Posts Tagged ‘Deon Lotz’

SAFTA Winners in the 2017 Film Category

The South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTA’S) were held on March 2017 at Suncity Resort and Casino in the North West Province, South Africa

Best Film: – Sink

Best Director: Oliver Schmitz for Shepherds and Butchers starring Steve Coogan, Andrea Riseborough, Deon Lotz and Marcel van Heerden

Best Actor – Feature Film
Dann-Jaques Mouton – Noem my Skollie

Best Actress – Feature Film
Shoki Mokgape – Sink

Best Supporting Actor – Feature Film
Abdurahgmaan Adams – Noem my Skollie

Best Supporting Actress – Feature Film
Hlubi Mboya – Dora’s Peace

Best Original Screenplay: Brett Michael Innes and Nicholas Costaras – Sink

Year of the Perlemoen

Cold Harbour

cold_harbour

Director: Carey McKenzie

Starring: Tony Kgoroge, Deon Lotz, Fana Mokoena, Yu Nan

South African actor Deon Lotz first came to prominence in Oliver Schmidt’s award winning impressive film Skoonheid. The actor is now back starring in Cold Harbour a noir thriller about nefarious Perlemoen trading in Cape Town along with Tony Kgoroge (Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom) as conflicted detective Sizwe Miya and Fana Mokoena as the Cape gangster Specialist.

South African director Carey McKenzie film Cold Harbour which premiered at the Durban International Film Festival http://www.durbanfilmfest.co.za/ Should really take a leaf out of the more sophisticated 1985 Michael Cimino film The Year of the Dragon which dealt with the infiltration of Chinese Triads in New York.

It seems the Chinese have been painted as one of the bad guys along with a host of morally dubious characters in this ominously lit film Cold Harbour which in true film noir tradition there is no clear cut hero versus villain, especially in McKenzie’s uneven and contrived portrayal of the Cape Town crime world.

McKenzie’s version of Cape Town as depicted in Cold Harbour is another reason not to visit the mother city in winter as she paints the supposed design capital as a bleak and unsettling city with unfinished highways surrounded by the freezing and unforgiving Atlantic Ocean. The director does not even give the much celebrated Marina del Gama complex in Cape Town near Muizenberg a forgiving depiction, a place where Lotz’s character Venske resides.

Cold Harbour is an unevenly scripted and confusing crime drama with several characters muddling through an unforgiving landscape and not really coming to any cathartic release.

Instead it’s a mismatch of cultures and characters speaking a range of languages from English, Afrikaans, Xhosa and Chinese without the subtitles being removed once, so even when the characters spoke in South African English subtitles still remained on the screen? This must be to hopefully market Cold Harbour to American audiences who will surely not find any comfort in this thriller and reaffirm the international notion that South Africa is indeed a nation ravaged by crime, poverty and corruption.

As a film about illegal international Perlemoen trading, Cold Harbour had great potential but unfortunately got muddled in its film noir aspirations. Not recommended viewing.

Farewell to an Icon

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

 mandela_long_walk_to_freedom

Director: Justin Chadwick

Starring: Idris Elba, Naomie Harris, Terry Pheto, Riaad Moosa, Jamie Bartlett, Deon Lotz, Seelo Maake, Garth Breytenbach, Kgosi Mongake

British born director of The Other Boleyn Girl Justin Chadwick brings to the big screen Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom with the assistance of Durban based producer Anant Singh and international stars Idris Elba (Pacific Rim) and Naomie Harris (Skyfall). The timing of this film couldn’t have been more perfect or more poignant with the recent death of Nelson Mandela the Leader of the ANC and the first black South African president making international headlines. Mandela’s passing actually occurred during the British premiere of the film in London on the evening of Thursday 5th December 2013.

Leaving politics or current affairs aside, is Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom worth watching? The answer is a definitive yes especially so for the generation of young South Africans that will be able to vote in the 2014 national elections. But also for those viewers who didn’t realize just how close South Africa came in the early 1990’s to a fully fledged near civil war as the leaders at the time including Mandela and F.W. de Klerk were negotiating a relatively smooth transition from an authoritarian Apartheid state to a country that South Africa has become today, progressive and internationally hailed and supposedly democratic.

bang_bang_club

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is primarily an historical drama but also a love story between Mandela and his second wife Winnie Madikizela Mandela who is brilliantly played by Naomie Harris. Idris Elba does a superb job portraying such an iconic leader who went from political prisoner to President of a nation. Director Chadwick who also made the superb Kenyan film The First Grader, crafts an ambitious narrative whilst leaving all the burning issues as emotive and significant as ever showing a particular period of South African history that of the 1990’s similar to the 2010 film The Bang Bang Club, which was plagued with optimism, racism, militarism and brutal political violence.

Upon his release from prison in 1990, Mandela choose a path of negotiated discussion with the then nationalist government headed by F. W. de Klerk, which makes that pivotal time in South African history so interesting and integral to the development of the rainbow nation as it is affectionately known today. The film follows Mandela’s early days in Johannesburg in the 1940’s right through the Rivonia trials and to his eventual incarceration on Robben Island and his historic and subsequent release.

Producer Singh has a knack for acquiring high profile stars for his films, so the signing of Elba and Harris in the lead roles of Long Walk to Freedom is crucial to the film’s success. The fact that both stars portray such political leaders so poignantly and powerfully is too their credit and will surely be acknowledged during the 2014 award season. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is long, at times difficult to watch if you are fully versed in South Africa’s turbulent and extraordinary history, but stands on its own as a cinematic tribute to an iconic leader who has now been immortalized in all spheres of South African society from Sport and Commerce to Politics and Art.

This film is probably at times too long but is certainly recommend viewing for superb acting and lovers of historical political dramas. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom also stars South African comedian Riaad Moosa (Material) as Ahmed Kathrada and Terry Pheto of Tsotsi fame as Evelyn Mase.

Film Directors & Festivals
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