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THE MEDIA APRIL 2018

CINEMA The Inxeba controversy The Black Panther phenomenon Nu Metro and Ster-Kinekor both saw great opening weekends for Marvel’s Black Panther film. It broke through its opening weekend prediction on the very first day, went through its life to date target by the end of opening weekend, and in its first 10 days, doubled what it was expected to do in its lifetime. “What Marvel has managed to do is speak to a market that was previously untapped. They got it right without patronising the market and with top end production quality ... They got the recipe right,” explains Matai. The hope is that other moviemakers will look back on the success of the movie and create more films that speak to the African market. A public outcry followed the banning of new South African film, Inxeba (The Wound) by the Film and Publications Board. The organisation made the decision after cries from lobby groups, stating that the film was pornographic in nature and should be X-rated. Since then, the film’s ban has been overturned by the courts, but the banning of it may have set a precedent for future cases of this nature. Both Ryan Williams, CEO of Ster-Kinekor and Nitesh Matai, managing executive of Nu Metro, had strong views about the controversy surrounding Inxeba. Here is what they had to say: Matai: “It was a very sad day for the South African movie industry the day that movie got reclassified as pornography. Censorship is something in South Africa that we fought very hard to get rid of in our new constitution and because certain factions of the population that didn’t like it, it was classified unfairly ... People took advantage of it for their political and financial gain ... It was a fictionalised account of what happens. It may be factually on point, but it was a fictionalised account and the day you end up not telling stories, is the day our country needs to start paying attention to what’s going on, we’re burning books essentially. We’re telling stories, not everything has to be so serious all the time, and at the end of the day it’s art”. Williams: “You have a choice; you don’t have to buy a ticket to watch it. You weren’t forced. Yes, it should come with all the necessary disclaimers, but where the lines get blurred with The Wound, is that it’s a work of fiction. It’s not a documentary, it never intended to be. It raises some uncomfortable questions which some people will be uncomfortable with, but it’s not the first film in history to do this ... We’re like an art gallery. It’s not our role to censor what’s on our screens or to morally decide what will or won’t offend you. And where do you draw the line? As a society if you don’t engage in art forms, it limits your ability to introspect about democracy ... The fair thing to do, is to allow people to make the choice of whether they want to see it or not, not impose it on them that they can’t … We advocate choice … Any good piece of art, film included, stimulates debate”. • The top 10 films by box ofice numbers for 2017, excluding animations All of the films had substantial advertising support, with the exception of Fifty Shades Darker, where corporate South Africa had a conservative approach to placing adverts with such content. 1. The Fate of the Furious ($5.5m in South Africa) 2. Jumanji 3. Stars Wars: The Last Jedi 4. Thor: Ragnarok 5. Justice League 6. Fifty Shades Darker 7. Spider-man: Homecoming 8. Pitch Perfect 3 9. xXx: The Return of Xander Cage 10. Transformers: The Last Knight Source: Popcorn Cinevation P 36 The Media | wagthedog.co.za


THE MEDIA APRIL 2018
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