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Category: Film

Kofifi drenched in violence

REPLETE WITH ITS jazz dives, camaraderie and poetry, its dinginess, brothels and gangs Sophiatown aka Kofifi was a suburb in Johannesburg that was an apartheid loophole until 1955. It was the one place in which black people could live in relative harmony with people of all colours, free […]

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Still Nouveau, but sexy

RECENTLY, THE CINEMA Nouveau complex at Rosebank Shopping Mall underwent a facelift. But this was no complicated structural reconfiguration. It looks, on a superficial level, almost the same, except for some nips and tucks and a bar which serves small meals around the corner. This is the wisdom […]

How to tell a story

THE WHIPLASH BRILLIANCE of Quentin Tarantino’s film Once upon a time … in Hollywood will leave you second guessing everything until the closing credits and then some; by and large, all of your predictions will be wrong. Constructed like a Greek tragedy, this essay on the faux realities […]

In love under a dangerous open sky

THE COMPLEX AND oft blood-stained plight of people with sexual proclivities that digress from hetero-norms has waxed and waned for centuries all over the world. Queer people have alternatively been persecuted, raped, murdered and deemed illegal in society, as they have been embraced and lionised, before the circle […]

No electricity here

PICTURE ALL THE ingredients for a fabulously good yarn: a great historical feud, complicated theories to explain, the sexy philosophical potency of the electric chair, complex social conditions and the unsophisticated medical savvy of the 19th century. There’s even a spot of Morse Code jokes in the mix, […]

Not only the piano player

MUSICAL BIOPICS ARE always complicated and oft dangerous affairs. They may be about not letting the facts get in the way of a good yarn, as they may find themselves compromised by a quest to find actors who look the part rather than have the skills or the […]

The Music Teacher, as an old woman

BY ALL ACCOUNTS, French actor Isabelle Huppert is magnificent. She has class and presence, she’s sexy and she’s not predictable. She’s beautiful in a way that evades Hollywood’s shallow glamour, but not even Huppert herself can save Greta, a film that may make you pause to consider if […]

Chetty Chetty, Bang Bang

CHILDREN ARE FASCINATING entities on stage or screen. Rogue in their sense of instinct, they can be either fundamentally defining for a work, or they can simply reduce it to a morass of precocity, doing damage to the artistic product and probably to their own self-esteem, by blowing […]

How to go out with a bang

DON’T BE PUT off by the title of the new Diane Keaton film, Poms, and the bubble gum shallow American yarn it implies. Yes, all that glittery bubble gum stuff is there, enfolded in the story’s mix, but that’s probably not the main reason why you will love […]