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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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Kenya's Rafiki
Now in theaters

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Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

Christian Petzoldt (Transit)
Richard E Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)
Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)
Toni Collette (Hereditary)
Nadine Labaki (Capernaum)
Mamoru Hosoda (Mirai)
Glenn Close (The Wife)
Hirokazu Koreeda (Shoplifters)

What'cha Looking For?

Would you rather?


• kiss a giraffe with Asa Butterfield?
• cut your own hair with Nathan Fillion?
• do a happy dance at Disney with Mira Sorvino?
• smoke a cigar with Michael B Jordan?
• try a glass of wine with Jennifer Coolidge?
• sing Joni Mitchell with Minnie Driver?
• paint your house with Celine Dion? 
• greet the spring with Tessa Thompson?
• box with Billy Magnussen? 

Pictures are after the jump to help you decide

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Soundtracking: Teen Spirit

by Chris Feil

Cover songs used to be a pop music regularity, whether they were outright hijacked by artists like Elvis or a staple regurgitated among contemporaries. Recent decades have made them pop culture artifacts or ironic reimaginings that overturn the original mood - the era of somber takes on upbeat tunes really fooled us for awhile. And then another cycle came for the cover song: televised singing competitions. This phase comes to life in bisexually lighting in Max Minghella’s Teen Spirit.

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Game of Thrones "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms" (S08E02)


by Eric Blume

The Game of Thrones creative team are taking a very strategic approach into this final season.  While last week’s premiere episode laid the groundwork to reorient the viewer and feature satisfying reunions for characters parted for years, they’ve used Episode Two to provide an emotional tapestry between the characters, with a meditation on mortality, before they go into the big battle episodes ahead.  For loyal viewers, this episode served as a reminder of our attachment to these characters beyond the narrative, as well as a laser focus on the show’s main theme of honor.

We started with a killer scene where Jaime stands trial against the two families he has slain and wronged over the years, followed immediately by a tender exchange between him and his brother Tyrion (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau and Peter Dinklage are always magical together)...

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The New Classics - Michael Clayton

Michael Cusumano here to christen my new series on future classics of the 21st Century with Tony Gilroy's 2007 legal thriller. In each episode we'll be discussing one great scene. 

The Scene: Karen Crowder’s Downfall 

How does the final scene of Tony Gilroy’s Michael Clayton work so well despite the wheezy cliché at its center? Secretly recording the villain’s confession is right up there with the Monologuing Killer on the list of tired plot devices. Yet when Clooney coerces Swinton into exposing her sins it doesn’t feel the least bit lazy. On the contrary: it’s electrifying...

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1972 Revisit: Awards Darlings

by Nathaniel R

Before the '72 Smackdown THIS SUNDAY (have you voted yet?) we thought it might be fun to look back at how the awards race played out across the big six categories by comparing the Globes, Oscars, and various other awards organizations of the time to see what the hottest commodities were. 

Where the Globes and Oscar lined up, I've lined them up on the chart belows (obviously the Globes have two wins for Best Picture and Leading Actors do to how they split the categories.) You'll notice that except for Best Actress no categories were closer than a 3/5 match. We wish awards season were that excitingly differentiated now! It's unfortunate that opinions have become so homogenized. As we've said many times, you don't need dozens of groups if they all feel exactly the same way about art. The "other" column is for key wins and nominations that season (if it's a different year for Oscar eligibility we've noted that) that add broader context to what excited people in 1972. 

Ready? Let's time travel...

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Interview: Wanuri Kahiu on 'Rafiki,' her inspirations and becoming an activist

by Murtada Elfadl

Rafiki is the second feature film from Kenyan filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu. It made its debut at last year’s Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section, to critical acclaim. Initially banned in Kenya for its positive portrayal of queer romance, Rafiki won a landmark supreme court case chipping away at Kenyan anti-LGBT legislation. It tells a sweet hopeful love story between two women Kena (Samantha Mugatsia) and Ziki (Sheila Munyiva), who meet and fall in love as they are waiting to hear the results of their university entrance exams. Set in Nairobi and bursting with the colorful street style and music of the city’s vibrant youth scene, Rafiki is tender, cheerful despite the challenges for acceptance that its characters face from their families and society at large. Accordng to the film's press notes, Rafiki means friend in Swahili, and often when Kenyans of the same sex are in a relationship, they forgo the ability to introduce their partners, lovers, mates, husbands or wives as they would like, and instead call them “rafiki”. 

We recently got a chance to speak with Kahiu about the film, the interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Murtada Elfadl: This film had quite a journey becoming a cause celebre because of the ban in Kenya. Did you anticipate that you’d become an activist...?

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