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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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Entries in Year in Review (161)


November Highlights Pt.1 

If years were musicals we'd be about to hear  the 11th hour showstopping numbers before the climax in December when Oscar Fever and List Mania truly begins. Consider that in two days two of the best films of this already great year emerge in theaters: Carol, Mustang and then the Thanksgiving blockbusters hit. But for now some highlights from the month's first half since we don't want you to miss anything! We're illustrating with Slave Girl Princess Leia because we reject any corporate attempts to erase popular culture touchstones because people are so easily offended. Slave Girl Leia turned her chains into weapons and defeated the patriarchy Jabba the Hut and should be celebrated not covered up. 

Grey Gardens Manuel's HBO LGBT retrospective season reached this eccentric gem
Female Directors diversity in director's chair is the hot topic of the year 
Charming Sir Ian at the Brit brunch party for Mr. Holmes
Oscar Gossip direct from Los Angeles
Pilou Asbaek goes to A War (then Game of Thrones)
Q&A we discuss favorite Oscar-winning quartets (what's urs?) and much more
AFI Fest reviews of The Big Short, Concussion, Lady in Van, James White, etc
Tennessee Williams Biopic? Yes please 
Spectre Tim's review 

Honorary Oscars
Spike Lee we looked at Bamboozled and Crooklyn
Debbie Reynolds we looked at Singin' in the RainThe Unsinkable Molly Brown and Charlotte's Web
Best Dressed at the Governor's Awards

...and we'll have more to come on Gena Rowlands! But for now enjoy Spike & Gena's awesome speeches 

Most Discussed
"What's your Sophie's Choice Oscar Moment?"

Awards & List Mania
BIFA Nominations, 16 Eligible Animated Features, IDA documentary nominations, Spirit Predictions, WGA Funniest Screenplays


October. It's a Wrap!

October came and went and we barely clocked Halloween? That's scary. Usually we're more in the costumed-up spirit. Highlights from a speedy month gone by...

First image from Loving - how long till Jeff Nichols is an Oscar favorite?
Steve Jobs -first impressions of an electric Oscar contender
The AFI Fest is coming - Team TFE will be there so here's a preview 
"Hello" - Adele & Xavier Dolan called each other a 1000 times 
Jennifer Lawrence vs. Oscar records - how far and fast can she rise?
1986 Flashback - A Room With a View and more 
Golden Globe Comedy - a curiously thin field
Steven Spielberg - Bridge of Spies and his 21st century work 
Oscar's Foreign Race - a five part trivia-happy series
HBO LGBT Sex & The City - Manuel's series hits the movie spinoffs
Q&A: Favorite Vamps & Cute Monsters - for Halloween 
Kate Winslet & the Oscars - a ranking 
Freeheld - belated thoughts on the once Oscar hopeful
NYFF Wrap Up -Carol, The Assassin, The Lobster and more...
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night - female directed horror is all the rage 

Coming in November... 
Interviews with Ridley Scott, Alicia Vikander, the screenwriter of Spotlight and more. We'll do TFE tributes to Gena Rowlands, Spike Lee, and Gena Rowlands as their Honorary Oscar ceremony approaches. Anne Marie will look at the career of Mira Nair in "Women's Pictures". Our eyeballs will drown in lushness via  Brooklyn, Carol, The Danish Girl and other Oscar hopefuls. Plus the star studded AFI premieres of By the Sea, Concussion, and The Big Short

Any requests?


NYFF is a Wrap. All The Reviews

Whew. Though a bad cold and TIFF fatigue sidelined yours truly, Jason and Manuel were both insatiable cinephiles during the 53rd Annual New York Film Festival and reviewing machines. Huge thanks to them. We hope you enjoyed our coverage of this annual curated festival which collects key films from Cannes, TIFF, and Berlinale and throws in a few premieres as Fall Film Season begins in force in your local movie theaters.

Phyllis Nagy who wrote "Carol" and Cate Blanchett who played "Carol"

28 Films
The Assassin Hou Hsiao-Hsien does the Tang Dynasty (Nathaniel) 
Arabian Nights Vol 2: The Desolate Ones confused thoughts from TIFF (Nathaniel)
Bridge of Spies Spielberg's methodic Cold War thriller with Tom Hanks (Manuel)
Brooklyn melodramatic infatuation by way of Sundance (Nathaniel)
Carol Todd Haynes returns with an exquisite romance (Nathaniel)
Cemetery of Splendour somnambulist soldiers & their caretakers (Jason)
De Palma a filmed chat with the singular Brian de Palma (Jason)

Everything is Copy a documentary on the late great Nora Ephron (Manuel)
The Forbidden Room Guy Maddin is Guy Maddin is Guy Maddin is Guy Maddin (Jason)
In Jackson Heights Wiseman Does (upper) Manhattan (Manuel)
In the Shadow of Women wounded French masculinity (Manuel)
Ingrid Bergman - In Her Own Words just that (Manuel)
Journey to the Shore a ghost story and melodrama (Manuel) 
Junun PT Anderson makes a doc for Jason's Radiohead Fandom (Jason)
Les Cowboys from the writer of Rust & Bone, a riff on The Searchers? (Jason)
The Lobster the absurdist all star comedy (Jason)
Maggie's Plan romantic comedy every which accented Julianne Moore (Manuel)
Mia Madre Nanni Morretti gets personal (Manuel)
Microbe & Gasoline a Gondry oddity (Jason)

Emayatzy & Cheadle at the "Miles Ahead" premiereMiles Ahead Don Cheadle wearing all hats. and trumpet (Nathaniel)
My Golden Days romantic Desplechin (Manuel) 
No Home Movie the final film from the late great Chantal Akerman (Manuel)
The Short Film Programs multiple gems (Manuel)
Son of Saul Hungary's powerhouse (Manuel) 
Steve Jobs Aaron Sorkin's Electric 3-Act (Jason) 
The Treasure "This is very Romanian" (Manuel) 
The Walk Robert Zemeckis 3D fantasy (Nathaniel)
Where to Invade Next Michael Moore's optimism (Manuel) 

Next in Festival Land
There's just one more this year for TFE and its the least intense one thankfully. Nathaniel and team head to Los Angeles in November for the AFI festival and all the Oscar campaigning that comes with it. Thanks for going on these film-binge journeys with us wherever you are in the world.



September. It's a Wrap

We've reached the final quarter of the year? Unreal right? September was very rough off blog (personal crises for friends and family) and the movies kept us just as busy. Frankly your editor-in-chief has had a hard time remembering what day of the week it even is at this point. The head is spinning. So let October be a fresh new rebirth as we begin the march toward Oscar night. Just 151 days away! 

September often felt like a brick to the head

10 September Highlights
Best School Films - Team Experience went back to school by choosing the 10 all time best from 1955's Rebel Without a Cause through 2008's Palme d'or winner The Class
Fury Road's "Best Shots" - multiple tributes to John Seale's cinematography on Mad Max Fury Road
Fast Times - Anne Marie looked at the career of Amy Heckerling in Women's Pictures
Matt Damon's Foot in Mouth Disease - Oh Matt. Well meaning oblivious Matt
AHS Promos - Manuel argued that American Horror Story is better at the foreplay than the actual f***ing
Top Ten Summer - the Podcast team chose their favorite things about 2015's summer movies 
What's next for Jennifer Lawrence? - Murtada is keeping an eye on her 
Goodfellas turns 25 - David revisited the Scorsese classic
Jeremy Irvine talked Stonewall "no one ever sets out to make a bad movie" 
Liz Taylor's best Cleopatra looks - Abstew did the impossible choosing 10 from 65 costume changes! 

Oscar Mania
Tis the (beginning) of the season. We paid special attention to Best Picture movement, Original Song, Foreign Film, Actress, and Actor... but all of the charts are freshly updated.  

Other Happenings...
At TIFF Amir & Nathaniel reviewed 37 films (whew). But film festivals weren't the only happenings. In September we also learned that we'd get two Oscar hosts (but not who they'd be), were forced to say goodbye to master of horror Wes Craven, and celebrated Emmy night with several articles as well as actressy celebrations devoted to Regina King, and new triplecrowner Frances McDormand.

Lots of exciting new movies to talk about including Room, The Martian, Freeheld, Steve Jobs, Crimson Peak and Suffragette. We'll also have a mini 1963 celebration to include the final Supporting Actress Smackdown of the season featuring Tom Jones, The VIPs and Lilies of the Field (panelists tba very soon), a few spooky films, and more interviews, reviews, lists, and silliness. ANY REQUESTS?


"Room" is the People's Choice

Great News: Room won the People's Choice award at TIFF! 
It couldn't have happened to a more deserving film and I mean that literally since it was the best of the 29 films I caught there. Confession: I really thought that Spotlight would take it since festival goers wouldn't shut up about that one. In the past twenty years the People's Choice Award has been a very solid indicator of a future Best Picture nomination. In fact, with one exception only (Hotel Rwandaif the winner was from the States or the UK, it was nominated at the Oscars. Canadian winners (Eastern Promises and The Hanging Garden) as well as most of the non-English language winners weren't so lucky. A Best Picture nomination would be a very big deal for A24 as a young distributor but they've already released so many fine and daring films they've earned one, don't you think? 

How high would you rank the film now in your predictions? 

Winners List
People's Choice Room (Lenny Abramson)
    1st Runner Up: Angry Indian Goddesses (Pan Nalin)
    2nd Runner Up: Spotlight (Tom McCarthy)

FIPRESCI DiscoveryEva Nová (Marko Skop) 
FIPRESCI Special PresentationDesierto (Jonás Cuarón) 
NETPAC Asian Cinema AwardWhispering Star (Sion Sono) 
Toronto Platform AwardHURT (Alan Zweig) 
    Honorable Mention: Neon Bull, The Promised Land, The Clan
Best Short Maman(s) (Maïmouna Doucouré)
     Honorable Mention: Rate Me (Fyzal Boulifa) 

Best Canadian Feature Closet Monster (Stephen Dunn)
    Honorable Mention: My Internship in Canada (Philippe Falardeau)
Best Canadian First Feature Film Sleeping Giant (Andrew Cividino)
Best Canadian Short Overpass (Patrice Laliberté)
    Honorable Mention: Bacon & God's Wrath (Sol Friedman)

The odd thing about the Canadian prizes is that Closet Monster, my favorite LGBT movie from the fest, which won the "Canada Goose" for Best Canadian Film is also a First Feature; there's another prize for that that it did not win! Of the other award winners, I only managed to catch Spotlight, Room, and the Toronto Platform Honorable Mention The Clan. It's a gut-wrenching true crime drama about a notorious family in Argentina who kidnapped members of other upper class families, some of whom they knew personally, for ransom money. I suspect it will be Argentina's Oscar submission but they don't announce until the end of the month.


Podcast: Top Tens of Summer 2015

For this week's edition of the podcast, Katey, Joe, Nathaniel and Nick reunite to share their top tens of summer movie season. We allowed ourselves full movies, single moments, general themes. It's a free form top ten roundelay. 

Topics include but are not limited to... 
Mad Max: Fury Road, I'll See You In My Dreams, Jurassic World, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Far From the Madding Crowd, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Diary of a Teenage Girl, Amy, Trainwreck, A Little Chaos, Ricki and the Flash, Joss Whedon, Amy Poehler, Elizabeth Banks, Jada Pinkett Smith, Andie MacDowell, footwear, camera-shaking music, counterprogramming and more...

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Continue the conversation in the comments. Share your top ten anything from the summer movie season!

Summer Top Tens


August. Is (Basically) A Wrap

Goodbye Summer 2015. We have a couple of post-mortems coming on the summer movie season and also the companion podcast to the 1954 smackdown... but those will essentially be epilogues to this hot month. And "hot" was literal rather than superlative. Aren't you glad summer is ending? Fall is often the best season, cinematically and weather-wise

Random Highlights ICYMT
HBO LGBT Manuel on memorable characters in The Wire, Carnivàle and Sopranos
Batgirl RIP Yvonne Craig (sniffle)
The Huston Family Acting Dynasty I mean... why not? 
Chicken Run (2000) for "Best Shot" fun
And the Honorary Oscar Goes to... Debbie, Gena and Spike! 
Junebug 10th anniversary 
"I Love Myself" Hailee Steinfeld and other Oscar nominated would be pop stars 
Viola Davis we celebrated her 50th and looked at upcoming projects. The triple crown is on its way 

List Mania
Sing Along greatest movie songs of the 1980s. Do you know them by heart?
24 Lily Tomlin Films - how many have u seen?
100 Things I Love About the Movies off the top of my head 
Jennifer Lawrence Happy 25th Jose celebrated with her best looks 
Highest Paid Actress via Forbes 

Reviewish (all formats): Ricki and the Flash (Nathaniel), Fantastic Four (Tim), The Man From UNCLE (Kyle), Woman in Gold (Nathaniel), Queen of Earth (Glenn), The Riot Club (David), Mr Robot & Humans S1 (Lynn & Nathaniel), Masters of Sex S3 (Deborah, Manuel, David, and Dan)

Finally... did you enjoy our Ingrid Bergman Centennial? We covered Intermezzo (1939), Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde (1941), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1942), Notorious, (1946), Joan of Arc (1948), Journey to Italy (1954), Indiscreet (1958), The Inn of Sixth Happiness (1958),Cactus Flower (1969), Murder on the Orient Express (1974) and her final movie Autumn Sonata (1978). For fun, and because she's arguably the definitive romantic heroine among movie stars, her ten best screen kisses. Thanks to Team Experience for doing this. You can read about our team here if you've ever been like "who is writing this wonderful piece that I'm reading?"

COMING IN SEPTEMBER: Nathaniel and Amir report from TIFF, Jose will be looking at festival fashions, and the Emmy Awards are nearly upon us, too. New movies will include Sleeping With Other PeopleEverest, Sicario, and The Intern. As for retrospectives, we'll look back at Postcards from the Edge and Goodfellas for their 25th birthdays and hit a few 1963 offerings in honor of the final Supporting Actress Smackdown of the year: it's Lilies of the Field versus Tom Jones versus VIP. Visit us daily, okay? xo