South Africa

district9-commentary1

Four year ago, Neill Blomkamp directed the surprise hit District 9, a speculative sci-fi film about the integration of aliens into human culture. Based in his home country of South Africa, District 9 was embraced by critics and audiences, earning three somewhat expected technical Academy Award nomination and a completely unexpected Best Picture nod. However, before the film was released anywhere, Blomkamp recorded his commentary on the film, giving a unique insight into its production with no knowledge of its eventual success. At the time of recording, Blomkamp had been present to show the film in public once, at the 2009 San Diego Comic-Com, and he was feeling pretty good about the movie based on the audience reaction. At least this time, the Comic-Con love translated into box office success and critical acclaim.

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Sundance 2012: Under African Skies

I’ve listened to Paul Simon’s Graceland at least a thousand times (no exaggeration), so if you’re looking for an objective analysis of Under African Skies, Joe Berlinger’s documentary about that seminal work, you won’t find it here. Perhaps someone who doesn’t have virtually every lyric of every song on Simon’s masterpiece memorized, someone who doesn’t tear up just thinking of the “Mississippi Delta shining like a national guitar,” could do a better job of telling you what’s what when it comes to this movie.

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Here were are in the first match of Round Two. The Elite Eight is at stake with every pairing, and this might prove to be a tough one. District 9 defeated Sin Nombre in Round One, and Amelie blew Whisky out of the water, but now they face off against each other. Two heavy-weights in a bare-knuckle brawl for supremacy, and we’re not even to the finals yet.

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On the opening of Round One of our Movie World Cup, we see host country South Africa face off against Mexico with two strong films. District 9 is somewhat of a fanboy favorite, so it might be hard to beat, but Sin Nombre came out of the gate strong last year and impressed almost every audience it touched.

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