Batman Ninja and the western breach into anime culture

Kevin Mareletse

Batman Ninja is a bold, stylistic take on the Batman franchise, incorporating ancient Japanese culture, Batman lore and the mecha genre of anime. Seemingly transporting many of the main heroes and villains from the Batman story to early Japan by means of time travel, the story is interesting, unfortunately a proper execution of the plot is something left to be desired. This is mainly due to lack of exposition for certain plot devices and transitions from scene to scene feel less natural than they should. Despite all this the film excels in blending the genres and aesthetically the scenes transport you into the world that was created.

Batman Ninja is the latest exploration of the cross between western stories and anime. There have been many attempts in the past with films such as Dragonball Evolution, Ghost in the Shell, and Death Note. Many of these adaptations have failed to integrate some of the anime nuances that first made fans fall for the original story. Lately there has been an improvement with the involvement of Netflix screening original anime such Castlevania, and Seven Deadly Sins. Both receiving positive reviews shows an appreciation on a larger scale which will allow for directors who attempt crossovers to understand how to seemingly transition the two in a better fashion.

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Guide to South African film and music awards

Carina Kloppers

On 29 April the 7th annual kykNET Ghoemas music awards took place in Emperors Palace’s Theatre of Marcellus in Johannesburg. Willem Botha, whose album Soen en Vergeet was nominated for Best Pop Album by a Male Artist, acted as host for the golden affair. Stars from the new film Wonderlus, Donnalee Roberts, Cindy Swanepoel, Clint Brink and Lynelle Kenned, sports anchor JP Keyter as well as rugby legend Naas Botha all graced the stage as presenters. The Ghoemas aim to honour excellence in the Afrikaans music industry and this year distinction fell on Jo Black. He walked away with a staggering seven Ghoemas, among which include Best Newcomer, Male Artist of the Year and Album of the Year.

All this glitter and glam, along with the recent announcement of the SAMA nominees, inspired Perdeby to compile a guide to South African film and music awards ceremonies.

Firstly, of course, there is the 24th annual South African Music Awards (SAMAs),that are set to take place on 2 June at the Sun City Superbowl. Although this year the SAMAs received a record-breaking 778 eligible entries, up from last year’s 740 and 470 in 2016, only five nominees are named in each category after the voting and verification. UP’s own Tuks Camerata is nominated for their album Indodana in the category Best Traditional Music Album. This is their third consecutive year nominated. Furthermore, Shekinah’s acclaimed album Rose Gold is nominated for both Best Pop Album and Best Produced Album, and Mafikozolo, Simphiwe Dana and Mi Casa have all reigned in three nominations. At the time of going to print the nominees for the top five categories were still unannounced.

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Khalo Matabane called out by #MeToo movement

Nthabeleng Vilakazi

The #MeToo movement continues to call for accountability from those who abuse power in Hollywood, with the likes of Harvey Weinstein and Louis C.K being shunned by the industry after sexual assault accusations. It did not take long for the South African entertainment industry to break its silence by calling out Khalo Matabane. He is an award-winning director and filmmaker and some of his work includes the highly acclaimed SABC 1 miniseries When We Were Black and the 2014 documentary Nelson Mandela: The myth and me.

Twitter user, @iamzathemum, posted on twitter on 25 October 2017 that the filmmaker raped her during the 2010 FIFA World Cup while she was working at a hotel in Cape Town. Since then, four women from the entertainment industry, namely, Rosie Motene, Palesa Letlaka, Ingeborg Lichtenberg and Nico Athene, came out to support these allegations.

Rosie Motene, who is known for her roles in Generations and Zabalaza, has described meetings with the filmmaker as comfortable until that changed in Durban 2012. Motene told City Press, “I went to his hotel room to watch inserts on his documentary. He sat on the bed and asked if I wanted to sit with him. The next day he said to me, ‘Oh you’re such a c*** teaser’.”

Palesa Letlaka wrote an open letter to Matabane which detailed a meeting they had five years ago in which she had been subjected to groping and sexual harassment. This was followed by “late night and sexually explicit texts” from Matabane. She repeatedly asked him to stop disrespecting her and stopped taking his calls.

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Entertainment Bites Issue 8

Abba reunited after 35 years
Parents everywhere rejoiced when the Swedish band announced that they will be reuniting for two brand new songs that will be released later this year. Band member Benny Anderson spoke to BBC News and alluded to the sounds of the news songs saying “One of the songs is like we would have written it today. The other, we could have written in 1972.”

The announcement of the reunion comes after the confirmation of a sequel of the 2018 musical film Mamma Mia! which is a film that tells a story using the hit songs of Abba. The trailer for Mamma Mia: Here we go again has already been released and will act as a prequel to the original, giving viewers the backstory of Meryl Streep’s character, Donna.


Springbok Nude Girls to release album
The Cape Town based alternative rock band is known for drawing inspiration from a plethora of different genres like punk rock and ska. The band released their last full length album ten years ago. To tease the massive album release the band released a two track EP on iTunes and Apple Music on 27 April. With this they released a vinyl of the uplifting radio anthem “Beautiful Evolution”. The EP also includes “Best Friends, Best Enemies”. Their full length album will be independently released later this year.


Tony Award Nominations dominated by pop culture
The Tony awards have been a long standing award ceremony which recognizes achievements in live broadway theatre. When the nominees were announced on 1 May popular teen culture, which is not usually associated with these awards, raked in the nominations. The Mean Girls musical based on the 2014 teen comedy and SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway received the most nominations with each receiving twelve nods.

The Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play also received a myriad of nominations including Best Featured Actress in a Play for Noma Dumezweni’s portrayal of Hermoine Granger. Other famous names on the nominee list include Tina Fey for Best Book of a Musical for Mean Girls, Andrew Garflield and Denzel Washington for Best Leading Actor in a Play for Angels in America and The Iceman Cometh respectively and Amy Schumer for Best Leading Actress in a Play for Meteor Shower.

The 72nd Annual Tony Awards hosted by Josh Groban and Sara Bareilles will be held on 11 June.

Read more: Entertainment Bites Issue 8

Kendrick wins Pulitzer

Claudine Noppe

On 17 April Kendrick Lamar made history by being the first Hip Hop artist to win the coveted Pulitzer prize for achievements in music. In previous years only classical or jazz compositions have won this prestigious prize that was only included as a category in 1943. This award is also known to go to classically trained musicians from Europe, so for the African America rapper to even be nominated is already a major step forward for the Pulitzer awards which have been around since 1917. Lamar has been on the music scene since 2003 but gained major star status after his 2014 Grammy nomination for Album of the year for his 2012 release good kid, m.A.A.d city. In 2015 Lamar released To Pimp a Butterfly. Featuring songs like “King Kunta” and “Alright”, the album solidified Kendrick as a Hip Hop super star. In 2017 Lamar released DAMN which was the entry that earned him his Pulitzer prize. T

he album is a masterpiece of social commentary, well produced songs and let’s just say it: sick beats. DAMN has been raking in the awards for the Compton born rapper. It won Favourite Rap/ Hip Hop Album at the 2017 American music awards as well as the best rap album at this year’s Grammy awards. The most notable tracks on the album are, “DNA”, “Humble”, “Love” and the politically charged “XXX”. The must-watch music video for “DNA” features Don Cheadle and in the song a recording can be heard of a man saying, “This is why I say that Hip Hop has done more damage to young African Americans than racism in recent years.”

Kendrick responds to this by rapping “this is my heritage”. His whole album tears away at the common misconceptions surrounding race, rap and generalization. It really is an ode to the Tupac, N.W.A days where rap was used to convey a message and to fight authority rather than to brag about a life filled with money, drugs and fast cars which a lot of rap music is filled with these days.

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