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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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Best Hitchcock Man?

"Now this is a Sophie’s choice! Both are wonderful examples of using and subverting star personas, and the films themselves are glorious." - Ian O

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Tuesday
Jan162018

The Flesh is Weak: Body of Evidence at 25

 by Seán McGovern

Madonna is a lot of things: Singer. Mother. Grammy Winner. Cosmetics Magnate. She is also a “movie killer”. But Body of Evidence, which turns 25 this week, is not entirely her fault. Nor, sadly, is it camp enough, ludicrous enough or, really, bad enough for the opinion of it to have changed after all these years.

Body of Evidence arrived at a particular nexus of Madonna's career. Riding on the wave of Like A Prayer, pushing boundaries with the Blonde Ambition Tour and the exuberant Truth or Dare, Madonna's imperial phase began to dip with her boundary-pushing take on sex and erotica; namely, SEX and Erotica. While Madonna would remain unapologetic, Body of Evidence, and the accompanying explicit period in career concluded with one of the most consistent criticisms of Madonna: rigid-perfectionism and managed-spontaneity...

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Tuesday
Jan162018

Doc Corner: 'The Final Year'

by Glenn Dunks

There is a pall that lingers over The Final Year. And rightfully so considering how everything turned out within the 2016 American presidential elections. And yet, that emotional baggage is brought to the film more by viewers and less so by director Greg Barker. The Emmy-winning director of Manhunt: The Inside Story of the Hunt for Bin Laden makes odd choices throughout this otherwise straight-forward documentary, not least of which is barely referencing the elephant in the room for the majority of its (brief) 90 minutes...

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Monday
Jan152018

The Furniture: Top Hat's Dancing Sets

"The Furniture," by Daniel Walber, is our weekly series on Production Design. You can click on the images to see them in magnified detail.

Only 8 days until Oscar nominations! To mark the occasion, or perhaps to fill the time with something other than anticipation, let’s look back at the 8th Academy Awards. The year was 1935. Bette Davis won a consolation prize, Best Actress for Dangerous after the failure of a write-in campaign for 1934’s Of Human Bondage. John Ford won his first Oscar for The Informer, which beat Mutiny on the Bounty in nearly every category except Best Picture. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the film debut of Olivia de Havilland, won a write-in victory in Best Cinematography.

This was the last year with only three nominees for Best Art Direction. The victory went to The Dark Angel, a drama of romance and World War One. Its biggest competition may have been The Lives of a Bengal Lancer, an imperial adventure set in the British Raj. It apparently promoted European superiority so effectively that Adolf Hitler saw it three times. It received seven nominations, winning for Best Assistant Director.

If this all seems dour, don’t worry...

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Monday
Jan152018

Beauty vs Beast: To Catch a Hitch

Jason from MNPP here with this week's edition of "Beauty vs Beast" -- this Thursday will mark the birth of one of the greatest movie stars of all time, Mr. Cary Grant. His filmography of course reads like a dream with classics of all stripes under his belt, but it's his four collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock (Notorious, North By Northwest, Suspicion and To Catch a Thief) that I want to focus in on today because I want to force a question upon us, an unnecessary frivolous question that nevertheless nags at my frivolous brain - know who else starred in multiple masterpieces for Alfred Hitchcock? Jimmy Stewart, who made The Man Who Knew Too Much, Rear Window, Rope, and Vertigo. And I think you know where I am going with this now... Which is the better Hitchcock Star? Choose!

PREVIOUSLY As with all things Three Billboards related last week's poll devoted to its two shitty cops played by Woody Harrelson & Sam Rockwell brought out some strong opinions, but only in the comments - the contest itself was won handily by Woody, who took 3/4s of the vote. Said Michael R, summing up my own feelings about Three Billboards:

"Write in vote : Lucas Hedges for Lady Bird. I love that performance so much!"

Monday
Jan152018

Soundtracking: "Call Me By Your Name"

by Chris Feil

Luca Guadagnino has become one of our top cinematic sensualists, making films built to be felt in the mind, body, and soul. Music is one of the key tools in his arsenal, particularly for how he uses rock music in ways that feel unburdened by music video tactics. Call Me By Your Name is no exception, with both classical and more electronic music highlighting the internal struggle of its protagonist Elio.

The film begins with a John Adams composition, projecting a similar personality to what Elio thinks is expected of him...

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Sunday
Jan142018

Box Office: The Post Widens, Proud Mary Aims, Paddington Returns

by Nathaniel R

Weekend Box Office (Jan 12th-14th)
W I D E
800+ screens
L I M I T E D
excluding prev. wide
1. Jumanji $27 on 3849 screens (cum. $283.1)
1.🔺 I Tonya $3.3 on 517 screens (cum. $10)  REVIEW 
2. 🔺  The Post $18.6 on 2819 screens (cum. $23) REVIEW | OSCAR KICK-OFF 2.🔺 Phantom Thread $1.1 on 62 screens (cum. $2.2) HARRIET'S CAMEO
3. 🔺  The Commuter $13.4 on 2892 screens
3. 🔺  Call Me By... $715k on 174 screens (cum. $7.2) REVIEWISHSCREENPLAY | SEX
4. Insidious: The Last Key $12.1 on 3150 screens (cum. $48.3) 
4. Hostiles $276k on 42 screens (cum. $821k)
5. The Greatest Showman $11.8 on 2938 screens (cum. $94.5) REVIEW | ZAC
5.🔺 Condorita: La Pelicula $236k on 153 screens 

 

Support for Steven Spielberg's inspirational newspaper drama The Post within awards season has been a hysterical rollercoaster. Pundits were all "it's winning everything" as the rollercoaster climbed to its peak. On the descent they're screaming "lost everything!" (GLOBES, CRITICS CHOICE) or "wasn't even nominated!" (SAG, BAFTA). But now that the public is on the ride with the press perhaps we begin to climb again towards another adrenaline rush. Whether the descent is thrilling or terrifying this time will depend on your feelings about The Post  and how many Oscar nominations it gets. Streep and Hanks and Spielberg all remain bankable so the film will do fine in theaters but will Academy voters bite after the whiplash we saw during the precursors? [More charts and thoughts are after the jump...]

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