Home Opinion Midweek Mouth-off: South African cinema

Midweek Mouth-off: South African cinema

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With the release of Spud 2: The Madness Continues this Friday, today we want to know what you think of local cinema – which is more active these days than ever, with at least one prominent premiere every month.

Do you watch South African movies? Do you show your support by paying to see them at the cinema? Do you avoid them like the Plague?

Has there been anything that has really impressed you in the past few months and years? What genres do you think we get right? What do you hate? Mouth off now.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Critical Hit as an organisation.

Last Updated: June 19, 2013


  1. James Francis

    June 19, 2013 at 10:53

    The MG had an interesting article about this not too long ago:


    Personally I think most movies make the mistake of going for the middle and upper classes, or aiming to go overseas. We have tons of people in townships who can’t afford regular cinema prices, so why aren’t we taking the movies to them? There is also a lot of opportunity to make films that appeal directly to them (such as the upcoming Blood Tokoloshe, which friends of mine are making).

    If you look at Japanese cinema in the Seventies, the majority of stuff like Lone Wolf and Razor were made for poor construction workers. One can also argue that much of Blaxploitation was aimed at entertaining the people in projects and slums. This is where South African movies are missing the boat – we should churn over more cheap movies that deliver stories relevant to locals. Nigeria has a huge industry that does exactly that to great success. High-profile stuff like Blitz Patrollie and the somewhat lackluster Material makes our industry look good, but I don’t feel they are building it much.


    • Lardus

      June 19, 2013 at 11:33

      Very fine points good sir!


      • James Francis

        June 19, 2013 at 14:37

        Thanks 🙂


  2. Lardus

    June 19, 2013 at 11:38

    Personally I prefer to watch the big blockbusters at the cinema, and the local movies do not fit in that category for me. Then again, I watch so few movies nowadays I do not really care if I ever see some of the “awesome” movies in any case. So, no, I do not watch the local movies at cinema…or DSTV…or DVD…not even pirated.


  3. Skyblue

    June 19, 2013 at 12:37

    Never watch SA movies at cinema, only big blockbusters like District 9 or Judge Dredd (yes I know they’re not “saffa” movies) will get me into the cinema. And please someone stop financing Mr Schuster, enough already.
    Btw, I caught Material on DSTV not too long ago, it was a very uneven film.


    • James Francis

      June 19, 2013 at 14:36

      I’m glad others saw that in Material as well. It got so much media hype, but really turned out to be quite average.


  4. Justin Hess

    June 19, 2013 at 13:29

    I think the problem is that, too often, SA movies are issue. I think they’re quite worthy in terms of themes and subject matter (even if the execution is often clumsy and hamfisted).

    Still, what brings in money, and what most people want is entertainment, which is where most local films fall short. We don’t have the money to make Transformers or big budget action but we can do comedies. Unfortunately, that requires good writers, which is where we are somewhat lacking.

    When we do try comedy, the results are often like Blitz Patrollie (which could have been our answer to Hot Fuzz but was, unfortunately, shit).

    Ultimately, we need good writers, because we won’t get the money to make a dumb blockbuster without a proven track record of success.


    • James Francis

      June 19, 2013 at 14:37

      Nah, we just need a serial about a mean black PI who kicks criminal ass.


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