Experimental Short Film ABZ-2079 Showcases Pressure Cooker Studios Latest Score

Award-winning Pressure Cooker Studios once again showcases the agency’s outstanding talent and abilities to compose scores and sound design for feature films and television with the release of short film ABZ-2079. The experimental film is the brainchild of celebrated actor/director Porteus Xandau, who stated that it is available exclusively online through various creative showcasing sites.

Xandau explains: “ABZ-2079 is a dance based portrait study of the Anglo-Boer-Zulu War and is a futuristic science fiction interpretation of the historical events. In terms of style, it’s post-apocalypse meets pop-Africana. The characters include a Zulu warrior, a British robotic soldier and a Boer ballet dancer.”

James Matthes, co-founder and composer of Pressure Cooker Studios, says that they were given creative freedom for the score and sound design, as long as it had a dramatic tone filled with unconventional and noise based sounds. “Porteus would challenge us by asking, what would a robot sound like when crying, which made the process experimental and challenging. It’s definitely the hardest project we’ve ever tackled.”

Matthes says that they are very proud of the final product and expect ABZ-2079 to become a viral favourite with its very unique edge.

Shot in Cape Town and surrounds, ABZ-2079 is produced by Herman le Roux and stars Mia Labuschagne, Sonwabo Vayi and B-Boy Bax.



The Write Journey: A Workshop For Screenwriters And Storytellers

The Writing Studio’s celebrated workshop The Write Journey will be on in Cape Town on Saturday mornings from 10am until 1pm on June 7, 14, 21 and 28 and is ideal for aspirant screenwriters and ardent storytellers who would like to sharpen their storytelling skills.

The Write Journey is presented by Daniel Dercksen, who has been a freelance film and theatre journalist for more than 30 years, taught and mentored writers at The Writing Studio for 15 years, and whose latest play The Beauty of Incomplete Things opens at the Joburg Theatre in July (following its World Premiere in Cape Town in January 2014).

This unique workshop explores the fine art of writing visual narrative, mastering the skill of plotting and structure, and developing and exploring ideas and characters.

It’s a journey into the world of story, empowering storytellers to take ownership of the creative journey, and creative expression.

The Write Journey is ideal for first-time writers who would like to define their writing skills, and also recommended for seasoned writers who are trapped in the web of re-writes and unfinished projects, or lost in the maze of the daunting writing process.

Graduates of previous workshops include producer screenwriter and filmmaker Sallas de Jager (Roepman, Verraaiers, Musiek vir die agtergrond and Stuur Groete aan Mannetjies Roux), award-winning playwright Neil Coppen (Abnormal Loads) and Jeremeo Le Cordeur (Tannie Dora Gaan Bos), filmmakers John Barker (Bunny Chow and How To Steal a Million) and Henk Pretorius (Bakgat, Fanie Fourie Se Lobola), novelists Lauren Beukes (Zoo City, The Shining Girl) Gary Hirson (The Magic That is Ours and Calm in Storm)and Consuelo Roland (who received acclaim for her Lady Limbo Novel, and was Shortlisted for the Sunday Times Fiction Award and received an Honorary mention for the Olive Schreiner Prize for her novel The Good Cemetery Guide).

The Write Journey workshop takes place at The Writing Studio in Cape Town on June 7, 14, 21 and 28 from 10am until 2pm.

To register and for more information, visit the website or send an email to

Film Review

A Million Ways To Die In The West: Review

A meek, almost cowardly sheep farmer is down on his luck, escaping death by talking his way out of a duel. A mysterious woman, wife to a notorious outlaw, rides into town, and here their two paths cross in what can only be described as two stories. A Million Ways To Die In The West has two sides to it. There’s the rough and tough of the Old West, with some action, some romance, a bit of bravado, and some great jokes (including a few that will bring back a feeling of nostalgia in many an audience member). Then, there is the other story, the slap-stick, gross-out humour that appeals to a different class viewer.

So, a side to the film for each side of the humour fence. The question is, will once side be able to bear the funny-fruit of the other side long enough to enjoy the film? It’s easy enough to grimace during these scenes, with the hope that another sort of humour will come along shortly, and thankfully, the film does not disappoint.

Local belle Charlize Theron plays Anna, the mysterious love interest opposite Seth MacFarlane, as ALbert. Both are surprisingly ideal for these roles, supported by Amanda Seyfried, as Alberts ex-girlfriend, on a path to find herself with a new boyfriend, played Neil Patrick Harris as you’ve never seen him. And, not forgetting the outlaw, Anna’s husband, Clinch, played by Liam Neeson. Sarah Silverman playing the local prostitute, Ruth, along with some over-sharing on her escapades, and her boyfriend Edward, played by Giovanni Ribisi, round off the comedy ensemble that will have audiences in fits of laughter.

Not forgetting the actual plot of the film. It’s simple enough, while entertaining, and forming an enjoyable vehicle for the films funny moments, interspersed with the odd bit of action.

A Million Ways To Die In The West opens Friday, 30 May 2014 in South African cinemas, and is a film you should have on your wishlist for this year! Book now!

Film Review

Godzilla: Review

One of the most well known monsters is back. Godzilla returns, in all his computer generated glory, for a retelling of the story.

After a brief introduction to cover the backstory, during the opening credits, we plunge in to the life of Joe Brody, where the scene is set for the fight ahead. Move forward in time, and Brody’s son Ford is now a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, and as the events of the film unfold, we are treated to a story of reconciliation between father and son, an epic fight with massive creatures, and a tale of courage.

The effects in Godzilla are astounding. Not the creature effects, but the result of those creatures destructive tendencies. There’s the usual American bravado, as the military moves in to save the day, and fight the big fight.

That aside, Godzilla is a great improvement on it’s predecessor, and tells an entertaining story. There is a different take on the title creature too, and keen-eyed viewers should pick up on this pretty early in the film.

Godzilla is a special effects laden story of human nature, how we overcome our differences, and work together, when there is a threat to our existence., Fans of creature movies will flock to this one, but there is something for every type of viewer in the film.

Godzilla opens 16 May 2014 in South Africa.

Film Review

X-Men: Days Of Future Past: Review

Time travel, it’s one of those things can can be used to alter the timeline for good or bad, and X-Men: Days Of Future Past uses it to combine the original X-Men with their younger selves from First Class. In the future, times are dark, and they are fighting for survival, and the survival of all mutants, who are being wiped out by huge robotic sentinels. Their last desperate act, is to travel back to help their younger selves alter the timeline at a point where it all began.

The story begins when times are at their bleakest, diving right into the drama. The sudden shift in story from the original stories instils a sense of confusion in the viewer, much like what the characters on screen must be feeling as they are hunted down. Magneto and Professor Xavier have joined forces in this battle, with their goal to send Wolverine’s conciousness back into his younger self, where he must bring the two leaders together in a time when they are the worst of enemies, convince his younger friends to help him, and succeed in this important of missions.

The cast are all back, young and old, and inhibit their roles as enjoyable as before. The effects are marvels, but yet do not detract from the story, preferring to augment the on-screen action, as opposed to being the main focus.

X-Men: Days Of Future Past is a welcome change to the previous, more linear stories of fighting an opponent, and accomplishing a mission. The story is slightly more intellectual, while keeping the fun, and action of the previous films.

This is certainly a must for fans, but those new to the genre will certainly enjoy it. A bit of background information might be needed to fully appreciate the nuances, but who these days would not know of the X-Men.

X-Men: Days Of Future Past opens 23 May 2014 in South Africa, and is sure to take the box office by storm. Book now.