Premiere

Schuks Tshabalala’s Guide to South Africa

Schuks Tshabalala’s Survival Guide to South AfricaLast night I had the privilege of attending the premiere of Leon Schuster’s latest film Schuks Tshabalala’s Survival Guide to South Africa.

Every South African knows of the legend that is Leon Schuster. He is our original prankster, made famous by his uniquely South African candid camera work. Although he may have departed from his original film tactics in recent productions such as Mr. Bones and Mama Jack, Schuks Tshabalala’s Survival Guide to South Africa sees Schuster return to his comedic roots.

Schuks Tshabalala’s Survival Guide to South Africa is pure Schuster. If you have enjoyed any of his previous candid camera focused movies, you will no doubt enjoy his latest foray into slapstick South African comedy.

The film attempts to weave each candid camera scenario into a larger background story, in this case a Mr Schuks Tshabalala offers a tour of South Africa to a group of poorly acted ‘foreigners’. However, all these slapstick interludes serve to do is annoyingly retract from the real comedic elements. Even though some of the lyrics to a few of the Highschool Musical inspired interludes were brilliantly tongue-in-cheek, they felt somewhat disconnected from the story as a whole. I would equate it to like watching a reality show on MTV which is split by music videos.

Although there were quite a few gems in terms of the candid camera work, the Helen Zille and Seapoint squatter camp scenario’s being among them, Schuster has not attempted to push the proverbial envelope in any way. Instead, each candid camera scenario is simply a rehash of something we have seen from him before: Golf Club scene? Check. Fooling rookie cops? Check. Scaring taxi drivers and occupants? Check, and so on and so forth. This is by no means a bad thing, after all, as the adage goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Even so, it feels like a missed opportunity for Schuster to push the boundaries in the same way he did in the 80s with You Must Be Joking.

Nevertheless, if you enjoy South African slapstick humour then Schuks Tshabalala’s Survival Guide to South Africa is not to be missed.

Verdict: 6/10.

The film opens nation wide on Friday the 28th of May 2010.

LEON SCHUSTER – SCHUKS TSHABALALAS SURVIVAL GUIDE TO SOUTH AFRICA 2010 /TRAILER

As is always the case with any Sterkinekor event, there were many delicious snacks and ample refreshments for all red carpet guests as well as numerous paparazzi. I have got to give it to Sterkinekor , they always make you feel like a star when visiting their ‘happy place’ during premiere events.

Until the next time “Milieunairs”!

 

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“Who is Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf”?

The Twilight Saga - New Moon Before we left South Africa for our Australian holiday, I was aware that I would be missing the midnight screening of the latest cinematic instalment of the Twilight Saga: New Moon. An event that I was not only looking forward to but one that  I had made partial plans for with friends and family. I will not beat around the bush, I was bummed about it. Not only would I miss the midnight premiere but I would also be unable to share the experience with those closest to me. However, that all changed once I stepped foot in the land down under.

District 9 – South African Premiere and Review

“Why did van der Merwe keep a pair of scissors in his racing car?
So he could cut the corners!”

For the last several months, ever since first viewing the initial teaser trailer, there has only been one movie to have successfully garnered my obsessive anxiety.

Not Slumdog Millionaire. Not Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Not even the infallible Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. No, this exclusive obsession could not be for any ordinary movie or typical Hollywood cash cow.

Instead, my focus has continuously been drawn to a movie which is set, surprisingly, in the very city within which I live.

District 9 – Official Teaser Trailer

That movie has been none other than this years science fiction sleeper hit, District 9.

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 🙂