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Message from: Steve Smith (
About: ZA-FILM-TV:127 Bulletin 2 : Tue, 2 Apr 1996

Fri, 19 Apr 1996 12:02:54 -0400

Originally from: (Steve Smith)
Originally dated: Fri, 19 Apr 1996 12:02:54 -0400

Here is the ZA-FILM-TV latest:

Subject: [ZA-FILM-TV:127] Bulletin 2 : Tue, 2 Apr 1996
Date: Tuesday, April 16, 1996 12:10PM


Paint a vision that others can see and that you truly believe in.

The Internet is like teenage sex, when we finally get it right,
it's going to be great.
Remember, you can access *many* Film & TV resources from the
Home Page's international links section.

The South African Film Industry,
or Lack Thereof

By Hein Kaiser <>

Despite the recent heightened levels of activity in the South African
film industry, and the multitude of opportunities that it is supposed
to create for local artists and crew, there has been very little
development or growth within the industry which still suffers from
the attitude that "local is worse than the worst that the rest of the
world can offer"

Cast in most of the internationally produced films that have been
produced in South Africa, or locally funded films that are intended
for international distribution, are international performers who are
playing South Africans, while local artists have been downplayed into
third and fourth lead roles. The argument from the producers is that
by securing an internationally accredited artist for a film it
immediately ensures greater chances for box office success. All about
money, they say.

This modus-operandi has not always proved to be an easy gamble
either. Films that have failed miserably at the box office have had
some of the finest in the field pitch in. The Mangler, an hour and a
half of lessons to other filmmakers on "how not to do this again" ,
starred Robert Englund (Nightmare on Elm Street) and was directed by
well- known master of horror Tobe Hooper, who also wrote the

Recently two other films were produced, each with troupes of
Hollywood starlets earning large amounts of currency to play South
Africans. In Darrell James Roodt's The Spear, also known as "The
Untitled Ice Cube Project", gangster rapper Ice Cube gets to play a
returning exile that rescues his brother (Eric Miyeni) from
destruction in the seedy drug underworld of Johannesburg.

Playing Miyeni's stripper girlfriend is Hugh Grant's current
sideshow, Elizabeth Hurley, who shot to fame after wearing a
revealing Versace creation at the premiere of Four Weddings and a

Hurley had to learn how to speak English with a South African accent.
Why not use a South African actress ? Producers say that they
"looked hard to find a local actress that could carry a scene with
high-calibre artist Cube". They couldn't find one, so they had to
settle for an international performer... A case of divine inspiration?

But what should South Africans start thinking when an all-
international lead cast and production team write their own script
and come to South Africa to film movie about the Truth Commission and
how our Police Force treated political prisoners during the eighties?
Inside stars Lou Gosset jr, Nigel Hawthorne and Eric Stoltz (the
drug dealer in Pulp Fiction). Both Hawthorne and Stoltz play
Afrikaners; the only true Afrikaner Ian Roberts demoted to a small
appearance as a prison guard. Asked whether Inside could not be seen
as a form of cultural appropriation, screenwriter Stagg, whose claim
to a South African experience is a ten year stint in the country
after jumping ship in Cape Town, says Stagg: "The story was there to
tell. All forty two million of you had the opportunity to write it.
Nobody did.

Another great blow to the South African industry will occur should
Darrell James Roodt's future project be realised. Roodt plans to
produce a film that uncovers a plot to murder Madiba. The way he
plans to shoot this movie reeks of cultural prejudice. A cop in New
York, a role for which they hope to secure Wesley Snipes, hears of a
plot to kill Mandela in some dark alley in the Big Apple. Highly
unlikely. He then travels to South Africa to save our President.

Don't South Africans get to play the hero anymore ? Does the massive
influx of international performers mean that we don't have any
talented performers in our country that can sell a movie merely for
what it is, and not who played in it ? Australia managed to take an
ailing industry and turn it into a success, without enlisting the
services of expensive international stars.

How long will the South African government fail to recognise the arts?
Government subsidies are few and far between, and until the public
realises that local can be "lekker" filmmakers will continue
contriving scripts that would justify the appearance of foreign
talent in lead roles.

Hein Kaiser currently writes for the following publications :

The Star Tonight - various features as well as a weekly local music
column called The Gig Guide that highlights venues etc to catch
some great music. " I try to make it more than just venue listings,
and attempt to create a greater culture for appreciation of SA
talent. I hope that I will succeed."

The Saturday Star Good Weekend- He writes selected features and do an
Internet column called CYBERSPEAK as well as a theatre column called

Hein says ; "As I have progressed through my career, I have become
more and more conscious of the incredible amount of talent that we
have here in South Africa...When I interviewed James Earl Jones last
year, he remarked that " South Africa must have one of the largest
concentrations of talented people in the world"...I cannot agree
more, as I am an ardent supporter of South African talent. "


Ek het lekker in Showdata "people*companies" rond gejol. Dit werk
uitstekend. Julle ouens doen groot werk. (Weet ook meer oor my, as ek
self. Waar julle bliksems al die INFO kry sal ek nie weet nie)

Groet van huis tot huis.
Willie Esterhuizen

I was quite happy to discover your interesting site, and I
found your list of international film and TV links most

Kind regards from Strasbourg
Lone Andersen


Johan Blignaut
Administrator for Showdata

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