Time For The M-Net Movies Bucket List Top 3 – The Silence Of The Lambs Is Number 3

It has been a long but epic journey. The M-Net Movies Bucket List pop-up channel has made its way through 97 popular and iconic Hollywood movies.

It’s time for the M-Net Movies Bucket List’s top 3 films in the countdown.

Get to learn more about these iconic films with fascinating trivia and see movie critic heavyweight Leon van Nierop’s thoughts on you’re the top 10.



This extraordinary crime film lead by Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins earned it the big 5 Oscars. A F.B.I. cadet seeks the help of manipulative killer to catch a serial killer.

Leon van Nierop: “This is a great phycological thriller one of the greatest phycological thrillers ever made. Anthony Hopkins did months of research, the one thing he noticed is that they barely blink their eyes.

Leon van Nierop: Clarice Starling was the only woman in a bunch of men, so what Jonathan Demme did here that was so great, was that he showed the film through the perspective mostly of a female protagonist. A very strong female protagonist.”

In preparation for his role, Sir Anthony Hopkins studied files of serial killers. Also, he visited prisons, and studied convicted murderers, and was present during some court hearings concerning gruesome murderers and serial killings.

Jodie Foster claims that during the first meeting between Lecter and Starling, Sir Anthony Hopkins’ mocking of her southern accent was improvised on the spot. Foster’s horrified reaction was genuine, she felt personally attacked. She later thanked Hopkins for generating such an honest reaction.

Sir Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster only share four scenes throughout the course of the film.

One of the inspirations, from whom Sir Anthony Hopkins borrowed, for his interpretation of Hannibal Lecter, was a friend of his in London who never blinked, which unnerved anyone around him.

Jodie Foster spent a great deal of time with F.B.I. Agent Mary Ann Krause prior to filming. Krause gave Foster the idea of Starling standing by her car crying. Krause told Foster that at times, the work just became so overwhelming that it was a good way to get an emotional release.

The real-life F.B.I.’s Behavioural Science Unit assisted in the making of this film.

Sir Anthony Hopkins described his voice for Hannibal Lecter as, “a combination of Truman Capote and Katharine Hepburn.”


The Wedding Bashers Grand Finale And My Kitchen Rules Semi-finals

Winning local line-up on M-Net this Sunday

This Sunday night, fans of great local content will have to clear their schedules and get settled on their couches for some winning television offerings. At 17:00, the winning couple of M-Net’s fun-filled wedding show The Wedding Bashers will finally be revealed, as well as the Viewers’ Choice couple of the season! Thereafter at 18:00, it’s the second My Kitchen Rules semi-final, which will determine which pair of home cooks will go up against best friends Charnell and Kerry in the series finale on 10 December.

The South African lovebirds who win the best overall score of The Wedding Bashers season from celebrity guests Cindy Nell, Siba Mtongana, Denise Zimba and Zavion Kotze will walk away with a phenomenal prize package to the value of over R800 000. This includes R250 000 in cash from M-Net, as well as a seven night second honeymoon courtesy of The Moorings and Air Seychelles, R100 000 of jewellery from Jack Friedman, and R100 000 of cosmetics from Essence, Caribbean Tan, Lov and Catrice cosmetics. Moreover, the winners of the Viewers’ Choice – which is determined by the public’s online ratings – will also walk away with a second honeymoon, amongst other exciting prizes.

Meanwhile in the My Kitchen Rules Kitchen headquarters, mother and daughter duo from Cradock, Lani and Louzel, will be cooking a three course meal against Bloemfontein-based husband and wife team Jamandi and Machiel. As was the case last week, the teams will not only be cooking for judges David Higgs and J’Something, but also for a panel of esteemed local celebrity chefs made up of Vanessa Marx, Lentswe Bhengu, Reuben Riffel and Karen Dudley. With a spot in the finale and R1 Million at stake, which of these two popular teams will rise above the pressure and which of them will not be able to withstand the heat of the infamous MKR kitchen?

For this penultimate episode of the season, viewers can visit to watch exclusive interviews with the judges, guest judges and contestants, and follow all the breaking news and conversations around the show on Twitter @MNet / #MKRSA or on the official M-Net Facebook page.

For all the conversation around the Wedding Bashers finale, join us on Twitter @MNet / #WeddingBashers or use the official M-Net Facebook page.


Vusi Khumalo Helps To Bring Story Of Zulu Queen Mkabayi Ka Jama To Life

Legendary jazz musician and drum wizard Vusi Khumalo has applied his extraordinary talent to the creation of the soundtrack for ‘She is King’, the upcoming Gersh Kgamedi movie which releases on 1 December.

The son of a baritone saxophone player, Khumalo is one of the foremost percussionists in South Africa. Best known for playing on Paul Simon’s album Graceland and the subsequent world tour, Khumalo has also toured with South African diva Miriam Makeba, with whom he performed at the Royal Albert Hall in 1996, and at Nelson Mandela tribute at London’s Wembley Stadium in 1998. He has performed with South African musicians including Winston Mankunku, Bheki Mseleku, Barney Rachabane, and Allen Kwela. Internationally, he has worked with legends Chucho Valdes, Youssou N’Dour, Bob Baldwin, Donald Harrison, and the late Carl Anderson.

A musical celebration of Zulu culture, ‘She is King’ stars Khabonina Qubeka, Khanyi Mbau, Mandisa Nduna, Aubrey Poo, and the fresh-faced Gugu Zulu, to name a few. Directed by Gersh, it presents the City of Gold as the African Broadway, and tells the story of Khanyisile (Gugu Zulu), a talented young singer, dancer and actor who wants to be a star. She travels from her home in Nongoma in KwaZulu Natal to Johannesburg to audition for a role in a musical based on the life of powerful Zulu Queen Mkabayi ka Jama – Shaka’s aunt.

The soon-to-be-released soundtrack is sure to appeal to fans of local music. The album features songs from big stars including Brenda Fassie, Lucky Dube, Simpiwe Dana, PJ Powers, Joseph Shabalala, and Vusi Khumalo himself, as well as hot new tracks by Gugu Zulu and rapper Mandisa Nduna. A showcase for some of the best South African music, the film includes songs by international stars like Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Juluka and Brenda Fassie, as well as a number of traditional Zulu musicians.

“Soundtracks are important because they help to build the tone and mood of a film,” says Gersh. “The soundtrack is integral to making the movie what it is. Bra Vusi has done an amazing job in choosing tracks that influence the atmosphere in the film and the perceptions of the viewer. He believes in identifying and developing new talent, and is known for encouraging and mentoring young musicians. As the musical director of ‘She is King’, he has put together an album of the best in new music as well as much-loved older hits.”

The first single from the film’s soundtrack, a revamped version of Brenda Fassie’s hit ‘Higher and Higher’, sung by Mandisa Nduna, dropped early in November. The second single ‘She’s a King’, by Nduna and Zulu, is available for download online.

Other notable tracks include Simphiwe Dana’s ‘Iliwa Lam’, Gugu Zulu’s ‘Scamtho’ (composed by Vusi Khumalo), and ‘Too Irie’ by Mo’faya feat. Jahzo, originally composed by Lucky Dube and remixed by K Muambadzi. The film also features some great tracks by DJ Shimza (‘Party ka Shimza’), flamboyant singer Moonchild (‘Mr Chow’) and hip-hop star Ifani.

The film was made with the support of the Department of Trade and Industry (the DTI), MNET and the Gauteng Film Commission (GFC), and will be distributed in South Africa by Indigenous Film Distribution. It opens nationwide on 1 December.

‘Higher and Higher’ is available online. ‘She’s a King’ can be downloaded here

Indigenous Film Distribution Website:


Coming Up On Carte Blanche – 3 December 2017

On M-Net & M-Net HD [101], Sunday 3 December 2017 at 19:00 & again on M-Net Plus 1 [901] at 20:00



The fight for ANC leadership

The ANC is preparing for its 54th national conference which takes place in December, where the delegates will vote in a new leader. As Jacob Zuma’s time as president of the ANC draws to an end, the scramble for the party’s top position is heating up. With South Africa’s economy on the brink of another ratings downgrade, can the ruling party elect a candidate who will set aside personal ambition for the greater good of the country? Carte Blanche tracks this developing story.

Producer: Graham Coetzer
Presenter: John Webb
Watch the trailer

Farming in the Western Cape

Farmers are facing a tough battle against the drought in the Western Cape. Factories are closed, trucks are parked and seasonal workers are sitting at home. If farmers don’t get help soon, the recovery could take years.  Carte Blanche asks: What will the impact on the economy really be if the rains don’t come, and alternative plans don’t succeed?

Producers: Anna-Maria van Niekerk and Marzanne van den Berg
Presenter: John Webb

Eskom on Edge

As Eskom teeters on the edge of bankruptcy, what are the executives at Megawatt Park doing? So far there have been some explosive allegations at the Parliamentary inquiry on state-owned enterprises and last week President Zuma was implicated by a former chairperson of the board. But despite reports of attempted bribery to collapse the inquiry, Advocate Vanara pressed on, leading MPs through the mists of Eskom scandals. This week former CEO Brian Molefe was in court defending his R30 million payout and Matshela Koko’s disciplinary draws to a close in the wake of ratings agencies downgrading Eskom.

Producer: Joy Summers
Presenter: Claire Mawisa
Watch the trailer

50 Years of Heart Transplants

On the 3rd of December 1967, Professor Chris Barnard did the seemingly impossible – successfully performing the world’s first heart transplant at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town and in the process, placed the South African medical fraternity on the global map.  Since that day, thousands of people have received the gift of a new heart. Fifty years on, Carte Blanche celebrates this seminal moment in medical history.

Producer: Diana Lucas
Presenter: John Webb

Line-ups are subject to change. Stories can be viewed at

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Terminator 2: Judgement Day Is At Number 4 On The M-Net Movies Bucket List Countdown

The big moment has finally arrived. It’s time for the M-Net Movie Bucket List Top 10 Countdown.

The M-Net Movies Bucket List pop-up channel (109) is well under way as the channel counts down 100 popular and iconic Hollywood movies to see before you die.

Get to learn more about these iconic films with fascinating trivia and see movie critic heavyweight Leon van Nierop’s thoughts on you’re the top 10.


Terminator 2: Judgement Day at 20:00

James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger create an action sci-fi masterpiece. A cyborg is sent back in time to protect the future leader of the resistance against the machines.

Leon van Nierop: “Terminator 2 is the only science fiction film you’ll find in the top 10, it’s also one of the most superior sci-fi films. This film is a tribute to special effects to exactly how far special effects could go in cinema and those special effects had personality and had character. Arnold Schwarzenegger got paid US$ 15 million dollars for this film and he only had 700 words of dialogue.”

The name of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator is the Terminator Series 800 (shiny metal endoskeleton) model 101 (Arnold’s actual skin on that skeleton).

Production took sufficiently long, that Edward Furlong visibly aged during the shoot. He is clearly much younger in the desert, for instance, than in other scenes. His voice began to break, and had to be pitched to one level in post-production.

Until The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), this was the only sequel to win an Academy Award when the previous instalment(s) received no nomination.

In the audio commentary, James Cameron says that not only was the biker bar scene filmed across the street from where LAPD officers beat up Rodney King, but that they were filming the night of the beating.

Special Effects guru Stan Winston and his crew studied hours of nuclear test footage, in order to make Sarah Connor’s “nuclear nightmare” scene look as realistic as possible. A miniature Los Angeles was made to simulate the scene. Some of the materials used in the miniature that mimicked all the destroyed masonry were Matzos crackers and Shredded Wheat. After each take, it would take on average two days to set the model up to shoot again. In late 1991, members of several U.S. federal nuclear testing labs unofficially declared it “the most accurate depiction of a nuclear blast ever created for a fictional motion picture”. The special effects team members have also stated that no other scene that they ever worked on has elicited such strong emotions in viewers.

Robert Patrick trained in a rigorous running regime in order to be able to appear to run at high speeds without showing fatigue on film.

According to James Cameron, Linda Hamilton suffered permanent hearing loss in one ear during the elevator shootout because she had not replaced her ear plugs after removing them between takes.

This is the only Terminator film to win or be nominated for an Oscar. It won four, and was nominated for two others.

Linda Hamilton learned to pick locks for the scene in the mental hospital where she does precisely that with a paperclip.

Linda Hamilton’s twin sister, Leslie Hamilton Gearren was used as a double in scenes involving two “Sarah Connors” (for example, when the T-1000 was imitating her), and in a scene not in the theatrical release (but on the DVD) as a mirror image of Linda.

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The Terminators seen at the beginning of the movie were fully workable animatronic models.