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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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Months of Meryl: THE RIVER WILD


"Great post and comments. Yes, Streep had to navigate the rough waters of being in her 40's! I do think she smashed through the glass ceiling for women since she persevered and then became an even bigger star in her 50's." - Sister Rona

"One of my favourite movies from my teen years - I'm shocked at how long ago this was released. It was Meryl that sold this movie for me and is the reason I saw it. At the time, and I still feel this way, she is the reason to watch and believe this film." -Filmboymichael


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Thursday
May242018

Q&A: Buffyverse Actors, The Isabelles, Actresses We Don't "Get"

by Nathaniel R

This is always so much fun. Why do I go so long inbetween "episodes"? You asked a bunch of questions so here are a bunch more answers. Continue the conversation with your own answers to these questions why don't you? We thrive on community here not just blabbering at you. 

So let's get right to the Reader Qs, shall we?

RYAN T: Just got back from vacation where I visited Italy for the first time. Alas no epic romance Call Me By Your Name style... but it did make me wonder: what are some of your favorite Italian films?

NATHANIEL: I have never been to Italy. AND I have never had an epic vacation romance. I FEEL CHEATED! I could definitely use some boning up on Italian cinema and am happy to take suggestions from all of you.

I'm afraid my answers in this regard are very "basic cinephile" but here are the 8½ I'd probably list as my favorites...

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Thursday
May242018

I ❤️ Chewbacca

I'm not sure I've ever said so but it's important that you know. For the past few years he's been played by a 6'11" Finnish guy named Joonas Suotamo so now he's even more "ihana".

 

Thursday
May242018

Months of Meryl: The River Wild (1994)

John and Matthew are watching every single live-action film starring Meryl Streep. 

 

 #21 —Gail Hartman, a rafting expert whose distracted husband and disgruntled son will soon turn out to be the least of her problems…

MATTHEWThe River Wild opens with the rather surprising sight of Meryl Streep rowing a kayak with steely determination and brisk athletic prowess down the lengthy expanse of the Charles River. Watching Curtis Hanson’s waterborne caper for the first time in 2018, I asked myself with stunned curiosity the same question that surely rolled through the minds of ‘90s audiences upon the film’s release: How exactly did she get here? The River Wild is a light rip-roarer that could have easily ended up as little more than a forgettable IMDB entry in the filmography of Sigourney Weaver or Geena Davis or Linda Hamilton were it not for someone’s out-of-the-box idea to transform one of our most famously worldly and erudite thespians into a hard-bodied, take-charge action heroine...

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Wednesday
May232018

Interview: Director Haifaa al-Mansour & Actor Douglas Booth on "Mary Shelley"

by Murtada Elfadl

Douglas Booth and Elle Fanning as the Shelleys in "Mary Shelley"

The new biopic Mary Shelley is about the famous writer, played by Elle Faning, while she’s in the throes of writing the Gothic magnum opus Frankenstein, at only 18 years of age. The film tells the story of the events that led her there. Those include her tempestuous relationships with renowned romantic poet Percy Shelley (Douglas Booth) who would become her husband, and with her half-sister Claire (Bel Powley). The film takes us to the trio’s fateful stay at Lord Byron's (Tom Sturridge) house at Lake Geneva, where the idea of Frankenstein was conceived.

This is Haifaa al-Mansour’s second directorial project after the 2013 festival hit Wadjda. Wadjda was the first feature shot entirely inside Saudi Arabia, and the first ever directed by a Saudi woman, making al-Mansour a true trailblazer. It''s not surprising then to find her drawn to the story of Mary Shelley, another pioneer. I found a through line, despite the period setting and different locations, between the two films. Both stories of young women determined to chart their own destiny. So that was where I started my conversation with al-Mansour and Booth when they were in New York last month for the Tribeca Film Festival. THE INTERVIEW IS AFTER THE JUMP...

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Wednesday
May232018

Pretty Linky

/Film Jake Gyllenhaal lands the villain gig in the next Spider-Man movie. He'll be playing Mysterio so let's hope they don't go with the comic book costume because enough with hiding gorgeous actor faces behind masks or in this case a whole opaque globe
The New Yorker has a long read profile of the great filmmaker Claire Denis
Deadline Andy Karl has replaced Steve Kazee in the Richard Gere role in the Broadway bound musical adaptation of Pretty Woman


The Village Voice profiles Betty Gabriel of Get Out and "no no no no no" gif fame
Vulture A Quiet Place has racked up a stunning $300 million worldwide
Cartoon Brew BC is becoming an animated feature. What's BC you ask? It's that syndicated comic strip that's been running in newspapers forever about cavemen.
Variety a report on the reshoots of Solo and Ron Howard taking over and shooting 70% of what's now on screen (unfortunately everyone is vague on details! Perhaps someday we'll get a juicy oral history)
The Muse Björk makes her first TV appearance in years and years
Towleroad the major studios get "insuffienct / poor / failing" ratings from GLAAD in its annual report. 
Broadway World apparently the 50th anniversary of Hello Dolly (1968) is sparking a six month long celebration in Westchester and Putnam County along the Hudson River where filming took place. Who knew people were this into that Babs film? 

RIP
• NYT Patricia Morison, Broadway's first Kate in "Kiss Me Kate" and a movie actress in early franchises has died at 103 years of age 
The Atlantic Philip Roth, literary giant, has died. Feels like the end of a particular literary era
My New Plaid Pants Gorgeous beefcake Clint Walker, originally envisioned by the studios as a Rock Hudson rival, has died at 90

Exit Video
Sarah Paulson does a Drew Barrymore impression. And then runs into Drew Barrymore. 

Wednesday
May232018

Soundtracking: "Burlesque"

by Chris Feil

Much as we love it, isn’t Burlesque one of our least distinct recent original musicals? The genre is no stranger to borrowing tropes that have worked in the past and Burlesque is no exception - dreams of stardom, vague romance, putting on a show to save the barn. The real culprit here the film’s mishmash assemblage of tunes, populated with high peaks and easily ignored plains.

But I should shut up because really: who cares? It’s Cher, bitch!

And oft repeated quotables aside, the presence of a singing and dancing Cher on screen is a now rare delight that shouldn’t be taken for granted (soak up those Mamma Mia! 2 rays of sunshine this July, kids). Some are quick to forget that Cher is always in on the joke, or that her lack of pretension makes opulence where more self-serious performers would be trapped in chintziness...

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