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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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Sunday
Oct152017

What did you see this weekend?

by Nathaniel R

Weekend Box Office (October 13th-15th)
W I D E
800+ screens
L I M I T E D
excluding prev. wide
1. 🔺 HAPPY DEATH DAY  $26.5 new  1.🔺 THE FLORIDA PROJECT $401k on 33 screens (cum. $623k) REVIEW 1, REVIEW 2
2. BLADE RUNNER 2049 $15.1 (cum. $60.5) REVIEW | SHORTS | "BESTS"  2. TIL DEATH DO US PART $319k on 400 screens (cum. $3.2) 
3. 🔺 THE FOREIGNER  $12.8 new 3. THE STRAY $300k on 430 screens (cum. $1.2)
4. IT  $6 (cum. $314.9) REVIEW | 5 TAKEAWAYS  4. A QUESTION OF FAITH $155k on 228 screens (cum. $2.1) 
5. 🔺  THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US $5.6 (cum. $20.5) REVIEW 5. 🔺 AMERICAN SATAN $132k on 55 screens new 
6. AMERICAN MADE  $5.4 (cum. $40.1) 6. 🔺 MARK FELT $123k on 89 screens (cum. $257k)
7. KINGSMAN 2  $5.3 (cum. $89.6) 7. STRONGER $115k on 174 screens (cum. $4) REVIEW
8. LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE  $4.3 (cum. $51.5) 8. JUDWAA 2 $110k on 106 screens (cum. $1.4)
9. MY LITTLE PONEY  $4 (cum. $15.5) 9. 🔺 GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN $55k on 9 screens new
10. 🔺 VICTORIA & ABDUL  $3.1 (cum. $11.3) REVIEW 10. HUMAN FLOW $47k on 3 screens new

🔺 = new or significant expansion

numbers (in millions unless otherwise noted) from box office mojo 

 

It was a rough weekend for awards hopefuls that weren't named Victoria & Abdul. Dame Dench's new vehicle moved into the top ten in its fourth weekend when it finally went wide. Other movies seeking adult audiences had a rougher go of it. The biopics Marshall and Professor Marston & The Wonder Women both opened outside of the top ten despite plentiful screens. (I took in Professor Marston and though it's a niche subject, it's surprisingly good with yet another excellent performance from the ever reliable Rebecca Hall.) More biographical awards hopefuls Goodbye Christopher Robin and Breathe also failed to attract much interest in their platform debuts. It's a tough world out there for non-genre titles that would like adults to go to the movies again!

The weekend's best per screen averages went to the documentary Human Flow and A24's The Florida Project which added 29 screens in its second weekend. WHAT DID YOU SEE THIS WEEKEND?

Sunday
Oct152017

NYFF: "First Reformed" and "Let the Sunshine In"

by Murtada

First Reformed
A middle aged priest in crisis sits down with a young man suffering from his own disillusionment with the status of our current world. Once the pleasantries are done with and the futility of existence and our doomed world become the topic of conversation, the alarm sirens start going off. It took the audience at the New York Film Festival screening a few moments to realize that the sirens are not part of the movie unfolding, but an actual false fire alarm asking us to vacate the cinema.

That’s how deeply engrossing Paul Schrader’s First Reformed is...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Oct152017

Björk's "Danish Director" Statement

By Nathaniel R

Catherine Deneuve, Björk, and Von Trier at Cannes (2000)

The floodgates have opened post Weinstein and now everyone wants to speak out. This morning Björk issued a statement about her experience working with "a Danish director," a hilariously coy non-naming of names since she's only starred in one movie, Lars von Trier's Dancer in the Dark (2000) after which she never appeared in a movie again, unless you count her performance art collaboration with her then-boyfriend Matthew Barney on Drawing Restraint (2009). Which, well, the sexual violence was onscreen in that one with Barney and Björk carving each other up while naked underwater and turning into whales or some such. You know how that happens.

Here is her statement which is worth parsing due to its unexpected Dogville allusion...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Oct152017

100 Years Ago Today... Mata Hari's Execution

by Nathaniel R

Sorry to begin your day with something so grim but it's actressy. Today marks the centennial of the execution of exotic dancer Mata Hari by firing squad for espionage during "The Great War" (aka World War I)... 

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Oct142017

Transparent S4 E7-10: Everything's Alright?

by Chris Feil

E7 - "Babar the Borible"
I haven’t been quite sure what to make of this season of Transparent. Whereas the two previous seasons were fairly bold in creating seismic arcs for all of the Pfeffermans, this season felt like a chamber piece full of half-steps towards global politics and religion. The journey to Israel was an intriguing way to continue expanding the family history and contextualizing the show’s themes. But by the end of the season, the religious elements of the seasons feel more tangential and underdeveloped. Odd that as Transparent’s literal world got bigger, the show got unsatisfyingly smaller...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Oct142017

Harvey Weinstein Expelled From the Academy

By Nathaniel R

It's the end of an era. Harvey Weinstein has been expelled from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences given the avalanche of sexual harassment and rape claims that have hit in the past week. That's quite a downfall for a man once synonomous with Oscar Night. Or as The Los Angeles Times succinctly puts it

The move... in symbolic terms, amounts to a virtual expulsion from Hollywood itself.

The Oscars aren't the house that Harvey built, of course. They have survived many scandals and scandalous members and will survive this. The organization predates his birth by 25 years though how's this for an eery bit of Oscar/Harvey trivia: the very first televised Oscars were held on the night of baby Harvey's first birthday on March 19th, 1953. The producing giant didn't come into prominence until the early 1990s with the rise of Miramax but once he did he changed the way Oscar campaigns ran, was thanked relentlessly in acceptance speeches, and made prestige mini-majors the dominant Oscar players across town. 

Of course one could argue that the Weinstein era had ended years ago. The Weinstein Company has struggled in recent years against the rise of now-powerful awards players like Fox Searchlight, A24, Amazon Studios and more. There isn't even much to say about the way the Weinstein sexual harassment scandals will affect the Oscars this year. TWC only had one release this year that was successful enough to justify a campaign of any kind (Wind River) but that was a long shot at best even before the company was embroiled in this scandal. The period drama The Current War was their Christmas hopeful but its festival response was tepid and with the company falling apart and cries to "dissolve the board" out there it seems unlikely that it will see release any time soon.  

The Academy's Board of Governors (incidentally just one woman shy of being 50% women) was right to get this scandal off their plate immediately given that the Honorary Oscars are just around the corner. Who could be celebratory with anything like this depressing hurtful story on their minds? But on a deeper level they're taking a stand against the way Hollywood has been run for years. They state that they made the move in order to send a message:

The era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over.

Well done. 

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