Light Of My Life – New Film Explores Parent-Child Bond In A Post Pandemic World

The timeless story of a parent dedicated to a child above all else is one everyone can relate to. Set in a post-pandemic, dystopian landscape following a plague that killed nearly all the world’s females, director Casey Affleck’s LIGHT OF MY LIFE is a narrative feature film based on the Oscar-winning actor’s own script, which mixes a survivalist drama with a coming-of-age story.

Explaining the rationale behind the film, Affleck says: “This is a very personal movie for me. I began writing this story a decade ago. As my children aged, the experience of being a parent changed. The story I was telling changed. After going through a divorce, the story took its final shape. Despite all the science fiction, this is a story about being a single parent grieving the loss of a nuclear family.”

The film takes place in a spookily deserted landscape, where a father and daughter, in an attempt to survive, live in a tent and forage for rations in the woods. Keeping to themselves, the loving character Dad (Affleck) teaches his 11-year-old daughter, who is somehow immune to the ‘female plague’, about ethics, history, morality, and how to live off the land.

But a chance encounter threatens the precautions he has set up, risking the refuge he has created. In a world now populated only by men, he tries desperately to protect his daughter Rag (newcomer Anna Pniowsky), while honouring and empowering the young woman she is becoming and reminding her of how much her mother (played in short flashbacks by Elisabeth Moss) adored her.

For her safety, and because it’s impossible to tell the good men from the bad, Dad has chopped off Rag’s hair and dressed her in boy’s clothing, passing her off as his son and staying largely away from towns and what’s left of population centres.

The relationship between father and daughter is the beating heart of LIGHT OF MY LIFE and the chemistry between Affleck and Pniowsky is best sampled through their father-daughter exchanges, particularly as they talk in their weathered orange tent at night. The interior of the tent, lit by small lamps, accentuate the intimacy and rapport they have.

These scenes punctuate LIGHT OF MY LIFE, highlighting what’s most important to these characters – the parent-child bond and the sense of security they’ve created. There is genuine affection and empathy for and between father and daughter, and a shared love for stories about the world as it was and as they’d like it to be.

A wonderfully understated performer, Affleck does excellent work. Talking about his performance, he says one of the keys to figuring out who Dad was within the story was making sure the connection between parent and child felt real to him as a parent of two kids.

“Strangely, the first thing I wanted to find was a believable dynamic of parental irritation, because it’s an expression of love that, in a way, is less obvious. Sometimes, when your kid is doing something dangerous, you’re worried about them, so your love is in a different gear. There are a few moments in the film when Dad loses his temper with Rag, and I wanted those scenes to be right, so it’s understood that these two people love and care about each other in a realistic way.

“Some of the other keys were trying to balance two sides of the character. Dad is confident that he is totally capable of taking care of Rag, protecting her, raising her, fending for the two of them, but also has a deep feeling of loneliness and panic in him. To be able to put all of that into the same character in the same scene was interesting.”

He also has a minimalist approach behind the camera, which is supported by cinematographer Adam Arkapaw, who manages to compose a series of shots that make even the bleakest locations seem somehow beautiful. His colour palette of greys, pale whites and browns is controlled, and the landscapes vibrate with menace, in stark contrast to their beauty. Daniel Hart’s score is melancholy and ominous. Together, all these elements ensure that there is a quiet sense of grace and humanity that shines through in LIGHT OF MY LIFE.

Just as the father finds it nearly impossible to explain the world to his daughter, the film resists explaining everything to its audience. As humanity is collapsing, the shadow of real-life anxiety grows, and the film taps into the primal fears of people, particularly parents, everywhere.

“I wish I could take credit for wanting to comment on things or depicting a world that parallels, in some ways, the point we’re at now. In truth, I didn’t have any social commentary in mind when I was making it,” says Affleck. “But one reason I love the arts is it’s a way of talking about our world in a not-so-literal way; those things may have found their way into the movie, but what I was making was a story about learning to find a balance between both keeping the world out and letting the world in, keeping your kids protected and letting them go, protecting them while preparing them to protect themselves.”

LIGHT OF MY LIFE is, at its heart, a portrait of a father and his daughter, and what he will do in order to keep her safe. It is a beautiful dramatic thriller that is an observation on parental love in broken times and the instability of society, and a compelling parable of letting go.

LIGHT OF MY LIFE is distributed by Filmfinity (Pty) Ltd. and will be released in South African cinemas on 18 October 2019.

Focus Features Acquires International Distribution Rights To Waves From A24

Focus Features and Universal Pictures International have acquired the international rights to Waves from acclaimed director Trey Edward Shults, and A24. Set against the vibrant landscape of South Florida, and featuring an astonishing ensemble of award-winning actors and breakouts alike, Waves traces the epic emotional journey of a suburban African-American family as they navigate love, forgiveness and coming together in the aftermath of a loss. Waves is a heartrending story about the universal capacity for compassion and growth even in the darkest of times.

This marks another collaboration from Focus and A24, having similarly teamed up on Greta Gerwig’s Academy Award® nominated Lady Bird, which like Waves, had an acclaimed Telluride debut and went on to its international premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, where Waves will screen next week.

Waves is written and directed by Trey Edward Shults, produced by Jim Wilson and Kevin Turen, and stars Kelvin Harrison, Jr. (It Comes At Night, All Rise), Lucas Hedges (Manchester By The Sea, Lady Bird, Three Billboards), Taylor Russel (Lost in Space), Alexa Demie (Mid90s, Euphoria), Neal Huff (Spotlight, Moonrise Kingdom, Split), Clifton Collins Jr. (Star Trek, Capote), Renée Elise Goldsberry (One Life to Live, Sisters) and Sterling K. Brown (Black Panther, This is Us). Focus Features acquired and Universal Pictures International will distribute the film worldwide excluding Canada, China and Japan, and A24 will release domestically on November 1, 2019.

About Focus Features

Focus Features acquires and produces specialty films for the global market and holds a library of iconic movies, with 127 Academy Award Nominations and 25 wins from fearless filmmakers. Upcoming releases from Focus include Harriet, about the legendary freedom fighter Harriet Tubman starring Cynthia Erivo and Leslie Odom Jr. and directed by Kasi Lemmons; Working Title and Blueprint Picture’s new adaptation of Emma starring Anya Taylor-Joy and Johnny Flynn; the Kevin Costner and Diane Lane led Let Him Go; Jon Stewart’s Irresistible starring Steve Carell, Rose Byrne, and Chris Coopers; Dark Waters with Mark Ruffalo and Anne Hathaway from Participant Media; Edgar Wright’s psychological thriller Last Night in Soho from Working Title; the female-led Never Rarely Sometimes Always, from acclaimed writer/director Eliza Hittman, Promising Young Woman produced by LuckyChap Entertainment; the music industry set Covers starring Dakota Johnson and Tracee Elliss Ross; heartfelt comedy Half Brothers from director Luke Greenfield; and the anticipated Downton Abbey movie starring the entire original cast. Universal Pictures International has led distribution in select markets for titles including The Dead Don’t Die; Harriet; Downton Abbey; Emma; Let Him Go; Irresistible; and Last Night in Soho.

Focus is part of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG), which produces, acquires, markets and distributes filmed entertainment worldwide in various media formats for theatrical, home entertainment, television and other distribution platforms, as well as consumer products, interactive gaming and live entertainment. UFEG’s global division also includes Universal Pictures, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, Universal Brand Development, Fandango, DreamWorks Animation Film and Television. UFEG is part of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.

16 Of The Best Series Coming To Showmax: October 2019 – January 2020

Debut seasons of His Dark Materials, Godfather of Harlem, Watchmen, What We Do In The Shadows & more…

MAYANS M.C. S2

First on Showmax. Binge the first four episodes on 1 October, with new episodes every Wednesday

In this Sons of Anarchy spinoff, Ezekiel “EZ” Reyes (JD Pardo from Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part II) is a prospect in the Mayans M.C. charter on the Cali/Mexi border. Once the golden boy with the American Dream in his grasp, EZ is trying to reconcile with his brother Angel (Clayton Cardenas from American Crime) while searching for the truth behind their mother’s death. Meanwhile, their father, Felipe (Oscar nominee Edward James Olmos), is struggling to lead his sons down the righteous path.

HARLOTS S3

First on Showmax. Binge from 1 October

The first two seasons of Harlots revolved around rival brothel owners, Margaret Wells (Oscar nominee Samantha Morton) and Lydia Quigley (Oscar nominee Lesley Manville), and was set in 18th century London – an era when one in five women earned a living as a prostitute in the city. At the start of Season 3, it seems that the Wells girls can finally free themselves of their mother’s feud, helped by allies such as Lady Fitz (Liv Tyler). But Charlotte Wells (Jessica Brown Findlay from Downton Abbey) soon learns that running a lucrative brothel brings enemies as well as friends, including new pimp in town Isaac Pincher (2019 Emmy nominee Alfie Allen from Game of Thrones).

SUCCESSION S2

First on Showmax. Binge from 14 October

In Season 2, the dysfunctional Roy family are struggling to retain control of their global media empire. But while the future looks increasingly uncertain, it is the past that threatens to ultimately destroy them. Kieran Culkin was nominated for the Golden Globe as Roman, Matthew Macfadyen was up for a Critics Choice Award as Tom, and the impressive cast includes Golden Globe nominee Brian Cox (Adaptation, X-Men 2, Deadwood), Screen Actors Guild nominee Jeremy Strong (The Big Short) and multi-award winners like Hiam Abbas (Ramy, Blade Runner 2049) and Sarah Snook (The Dressmaker).

GODFATHER OF HARLEM S1

Same time as M-Net. New episodes every Tuesday from 15 October 2019

In the early 1960s, infamous crime boss Bumpy Johnson (Oscar winner Forest Whitaker) returns from 10 years in prison to find the neighbourhood he once ruled in a shambles. With the streets controlled by Vincent ‘Chin’ Gigante (Emmy nominee Vincent D’Onofrio from Daredevil and Jurassic World) and the Italian mob, Bumpy must take on the Genovese crime family to regain control. During the brutal battle, he forms an alliance with radical preacher Malcolm X (Nigel Thatch from Selma). Godfather of Harlem shows how the criminal underworld and the civil rights movement collided during one of the most tumultuous times in American history.

WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS S1

First on Showmax. Binge from 1 November

From Jemaine Clement (Flight Of The Conchords) and Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok), the hit mockumentary What We Do In The Shadows is a look into the daily (or rather, nightly) lives of three vampires who’ve lived together for over 100 years on Staten Island, New York.

PERPETUAL GRACE, LTD S1

First on Showmax. Binge from 1 November 2019

This 10-episode modern noir drama follows a young grifter, James (Emmy nominee Jimmi Simpson from Westworld, Black Mirror and House of Cards), as he attempts to prey upon Pastor Byron Brown (Oscar winner Sir Ben Kingsley). But the pastor and his wife Lillian (Oscar nominee Jacki Weaver from Silver Linings Playbook) – known to their parishioners as Pa and Ma – turn out to be far more dangerous than he suspects…

THE DEUCE S3 – THE FINAL SEASON

First on Showmax. Binge from 1 November

Following the interconnected lives of Times Square’s barkeeps, prostitutes, pimps, police, mobsters, porn actors and producers, the eight-episode third season of The Deuce brings the series to a dramatic conclusion. It’s 1985 and VHS has just overtaken film as the primary medium for porn production and distribution, while the lure of the California sunshine, the city’s aggressive takeover of commercial sex properties in Times Square, and the devastating impact of the AIDS epidemic mark the end of an era… Maggie Gyllenhaal (Golden Globe nominee for Season 1 and Critic’s Choice nominee for Season 2 of the series) returns as Candy, a porn director struggling to maintain her artistic integrity in an industry that is quickly devolving.

THE GOOD FIGHT – SEASON 3

Binge from 1 November

Missing The Good Wife? Thankfully Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski in an Emmy-nominated role) and Lucca Quinn (Cush Jumbo in a Critics Choice nominated role) are back in the sequel, The Good Fight, which picks up a year later as a financial scam wipes out Diane’s life savings, and good reputation, forcing her to start from scratch at a historically black law firm, Reddick, Boseman, & Kolstad. Look out for a host of familiar faces from The Good Wife, including Kurt McVeigh (Emmy nominee Gary Steele), Marissa Gold (Sarah Steele) and Julius Cain (Michael Boatman), alongside the likes of Emmy winner Audra McDonald (Private Practice), Screen Actors Guild nominees Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones) and Delroy Lindo (Get Shorty), and Golden Globe nominees Michael Sheen (Masters of Sex) and Matthew Perry (aka Chandler from Friends).

CATCH-22 S1

Binge from 1 November

Based on the classic Joseph Heller novel, Catch-22 follows the adventures and misadventures of a US air squadron in Italy in World War II. Christopher Abbott (The Sinner, Girls) is Yossarian, a bombardier, whose frantic obsession every time he goes up on a mission is “to come down alive”. His odds of success at such a simple aim keep getting worse, because Colonel Cathcart (Emmy winner Kyle Chandler from Friday Night Lights and Bloodline) keeps raising the number of missions the men have to fly. More than the retreating Germans, the real enemy for Yossarian and his rag-tag bunch of friends is the bureaucracy of the military, inverting logic at every turn. The pinnacle of this is Catch-22, a military by-law which states that if you willingly fly your missions, you’re crazy, and don’t have to fly them; all you have to do is ask. But if you ask, that proves you’re sane, and so you have to fly them. Oscar winner George Clooney stars as the barking mad, parade-obsessed Scheisskopf and Golden Globe winner Hugh Laurie (House M.D.) is the mellow, slightly checked-out Major de Coverley.

WATCHMEN S1

Same time as M-Net. New episodes Mondays at 21:00 from 4 November

Inspired by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ iconic DC graphic novel, Watchmen is set in an alternate history where masked vigilantes are treated as outlaws. Oscar, Golden Globe and Emmy winner Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk, Seven Seconds) leads a strong cast as Angela Abar, alongside the likes of Oscar winners Jeremy Irons and Louis Gossett Junior, Golden Globe winner Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson (Oh Brother Where Art Thou), Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Aquaman) and Adelaide Clemens (The Great Gatsby). The series is created by Emmy winner Damon Lindelof (Lost, The Leftovers), with Andrij Parekh (Succession), Nicole Kassell (The Following), Emmy nominee Stephen Williams (Westworld) and Oscar nominee Steph Green (The Americans) among the directors.

HIS DARK MATERIALS S1

First On Showmax. New episodes weekly, express from the US, from 6 November

Lyra’s search for a kidnapped friend uncovers a sinister plot involving stolen children, setting off a quest through parallel worlds to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust. The fantasy’s cast includes child stars Dafne Keen and Amir Wilson as Lyra and Will, supported by Golden Globe winner Ruth Wilson (The Affair, Luther), Golden Globe nominee James McAvoy (X-Men), and BAFTA winner Helen McCrory (Harry Potter, The Queen). Oscar winner Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) is one of the directors.

GOOD TROUBLE S2

First on Showmax. Binge from 2 December

A spinoff from the multi-award-winning The Fosters, Good Trouble explores the trials and tribulations of the tenants of Downtown LA’s hippest residence, The Coterie. This season, Mariana (Cierra Ramirez), Callie (Maia Mitchell) and the rest of The Coterie crew will continue to navigate their early twenties as they deal with breakups, demand equality, find happiness and discover what it means to fight for what you believe in.

THE RIGHTEOUS GEMSTONES S1

First on Showmax. Binge from 2 December

The Righteous Gemstones tells the story of a world-famous televangelist family with a long tradition of deviance, greed and charitable work. Creator Danny McBride (Vice Principals, Eastbound & Down) stars as Jesse Gemstone, the eldest of three grown Gemstone offspring, who looks to lead in his father’s footsteps, but finds his past sins jeopardising the family ministry. Golden Globe winner John Goodman stars alongside Teen Choice and MTV Movie Awards winner Adam Devine (Pitch Perfect, Modern Family) and Emmy nominee Walton Goggins (Justified).

SILICON VALLEY S6 – THE FINAL SEASON

First on Showmax. Binge from 9 December

A collaboration between Mike Judge (Beavis and Butthead) and Alec Berg (Barry), Silicon Valley takes a comedic look at the modern-day epicentre of the high-tech gold rush, where the people most qualified to succeed are the least capable of handling success. Thomas Middleditch stars in an Emmy-nominated role as Richard Hendricks, a Silicon Valley engineer trying to build his own company called Pied Piper.

MRS. FLETCHER S1

First on Showmax. Binge from 13 December

Starring Emmy nominee Kathryn Hahn (Transparent) in the title role, Mrs. Fletcher is a seven-part series based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Tom Perrotta (The Leftovers, Little Children). The series is a dual coming-of-age story chronicling the personal and sexual journeys of an empty-nest mother and her college freshman son, who both embrace their newfound freedom with mixed results. South African Liesl Tommy (Insecure, The Walking Dead, Jessica Jones) is part of the all-female directing team, which also includes Oscar nominee Nicole Holofcener (Orange Is The New Black), nine-time Emmy nominee Carrie Brownstein (Portlandia, Transparent) and Gillian Robespierre (Silicon Valley).

VIDA S1-2

First on Showmax. Binge from 2 January 2019

This half-hour drama focuses on two Mexican-American sisters from the East Side of Los Angeles who couldn’t be more different or distanced from each other. Circumstances force them to return to their old neighbourhood, where they are confronted by the past and the discovery that their deceased mother was in a lesbian marriage.

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE…

Sweetbitter S2 – Restaurant drama | First On Showmax; due 1 October 2019

Sons of Anarchy S1-7 | Motorbike drama | Due 1 October 2019

The Twilight Zone S1 – Sci-fi | Kumail Nanjiani is up for Outstanding Guest Actor at the 2019 Emmys – Same time as M-Net; new episodes every Friday from 11 October 2019

South Park S23 – Animated comedy | New episodes every Monday from 21 October 2019

The Passage S1 – Apocalyptic horror | Based on Justin Cronin’s bestselling novel – First On Showmax; due 1 November 2019

New Girl S1-7 – Comedy | Five-time Golden Globe nominee – Due 1 November 2019

Lost S1-6 – Fantasy | Winner of 109 awards – Due 2 December 2019

Glee 1-6 – Musical | Winner of four Golden Globes – Due 2 December 2019

Scrubs 1-9 – Medical comedy | Three-time Golden Globe nominee | Due 2 December 2019

Bless This Mess S1 | Comedy | Starring Dax Shepard & Lake Bell | First On Showmax, due 6 December 2019

To see everything on Showmax in September, click here.

Polaroid – A Supernatural Horror Film

Styled in the vein of The Ring and Final Destination

Polaroid, a thrilling story about a high school student that stumbles across a Polaroid vintage camera that holds dark secrets, is coming to a cinema near you on 27 September 2019.

High school student Bird (Kathryn Prescott) is given an old Polaroid camera by her co-worker Tyler (Davi Santos), who got it from a garage sale. Bird snaps a picture of Tyler but later on notices an odd smudge-like figure on his photo which leads to a series of unfortunate events.

When Bird starts using her Polaroid camera to take group photo’s with her friends, her co-worker Tyler mysteriously turns up dead but when Sheriff Pembroke (Mitch Pileggi) questions Bird about the polaroid, she sees that Tyler’s photo is free from the shadow, and has mysteriously transferred to Avery’s (Katie Stevens) photo who too ends up dead.

Eventually Bird puts the pieces together and tries to destroy the camera and attempts to warn her friends about what is going on. They soon discover that the camera was owned by the daughter of a photography teacher, Roland Joseph Sable who was accused of torturing students and killing them while taking maniacal photographs. As the story unfolds we learn that Roland’s daughter was bullied by her classmates and he has come back in the form of an entity and will stop at nothing until his daughter’s death is avenged.

Be sure to round up some friends and head to a cinema on 27 September 2019 to see for yourself how the killing spree ends.

Disney’s The Lion King Is The Highest Grossing Film Of All Time In South Africa

In its seventh week of release (30 August – September 2019), Disney’s The Lion King became the all-time top-grossing film in South Africa, with a haul of over R107.6 million since it’s 19 July 2019 release across the continent.

The all-new film from Disney crossed 2018’s Marvel Studios’ Black Panther to claim the record, with both films followed closely by two other Marvel Studios films, namely Avengers: Endgame and Infinity War respectively. This means that Walt Disney Studios releases account for 4 of the top 5 films of all time at the South African box office.

“We continue to celebrate this incredible film with fans across the continent and are thrilled that audiences at home have embraced the iconic storytelling, characters and breath-taking music that can only be delivered by The Lion King.” says Christine Service, Senior Vice President of The Walt Disney Company Africa.

Directed by Jon Favreau, and utilizing pioneering filmmaking techniques to bring treasured characters to life in a whole new way, Disney’s The Lion King boasts an all-star cast that includes Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala, James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, Billy Eichner as Timon and South Africa’s own Dr. John Kani as Rafiki. Local music legend Lebo M features on the breath-taking soundtrack as does Pharrell Williams, Elton John, Tim Rice and the cast.

In addition, over 10 000 high school learners from under-served communities saw the film this past August as The Walt Disney Company Africa, in collaboration with Hyundai Santa Fe, FNB and Attacq Foundation ran The Lion King Screening Programme at Ster-Kinekor Theatres. The sessions included an educational conservation talk by The Endangered Wildlife Trust, with snack packs donated by Makro.

Disney’s The Lion King is currently in cinemas.

Roundtable Q&A With The Director And Cast Of IT Chapter Two

Andy Muschietti (Director), James McAvoy (“Bill Denbrough”), Jessica Chastain (“Beverly Marsh”), Isaiah Mustafa (“Mike Hanlon”), Bill Hader (“Richie Tozier”), Jay Ryan (“Ben Hanscom”), James Ransone (“Eddie Kaspbrak”) and Andy Bean (“Stanley Uris”)

How much did watching the kids in the first film inform your performances in this one?

JAY RYAN: I watched Jeremy Ray Taylor’s performance even before I auditioned and tried to capture his sweetness and his humility.

JAMES RANSONE: All I did was I thought, “That kid talked really fast. If I can keep up with him, everything’s gonna be fine.” (LAUGHS)

ANDY BEAN: Absolutely, with the mannerisms, the posture and the sensitivity.

ISAIAH MUSTAFA: In fact, my audition piece was a speech done by Chosen Jacobs in the first film, so I watched to see what he was up to with the character.

JESSICA CHASTAIN: I definitely watched the first film and specifically Sophia Lillis’ beautiful performance, and I tried to mirror the things that she was doing. When I rediscover the post card after all those years, I tried to mimic what she had done when she first received it, how she held it. I hadn’t told Andy [Muschietti] I was doing this, but I was holding my hands the way she did. When he saw me, he said, “You’re walking with her hands.”

JAMES MCAVOY: Yeah, I suppose I stole Jaeden Martell’s emotional vulnerability and his openness. As a kid, I think Bill is a strange mix of suppression and complete vulnerability, and Jaeden nailed that. So, I stole that from him, HARD. (LAUGHS)

BILL HADER: Yeah, Finn Wolfhard, it’s pretty easy. He’s not a very good actor (LAUGHS), you just have to kind of sleepwalk through the part. No, I absolutely worked within the character lines he had drawn.

Andy Muschietti—how important was it for you that they nailed the performances of the kids, or were you open to them bringing their own take on it?

ANDY MUSCHIETTI: It was both, actually. I didn’t ask them for a percentage, to capture an amount of what the younger actors had done. I just encouraged them to watch the performances in the first film—there are some important things, like the physicality. Mostly, it was just to help them get closer to these characters that audiences have seen and loved. But, I gave the actors the freedom to explore and let them decide what was good.

Did any of you have nightmares while filming?

JAMES MCAVOY: I did, in a strange way. I had read IT when I was a kid and really liked it, but it didn’t really scare me. Then, I re-read it again as an adult and I started to have nightmares about Pennywise. I can’t remember a hell of a lot of them, but I do remember one of them being him in bed beside me and stroking my back, while I pretended to be asleep. And that was pretty f***in’ terrifying.

BILL HADER: Yeah, that’s scary.

JAY RYAN: I had a weird dream about PJ [James Ransone], like just the other night. (LAUGHS)

JAMES RANSONE: That was so not the question!!!

JAY RYAN: No, actually after the ADR session, when I got to see some more of the film, I did have the weirdest dreams.

ANDY MUSCHIETTI: It’s amazing how all of the cast trusts you while you’re shooting. But, it’s not until you show them the movie edited, with the music and the visual effects, it’s like, “Oh, now I get it.”

Would any of you have been a member of something like a Loser’s Club?

GROUP: Nope!!!

(LAUGHTER)

BILL HADER: No, okay.

JESSICA CHASTAIN: A bunch of losers.

BILL HADER: A bunch of losers.

JAMES MCAVOY: Basically, during summer holidays, all the kids would sort of team up. But it would be intermittent—the next summer it would be different, and the summer after that. When I grew up, there were all these houses on a big huge row and they all shared gardens. I remember moments where we were going on adventures with our pals, and the adventure was to make it to the 20th garden along. But, there was a dog halfway there, and it felt like the whole world would collapse if we didn’t get past that dog. Nothing like this film—this stuff was truly adventurous and exciting.

ISAIAH MUSTAFA: We just didn’t row that deep. We didn’t have seven people. We had maybe three, and then somebody’s relative would show up and you’d hang.

JESSICA CHASTAIN: You could play a fourth. That’s a squad.

ISAIAH MUSTAFA: When we had seven, we were playing the game.

BILL HADER: Basketball.

ISAIAH MUSTAFA: When there were seven, there was a ball involved.

JESSICA CHASTAIN: I didn’t have friends that were boys, which would have been nice when I was growing up. For some reason growing up, it was very segregated, where the boys hung out and the girls hung out separately. So, that would have been nice, especially to my development as a human being. (LAUGHS)

Tell us more about how you imagined your character was doing between the two films, in that 27-year span, and how that influenced your performance in this movie.

ISAIAH MUSTAFA: It was pretty easy. Andy told me what my character was doing. (LAUGHS) He said, “You are the only one who stayed in Derry.” Mike was trying to figure out if this thing that happened so many years ago was going to happen again. I believe he felt a responsibility to stay in Derry, to be the custodian of this energy that they cultivated as a group. So, once that evil returned, he could call his friends and say, “Let’s do this thing again.”

The fact that your character never forgot, how did that shape your performance with everyone else? The other Losers don’t really remember until they come back to Derry.

ISAIAH MUSTAFA: I think just having listened to the audio book so many times, it was almost like I had lived in Derry for 27 years.

Andy Bean, what happened to your character during that time, in those years in between?

ANDY BEAN: I think the first seven years he joined the circus, to get over it. (LAUGHS) No, I think he developed the most normal life he could possibly create for himself, with the most routine, the most consistency. Finding his wife was his entire life. I think having a predictable life and enjoying the consistency and the contentment of his marriage—they were each other’s worlds. That became enough. It is quite a beautiful, content, comfortable life. I think Stanley was very happy with that, and he pushed down all of his memories of what happened for years and years.

And when the news comes back, with Mike’s phone call, would you say that idyllic life is thrown off-balance?

ANDY BEAN: Sure, yeah. I think he had buried his memories so deep that he didn’t really remember anything until he heard Mike’s voice—it’s his voice.

JAMES MCAVOY: In the book and in the film, the Losers that leave all become arguable winners, but they all have this tainted side to their success—none of them seem to be able to have children, for one. And there are these emotional issues that darken all of their, what seem like, perfect lives.

Jay, your character has a huge transformation.

JAY RYAN: Yeah, he has a polarizing physical change, becomes a Kiwi and moves to New Zealand. (LAUGHS) Ben, once he leaves town, he starts running, physically and emotionally, for 27 years. He learns how to say no, to stand up to bullies, and he becomes a leader in his profession. I don’t think he remembers the horrific things of Derry, but he remembers the good things and holds onto those, like Beverly, the friendship. It seems to the outside world that here’s a man who has everything, but he doesn’t really have any real human connections. I think he’s been waiting for this phone call from Mike for a while, and he’s ready to go back to Derry and really reveal his true self.

JAMES RANSONE: I think, for Eddie, there’s a lot of couple’s therapy and prescription pill management. (LAUGHS) Actually, I really think that he’s probably spent a lot of his time pretending to not think about his childhood by focusing on his wife—they don’t really love each other. I think that’s what it is. You get in those type of relationships, where it’s a constant project that needs fixing. You focus on that so that you don’t have to think about yourself.

Do you think it had a lot to do with his mother?

JAMES RANSONE: I agree with everyone in saying that the book’s about childhood trauma. And afterwards, a lot of people grow up and do really great things…but then, at a certain point, you have to deal with it. I think you get into adulthood and you aren’t focusing on those childhood events and, as some point, they come up again. I think that’s really what it’s about.

Bill, what about your character, Richie?

BILL HADER: I think he’s pretty good at repression –

(LAUGHTER)

JAMES MCAVOY: Repression?

BILL HADER: Yeah, like a lot of comedy people, you deal with stuff by joking about it. You say you’re being honest, but it’s really…

JAY RYAN: Depression.

BILL HADER: It’s depression. Yeah, exactly. I think that’s what he’s been not thinking about. He’s definitely someone who just doesn’t even want to. He’s the first guy, when they realize what’s happening, to say, “Oh, I’m outta here. F*** this.” He has deep, deep repression.

JESSICA CHASTAIN: For Beverly, she’s still living with her ideas of what love is. The first person she really loved is her father, so this idea—that love means someone you love can hurt you at the same time—has lasting impact on her. Also, choosing people who aren’t necessarily free. She falls for people who are, in some sense, tortured themselves. It’s all complicated for her. Love for her has always been something that hasn’t been easy. And when it’s not easy, she’s feels, “That’s what love is.” That’s where we meet her, 27 years later.

JAMES MCAVOY: Bill’s been off writing. He has all of this subconscious stuff—that he can’t remember—coming out in his work. He can’t finish his story because the story isn’t finished, in his head. Meanwhile, he’s trying to do a good impression of being in love. I think when he gets that call and he realizes that he’s been playing a role his entire life, he’s got to go home and get real.

ANDY MUSCHIETTI: In “IT Chapter Two” we’re telling the story of a bunch of adults who will face that one fear that is the most deeply buried. And in some cases, these are some things that we as an audience will not expect. These broken characters have been mostly successful in their professional lives, but they’ve been pushing down their original trauma. Obviously, it has to do with that summer, but it’s something that you don’t necessarily see coming, having watched the first film. It has to do with an event in that summer that they don’t remember—we didn’t see it, because they’ve repressed it.

This is a journey that the Losers need to take back to their childhood, to access the power of belief. But, they also need to look that one event from their past in the face, to be able to confront it, understand it and ultimately, overcome it. The conversations we all had were about character in general, but also about what these journeys meant for each of them. You can’t move past something you can’t recall, so this has basically cemented their paths as adults—they have just been running in circles. Beverly still has relationships with men that abuse her. She loves people that hurt her. Eddie has married his mum…basically.

(LAUGHTER)

ANDY MUSCHIETTI: These are the things you can basically surmise from watching the first film. But, there is other stuff that will be a surprise.

Are any of you actually afraid of clowns in your life, prior to joining this cast?

JAMES MCAVOY: I’m wary of them. I’d rather not be around them.

ANDY BEAN: They give me a really bad feeling.

JESSICA CHASTAIN: It depends on the clown.

ANDY BEAN: You know what scared me when I was a kid? Easter bunnies, when you go into a store. That actually scared me more. A six-foot Easter bunny.

BILL HADER: The “Magical Mystery Tour” album cover, like that animal mask. That dog mask thing bummed me out. Clowns, I was fine with.

JAMES MCAVOY: I often feel that clowns are like slightly freaky uncles, who are trying so hard. And you see a little kid react to that, like “That’s f***in’ weird.” Even to an adult, I think clowns are like that. Why are you trying so hard? There are easier ways to make me laugh. Just talk to me a minute, make me laugh. There’s something creepy about the effort that goes in it.

BILL HADER: Why did you look right at me after you said that…?

(LAUGHTER)

All right. That’s it. Thank you.

Coming Up On Carte Blanche – 15 September 2019

On M-Net & M-Net HD [101], Sunday, 15 September 2019 at 19:00 & again on M-Net Plus 1 [901] at 20:00

Live Animal Exports

Facing prolonged loading processes, poor ventilation, stifling heat and overcrowded quarters, some 65,000 sheep will soon be packed onto a mammoth livestock vessel due in the East London harbour later this month. The livestock will be transported for weeks on the high seas, standing in their own filth, with no space to even lie down. Amid methane gas and ammonia accumulating in the cargo hold, this controversial trade deal between South Africa and the Middle East will eventually see millions of our sheep sent abroad. Carte Blanche investigates the questionable ethics and lack of regulation that have spurred animal welfare organisations to call for an end to the exporting of live animals.

Producer: Stenette Grosskopf
Presenter: Derek Watts
Watch the trailer

Stroop

The Afrikaans word for “stripping bare” – Stroop, is a carefully chosen depiction of the decimation caused by the unrelenting poaching of rhinos for their horns in South Africa, and the name of an unflinching documentary exposing the forces behind the horn trade on two continents. Now feted for their courage and grit, director Susan Scott and on-camera journalist Bonné de Bod gave up their day jobs, cashed in their insurance policies and moved home to live with their mothers, to fund their four-year odyssey into this criminal underworld. With Stroop garnering international accolades, Carte Blanche meets the women who risked everything to bring the story home.

Producer: Diana Lucas
Presenter: Derek Watts

An Assassin’s Playground

From shootings at fast food drive-thrus and petrol stations, to a hit in the parking lot of a residential complex – criminal underworld assassinations are happening right on our doorsteps. The stakes are high, the going price low and the bodies are piling up in blissful suburbia. Carte Blanche examines the intricate web behind some of South Africa’s organized crime network killings.

Producer: Nicky Troll
Presenter: Devi Sankaree Govender
Watch the trailer

Hier Kom Die Bokke

It’s Bokke season! With just days to go, the Rugby World Cup is once again upon us. Since its inception, the Webb Ellis trophy has only ever been won by four countries, and twice by South Africa. Francois Pienaar led the team in the historic ’95 victory and John Smit did it in 2007. Now with a new-look Springbok side, can Siya Kolisi follow in the footsteps of giants and lead the team to victory at the Rugby World Cup?

Producer: Julian Sun
Presenter: Macfarlane Moleli

Line-ups are subject to change. Stories can be viewed at www.carteblanche.co.za.

Facebook: Carte Blanche #CarteBlanche
Twitter: @carteblanchetv #CarteBlanche
Instagram: @carteblanchetv #CarteBlanche

All The 2019 Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Awards Winners

ity Press Journalists Dewald van Rensburg and Sipho Masondo were named Sikuvile’s Journalists of the Year for their stories on VBS, which also won them the South African Story of the Year, at the Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Awards on Thursday evening. The event, held at The Venue, Melrose Arch in Johannesburg, was a celebration of pure truth.

With the future relying on the virtues of the traditional newsroom, and what award-winning journalists do, that is find things out, verify the facts and publish the best available version of the truth, these journalists and their story did exactly that! “There were a number of media houses that wrote on the VBS scandal, but the winners of the South African Story of the Year, journalists Dewald van Rensburg and Sipho Masondo, were the ones that broke the story and stayed with it,” says Convening Judge, Mathatha Tsedu. “Their contribution to the coverage of the saga was also never challenged and, unlike others who came into the story later, they never had to backtrack,” he adds.

Unlike last year, when one major story dominated the headlines, he says, this year there was a variety of stories in the running for the title of South African Story of the Year. “A lot of discussion took place around these during the judging period,” he states. “In general, all the categories have good entries, expect for sports photography where no award was given.”

Rosetta Msimango was named Upcoming/Rising star of the Year and the Allan Kirkland Soga Lifetime Achiever Award was awarded to Robin Comley.

All the category winners were rewarded with R15 000, a trophy and a certificate.

The Frewin, McCall and, Joel Mervis Awards

The Frewin, McCall and, Joel Mervis Awards winners were also announced at the event.

The Frewin Award, which recognises urban daily newspapers with a circulation above 40 000, went to Beeld, while Pretoria News was awarded the McCall Award, which honours urban daily newspapers with a circulation of 40 000 or less. The Joel Mervis Award recognises urban weekly newspapers irrespective of their circulation and a joint award went to City Press.

STANDARD BANK SIKUVILE JOURNALISM AWARDS 2019

CATEGORY 1: HARD NEWS

ARON F HYMAN
“Hyper-trauma’: Another young life lost, more desperate pleas in gangland.” “Order to kill was issued in jail cell.” “Tears as Hannah’s friend faces her ‘killers’ in court”
TIMES LIVE

CATEGORY 2: COLUMNS / EDITORIAL

CARLA LEWIS
“Stompie moet steeds by ons spook”
BEELD

CATEGORY 3: ENTERPRISE NEWS

GRAEME HOSKEN
“Serial Horror”
SUNDAY TIMES

CATEGORY 4: FEATURE WRITING

MIA MALAN, LAURA LOPEZ GONZALEZ, PONTSHO PILANE, JOAN VAN DYK
“Who killed Ntombizodwa? Politics, protest and Corruption in the North West”
BHEKISISA, MAIL GUARDIAN

CATEGORY 5: INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM

SIPHO MASONDO, DEWALD VAN RENSBURG
“VBS”
CITY PRESS

CATEGORY 6: EDITORIAL CARTOONS

FRED MOUTON
“They just keep on gorging, but don’t want to fly” “Earthling, take me to your leader.” “Heinz, you won’t believe it” “Lady Justice.” “Manny”
DIE BURGER

CATEGORY 7: GRAPHIC JOURNALISM

COBUS PRINSLOO
“Insight – die jongste besoeker op Mars” “Is it a plane? Is it a chopper? No, it’s a sky taxi!” “Latest visitor to Mars”
DIE BURGER, CITY PRESS, NETWERK

CATEGORY 8: POPULAR JOURNALISM

MHIE SILANGWE
“Zuma’s wife Disowned”
SUNDAY SUN

CATEGORY 9: NEWS PHOTOGRAPHS

THEODORE JEPTHA
“Joe Slove Protest”
SON NEWSPAPER

CATEGORY 10: FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHS

ALON SKUY
1%ers…a rare glimpse into an outlaw “Motorcycle Club”.
SUNDAY TIMES

CATEGORY 11: SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHS – No Award

CATEGORY 12: PRESENTATION

JOHNN-GRANT MUNRO
“Koebaai ,Nr 1” ”Die bose Z is weg..”
DIE BURGER

CATEGORY 13: MULTIPLATFORM STORIES

ANTHONY MOLYNEAUX
HANNA CORNELIUS- “Kidnapping, mapping the murder and the killers”
TIMESLIVE

CATEGORY 14: LIFESTYLE

RETHA FICK
“Legendariese roadhouse herleef”
BEELD

Judging took place in May and the judging panel is made up of industry experts, all well-known and respected in the newspaper industry and includes Dinesh Balliah, Henry Jefreys, Mike Siluma, Tyrone August, Phil Mthimkhulu Pippa Green, Liesl Louw-Vaundrum, Mary Papayya, Ryland Fisher, Neo Ntsoma, Maud Motanyane, Lizeka Mda, Thabo Leshilo and Themba Hadebe.

Gemini Man – In Cinemas 11 October 2019

Synopsis

Gemini Man is an innovative action-thriller starring Will Smith as Henry Brogan, an elite assassin, who is suddenly targeted and pursued by a mysterious young operative that seemingly can predict his every move. The film is directed by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Ang Lee and produced by renown producers Jerry Bruckheimer, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Don Granger. Also starring are Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen and Benedict Wong.

Five Things You Need To Know Now

It’s Will Smith like you’ve never seen him. Twice

Gemini Man features two Will Smiths, him playing both a 51-year-old assassin and the 23-year-old assassin out to kill him. Smith’s younger self is a fully realized digital human so sophisticated the pair are able to do hand to hand combat seamlessly on screen, in an astonishing double-performance. “You’re looking at Will looking at himself, 30 years younger,” says producer Jerry Bruckheimer. “That’s a phenomenal experience for an audience.”

When Junior cries, its Will Smith’s tears

“This is not de-ageing, this is not face replacement – Junior is a completely digital creation, 100% driven by Will Smith’s performance capture,” says VFX supervisor Bill Westenhofer. Every tear he cries, every punch he throws, everything you see is all pure Smith. “When I first saw it,” says the actor of his game-changing dual performance, “it was freaky. It was me. I was looking at the perfect 23-year-old version of me, like somebody took all the flaws out. It’s cinematically astounding. This is going to change how movies are made, and how movies are seen.”

Get ready for ‘Bike-Fu’

“This is another dimension, something we’ve never experienced before,” says Ang Lee of this all-new, immersive audience experience. The director has fully embraced the unparalleled action possibilities, using the term ‘Bike-Fu’ to describe a spectacular bike chase in Cartagena in which we witness duelling Will Smiths use motorbikes as weapons against each other. “Ang is making a leap forward that no other director has even tried to do,” says Jerry Bruckheimer of the Oscar-winning pioneer. “It’s exquisite,” adds Smith.

Feel like a part of the action

GEMINI MAN is also a next-level 3D HD viewing experience beyond what audiences have seen before on the big screen. The ultimate action movie, from two names synonymous with event-movie spectacle – Jerry Bruckheimer (Top Gun, Pirates Of The Caribbean) and David Ellison’s Skydance (Mission: Impossible, The Terminator Dark Fate) – it has been shot at a ground-breaking 120 frames per second, in 4K 3D. “Which sounds complicated,” says VFX supervisor Bill Westenhofer. “But what it means is simple: the audience is [put] right in the middle of the action, with the actors.”

Acting without artifice

Using traditional make-up on set was impossible, with the cameras so powerful they could pick up how the blood vessels in the actors’ faces reacted. So, the make-up department developed a new translucence, to capture the subtleties in performance. For Lee and Smith, partnering to push themselves and each other to new heights, the results were astonishing. “I couldn’t have played Junior at 23 years old,” says Smith, “but now I’m able to because of the amount of experience I’ve had.” Or, as Lee marvels, “I found a new Will Smith.”

Five Facts About 3D+

  • 3D+ is an evolutionary digital format with a frame rate of 60 frames per second – more than double the traditional movie frame rate – giving audiences an amplified, fully-immersive 3D experience.
  • With 60 3D images projected every second, derived from a pristine 120 frames per second master,  3D+ renders images closer than ever before to what the human eye sees, putting the viewer right in the centre of the action.
  • More images mean more depth, allowing viewers to see and experience so much more in the frame.
  • This elevated combination of performance and action sees 3D+ deliver the emotional journey and visual spectacle of a filmmaker’s vision exactly as they intended it.
  • This evolution in visual storytelling gives audiences the most immersive cinematic experience that can currently be enjoyed in a theatre.

PARAMOUNT PICTURES, SKYDANCE and JERRY BRUCKHEIMER FILMS Present In Association with FOSUN PICTURES A SKYDANCE / JERRY BRUCKHEIMER Production An ANG LEE Film

DIRECTED BY: Ang Lee
SCREENPLAY BY: David Benioff and Billy Ray and Darren Lemke
STORY BY: Darren Lemke and David Benioff
PRODUCED BY: Jerry Bruckheimer, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Don Granger
EXECUTIVE PRODUCED BY: Chad Oman, Mike Stenson, Guo Guangchang, Brian Bell, Don Murphy
STARRING: Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen and Benedict Wong

GEMINI MAN OPENS IN THEATRES 11 OCTOBER 2019

RedOne Pays Tribute To Africa With The New Hit “We Love Africa”

This new record was chosen to be the official song of the 12th edition of Pan-African Games 2019 in Rabat

RABAT, Morocco, September 2, 2019/ — RedOne, an international producer, singer and songwriter, has five of its best hits on more than 6.1 billion YouTube views and more than 2300 billion Streams on Spotify. Aminux, a 27-year-old R’n’B hit-maker, has more than 2.8 million fans and more than 111 million streams worldwide. Finally, Inna Modja, the “Bad Malian Girl of French Pop” held 3 singles in the charts Canadian Billboards Top 100 and French Top 10 Billboards, her song ‘French Can Can’ held the first place for three weeks.

“This song has the ambition to become a hymn for the entire African continent,” says RedOne. “My wish is that all Africans will find themselves in this song which represents my modest contribution to this continent that I love and which I am proud to belong to”.

The last title of RedOne “We love Africa” was chosen to be the official song that will accompany the 12th edition of Pan-African Games 2019 in Rabat.

The launch of the song was shared on stage with the audience during the opening night of this 12th edition.

The performance was a culmination of the modern rhythm, African choir and African color, interpreted by RedOne, Aminux and Inna Modja.

The song reached 17M views in less than a week.

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