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16 articles

What's Streaming from 1944?

10 hours ago

Not too damn much, that's what! 

Whenever we prep for a Smackdown The Film Experience becomes newly alarmed at how scarce the availability of 20th century film titles actually is online. Streaming culture has somehow convinced people that everything you might ever want to see is easier to access than it's ever been. Alas, the further back in time you go, the less there is for your eyeballs as we move away from analog. Of course streaming is more convenient so we hope Hollywood will magically decide to make all their vaults available. We can dream!

Laura dear, I cannot stand these morons any longer. If you don't come with me this instant, I shall run amok.

But if you want to steep yourself in 1944 beyond the 5 films featured in the next Smackdown, here's what you can stream should you have any of these memberships »


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Nyff: Joan Didion's Magic Years

14 hours ago

by Jason Adams

"Life changes fast. Life changes in the instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends."

The instant. Not "an" instant, which is how most of us would sort that sentence. When writing of her husband's death in her book The Year of Magical Thinking Joan Didion said "the" instant, and in Joan Didion's wake nothing else seems right. Because it is not just any instant. It's the one that changed your life. At most, depending on how long we live, we might get a couple. Joan Didion, at 82, has had her own intimate yet earth-quaking share. And Joan Didion, as ever, is here to distill them down into apple crisp sentence form for us.

Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold, the new documentary on the author, was directed by Didion's nephew, the actor Griffin Dunne, and he makes similar Didion-esque »

- JA

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Happy 50th to The Jungle Book (1967) -- Who is your avatar within?

18 hours ago

by Nathaniel R

Rudyard Kipling's collection of stories "The Jungle Book"  was first published in 1894. It's been adapted so many times now, you always have to specify which version you're talking about. The most famous and widely seen is surely Disney's 1967 animated version which opened in movie theaters 50 years ago on this very day. It's been a childhood staple for decades now with Disney only just barely trying to replace it with that inferior but wildly successful live-action CGI hybrid replica. When I was a wee toddler it was my favorite Disney movie (it's long since been replaced but holds a special place in my heart).

Today's crucial reader survey / comment party:

Which character do you most relate to... and which do you wish you were a little more like?

Let's hear from the lot of you for a wide sampling of our particular online jungle here at The Film Experience. »


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Soundtracking: "Big Mouth"

20 hours ago

Chris takes on the original songs of Netflix's new raunchy delight...

Have you caught up to Netflix’s newest and filthiest animated series Big Mouth? From the minds of Nick Kroll and John Mulaney, it’s a take-no-prisoners look at puberty that’s actually rather sweet and thoughtful between cringeworthy, painfully reminiscent laughs. Now before you relegate it to the crass animated rung of less imaginative programs, take note that the show is quite surprising on many fronts - not least of which is its hilarious original songs.

The important role of music in youth is a recurring theme of this column but Big Mouth catches its young characters in an interesting middle ground, musically speaking. The onset of grown up hormones often means your musical tastes are growing up as well, leaving behind simpler tunes. Think of the show's musical stylings like a logical, but naughty progression from Schoolhouse Rock or Free to Be. »

- Chris Feil

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Three Spooky Shorts

22 hours ago

By Salim Garami

What's good?

I'm going to keep it short (pun unintended) this week. The choice to recommend short films that I am extremely fond off for more mood-setting Halloween season watching might seem uneventful to most. But the occasion is of celebration of an event that might resonate with some South Florida filmgoing readers. The Key West-based lesbian apocalypse horror short Buzzcut by Jon Rhoads and Mike Marrero has just won Best Film at FilmGate Miami's monthly 'I'm Not Gonna Move to L.A.' festival in the middle of its festival tour and if you follow me on Motorbreath, you might have seen me singing the praises of that short wishing better things for it.

So, in anticipation of the day that short might be more easily accessible to everyone, here are 3 horror shorts that I usually find myself indulging in to get into the Halloween spirit. »

- Salim Garami

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Are you watching "Mindhunter"? (Episodes 1-3)

17 October 2017 3:30 PM, PDT

by Nathaniel R

an FBI hostage negotiation class in "Mindhunter"'s first episode

One of the underdiscussed perks of this era of way too much to watch with thousands of cable channels, dozens of streaming services bankrolling their own content, and hundreds of movies a year is that it's easy to forget what your favorite directors are working on! Gone are the days, essentially, when you had to pine away waiting for so-and-so to return. Take the case of David Fincher. I've literally been a fan since he won "Best Direction" at the MTV Video Music Awards for Madonna's "Express Yourself" and I went to Alien³ on opening weekend so I was there at ground zero. Despite my love of all most things Fincher, it was easy to forget that he'd vanished since his excellent intensely rewatchable Gone Girl (2014) which we really should have had on our top ten list that year -- oops. »


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An Ode to Adam Sandler

17 October 2017 1:00 PM, PDT

By Spencer Coile 

To many, Adam Sandler was in no need of a career makeover. Even with Netflix films like The Ridiculous 6 and Sandy Wexler, many were drawn to his schtick and comedic talents -- even if those talents were misplaced in terrible films. Still, after decades of being the go-to "funny guy," it is refreshing to see Sandler step back and display his acting chops in more nuanced ways. We saw this in 2002 with Punch Drunk Love, and we are witnessing it again in 2017 with The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected), the latest from Noah Baumbach

Watching Sandler explore the idiosyncrasies of a complicated character is so fleeting, that sometimes, it is vital for us to also take a step back and realize: Adam Sandler can be a great actor. And fortunately, The Meyerowitz Stories offers him the opportunity to demonstrate why he has been a staple to »

- Spencer Coile

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Doc Corner: 'Human Flow'

17 October 2017 10:54 AM, PDT

By Daniel Walber

Ai Weiwei’s Human Flow is the result of a truly enormous undertaking. Spread across four continents, the film is a distillation of the current refugee crisis. All of it. Rather than focus on a single geographic region or the fallout from a particular international conflict, this is a whirlwind tour of the entire global situation. Its scenes from the Us-Mexico Border to the Mediterranean, Sub-Saharan Africa to Bangladesh. If that sounds like far too much, that’s because it is.

If the purpose were totally aesthetic and metaphorical, a wordless and breathtaking aerial tour of large-scale human movement, the scope might not have been a problem. It might have bypassed the head and gone straight to the heart. But Human Flow tries to have it both ways »

- Daniel Walber

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The 1944 Smackdown is coming. Watch these five movies!

17 October 2017 9:43 AM, PDT

Travel back in time with us to 1944 for the next Smackdown in just 19 days!

Get to watching and e-mail us your votes with "44 Smackdown" as subject ranking each performance on a scale of 1 to 5 hearts. Your votes are due by Friday, November 3rd. The Smackdown hits Sunday, November 5th.

Ethel Barrymore, None but the Lonely Heart Jennifer Jones, Since You Went Away Angela Lansbury, Gaslight [watch on Amazon or iTunes or rent DVD on Netflix] Aline MacMahon, Dragon Seed [watch on Amazon or iTunes or rent DVD on Netflix] Agnes Moorehead, Mrs Parkington [watch on iTunes]

Those five films received 24 Oscar nominations between them with Gaslight and Since You Went Away both nominated for Best Picture as well. Since You Went Away is a getting a new Blu-Ray/DVD edition in late November. Not in time for the Smackdown alas but something to look forward to.

Previous Smackdowns

 1941, 1948, 1952, 1954, 1963, 1964, 1968, 1973, 1977, 1979, 1980,

 1984, 1989, 1995, 2003 and 2016  (prior to those events 30+

Smackdowns  were hosted @ StinkyLulu's old site) »


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Bring Spider-Man Home

17 October 2017 7:06 AM, PDT

Don't remember the context of this photo of Jamie Dornan with a Spider-Man figurine but I look at it once in a while and giggle. We shouldn't speak for him but let's guess that Jamie Dornan is excited that Spider-Man Homecoming hits DVD and BluRay today. Should we take a second look at it? Would you read if we did? (It's always difficult to know whether you Tfe readers like talking about movies when they're in theaters, or wait until they're streaming or on DVD or all three...?)

New on DVD this week:

Girls Trip (Nathaniel's Review and Podcast) Lady MacBeth (Yes, we will finally screen this. So sorry for the long delay at saying anything!) Landline (Nick's Podcast Dismissal) Spider-Man Homecoming (Chris's Review and Podcast) Step (On the Doc NYC Oscar Hopeful List) Older Films Released or Reissued This Week: Captain Fury (1939), Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933), One Million BC »


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Another Badass "Black Panther" Trailer!

16 October 2017 7:00 PM, PDT

Chris here. Okay guys, hear me out: Marvel is getting good again? Aside from business-as-usual as the Avengers arc closes, the superhero house will give us Cate Blanchett in drag for Thor, Pfeiffer in the Ant-Man sequel, and of course the most eagerly anticipated: Ryan Coogler's Black Panther.

Excuse me while I pick my eyeballs off of the floor. The goods on what Coogler has created keep getting better and better, and a brand new trailer has yours truly at a fever pitch. The amount of set pieces and plot threads already at play in this trailer suggest that it might be another bloated actioner, but there are genuine thrills everywhere, all the more rapturous for the film's existence in our current political atmosphere. Chadwick Boseman may be our star, but its most exciting element might be its celebration of black women - let's all geek out over Danai Gurira's Okoye. »

- Chris Feil

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Beauty vs Beast: Political Animals

16 October 2017 2:30 PM, PDT

Jason from Mnpp here with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" where we are wishing the grand Dame Angela Lansbury a happy 92nd birthday today! It's difficult to believe we still have an entire year before Rob Marshall's Mary Poppins Returns film comes out (Xmas 2018) but we're still hoping, as we did when she was cast, that Landsbury's got something lovely to work with in the film - we don't get to see her on-screen nearly as often as we'd like to.

But she's such a legend... how could I possibly find someone to compete? Well "somebody" already had the gumption to do it herself - in 2004 a working actress by the name of Meryl Streep tackled Lansbury's still delightfully against-type turn in the remake of The Manchurian Candidate. So let's put these two ladies in a room and see which one walks out...

Previously Did everybody watch Mindhunter over the weekend? »

- JA

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The Furniture: A Plaster Haze in The Beguiled

16 October 2017 12:00 PM, PDT

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

Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled is no sprawling epic of the Civil War. The Farnsworth Seminary for Girls, where Miss Martha Farnsworth (Nicole Kidman) presides, is no Tara. There are no ballgowns or battlefields. There is only a big lonely house, the seat of a plantation that has decayed into an isolated finishing school for an especially isolated handful of girls.

Corporal John McBurney (Colin Farrell) is thrust into this setting, his leg wounded and his uniform bloodied. The resulting tension simmers for days, weeks even, before exploding in nocturnal chaos and violence. All the while the house stands silent, forcing these emotions up and down the stairs and into small, dimly-lit corners. There is a forever haze about this place, though never quite hot enough to break into a sweat. »

- Daniel Walber

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Beauty Break: Michelle Pfeiffer's Cover Girl Comeback

16 October 2017 9:40 AM, PDT

by Nathaniel R

Hollywood's greatest blonde is back after a way-too-long hiatus and she's the covergirl for both Variety for their Women in Hollywood issue and in the "Edit" insert of Net-a-Porter for their "white" issue (the clothing trend not the race!). And with these fine profiles / interviews come photos. So let's share beautiful portraiture and the best quotes after the jump »


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The Link and I

16 October 2017 7:15 AM, PDT

Link time. Here we go...


/Film Deadpool 2 and X-Men Dark Phoenix have both wrapped, both due in 2018

/Film Turns out Beyoncé was offered Plumette before Gugu in the recent Beauty & The Beast movie. Insane that they offered Beyoncé a teensy part when Belle was right there. Wtf, Bill Condon?

Coming Soon Gong Li will lead Martin Campbell's next thriller Ana -- the tone is said to be similar to La Femme Nikita.  We'd be super excited because Gong Li is always welcome in leading roles but Campbell's new one The Foreigner with Jackie Chan isn't exactly winning raves

Film Society Helen Mirren named as the honoree at next spring's Chaplin Award Gala in NYC. Robert De Niro was the honoree earlier this year


Into Todd Haynes talks about Wonderstruck and about meeting with Barbra Streisand to talk Gypsy !!!

Variety it's official The Current War has moved to »


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Nyff: Sing For Me, Lady Bird

15 October 2017 6:30 PM, PDT

by Jason Adams

Have you ever gone back to visit the school you went to as a little kid and realized how small it all looks now? I think we've all had that moment - you walk down the hallway feeling like Godzilla; you'd have to get on your hands and knees to use the drinking fountain. And yet as goofy as it seems - and depending on your experience filled with conflicting emotions as it may be - it pulls at you anyway, yanks at your heart. It is part of you. The pictures might've gotten small but they have crawled inside and curled up and they're not going anywhere.

Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird - that is her given name; she gave it to herself - thrums with that strange and bittersweet nostalgia »

- JA

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