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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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If Beale Street Could Talk

"Thank you ! Did we all read "Giovanni's Room" when we were teens ... and were slightly baffled and taken ?? Now I'm curious .. about this movie" - Martin

"We don’t deserve something this beautiful in 2018..." - Margaret

"I thought it was a terrific, lovely film but with some flaws. I don't think the voiceovers work well in the film and nor was it necessary since the film was already so infused with Baldwin's voice. " - Raul 

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Tuesday
Dec182018

Watch at Home: 1985, Roma, A Simple Favor

What's newly available for home viewing this week? Herewith a very quick survey of new releases and/or great deals

DVD/Blu-Ray
All About Nina -Festival critics loved it (and Mary Elizabeth Winstead's performance) but it was lost in theaters. Can it find a second life now? 
Fahrenheit 11/9 -Michael Moore didn't make the doc finalist list this year but his new doc is now on DVD
A Simple Favor -Paul Feig and two terrific actresses, perfectly cast, delivered one of the year's best comic surprises
Venom - The Spider-Man spinoff that was so successful we're sure to get loads of other villain spinoffs of superhero movies. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to threaten you.

New iTunes 99¢ Deals
I do not know what possessed them but they have a TON of great films for 99¢ this week (there's usually just a couple of must-sees). That's a price point we can get behind for streaming especially since otherwise you're at the whim of Netflix and Prime's extremely limited movie menus. You might want to check out 1985, Austin based filmmaker Yen Tan's latest LGBT drama. This one is in black and white and about a young man (Cory Michael Smith) who returns home to his parents in Texas (Michael Chiklis and an excellent Virginia Madsen) to say goodbye during the AIDS epidemic.

SO MANY FAMOUS FILMS FOR 99¢ THIS WEEK: Airplane, Annie Hall, Beetlejuice, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, The Birdcage, Black Hawk Down, The Black Stallion, Blue Velvet, Boyhood, Capote, A Clockwork Orange, Eat Drink Man Woman, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Gravity, Gremlins, Hairspray, Hannah and Her Sisters, The Heat, Kung Fu Hustle, Inherent Vice, Leave No Trace, Leaving Las Vegas, Lenny, The Madness of King George, The Magnificent Seven, Manhattan, Marty, Memento, Midnight Cowboy, Moonstruck, Moulin Rouge!, My Cousin Vinny, Mystic Pizza, Point Break, Raging Bull, Rainman, Spy, Sweeney Todd, Terminator 2, and Under the Skin.

This feels like my village. It's drier there but it feels like it.

Brand New Streaming
• Roma - Netflix's Best Picture hopeful is now streaming. Turn off your phone and all the lights. Then turn the sound way up. In other words treat it like a true cinematic experience if you're watching it at home. After Children of Men, Y Tu Mama Tambien, and Gravity (among others) we think it's safe to say that Alfonso Cuarón has earned the world's full attention. 

Tuesday
Dec182018

100 Most Popular Foreign Films of 2018 + the Oscar Hopefuls!

Our year in review party begins TODAY. A different list each day! Here's Nathaniel R...

Time for an annual look back at subtitled fare in cinemas. As with 2017 and the year before India, China, Mexico, and South Korea dominate with a smattering of Oscar contenders and random other countries faring much less well in the American marketplace. Much of the imbalance is due to dedicated distributors who saw a underserved market and focus specifically on it. Here in Manhattan, it's interesting to watch how this plays out. Generally speaking some big multiplexes reserve one or two screens for super specific distributors (Bollywood and mainstream Asian features for example are often at the Empire in Times Square which has 25 screens). Meanwhile the traditional "arthouse theaters" continue to rely on the decades-long practice of programming festival hits, docs, and arthouse style cinema which leans heavily European with a few buzzy Asian titles thrown in; in other words they're Oscar-aligned in their tastes.

For the purposes of the following list we skipped documentaries and animated films to keep the list more focused (and avoid arguments about dubbed versions or whatnot). The numbers are pulled from Box Office Mojo.

TOP 100 FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILMS FOR 2018
Domestic Box Office Grosses Only - Figures as of December 16th

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Tuesday
Dec182018

"What's Eating Gilbert Grape" - Still Wonderful!

Here's Eric Blume to celebrate the 25th anniversary of What's Eating Gilbert Grape, currently available for rental on most services...

It's now been a quarter century since the release of Lasse Hallstrom’s What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. That deeply felt family drama earns its tears not through sentimentality but through true sentiment.  It’s arguably Hallstrom’s best film, and likely the best performances Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio have ever given. I'm happy to report, after a recent revisit, that it only looks better with age.

Hallström lays out the canvas of these characters’ lives with none of the condescension or cliché that we often see in films about small-town America, and he keeps everything fizzy and surprising...

 

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Tuesday
Dec182018

Christmas at TFE: The Lion In Winter

Members of Team Experience have been asked to share their favorite holiday film. Here's Dancin' Dan with his...

AH, Christmas! That special time of year when family gathers around the tree to shower each other with love, presents, and good tidings... and backstabbing, long-held resentments, and petty grievances! Which is exactly why The Lion in Winter is my kind of Christmas movie.

Of course families love each other. That goes without saying. But no family is perfect. For many people (I'm tempted to say everyone, but you never know!), going home for the holidays is a prospect that inspires fear and dread. You may only see these people once or twice a year, and there's only so long that certain things can go unsaid...

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Monday
Dec172018

All the Oscar Shortlists

BREAKING: We don't like this new system of announcing ALL the finalist lists (in the categories that get finalist lists, that is) on the same day as it doesn't give you time to individually think about each list and write multiple thorough articles. So we'll have to investigate more deeply over the next few days. But for those who are okay with just the quick take list format you can see the lists and a few gut reactions right after the jump. Every Oscar chart will be updated tomorrow to reflect the past week of awards season madness and these lists.

But without further ado, the finalist lists before the nominations are announced on January 22nd... 

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Monday
Dec172018

Boston Society (and Other Film Critics Awards)

After the jump, let's catch up on "The ROMA Show" AKA "what's been going down in regional critics awards" for those who are interested in the infinite amount of groups that do this sort of thing. Winners lists after the jump from Utah, Boston, Dallas, Kansas City, Indiana, Atlanta, and Las Vegas.

Utah Film Critics Association
A refreshingly original take on the best of the year with Roma only winning 3 prizes and not even Best Film. Into the Spider-Verse and Eighth Grade slightly dominated and some cool curveballs like Annihilation for Best Score. Okay then. I'll give it a listen.

Film: Into the Spider-Verse
Director: Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
Actress: Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade
Actor: Ethan Hawke, First Reformed...

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