Movies

Slumdog Millionaire – The South African Premiere

Last week I was spammed notified, by Sterkinekor Entertainment, of the first SA Screening of the Oscar® nominated film: Slumdog Millionaire. In line with my new philosophy on life, to enjoy new experiences through living life to the fullest, I decided to get a few friends together and attend the premiere of this highly acclaimed and accolade endowed film.

The premiere took place at the Cinema Nouveau at Cedar Square in Fourways on Tuesday 17th February 2009 from 19:00. We were all rather impressed with the event since they had a red carpet, with paparazzi and all, as well as free cocktails and buffet-like snacks. Furthermore, it was an opportunity to mingle with South African celebrities (if you even know who they are?!)  as well as obtain free popcorn for the film! Even the author of the book ‘Q&A’, which the movie is based on, was available at the premiere for autographs. I would have liked to have purchased a book and have had it autographed but my disdain for none hard covered/backed books prevented me from splurging for the vastly inferior soft cover version. That is just me! LOL!

I did think about writing my own review of the film, but I found this review from Rolling Stones Online which closely resembles my thoughts and feelings towards the film (Oh all right… I was just too lazy to write one myself *snicker*):

What I feel for this movie isn’t just admiration, it’s mad love. And I couldn’t be more surprised. The plot reeks of uplift: An illiterate slum kid from Mumbai goes on the local TV version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and comes off like a brainiac. Who wants to see that? Final answer: You do. Slumdog Millionaire has the goods to bust out as a scrappy contender in the Oscar race. It’s modern India standing in for a world in full economic spin. It’s an explosion of colour and light with the darkness ever ready to invade. It’s a family film of shocking brutality, a romance haunted by sexual abuse, a fantasy of wealth fuelled by crushing poverty.

You won’t find many fairy tales that open with a graphic torture scene. The cops think 18-year-old Jamal Malik (a sensational Dev Patel) is a fraud. Goaded by the show’s host (the superb Anil Kapoor), the police inspector (Irrfan Khan) is determined to beat the truth out of Jamal before he goes back on the show and hits the jackpot of 20 million rupees. Presumably this is not the way Regis Philbin ran things when the show hit America in 1999.

Brimming with humour and heartbreak, Slumdog Millionaire meets at the border of art and commerce and lets one flow into the other as if that were the natural order of things. Sweet. Screenwriter Simon Beaufoy (The Full Monty) brings focus to Q & A, the episodic Vikas Swarup novel on which the film is based. Still, the MVP here is Danny Boyle, who directs the film brilliantly. Boyle is the Irish-Catholic working-class Brit who put his surreal mark on zombies (28 Days Later) and smack addicts (Trainspotting), and made us see ourselves in their blood wars. Those movies were so potent, as was his 1994 debut, Shallow Grave, that we looked the other way when Boyle went Hollywood with The Beach and screwed up with A Life Less Ordinary. Somehow we knew that Boyle had the stuff to work miracles.

Here’s the proof. We learn the history of Jamal and the other principal characters in flashbacks, as Jamal answers questions on the TV show not from book knowledge — he has none — but his own life experiences. Jamal is searching for two people from his childhood: his wild older brother Salim (an outstanding Madhur Mittal), now a thief and killer, and his adored Latika (the achingly lovely Freida Pinto), now stepping up from child prostitute to plaything of a gangster. Every incident, including the brothers’ watching their mother die in an anti-Muslim riot, feeds into Jamal’s answers on the show. OK, the concept bends coincidence to the breaking point. But Jamal’s traumatic youth is his lifeline. Boyle makes magic realism part of the film’s fabric, the essential part that lets in hope without compromising integrity.

Anthony Dod Mantle uses compact digital cameras to move with speed and stealth through the slums and palaces of Mumbai. The film is a visual wonder, propelled by A.R. Rahman’s hip-hopping score and Chris Dickens’ kinetic editing. The whoosh of action and romance pulls you in, but it’s the bruised characters who hold you there. Every step Jamal takes toward his final answer could get him killed. Even in the Bollywood musical number that ends the film, joy and pain are still joined in the dance. The no-bull honesty of Slumdog Millionaire hits you hard. It’s the real deal. No cheating.

PETER TRAVERS

(Posted: Nov 13, 2008)

All in all a brilliant time was had by all who attended! Make sure to view the photographs to see exactly how it went down and to view who the ‘real’ celebrities of the evening were 🙂

Tabloid Tuesday: Rich Pups, Apartheid and Karen Who?

Hey Milieu Pals,

Time for another edition of Tabloid Tues…Okay, you got me, today is not Tuesday  it is Wednesday… but who is really noticing anyway?! . Right, well here is a belated Tabloid Tuesday Scoop!


‘Tabloid Tuesday’
Issue: 3


When Oprah departs, her dogs hit the jackpot!

This is just so typical of the rich and famous. According to News24.com, Oprah Whinfrey, the billionaire daytime talk show host, will be leaving $30 million to her beloved pooches once she bites the dust. That is just over R200 Million…

Australia Women’s Day magazine reports that "Oprah has a menagerie of animals and she wants them to be pampered for the rest of their lives if she were to die first. She has four dogs, plus various other pets, so she rewrote her will to include millions for their care". Let me tell you, for that amount of money I would gladly run around on all fours barking, sniffing my own crack and licking my genitalia !

"The chat show star currently has two Cocker Spaniels, Sophie and Soloman, and two Golden Retrievers. A third Golden Retriever, Gracie, tragically choked to death in May this year" (News24.com 18/09/07). I have it, from unidentifiable sources, that Gracie’s death was no accident. Apparently the other dogs caught wind of Oprah’s change of will and knew that ‘Good Old Gracie’, Oprah’s fluffikins, would end up receiving the larger share. The rest, as they say, is history. After all $30 Million dollars can only be split so man ways!


Robben Island Movie

In a surprising new development, the National Film and Video Foundation is to donate R750 000 to a movie titled More than Just a Game. It has been reported that the movie would be produced by filmmaker Anant Singh.

According to Videovision Entertainment:

"Anant Singh is recognised as South Africa’s pre-eminent film producer, having produced fifty-eight films since 1984. He is responsible for many of the greatest anti-apartheid films made in South Africa, including “Place Of Weeping,” Sarafina! and Cry, the Beloved Country. Nelson Mandela called him “a producer I respect very much…a man of tremendous ability” when he granted him the film rights to his autobiography, Long Walk To Freedom"

(Videovision Entertainment 19/09/07)

The movie apparently has a budget that is believed to be in the region of R15m   and Presley Chweneyagae, from Oscar-winning Tsotsi fame, is set to play a lead role. Apparently the movie is "about five imprisoned political activists who formed the Makana Football Association in 1966" (News24.com 19/09/07). Great! This is just what our country needs. Yet another movie about the ‘apartheid’ era. Seriously, we, as a country, need to get over it. Yes it was a dark time in our history, but how much longer do we need to be reminded of it? Even more so, how much longer must we, the new youth, be persecuted for the burdens of that time?


Karen who?

In recent local tabloid news Karen Kortjé, the former Idols 2005 winner, has aired a complaint against a concert held in Malmesbury (wherever the heck that is) where she claims her name was used to lure people to the concert. News24.com reports that according to Susan Pietersen, the festival coordinator of the Musiek oppi Lande Festival (Molfees), "a certain Karin did perform there, but she was Karin K, a singer from Wellington". Idols Karen said, in a report in the Cape Son on 7th of September 2007, that "her name had been used to lure people to a festival. She also said her fans had been very disappointed that she hadn’t performed"  .

I am not sure what Idols Karen has been smoking because I have no idea what she thinks, she means by ‘fans’. I know that summer is hot and all, and with her bulk it must be no easy feat staying fresh, but come on, get air conditioning. After Idols Karen won Idols, she dropped off the radar. So I was not surprised to hear Susan Pietersen defending her promotional materials when she said "there were no enquiries regarding her performance and none of the hundreds of her fans she refers to showed up at the festival. We would have received enquiries about Karin, but there were none" (News24.com 19/09/07). Oh burn! Snaps for Susan  !


That is all for this Issue of Tabloid Tuesday Milieu Pals! Hope you enjoyed!

– Hans

 

Tabloid Tuesday: DSTV Shuffle. Enrique in SA & the Fake Idol!

Hey Milieu Pals,

Today is Tuesday, so here we go!


‘Tabloid Tuesday’
Issue: 2


DSTV Shuffle

No, DSTV (Digital Satellite Television) is not launching an Apple iPod Shuffle clone, but they are rearranging their channels again. Multichoice have dubbed this new allocation system as the "3 Digit Shuffle". Apparently this change is to accommodate ‘future growth’ and is allegedly in ‘line with international standards’ in order for them to continue offering "So much more". The change will occur on the 1st October 2007 at 2:00 (2am) and will result in the following:

 

  • Channels 100 – 149: General entertainment
  • Channels 150 – 179: Movies
  • Channels 180 – 199: Lifestyle and culture
  • Channels 200 – 249: Sport
  • Channels 250 – 279: Documentary
  • Channels 280 – 299: News and commerce
  • Channels 300 – 319: Children
  • Channels 320 – 339: Music
  • Channels 340 – 379: Religion
  • Channels 380 and above: Consumer related

It looks like Monochoice Multichoice has finally decided to expand their current available selection of mind-numbing entertainment. All I know is that this change is going to confuse a lot of people. For starters, my mom can barely use the DSTV guide, never mind understanding why M-Net will no longer be on channel 3 but will now be on channel 101. I suppose this explains why our Media Center has been ‘guide-less’ for the past three weeks. That and Multichoice have court ordered the home grown guide provider to stop using guide data from the DSTV website. Like most major corporations in Southern Africa, Multichoice owns the digital satellite monopoly and do whatever the heck they like. They have thus point blank refused to support Microsoft Media Center. You have got to love this country!


Enrique hits SA (Hey, that rhymes… LOL)

News24.com has reported that Enrique Iglesias will be hitting SA in October and had this to say:

The hugely talented singer Enrique Iglesias will be performing at the Coca-Cola Dome in Johannesburg on 21 October, and at Grand West’s Grand Arena in Cape Town, on 25 October 2007.

Enrique has two Grammy’s, five World Music and three American Music Awards and more under his belt, and sold 40 million albums in little over a decade, becoming one of the most successful artists in the history of popular music.

(News24.com, 30/08/07)

All you South African Enrique fans can now have a taste of the now mole-less and ping-pong infatuated Latino wonder. However, if the following video is anything to go by you are all in for a real treat…

            

It looks as if Mr. Iglesias junior does indeed lip-sync… so much for live performances  .


Fake Reality

Cliff Jennings does not exist  ! The South African Idols fanatic who has been to every available audition and which angered Idols judges, such as Gareth Cliff and Randall Abrahams, has been discovered to be an elaborate viral marketing scheme.

Although I could not put my finger on it I just knew that there was something about this guy that was not right. From his dreary demeanor, chalk on a white board voice and Youtubed music video, it was just too ‘bad’ to be true. Then again, after seeing some of the very ‘special’ people who had entered Idols this year, Mr. Jennings could have been a very real person.

News24.com had the following to report:

According to M-Net brand manager, Pierre Cloete, M-Net wanted to reach Idols fans via web-based social communities such as Facebook and MySpace. "The ‘Cliff Jennings Living the Dream’ ad campaign was an ingenious below-the-line word-of-mouth viral campaign to support Idols season 4, and it worked!". According to Cloete, the Cliff Jennings’ MySpace page by Sunday had already generated 3 500 profile views, he had 896 friends and 25 groups dedicated to him on Facebook, (totalling more than 5 600 members), and, his 10 videoclips on YouTube had already had 5 210 views. Cloete confirmed that only a handful of executives at M-Net and its advertising agency, Ogilvy JHB, knew about the campaign. "Not the director, not Colin Moss, not the crew, and certainly not the judges," he said.

Granted this was a sneaky move on M-net’s part, since Idols is supposed to be a ‘reality’ show, but I suppose most network operators are too preoccupied with ratings to care about possible credibility issues which may arise from their actions. As a result I have come to wonder what on earth is real anymore within ‘reality’ television shows (Survivor anyone)?


Brachy Therapy: Good to go!

After over a year of intense deliberation, Hans Haupt Senior of Health World and Tenshinkan Karate, finally underwent Brachy Therapy to treat his prostrate cancer. A source close to the Haupt family  have stated that he is doing extremely well after the operation and will make a complete recovery.

Hans Haupt, the family’s only child, said "We are simply ecstatic that my dad has gone through with the therapy. An uncle of mine recently went through the same procedure and he is now cancer free. Only good can come from this initiative".

Mr. Haupt SNR has taken a few days off for recovery purposes but it has been said that he will resume his normal work related activites, albeit at a restful pace according to Doctor recommendations, from the 17th September 2007.



That is it for this week Milieu Pals. Tune in again next Tuesday for some more celebrity  and entertainment tid-bits!

– Hans

Tabloid Tuesday: It's Britney… Bitch!

 
Hey Milieu Pals,
 
Welcome to the first post of ‘Tabloid Tuesday’. Every Tuesday I will post an interesting morsel or two concerning the various celebrities who are currently making the rounds in the news. This will include local South African, international and ‘wannabe’ celebrities. Therefore, stay tuned because you will never know who will make it into the latest ‘Tabloid Tuesday Scoop’. Who knows, even you could feature  !
 
‘Tabloid Tuesday’
Issue: 1
 
"It’s Britney… BITCH"  ! This is the first sentence spoken on Britney Spears’ new single entitled ‘Gimme more’. After a two year sabbatical Britney Spears has formally returned and it is about damn time too  .
 
The queen of pop officially released her new single, Gimme More, last week to US radio stations. This was after numerous reports that several of Miss Spears’ new songs had been leaked onto the internet including a ballad entitled ‘Baby Boy’ (Perez-Hilton, World of Britney).
 
For those who are not aware, the current song airing on Milieu Radio is Britney Spears’ Gimme More. I must admit that this has to be one, of my many, favourite songs of 2007. The beat is perfect and the tune addictively melodious. With her breathy vocals and sultry voice, Britney Spears has shown the world that the former pop princess is back and ready to take hold of the thrown that is rightfully hers.
 
 
(Pictures are courtesy of Allure.com)
 
 
*UPDATE* To add fuel to the fire Pop Music Kingdom is reporting that four additional Britney Spears tracks have been leaked. Of the four only one will feature on the new album which is set to hit the UK on 12th November and the US on 13th November in both a standard CD and special edition CD+DVD.
 
According to Pop Music Kingdom a "source from X17 has revealed exclusively to BritneyExperts.com that these tracks (except Everybody) are being leaked from a Jive source. X17 informs BritneyExperts that these are from a 2005 demo and Jive is leaking the tracks for hype and promotion on her current untitled album. About 18 more demos are said to become available throughout the week".
 
Apart from the demo releases, sources are convinced that three, perhaps more, official tracks off of the unreleased new album have been leaked, namely: Gimme More, Cold As Fire and Everybody. To see a listing of all leaked tracks please click here.
  
I know that this first edition of Hans’ Milieu’s ‘Tabloid Tuesday’ is a little lacklustre but I hope future ‘scoops’ will be more informative . Until the next time Milieu Pals!
 
– Hans