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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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Saturday
May272017

Cannes Look-back: "The Class"

As we await the Cannes closing ceremony with all its awards glamour, let's take a look back at a previous Palme winner which has connections to a competition entry this year.  Here's John Guerin...

The Class, Laurent Cantent’s 2008 Palme d’Or winner, left me both exhausted and inspired. An autobiographical chronicle of François Bégaudeau’s first year of teaching French language and literature at an inner-city high school in Paris, The Class is an entirely self-contained glimpse into the daily challenges, joys, dead-ends, nuisances, amusements, and tensions in one especially spirited classroom. Although The Class is spatially confined to the school building, the currents of the outside world frequently wash ashore and brush up against Bégaudeau’s attempts to lead a discussion of the imperfect tense or find meaning in The Diary of Anne Frank or do just about anything constructive.

Cantent and Bégaudeau, with the assistance of co-writer and editor Robin Campillo (director of the underrated 2013 Eastern Boys and this year's Queer Palme winner 120 Beats per Minute), smartly avoid clichés of the Exasperated Teacher genre and opts instead for ambivalence over didacticism; there is no breakthrough in Bégaudeau’s attitude from frustration to satisfaction, there is seldom a transformation of student rancor into exuberance, there is no “saving” exactly, but the film doesn’t descend into cheap cynicism either... 

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Saturday
May272017

Cannes Prizes Pt 1: Sidebar Glories and Oscar Dreams

Congratulations to this poodle below from The Meyerowitz Stories who won the coveted Palme Dog

The Palme Dog is not an official prize from the festival itself but it's always fun to see who wins. Past years winners have been the utterly adorable bulldog from Paterson (2016), the Maltese from Arabian Nights (2014), Uggie from The Artist (2011) and so on. The Palme Dog people also gave an honorary to the bomb sniffing dogs working Cannes to ensure the safety of the industry professionals attending. 

But wait that's not all. Two of the official Cannes juries also named their winners in advance of tomorrow's main closing night ceremony. Read about them after the jump...

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Saturday
May272017

RuPaul's Drag Race S9E10 - The New Ru Crew

by Chris Feil

After last week’s shocking fall from grace and resulting elimination for Valentina sent the RuPaul’s Drag Race fandom into such a tizzy, it’s a relief that this episode was largely all love.

For all the quibbles and bitching among fans of the show and the drama that inevitably comes between contestants, the show always comes from the heart. From the cruelest villains to the most resilient champions to the sad queen learning to accept herself, Drag Race loves every competitor who crosses its gates. Its a major reason why it elicits such a passionate response.

But Drag Race’s love extends far beyond the competition, and this episode showed us a little bit more of Mama Ru’s extended family. Past queens have mentioned in interviews how tight knit they become with the crew as well as their sister queens, but this challenge allowed that affection to be featured onscreen: for this season’s makeover challenge, the queens had to dragify a crew member.

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Friday
May262017

Cannes: "You Were Never Really Here" and Palme d'Or Predictions

PreviouslyDay 1Days 2-4, Days 5-6, Days 7-8, and Days 9-10
Fashion: French Divas & Kidmanifestations 1, 23

Joaquin Phoenix, an antihero saving girls from sex slavery, in Lynne Ramsay's thriller "You Were Never Really Here"

Cannes wraps up Sunday with the closing ceremony which means the Palme d'Or! The last competition film to premiere (tomorrow officially is Lynne Ramsay's You Were Never Really Here  and as is sometimes the case in the more dramatic Cannes festivals, many critics are proclaiming that the festival saved the best for last. Variety's Guy Lodge loved it calling it a "a stunning return," The Guardian compares it to Taxi Driver in its "nightmarish psychological drama

Does that mean it will win the Palme d'Or or that Joaquin Phoenix has Best Actor wrapped up? Not really. It's foolish with Cannes to ever assume you know what will win but let's make some tentative predictions for fun after the jump shall we? 

Click to read more ...

Friday
May262017

Beauty Break: The Men of "Mr. Goodbar"

by Seán McGovern

Annie Hall turns 40 this year and Diane Keaton will be the recipient of the AFI Life Achievement Award next month (June 8th to be exact). Keaton, a perennial A-lister, reminds us every few years about the extent of her talents. She's been enjoying recent success in The Young Pope and her upcoming projects Hampstead and Book Club sound promising at least. Since Annie Hall turns 40 this year so too will Keaton's other '77 triumph, Looking For Mr. Goodbar. 

Though Goodbar is remembered for Keaton in a dramatic role (which this author will pay attention to here at a later date), the film is definitely what we'd call in contemporary parlance "problematic". I recently watched Goodbar for my own podcast, but amongst the reprehensible moments I finally understood why so many women of a certain age (i.e. my mother) swooned over Richard Gere - who we get to see plenty of in this film, as well as co-star Tom Berenger who never looked so gorgeous.[More, slightly NSFW, after the jump...] 

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Friday
May262017

Last Chance Streaming: "The Hustler" and "The Way of the Dragon"

I haven't quite dared to cut the Netflix cord yet, but I get closer every month since I find myself downloading movies more and more from iTunes or streaming on Amazon instead. Since Netflix is systematically erasing all traces of cinema pre 2000 (and even their 2000-2010 collection is tremendously lacking!) as they focus more and more on becoming a TV channel, you have until June 1st to watch the following 20th century films which are leaving the service.

We'll play our little streaming roulette game and screengrab whatever comes up as we bid adieu to the following. Which will you watch before it's hard to find them again?

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Friday
May262017

120 Reasons to be excited about '120 Beats Per Minute'

by Murtada

Of all the movies that unspooled at this year’s ongoing Cannes Film Festival, the one that got this writer most excited is 120 Battements Par Minute (120 Beats Per Minute). The movie has gotten almost unanimous praise and is expected by many to nab a major prize at the festival. Update: And it won the Queer Palme award as expected. 

Campillo (center) and his cast at Cannes

Let’s count the reasons to be excited about it after the jump. I lied, not 120 reasons, but here are 9... 

Click to read more ...

Friday
May262017

Cannes Day 9-10: A Gentle Creature, In The Fade, L'Amant Double

Cannes wraps this weekend. Only one competition film, Lynne Ramsay's You Were Never Really Here, is yet to screen before the jury makes their decisions for the history books (er, what do we say now that the history books aren't how you look up history?). 

PreviouslyDay 1Days 2-4, Days 5-6, and Days 7-8
Fashion: French Divas and Kidmanifestations 1, 2, and 3

So let's check in with the four latest premieres including a new erotic thriller from François Ozon, a revenge drama from Fatih Akin, and a buzzy Robert Pattinson performance...

Click to read more ...