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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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Big Little Lies

"I am blown away by this miniseries." -Michael R

"Laura Dern's Renata is crazy but she reminds me of several professional women that I know in the San Francisco Bay Area." -Jono

"Loved the jarring editing this week, and the reveal of what Perry did with the toys..." - DJDeeDay

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Melissa Leo (The Most Hated Woman in America)
Ritesh Batra (The Sense of an Ending)
Asghar Farhadi (Salesman)

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Entries in TV (524)

Thursday
Mar232017

"Fargo" Teases Third Season of Polite Crime, Red Snow, and Twice the Ewan McGregor

by Daniel Crooke

For all of those hunkered snug in the cold and goin’ crazy down by the lake after a year of anticipation over the third season of the FX anthology series Fargo -- inspired, of course, by the Coen Brothers dark comedy of the same name, not to mention a buffet-filled bevy of narrative and thematic homages that span across their entire filmography -- here’s a home baked slice of warm comfort: the official trailer for the long-awaited return has finally been released.

While the idea of adapting the iconic Midwestern crime saga for the small screen may have once seemed to border on the sacrilegious, the first two seasons delivered enough satisfying, respectful riffs on the source material to silence its naysayers while also surprising audiences with its acute yet divergent grasp on the world and wit that made the original film so great. For my money, the second season’s political allegory around the bait and switch of small town community values with a nationalized corporate identity in 1980s America resonates even more presciently today than it did upon first air not too long ago. The teaser seems to hint at a desire to grapple further with contemporary themes in the United States, this time about class and the routine desperation growing within the gulf that separates economic strata.

Fargo series creator Noah Hawley wasn’t met with the same critical hosannas for his latest television project, the superhero-adjacent Legion on FX, but this trailer is rife with enough idiosyncratic potential to soothe any doubt one may hold for his next one. For starters, the mere prospect of Ewan McGregor playing against himself as hero and villain -- identical twins with opposing haircuts, no less – is enough to make you see double. Throw in the equisite supporting cast of Carrie Coon, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and A Serious Man star Michael Stuhlbarg, and I’m counting down the days to the premiere on April 19.

The first two seasons of FX’s Fargo: ground worth retreading or not up to the legacy of the classic Coens film. What's your take?

Monday
Mar202017

Feud: Bette and Joan. "Mommie Dearest"

Previously
Ch. 1 "Pilot"
Ch. 2 "The Other Woman" 

Feud's writing team is nothing if not devoted to playing to a single theme per episode. All but a couple of scenes in chapter 3 of Feud are devoted to the notion of mothering (though Victor Buono's more generous notion of "legacy" might have been a smarter move for retroactive potency). Or at least the show spends this hour playing with our pre-conceptions of the mothering skills of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. That's evident in the way it pulls the episode title from the infamous Christina Crawford memoir that damned Joan forever in the public eye as a psychopath and child abuser. In one of the earliest scenes we even get a potent reminder of this memoir as Joan pretends she's not going to send Christina a card congratulating her on the opening of a play until she reads reviews, but then signs the card "Mommie Dearest," as soon as two of her other children are out of sight.

I know what you think of my mothering...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Mar152017

Big Little Lies MVPs: Episode 4 "Push Comes to Shove"

Editor's Note: We're passing the baton around for Big Little Lies so that we keep up. Nathaniel took episode 1 and 2, Spencer looked at episode 3. Lynn Lee takes the baton for episode 4....

Coming off the high of Episode 3, Episode 4 couldn’t help but feel like a bit of a comedown, even as it ratcheted up the multiple tensions just a wee bit more.  Feels like something’s gotta give soon, doesn’t it?  We are, after all, at series midpoint and we still don’t know who the murder victim is.  It doesn’t bother me, though, as long as we’ve got such juicy character dynamics and relationships, not to mention such fantastic actressing, to distract us...

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Saturday
Mar112017

5 x 5: Buffy's 20th

One of the most exciting things about great art in modern culture is that it inspires so much other great art as well as criticism with everyone having access to the conversation and their own platforms with which to engage. With the internet celebrating Buffy the Vampire Slayer's 20th anniversary, we can't totally bypass the opportunity to celebrate with them.  After the jump five links you should definitely read and five tweets we enjoyed...

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Saturday
Mar112017

Big Little Lies MVPs: Episode 3 "Living The Dream"

Editor's Note: To get us all caught up for Sunday's 4th episode (we'll start covering the series as it airs now), and so that I can get to "Feud" and the latest episode of "Pfandom," I'm handing over the reigns to episode 3 to our new contributor Spencer Coile for a fresh set of eyes.

Top Ten MVPs of Big Little Lies. Episode 3 "Living The Dream" 
In the third episode, Madeline finds out that her oldest daughter Abigail (Kathryn Newton) wants to move in with her dad (James Tupper) and Bonnie. Celeste and Perry (Alexander Skarsgård) attempt to give a another go at counseling. And after a botched family tree project leads Ziggy (Iain Armitage) to ask who his father is, Jane reveals to Madeline that Ziggy was the resut of forced sex with a man supposedly named Saxton Banks. 

"Living The Dream" is Big Little Lies' finest installment thus far, and a list of the episode's major players follows after the jump...

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Wednesday
Mar082017

Someone pitch a "Beulah" Miniseries. Hear me out. 

Imitation of Life (1934) starred Claudette Colbert and Louise Beavers who went into the pancake business

On this day in 1902 Louise Beavers born in Cincinatti. Though she was never as famous as the similarly cast Hattie McDaniel she also had her own big film moments in the studio system including the original Imitation of Life in which Claudette Colbert got wildly rich off of her recipe while she Beavers struggled with her light-skinned daughter. FREE PITCH IDEA FOR WRITERS OF COLOR: Don't you think a prestige miniseries on Black Hollywood throughout the years would be fascinating?

More on Louise Beavers and other "on this day" items after the jump...

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Monday
Mar062017

Saturn Award Nominations: Rogue One... and Hidden Figures?

The Saturn Awards were created over 40 years go to honor the then generally dishonored genres of sci-fi fantasy and horror. Whether they're still needed in a pop culture climate that veritably worships these things is up for debate. But even if they are -- and its certainly true that genre shows and films are still considered poor cousins to more respectable "drama" and "biopics" when it comes to mainstream awards --  are the Saturn Awards the ones to do it?

Now in their 43rd year, they seem to have lost the thread a little. They have so many categories it feels like they're eager to displace the Grammys, Satellites, or BFCA for "MOST!" and in addition to the ridiculous amounts of categories, they have 6 to 8 nominees per category which negates the need to have much in the way of discernment as to what constitutes "best". The problem in a nutshell: It's great to have an awards group that can say "Captain America: Civil War is superb" with a straight face, but when they also hold up Batman v Superman for the same honor, it kind of kills the impact.

Rogue One leads the nominees with 11 nominations. All 41 categories and more commentary after the jump... 

Click to read more ...