perfect ending.
- For Twelve Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer, one of the greatest TV episodes this year.
- For Ben Whishaw, in all and every incarnation. (What a year he's had: Spectre, Suffragette, The Lobster, etcetera)
- For Sutton Foster, National Treasure, who was luminous in The Wild Party.
- For Adele’s laughter (and music).
- For Anna Kendrick, whose “Still Hurting” is still making me ache.

- For TV’s funny ladies. And really, that image doesn't do justice to the amazing talent on display this year (Gina! Constance! Tracee! Ellie! Amy! Ilana! Abbi! The entire Orange is the New Black cast!)

And lastly...

 - For all of you who comment and indulge me as I gab about gay things on HBO. Can you believe it's been a full six months since I started this cultural history? It definitely wouldn't be the same without the engaging and generous TFE community, so thank you all for following along!

Manuel Betancourt (News / HBO LGBT
An avid moviegoer, this academically minded Colombian wrote an entire dissertation on queer film fandom as, perhaps, a way of reconciling his inner critic and inner fan. Both thankfully, are given plenty of room to play here at TFE & at Manuel's own blog where he puts his queer theory training to work. His favorite film genre is "soul-crushingly depressing if beautifully lensed relationship dramas with juicy parts for actresses." Follow him on Twitter!


Small Screen MVPs: The Leftovers, Transparent, Black-ish and more...

Each week or so we're asking member of Team Experience to share the MVP of whatever they've been watching on TV lately. The MVP may be a prop, a theme, a person, or a collective. In past episodes we've talked The Flash and Bob's Burgers, The Walking Dead and The Knick and a handful of others. Now five more shows hit our collective eyeballs. Maybe you're watching them?

The Leftovers' Showrunners
The first season of The Leftovers made for difficult but extremely rewarding viewing. But nothing could have prepared us for the show's second season, which has been more daring, more ambitious, and yes, even more difficult than the first. Take the season premiere, which spent its first nine minutes telling a prehistoric tale of a cavewoman and her infant child, before shifting to present-day Jarden, TX - thousands of miles away from the show's previous setting of Mapleton, NY. When characters we finally knew appeared, they were treated as supporting characters. And it wasn't until the fourth episode of the season that we finally came back to the opening scene's lake in the aftermath of the premiere-ending earthquake during which that entire lake and at least three girls disappeared. 

The sixth episode "Lens" was a killer dual showcase for the Emmy-worthy Carrie Coon and Regina King... More plus Transparent, The Mindy Project, and Black-ish after the jump...

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Spike Lee's "Bamboozled" - Still angry, still timely

TFE is celebrating the three Honorary Oscar winners this week. Here's Lynn Lee on one of Spike Lee's most controversial joints...

Is Spike Lee an Angry Black Man?  Reductive as the label is, it’s hard not to associate with an artist as reliably outspoken as he is accomplished—if only because so much of his best work is fueled by genuine anger at the condition of African Americans and the state of American race relations generally.  The irony of having achieved major critical and commercial success by channeling those frustrations surely hasn’t been lost on him, even if it’s done nothing to diminish them.

Bamboozled (2000), an incendiary, balls-to-the-wall satire about a disaffected black man who creates a pop culture monster, shows Lee at his angriest and most conflicted.  The film takes its cue from Malcolm X’s famous wakeup call:

You’ve been hoodwinked.  You’ve been had…You’ve been bamboozled”

It tells the tale of a Harvard-educated black TV writer (Damon Wayans, sporting a deliberately outlandish pseudo-French African accent) who pitches a hideously racist modern-day minstrel show as a fuck-you response to his white boss’s demand for “blacker” material—only to have the show become a megahit despite, or rather because of, the controversy it causes.  [More...]

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Situation Linky

Arts.Mic Our Manuel dives deep on TV's family sitcom through history and how it does and doesn't reflect our changing world. Fun and depressing stats.
Dark Horizons BBC will try adapting Phillip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" into a franchise. Exciting since those books are so complex and adult (movies were probably never the right approach) but that said... good luck besting Nicole Kidman's Miss Coulter in the aborted movie franchise
Oscar Conversations [video] director, costume designer, and composer talk Beasts of No Nation
Africa is a Country Noah Tsikas with an alternative perspective on the much lauded Beasts of No Nation

Pajiba lists 20 upcoming sci-fi fantasy movies that are NOT from a franchise. How exciting. Original or fresh adaptations. Of course some of these will launch franchises if they're big
Guardian Colin Welland, Oscar winning screenwriter of Chariots of Fire has died. 
People Adele cites Madonna's "Frozen" as an inspirational song in her life. Same. That song rescued me at the time, no joke. (Love it when artists show Madonna respect rather than dissing her)
Little White Lies has a whole freaking issue on Carol ! Beautiful motion cover, too 
Los Angeles Times the ongoing drama of Quentin Tarantino vs the police
Boy Culture somehow I missed this Mommie Dearest night in Manhattan with actress Rutanya Alda (The Deer Hunter, Mommie Dearest) and Michael Musto 
Awards Daily talks to Tab Hunter about the documentary Tab Hunter: Confidential which is really fun if you're into Old Hollywood history
Playbill Here's a project with potential I hadn't heard a peep about: Shirley Maclaine and Amanda Seyfried will co-star in a movie about an old woman who wants to control everything including her own obituary. A young reporter has other ideas.
Variety Brad Pitt & Marion Cotillard (what a lovely pair) are headling Robert Zemeckis next feature and its got an Oscar hungry Thanksgiving 2016 release date 

Beauty Breaks
if you need it -- and who doesn't from time to time?
My New Plaid Pants Edgar Ramirez three times
NY Times amazing never before seen 80s photos of Madonna, Warhol, and Basquiat
Queerty on Empire's Jussie Smollet. Mmmm. Are any of you watching Season 2 of Empire? I don't like it quite as much this year but Jussie & Taraji & Gabby are still great fun
Vogue chooses best dressed: Meryl, Alicia, and someone named... Sienna Miller (sp?)
VJ Brendan Nicholas Hoult in Hero magazine. I saw this mag cover in London but if I'd known the photos were this good. It's a pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty reminder that he was so great in Mad Max Fury Road earlier this year. FYC people.



Topic Du Jour: Female Directors

If you haven't read Vulture's list of 100 female directors Hollywood could be hiring you should. It's a great 'shut your mouth' argument for those suits that hilariously say 'well, we would hire female directors if there were any!' Bless Kyle Buchanan for spearheading this -- though I hope he had interns helping.  Naturally there will be passionate responses. Diversity arguments will always promote some degree of snark -- see Anthony Mackie's recent comments about the Black Panther movie's search for a director -- and nitpicking, including here.

But we nitpick with love.

David Poland argues that "strategy," not shaming, is what's required and that statistics and math won't help. He neglects to detail the strategy though. As for myself I (mostly) love the list and think it's important that a wake up call like this is out there -- what did happen to Laverne herself, Penny Marshall, who directed so many huge hits in the 80s and 90s? It's smart to make the list far reaching and extensive but some of the people are not reasonable for an argument either because their careers have been over for so long or because...wait for it... they aren't good directors. (Obviously there are many bad directors with penises who get lots of work. But we'd like them to find other jobs, too!)  

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Small Screen MVPs: Damaged Surgeons, Haunted Houses, Coming Out

Who or what was your MVP of this past week on your tv screens?

A couple of weeks ago we polled Team Experience to share their MVPs from shows they were currently watching. You liked it so we'll attempt to do it weekly or at least bi-weekly. In this new world of infinite screens and schedules, whether you're bingeing, right up-to-date, or on demand surfing, we're all probably on different time tables so please do share yours as well.

If you watch these shows would you pick the same most valuable player?

MVPs of the Week

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Director
It's taken this show a while to get to a place where it feels confidence in taking artistic risks, but last week’s episode, ‘4,722 Hours’, saw the once meek show taking its most audacious move yet under the helm of director Jesse Bochco. When Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) was snatched by the Monolith in season two’s brutal stinger, I never expected that the show would tackle the aftermath in such sober, thoughtful form. Bochco even dares to omit the regular title card, using a simpler, more elegant logo atop a vista of the deep blue planet.

Immediately, then, Bochco marks ‘4,722 Hours’ as a singular artistic endeavour, a quite remarkable thing in a Marvel Studios empire that has continually driven away individualist directors. Alright, so the episode still fits within the show’s larger template and is constructed with tropes familiar from many lone survivor sci-fi tales, but it feels full of personality, submerged in the midnight blue light of eternal night, allowing Henstridge to dig into Simmons’ psychological trauma that the show had presented to us in the previous episodes. It’s an episode full of confidence and trust in both character and audience. Let's hope it’s one that signals an even brighter future for a series going from strength to strength. - David Upton

The Walking Dead's Executive Producer
Thank you, Robert Kirkman, for backing the hell off. [More...]

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