Wednesday, July 30, 2014

See Monty Python Live (Mostly) at Cinema Nouveau

Hey South Africa.  You have a chance to see those zany oddballs from Monty Python in their wonderful show.


One down, five to go… some elderly gentlemen are going to entertain you!

If phrases such as “This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! If you hadn't nailed 'im to the perch, 'e'd be pushing up the daisies”; “I’m sorry to have kept you waiting, but I’m afraid my walk has become rather sillier recently” and All right... all right... but apart from better sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health... what have the Romans ever done for us?” bring back memories of the irreverent weirdness and wackiness that is Monty Python, then a special show ‘live’ from London’s O2 Arena and soon to be broadcast on the big screen, is a must-see event.
Cinema Nouveau and Ster-Kinekor, in association with Picturehouse Entertainment, are delighted to announce limited screenings of the hilarious Monty Python Live (mostly) stage show, at select cinemas on 06, 09 and 16 August 2014 at 20:00. These include the four Cinema Nouveau theatres – Rosebank Mall in Johannesburg, Brooklyn Mall in Pretoria, Gateway in Durban and V&A Waterfront in Cape Town – and Ster-Kinekor sites at Bedford View, Cedar Square, Sandton and Somerset Mall.
Picturehouse Entertainment has secured the international distribution rights to broadcast the Monty Python Live (mostly) show that was recorded on 20 July 2014. The historic Last Night of the Pythons Live from London’s O2 Arena, is currently being screened in cinemas across the globe, including here in South Africa, thanks to Ster-Kinekor Theatres and Cinema Nouveau.
Monty Python fans around the world have the opportunity of joining one of the most anticipated live events of the year, and the chance to say farewell to the Pythons, together on stage for the first time in more than three decades, on this last and special night. The live show, featuring the inimitable talents of John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin, with Graham Chapman, and performances by Carol Cleveland, is directed by Aubrey Powell and produced by Fiz Oliver.
There was huge demand for tickets for this, the first live performances on stage by the stars of Monty Python since performing at the Hollywood Bowl on 15 September 1980 – and 40 years after their last stage appearance in the UK, at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
"Thanks to the wonderful invention of moving pictures, The Last Night of Monty Python is coming to a cinema near you. Get your knotted handkerchiefs out and warm your brains one last time at any one of thousands of cinemas across the world. Join the crowd live from London’s O2 in a final weepy, hilarious, uproarious, outrageous, farewell to the five remaining Pythons as they head for The Old Jokes Home… on the big screen, in HD,” said the Pythons.
At first there was some resistance to the idea of having to share each other’s tights again, but when it was explained that we were going to get paid, the deal was signed in a record 43.6 seconds. Relief turned to pure joy when medical checks proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that five of us were still alive. Even Graham (Chapman), though less alive than the rest of us, is to be reunited with us all via the miracle of digital re-creation.”
The running time of the ‘live’ show is approximately 3hrs 10mins, and includes a 20-minute interval.
Picturehouse Entertainment continues to push the boundaries of live cinema broadcasts, and the screening of Monty Python Live (mostly) is set to be one of the biggest – and certainly funniest – events of the year.
In anticipation of the screenings, and to get in the spirit of Monty Python, everyone can join the official Python fan club –Monty Python’s SPAM Club – at Proudly touted as ‘what may be the worst run fan club in the world’, the Python SPAM Club will bring trademark Monty Python humour closer to fans by bringing it, literally, to their doorstop.
For more information about Monty Python Live (mostly) and to make bookings, visit or, or call Ticketline on 0861-MOVIES (668 437). Follow us on Twitter @nouveaubuzz or on Facebook at Cinema Nouveau. You can also download the Ster-Kinekor App on any Nokia, Samsung Android, iPhone and Blackberry smart phone for updates, news and to book from your mobile.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

This lands in Gateway on 1 August courtesy of Ster-Kinekor and IMAX

Watch this new action-packed Marvel adventure in IMAX® 3D 

Get ready to shoot for the stars when the epic space-adventure, Guardians of the Galaxy, blasts its way across the impressive Ster-Kinekor IMAX® screens in August. All the action happens at the IMAX® theatre at Ster-Kinekor Gateway in Durban and the recently-opened IMAX theatre at Ster-Kinekor The Grove Mall in Pretoria East, from Friday, 01 August.
From the Disney-owned Marvel Studios that brought us the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America andThe Avengers, comes a brand new superhero-type movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, featuring a brand new team.
The ‘Guardians’, who are mostly unknown to each other, are to be incarcerated in an elaborate space prison known as the Kyln. There is Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), a gun-toting raccoon and the diminutive result of ‘experiments on a lower life form’; Groot (Vin Diesel), a tree-like humanoid; Gamora (Zöe Saldana), the enigmatic, cruel-eyed green humanoid assassin who finds herself targeted for past crimes by furious inmates of the Kyln; and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), a tattooed space brute. Peter Quill, aka Star Lord (Chris Pratt), is the only human among them!
Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, as brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt. This, after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe.
To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with the quartet of disparate misfits, the Guardians: Rocket, Groot, Gamora and Drax the Destroyer. However, when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand--with the galaxy's fate in the balance.
Directed by James Gunn, the multi-talented cast also includes Glenn Close, Josh Brolin and Karen Gillan, among others.
For more information on Ster-Kinekor and IMAX®, visit Avoid the queues by booking online, by callingTicketline on 0861-MOVIES (668 437) or you can book at the box office.  You can also download the Ster-Kinekor App on your Nokia, Samsung Android, iPhone or Blackberry smart phone for updates and to book from your mobile.  To find out what other exciting promotions Ster-Kinekor has on offer, follow @sterkinekor on Twitter or Facebook at Ster-Kinekor Theatres.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Film Reviews from DIFF 2014

Here are some more reviews from the movies I saw at The Durban International Film Festival 2014

Film: The Last Boers Of Patagonia
Director: Richard Gregory

What a breath of fresh air this was.  Showing Afrikaans families that boarded ships between 1902 to 1908 and set sail for Argentina.  Quite amazing to see how they integrated themselves into this new world.  Some still long to see South Africa and some seem happy where they are.  Wonderful characters in this short documentary.

Rating: Recommended.

Film: I, Afrikaner
Director: Annalet Steenkamp

Another of the documentaries at DIFF.  This one takes us on the journey of what it means to be an Afrikaner.  It took Annalet Steenkamp 9 years to make this film.  She shows us a wide variety of her family that live mostly in rural, farm communities.  Some are stuck in their ways, some fearful.  She also shows us the new generation that is a totally different type of Afrikaner.  One that is born in to the New South Africa.
There are plenty of wonderful characters in this well made documentary.

Rating: Well directed and a good movie.
Annalet Steenkamp won the award for Best Direction in a South African Documentary at DIFF 2014. 

Film: Black Coal, Thin Ice
Director: Diao Yinan

This is a Chinese film noir.  We join a former detective as he falls under the spell of a widow with a past. He is busy investigating a murder where pieces of the body pop up all over.  At moments compelling, sometimes shocking and often strange.  Features some wonderful imagery.  There are many twists and turns in this one.

Rating: Give it a viewing.

Film: 20 000 Days on Earth
Directors: Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard

A really good documentary this one.  All about the life and times of musician Nick Cave.  The title refers to his 20 000th day alive.  We see where he is now, glimpses of him recording with his band.  You will also see the people he has worked with in the past including Kylie Minogue.  A superb insight into the mind of a creative musician.  Very well made.

Rating: Must See.

Reviews by +Fred Felton

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Film Review - A Snake Gives Birth To A Snake

Title: A Snake Gives Birth To A Snake
Director: Michael Lessac
United States, South Africa

This is one of the documentaries showing at The Durban International Film Festival 2014.
The documentary joins a group of actors who are taking this play around the world to various war-torn regions from Rwanda to Northern Ireland and even Yugoslavia.  The play comes out of a workshop from various South African actors and it deals with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  After the performances the actors hold workshops and discussions with the people of these war-torn lands.  It makes for some surprising dialogue.  Just like with a snake there are many twists and turns.

Seasoned journalist Max du Preez joins them on their tour and look out for some of the stars of the stage including Nick Boraine, Andrew Buckland, Fana Mokoena, Quanita Adams and many more.

Director Michael Lessac shoots this well and we get a glimpse into the life of a travelling troupe of actors as well as glimpses of the play and he takes us inside the workshops and discussions.

I watched this movie in a packed cinema, not one seat empty.  Afterwards we were treated to a very interesting discussion with Max du Preez, Dr Alex Boraine, Peter Machen, and Nick Boraine amongst others.

The main point that came out of that discussion is that this documentary has to be seen by the youth of South Africa.  I would have to agree.

Rating: A Must See!

A Snake Gives Birth To A Snake is showing at The Durban International Film Festival.
Next Showing: Friday 25 July - 20:15 - Suncoast

Review by +Fred Felton

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The documentary every writer needs to watch - Life Itself

Title: Life Itself
Director: Steve James
United States, 2014

This from the man that brought us 'Hoop Dreams.'  Martin Scorsese is one of the executive producers on this and it shows.  A wonderful insight into the life and times of the famous film critic Roger Ebert.  A wonderful look into his life as a editor, writer and even a blogger.  You get to find out all about the great show 'Siskel & Ebert' and how it started.

Steve James gives us a inside view of Ebert how and he lived the final part of his life.  We find Ebert at a time where he has lost his voice and he now uses a computer to digitally speak.  He uses a blog to write now.  As Ebert says, 'My blog became my voice.'

At his side is his loving wife Chaz.  They form a powerful unit and she supports him all the way.  This documentary is a fascinating glimpse of what it takes to be a writer and especially a film critic.

In some parts funny, some parts serious, others difficult to watch and at times emotional.  A wonderful tribute to one of the greatest writers of our time.

His website is what he has left us.  He has evolved film criticism with it Contributors write reviews on his behalf as they continue the reviews on his behalf.

As I left the cinema one lady who watched the movie whispered to me 'How was that movie?'

Rating: A Must See!

Next Showing at DIFF: Thursday 24 July, Ster-Kinekor, Musgrave Centre, 10pm

Review by +Fred Felton

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Film Review - My Hood

Film - My Hood
Directors - Karin Slater, Thabo Bruno Mokoena, Asivhanzhi Mathaba, Zandile Tisani, Nadine Cloete and Riaan Hendricks.

These are six documentaries that came out of the Close Encounters Laboratory.  A development from the Encounters Film Festival.

'Knox Man' directed by Asi Mathaba shows us a paroled man in Diepsloot who likes to gamble with dice, shot on the streets it gives us a close view of what township life is like.

'The Bridge' directed by Riaan Hendricks shows us the various characters that intersect on Nelson Mandela bridge.  Shot from a window above almost voyeuristic like we see life from the strange to the scary.

'To Kill a Man's Pride' directed by Thabo Mokoena shows us life in a Soweto hostel.  We see what it takes to live in such circumstances.

'Highlands' directed by Zandile Tisani shows us how the displaced live in Yeoville.  We see a writer and also an entrepreneur and the lot they have been given.  Well shot and a great ending.

'Elim' directed by Nadine Cloete shows us inside a Moravian village and the various characters that live there.  We see how names mean something to these people.

'Roundabout' directed by Karin Slater gives us a glimpse into Hout Bay and a ghost story.  Full of some wonderful characters, look out for the flower sellers.  Well shot as it shows us both the past and present.

Rating: Worth a viewing

Review by +Fred Felton

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Film Review - NUOC 2030

Film - NUOC 2030
Cast - Quynh Hoa, Quy Binh
Director - Nghiem-Minh Nguyen-Vo

Had a look at this movie last night.  Set in a futuristic Vietnam in a world where there is no more land.  All you see is water and some floating wastelands.  We get to know Sao and her husband Thi.  They live a simple life on a floating house of sorts.  Thi goes out in search of food and Sao tends to the home.   Water is at a premium in this world.  Even such things as washing or cleaning fish prove hard.

The Director shows us quite a deal about their relationship and all is not as it may seem.
All is not well at sea.

One of the filmmakers from NUOC 2030 joined us for the viewing and he gave us some added insight into the making of this film.

In case you were wondering 'NUOC' means Water in Vietnamese.

Next showing at DIFF - Tuesday, 22 July 8pm Musgrave

Review by +Fred Felton

Friday, July 18, 2014

Film Review - The Kill Team

Film - The Kill Team
Director - Dan Krauss
United States, 2012.

One of the documentaries showing at The Durban International Film Festival 2014.
This is quite the eye opener and sitting in the packed viewing room at The Elangeni Hotel one gets quickly drawn into the world of war.  Director Dan Krauss gives us deep insight into a group of rogue US soldiers in Afghanistan.  They were known as 'The Kill Team'.  Krauss focuses on one soldier in particular, Adam Winfield.  We discover what he has to go through and the dilemma he faces.  Does he rat on his team or does he just keep his mouth shut and survive his tour of duty?

Featuring riveting interviews with the team members, graphic images, some quite shocking and for me the documentary certainly gives one a deeper insight into war and why they say 'War is Hell'.

Next Viewing: Thursday 24 July, Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre 9pm

Review by +Fred Felton

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Opportunity for Filmmakers at Durban FilmMart

The Durban FilmMart will this year introduce an industry screening lounge available to registered delegates to host private screenings.
This year’s lounge is hosted by Afrinolly. The Afrinolly Lounge will run from the 18th of July until 21st of July 2014.
As a new service introduced by the Durban FilmMart, the lounge will be offered free for 2014.
Available Screening date(s):
Friday (18 July) 09H00 – 17H00 
Saturday (19 July) 09H00 – 17H00 
Sunday (20 July) 09H00 – 17H00 
Monday (21 July) 09H00 – 17H00 
Should you wish to make use of the Afrinolly Screening Lounge, please make your booking via the Durban FilmMart:
You are kindly requested to make your bookings as early as possible as there are limited screening slots available. Bookings will be made on a first come, first served basis.
Due to time constraints please take note that the maximum time for screenings is 90 minutes per project.
Please also note that the Durban FilmMart is not responsible for inviting your guests. Applicants (projects) will be required to invite their own guests. Interested delegates should use our website to view and contact registered attendees, which can be accessed on:
The Afrinolly Screening Lounge can seat approximately 20 guests and will be equipped with the following:
Public Address System with one microphone
A 62-inch Plasma Screen with VGA connection

For bookings please contact Mr. Mlungisi Zondi at:
(Only emailed bookings will be allowed. No telephone bookings will be accepted.)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Where you can catch the free screening of 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom' on Mandela Day



As South Africa prepares to celebrate the first anniversary of Madiba’s birthday since his passing in December last year, there will be many fitting tributes to honour our country’s greatest statesman and the father of our nation. One such event will be a FREE screening of the phenomenally successful film, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, produced by Anant Singh.

Ster-Kinekor Theatres, in partnership with the producers of the film, Videovision Entertainment, The Nelson Mandela Foundation and distributor, United International Pictures (UIP), is offering a free public screening across 31 of its cinemas for the first show of the day on Friday, 18 July, at 09:45.

As seating is limited, members of the public who would like to see the film are encouraged to collect their free tickets (maximum of two tickets per person) at the selected cinemas (as listed below) on Friday, 18 July, from 09:00. Tickets will be issued on a first come, first served basis.

Says Fiaz Mahomed, CEO of Ster-Kinekor Theatres: “Ster-Kinekor is extremely proud to be associated with this initiative to celebrate and commemorate the life of a truly global icon who was revered the world over. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedomis a fitting tribute to our beloved Madiba and former President, and I would urge all South Africans to take some time out on the morning of 18 July to go and watch the film.

“His life lessons, and all that he stood for, need to be shared. For this reason, and together with our partners in this initiative, we are honoured to bring the film back on his birthday. We hope that audiences will leave the cinemas motivated to serve others and our country more readily.”

Producer Anant Singh says: “We are delighted to partner with Ster-Kinekor, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and UIP to make our film available to the public at no cost.  We trust that the film will make an impact on the audience and inspire them to follow in Madiba’s footsteps and emulate his example as a servant leader.”

The screening of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom at 09:45 on Friday, 18 July, takes place at the following Ster-Kinekor cinemas:

·         Blue Route, Cavendish, NI City, Parow and Promenade Mall in Cape Town;
·         The Bridge in Port Elizabeth;
·         Shelly Beach, KZN South Coast;
·         Gateway and Musgrave in Durban;
·         Mimosa Mall in Bloemfontein;
·         Secunda Mall in Secunda;
·         Mooirivier Mall in Potchefstroom;
·         Rustenburg Mall in Rustenburg;
·         River Square Shopping Centre in Vereeniging;
·         Mall of the North in Polokwane;
·         Brooklyn, Sterland and Wonderpark in Pretoria; and
·         Carlton Centre, Carnival City, Cresta, Eastgate, Festival Mall, Greenstone, Maponya Mall, Northgate, Northmead, Sandton, Southgate, Westgate and The Zone@Rosebank, in and around Johannesburg.

To find out more about the free screening of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom at the participating Ster-Kinekor cinemas, callTicketline on 082 16789.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Find out about 'A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake' coming to Durban International Film Festival

A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake
 DIFF world première documentary

One of the gala highlights at DIFF (Durban International Film Festival) is the world première of A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake, the much-anticipated documentary debut of celebrated television/film/theatre director Michael Lessac.

The gala screening promises to be one of the highlights of this year’s festival – with some of the country’s foremost peace mediators joining the director, special guests, and members of the cast and crew for the world première screening, followed by a Q&A session.

A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake follows a diverse group of South African actors as they tour global war-torn regions to share their country's experience of reconciliation. As they ignite dialogue among people with raw memories of atrocity, the actors find they must confront once again their homeland's complicated and violent past – and question their own capacity for healing and forgiveness.

A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake was edited by Joel Plotch (In the Company of Men; Nurse Betty; Gone). It was produced by Jacqueline Bertrand Lessac and Emma Tammi and Executive Produced by Jonathan Gray, and Robert Lear.  It features never-before-heard original music by jazz legend Hugh Masekela, with lyrics taken from TRC personal testimonies. 

“Can we forgive the past, to survive the future?” This profound question, posed by Nelson Mandela, become a mandate by which other nations could live.  Lessac wanted to better understand the subtleties of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and in so doing, bring the story of the TRC to a wider audience while exploring the possibility of the TRC as a concept which could successfully be exported to other post-conflict zones.

In 2001, Lessac returned to the Colonnades Theatre Laboratory, which he had founded 25 years before in New York City, to find a way of telling the story of the South African TRC as theatre’s way of prompting others to drop their masks and tell the truth.

He wanted to look beyond the presentations of victim and perpetrator and instead examine the role of the interpreters who translated the TRC proceedings into SA’s 11 official languages.  Lessac was intrigued by the fact that the interpreters, simultaneously translating in the first person, could never turn away from atrocity. He was fascinated with what the TRC looked like through the eyes of people who, for two and a half years, verbalised every moment of the hearings.  He met with actual TRC interpreters as they relived their stories and memories for the first time. Their experiences became the starting point for the journey ahead.

In 2003, after interviewing over 350 actors in SA, Lessac held a three-week workshop with the core of chosen actors who developed script material out of their own life-experiences intertwined with the lives of the interpreters.

The theatrical vehicle for these conversations was a production entitled Truth in Translation, a hard-edged, multi-award winning theatrical production, with accompanying workshops, created between 2003 and 2006. It opened in Rwanda and toured to three continents; 11 countries and 26 cities. It has played to more than 55 000 people and facilitated conflict transformation workshops for more than 10 000 participants.

The documentary A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake is the result of this journey – a glimpse into the lives and minds of a group of South African performers who shared and listened; facilitated and responded to the heartbreaking real-life personal stories of the human casualties of global conflict. As South Africans representing various facets of South African society, they were forced to look at whether they themselves had even successfully "reconciled" their own individual pasts, and realised just how complex and challenging it is to engage with the multifaceted concept of forgiveness.

"For me, this film pays homage to a very special group of South African actors and interpreters who were warriors of the most special kind.  They allowed themselves to travel through worlds that were often more painful than their own worst nightmares,” considers Lessac.

The documentary’s intriguing title refers to a question which often appears in conflict situations when asked why perpetrators killed young babies. The answer, irrespective of culture is always, one way or another, “A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake.”

“The film was originally titled Truth in Translation, just like the play. We changed it to A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake because no matter how true that might be, when revenge is celebrated as heroism, it is a poor excuse for killing.”

 A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake premieres at the Durban International Film Festival taking place in venues in and around Durban from 17 - 27 July 2014. The gala screening is on 20 July at 17:15 in Suncoast (6)

The original company of actors were: Quanita Adams, Nick Boraine, Andrew Buckland, Sibulele Gcilitshana, Bongani Gumede, Robert Koen, Jeroen Kranenburg, Sandile Matsheni, Fana Mokoena, Thembi Mtshali-Jones and Jenny Stead along with earlier contributors Lionel Newton, Helen Iskander, Hugh Masebenza, Mmabatho Mogomotsi, Lerato Moloi, Celest Mathews and Paul Savage.

Find the movie on Twitter - @asnaketoasnake  

This Edition by +Fred Felton 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Film Review: X-Men: Days Of Future Past

Film: X-Men: Days Of Future Past
Director: Bryan Singer
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan, Halle Berry, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender.
Rating: 10/10

This movie has a big cast.  All star quality the lot of them.  Special effects for days and loads of twists and turns.

A real popcorn and coke type movie so don't forget them.

Set in the past and the future the movie jumps from the future to the past.  Wolverine is sent back in time to see if he can convince the young Professor X (McAvoy) to join forces with the young Magneto (Fassbender) in a bid to help save the future.

So does Wolverine succeed?  Can the X-Men, good and bad, co-exist and help each other to fight for the future?  Guess you will have to watch the movie to find out.

Look out for some jaw breaking scenes, surprises and much much more.   Watch out for
Boliver Trask (Peter Dinklage).

Over 15 000 people worked on this movie.  It shows.

If you wait for the credits to finish there is a nice little surprise waiting for you.

Review by +Fred Felton