Film Review: Elinye Ithuba

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  /  –

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Τhere is a moment in Elinye Ithuba wherein Dumisani (Blondie Makhene) and Hlengiwe (Slindile Nodangala)are reminiscing about the past and laments the time that Dumisani missed while he was in jail and music is playing in the background. Jovially he asks her who is the musician playing this good music and Hlengiwe responds that it is Blondie, surprisingly Dumisani exclaims that who would’ve thought that Blondie would still be singing after all these years

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Film Review: The Ring

There are works that simply repeat what we have seen before by just changing the context within which their narratives are rooted and then push the narratives towards us. One, supposedly a discerning viewer, can forgive such narratives for their repetitive swing if they are adorned with strong points in their construction. If the work is revisionist in its take of the subject matter concerned then the discerning viewer is in for a treat. If there is a lack in this regard but the work makes up for it in its actors performances or its production design which may represent a strong center point in the delivery of the narrative, the viewer – discerning or lay, may be forgiving as far as the failure of the work to advance story telling is concerned. The Ring, which falls in the latter spectrum is rescued by an ensemble of its actors as it tries to impress

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Film Review: Ilizwi

♦  ♦  ♦  / – –

The story of paranormal activity with a twist of traditional African beliefs has been told before. In any case it would seem quite weird but not impossible for a protagonist to be inserted in a story set in South Africa wherein they are mysteriously blessed with telepathic prowess without attributing their power to some ancestral lineage. Imagine if there was such a film? Contextually speaking the creatives involved will have to push the imaginary envelope where no one has gone before. That place does exist. It is outside of the box

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Film Review: The Gift

Thembi Seete as Bontle Shona Ferguson as Thabiso in The Gift. Image source, http://citizen.co.za/wp-content/uploads/sites/18/2014/11/Page1A_2-599x400.jpg

Thembi Seete as Bontle Shona Ferguson as Thabiso in The Gift. Image source, http://citizen.co.za/wp-content/uploads/sites/18/2014/11/Page1A_2-599×400.jpg

FOR the most part, our society, through the family as its nucleus, pretends that everything is ok while secretly suppressing the nature of reality as is. The family is caught up by a yearning for opulence as a mark of prestige and progress or the wish itself to have more, by far and large the in-escapable feature of modernity. Often awesomely this situation, the acquisition of material comfort that is, is erected to the ire of those closer to home, our family members. If it does not breed jealousy that drives a wedge between siblings it draws us together artificially due to the material benefit boons it heralds

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dEF’Rating: The Gift

Thembi Seete as Bontle Shona Ferguson as Thabiso in The Gift. Image source, http://citizen.co.za/wp-content/uploads/sites/18/2014/11/Page1A_2-599x400.jpg

Thembi Seete as Bontle Shona Ferguson as Thabiso in The Gift. Image source, http://citizen.co.za/wp-content/uploads/sites/18/2014/11/Page1A_2-599×400.jpg

The Gift continues the Ferguson’s crusade on their close scrutiny of our contemporary South African family when it is pitted against the demands and expectations of the world’s prying eyes. We’ve seen this concern in their telle novella, The Wild and their consistent drama series’ offering Rockville. The present work is shot with the same camera work intimacy characteristic of Rockville and the invasion of privacy approach or allow me to refine an expression I have used just now – ‘prying eyes perspective’ that has become characteristic of their work signature. There are moments you feel like you’re eaves dropping on what is being said or spying on what is happening when you view their work. While this film’s narrative is unoriginal, it is the flair with which perspective is given to the cracks of Motaung’s family as an organism that propels the film to stand its own ground in the annals of South African films; the work is freshen up in the way the cracks themselves are revealed and teased out from unexplored perspective. This perspective is the very deep seated conviction on how one sees and locate themselves within the family nucleus. The Ferguson’s The Gift delivers an interesting 4dEF’Points out of Five: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ /

Autumn

 

26 April

© Mmutle Arthur Kgokong 2015

mmutleak@gmail.com

follow @mmutleak

Film Review: For Love And Broken Bones

Lerato Mvelase (as Refilwe) and Mduduzi Mabaso (as Motheo) in For Love and Broken Bones. Image source: http://cdn.dstv.com/mms.dstv.com/Content/Images/DStv/Mzansi/Promo/mz_promo_for_love_and_broken_bones.jpg

Lerato Mvelase (as Refilwe) and Mduduzi Mabaso (as Motheo) in For Love And Broken Bones. Image source: http://cdn.dstv.com/mms.dstv.com/Content/Images/DStv/Mzansi/Promo/mz_promo_for_love_and_broken_bones.jpg

IN the face of modernity any society that sees opulence in abundance is bound to have victims that fall prey to a misunderstanding that opulence is the birthright of everyone. From the urban centers of our globe to the hinter yards of our miserable townships both the immigrant, rural or foreign, and the city slicker fall victim to this perception. On the other hand the inevitable movement towards the city robs those dear to the immigrant of a precious time. It is bound to leave their family bitter. Throw abuse into the quack mire of the migrant sojourner’s time at home during the holidays you’ve got a family whose scars runs deep. And somewhere in the shadows of this played out theatre an unscrupulous puppeteer gingerly, a mashonisa (creditor) to be clear, jolts the situation to their favor to rake out some money here and there with unreasonable interest.

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dEF’Rating: For Love and Broken Bones

Lerato Mvelase (as Refilwe) and Mduduzi Mabaso (as Motheo) in For Love and Broken Bones. Image source: http://cdn.dstv.com/mms.dstv.com/Content/Images/DStv/Mzansi/Promo/mz_promo_for_love_and_broken_bones.jpg

Lerato Mvelase (as Refilwe) and Mduduzi Mabaso (as Motheo) in For Love And Broken Bones. Image source: http://cdn.dstv.com/mms.dstv.com/Content/Images/DStv/Mzansi/Promo/mz_promo_for_love_and_broken_bones.jpg

While this is a tragic story, which even the undiscerning viewer will learn to accept as soon the credits roll up and the debate is won between that mug of steaming coffee or a nightly snack. It is not debatable that we’ve seen this film before. The film’s context is its ace. It does offer a delightful setting by way of location though. The acting, which is dotted by actors associated with the Bomb Shelter, is of the finest quality. The cinematography is clean and experimentally in the league of its own. Mduduzi Mabaso is believable as a troubled hero. Lerato Mvelase holds her ground as a staunch woman making ends meet to raise her child in a loving home. …yes you are right to assume that the protagonist is telling the story from the great beyond.

For Love And Broken Bones throws a mild 3dEF’Points out of Five: ♦ ♦ ♦ //

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09 March

 

© Mmutle Arthur Kgokong 2015

mmutleak@gmail.com    

follow @mmutleak