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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

CINEMA UNDER DISCUSSION AT NAF (article first published : 2008-06-7)

Award-winning South African film director Darrell James Roodt will attend the National Arts Festival (Grahamstown June 26 to July 5, 2008) to introduce and discuss four of his feature films – Lullaby, Meisie, City of Blood and Faith’s Corner. Two of his shorter works, Prey and Dracula 3000, will also be screened.

Popular film critic Leon van Nierop will introduce other films on the programme. “The opportunity to interact with artists and criticism this way is one of the many bonuses that make the Festival experience so enriching," said Festival director, Lynette Marais.

The film programme includes a special focus on South African films including Michael Raeburn’s Triomf, Rayda Jacobs’ Confessions of a Gambler, John Kani’s Nothing but the Truth, Gavin Hood’s Rendition and Vincent Cox’s Voice in the Dark. Triomf, courtesy of Michael Raeburn and Lyndon Plant is based on Marlene van Niekerk’s award-winning novel and is a funny look at white-trash mores in the Johannesburg suburb of Triomf (the place known so well as Sophiatown).

A Wim Wenders programme of six films includes Tokyo-ga, a homage to minimalist master Yasujiro Ozu, and Notebooks on Cities and Clothes, his essay on fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto. Dance-lovers who missed Jeannette Ginslov’s annual dance festival can catch up at a screening of the Montage Video Dance Programme.

Three recent Woody Allen films (Melinda and Melinda, Match Point and Scoop) see the master of serious comedy move from Manhattan to London. Five challenging pieces, each with a spiritual sub-text, range from Craig Brewer’s Deep South drama, Black Snake Moan, to Philip Gronig’s Into Great Silence – an exquisitely filmed visit to a monastery in the French Alps, home to the silent and reclusive monks of the Carthusian Order.

The “Grindhouse” programme of late-night cinema offers eight packages for bold and adventurous cinčastes. Work by Aryan Kaganoff, Darrell James Roodt, Jean-Luc Godard, Quentin Tarantino, Steve Buscemi and Timur Bekmambetov are included with a couple of mystery cult classics thrown in for good measure.

“The Road to ‘68” is a programme remembering the social upheaval of May 1968 with four films by committed filmmakers – two each by Jean-Luc Godard and Miklos Jansco. Seven films under the heading “Selected for Excellence” round off the programme. In I’m not There, Todd Haynes ventures into the life of the music icon, Bob Dylan. The US vs John Lennon is a tribute by David Leaf and John Scheinfeld to a gentle genius who spoke out against war.

Andrew Dominik’s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford calls another legend back to life with Brad Pitt and Sam Shepard starring. Mike Newell’s Love in the Time of Cholera is based on the classic novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. In Cachč/Hidden director Michael Haneke turns on the psychological screws as he did in an earlier film, The Piano Teacher .

Coky Giedovc’s Stella Does Tricks/i> and Neil Jordan’s Breakfast on Pluto both tell of innocents come to London. Stella is an underage Scots prostitute and Giedovc tells her story with insight and sympathy. Jordan’s film centres on Patrick ‘Kitten’ Braden, who leaves Ireland in the ‘60s and finds fame and fortune in London as a transvestite cabaret artist. The film has a storybook tenderness.

The 34th anniversary of the National Arts Festival Grahamstown takes place from 26 June to 5 July 2008. The Festival is proudly supported by The Eastern Cape Government, Standard Bank, The National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, SABC and The National Arts Council. For further information contact 046 603 1103 or visit the website www.nationalartsfestival.co.za

Get hold of the free Festival Booking Kit, now available from selected Standard Bank branches and Computicket outlets nationwide. Don’t delay book today!




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