26 August, 2010

movie awards

I have watched dozens of great movies and I thought that it would be nice to compile a list of some of the best-greatest and most affective works of cinema
there is no such thing a comprehensive list and each category has limited spaces and so every list has its own biases so there are some great works (gone with the wind-a few good men-on waterfront-who is afraid of Virginia Woolf?-as good as it gets) and actors( Clark gable-Clint eastwood-katherine Hepburn-Barbara Streisand-Sydney potier-Heth Ledger-Denzel Washington-Michael Douglas-Gene Hackman-James Dean) that are not even nominated let alone winners. There are those movies that are nominated more than once that is cause they deserve it. and although there are a few old school movies I feel the list is “OK”
This is just a general list its not complete you are welcome to comment
Generally there is a the movie-the award recipient-country of the movie as well as year

Best Picture
The nominees
• Winters bone
• No country for old men
• Annie hall
• The departed
• Wild strawberries
• Kramer vs Kramer
• The godfather
• Reservoir dogs
• Network
• The silence of the lambs

And the winner is- The godfather-
Simply because it was the most innovative movie of its time and a bench mark in combining big budget and small budget film making-great cast-great directing and music its really great. He who has not seen it should be shoot.

Best actor
The nominees
• Jean Reano-the professional
• Jack Nicholson-the departed
• Robert Deniro-Taxi Driver
• Anthony Hopkins-The silence of the lambs
• Jude Law-sleuth
• Sean Penn-Mystic river
• Marlon Brando the godfather

And the winner is-(joint winners) Jean Reano- the professional (took a relatively unknown role and made it unbelievably dark and him very simple storyline but amazing performance) and Jack Nicholson-the departed (a typical crazy jack Nicholson role but when he plays it you never ever think about any other Jack Nicholson movie he keeps you there throughout the movie)

Best actress
The nominees
• Hillary swank-Boys don’t cry
• Charlize Theron-Monster
• Salma hayek-frida
• Helen Mirren-the queen
• Whoopi Goldberg-the color purple
• Meryl streep-Sophie’s choice
• Emily Watson-breaking the waves

And the winner is- Meryl streep-Sophie’s choice
(great accent probably the best of Meryl streep’s great career, a really great testament to showcase the plight of Jews in Nazi Germany)

Best original score
The nominees
• Star wars episode I
• Gladiator
• Lord of the rings
• Da vinci code
• The godfather-Nino Rota

And the winner is- Star wars episode I
(I’m not a sci-fi fan or a Blockbuster fan but the music in this movie adds great value to the movie a great uplifting score really amazing)

Best short film
The nominees
• Le Jette
• Validation
• Signs
• Touch
• Nora

And the winner is- Touch
(not too much action just a beautiful dialogue short, really captures the core of human emotions with just a simple conversation)

Best supporting actor
The nominees
• Javier Bardem-No country for old men
• Joe Pesci-Goodfellas
• Al pacino-the godfather
• George Clooney-Goodnight and Good luck
• Morgan Freeman-Shawshank redemption
• Jamie Foxx-Collateral
• Daniel day Lewis-Gangs of New York

And the winner is- Al pacino-the godfather
(it would have been easy for a young Al Pacino to be drowned and be complacent in this role simply due to the star power of the cast around him (Diane Keaton-Marlon Brando and Robert Duvall) but a calm and consistent performance from one of the best of all time)

Best supporting actress
The nominees
• Meryl streep- Kramer vs Kramer
• Monique- Precious
• Natalie Portman-Closer
• Jane Fonda-On golden Pond
• Cate Blanchet-The Aviator
• Kate Winslet-Iris
• Judi Dench-Notes on a scandal

And the winner is- Judi Dench-Notes on a scandal
(it’s hard to play a real life character but this intimate portrait of Iris Murdoch is perfectly executed by one of the grand old ladies if world cinema really beautiful intimate piece)

Best original screenplay
The nominees
• Memento
• Eastern promises
• Reservoir Dogs-Quentin Tarantino
• I’m not there
• American history X
• Shortcuts

And the winner is- Reservoir Dogs-Quentin Tarantino
(one of the most beautiful dialogue driven movies ever-from the “tipping scene”-“the meaning of like a virgin” and “how Mr White got his start” it’s really a well written piece.

Best Adapted screenplay
The nominees
• Winters bone-(based on the book by
• The departed-(based on the movie internal affairs)
• Pay it forward-(based on the book by
• Mystic river-(based on the book by
• No country for old men-(based on the book by Cormac McCarthy

And the winner is- No country for old men-(based on the book by Cormac McCarthy
(books that sell well but are from picky authors like Cormac McCarthy (I say picky because he has only been interviewed twice on television in 40 years) are really hard to adapt to the screen but the Coen brothers did great in setting it up, great dialogue and did the whole movie without a single piece of music its amazing)

Best movie scene
The nominees
• Unforgiven-“it’s a helluva thing killing a man” scene
• Heat-(6 minute conversation between Robert Deniro and Al pacino
• Lucky Number Slevin-meeting the boss scene
• The shinning-“here’s Johnny” scene
• American Gangster-shooting outside the restaurant
• Gangs of New York-closing scene “the hands that built America”
• Annie Hall-opening direct to camera Monologue

And the winner is- Heat-(6 minute conversation between Robert Deniro and Al pacino)
(they were both in part II of the godfather but were never on the screen together , this was the first time these two legends shared screen time and the result is electric-no scene hogging just two guys doing what they do best and feeding of each other)

Best Foreign language film
The nominees
• Three colors trilogy-red-(Poland-France)
• Waltz with bashIr-(Israel)
• City of God-(Brazil)
• Moloch trapicana-(Haiti-france)
• La Strada-(Italy)

And the winner is- Moloch trapicana-(Haiti-france)
(tell the story of the last 24 hours of a crazy president it’s a really great portrait on power and human relationships very well acted as well)

Best Director
The nominees
• Martin Scorcese-The departed
• Woody Allen-Annie Hall
• Francis Ford Coppola-the godfather trilogy
• Roman Polanski-Chinatown
• D.W Griffith-Birth of a nation
• The Coen Brothers-Fargo
• Guy Richie-snatch

And the winner is- Martin Scorcese-
The departed (he had done great work before (Taxi driver-Alice doesn’t live here anymore-Goodfellas-Casino-New York New York-Raging bull-the aviator-gangs of New York) and was nominated for many directing Oscars but I think the departed was really well handled with an ensemble cast which includes Damon-Walberg-sheen-Nicholson-Baldwin-the old man of did a great work handling each scene.

Best independent film
The nominees
• Memento
• Requiem for a dream
• Reservoir dogs
• History of violence
• No country for old men
• 21 grams
• Shortcuts
• Boondock saints

And the winner is- History of violence
(a really great quiet film almost waiting to jump at you, very emotionally impactful, does a great job of showing the relevance of Karma and how to beat it)

Best cinematography
The nominees
• The godfather
• Winters bone
• Se7en
• Chinatown
• History of violence
And the winner is- Winters bone
(I saw this at the Durban Film fest its really new but the camera work and the lighting is dark and grim and really does well to add value to this “white trash story”

Best South African film
The nominees
• Life above all
• A small town called descent
• Faith’s corner
• Jerusalema
• Paradise stop
• The bet
• Surfing Soweto

And the winner is- A small town called descent
(also saw this at the Durban film fest-well casted film but extremely ambitious the use of archive footage as well as many political statements about South Africa right now its really worth watching)

Best documentary
The nominees
• cocaine cowboys
• Bowling for columbine
• Tyson
• Man on wire
• Woodstock
• Surfing Soweto

And the winner is- Bowling for columbine
(this was a close call between Surfing Soweto and Michael Moore but this is a more Universal story in the sense that it tries to frame the state of mind of teens and people in general but what really tips it over is the “History of America cartoon sequence as well as the what a wonderful world montage really amazing”

Best production design
The nominees
• Gladiator
• Chicago
• Schindler’s list
• Ben Hur
• Fight Club

And the winner is- Gladiator
(its really hard to imagine the Glory that was once Rome but the costume and set Design in this movie gives a great idea and was a great aid for Russell Crowe for

Best animated feature
Waltz with Bashir- a really ambitious movie from a non entity country in filmmaking but greatly well executed even with live actors this could not be done better.

Best romantic movie
Annie Hall-
form the opening monologue this movie says classic all over it and Allen uses a the first ever direct to camera speech method something that is well partnered with his bubblegum

16 August, 2010

The weed in the campus

"I was just taking some fresh air through my window when I sow three men digging weed in the backyard. I thought they were going to throw it away or probably destroy it; the following day I sow it(the weed) hanging by the window.
I therefore started taking pictures and I am hoping to capture the weed as it grows from the white bucket." Anorth Mabunda

13 August, 2010

The media tribunal my foot

by Anorth Mabunda

Even with these watchdogs, the press has its unethical journalists just as medicine still has its quacks, law has its shysters and education its tenure-protected and inept teachers.(Leiter, Harriss and Johnson 2000:15)
These are the factors that the ANC government must consider before enacting draconian legislations against the people’s watchdog, the fourth estate.

Recently, the press is under the government’s eagle-eye and letting the press in to the state-run tribunal will be suicidal to journalists. We will see lots of journalists being subpoenaed for telling the truth about greedy politicians and thus it (the tribunal) will give power to greedy politicians like Julius Malema and Simphiwe Nyanda who squander the people’s money and hail stones to the media for playing its role.

When President Jacob Zuma was sworn in as president, he promised to uphold the media freedom and so Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo, who promised to amend the Access to Information Bill, so it can be easily accessible.
If your promises were true Mr President and Chief Justice, what are the Media Tribunal and Protection of Information Bill for? In fact, what is this information that deserves so much protection to an extent that it should be concealed from the general public? Is it the arms deal information? It must be confidential information indeed but the public has the right to know.

It is evident that the relationship between Robert Mugabe and the ANC means the sharing of draconian ideas. In 2002 Zanu-PF implemented the Access to Information and Protection to Privacy Act which limited access to information held by government departments and agencies and statutory bodies compelling journalists and the whole media to be registered with the state-run Media and Information Commission (Fourie, 2007:77).

I believe this is a move by the ANC to thwart away whistle blowers and conceal acts of corruption by their fellow camaradas. First they abolished the effective crime prevention unit, the Scorpions, and now they want to abolish the Press Ombudsman. Media representatives must protest this reversed apartheid policy which doesn’t want us to self-regulate and if possible, we must embark on a mass action.
Future journalists will be studying to be under government’s jurisdiction and thus will be forced to be their mouth-pieces.

The ANC’s justification in implementing this draconian legislation is that the media can’t really regulate itself and some journalists are being bribed for stories. Every where there is bribery, even in government, ask Metro Police officers they will tell you.

Let us do something about it

by Anorth Mabunda

“Poor reading and writing skills, lack of general knowledge and poor interviewing skills are some of the challenges facing contemporary journalism graduates,” says the spokesperson of the Tshwane University of Technology, Gilbert Mokwatedi.

Mokwatedi was addressing TUT’s second year journalism students on July 27. As he was outlining these challenges all students shouted “YES!!” simultaneously, but what are we doing to avert this diagnosis? Do we just sit and watch while it continues inundating our fledgling minds? Let us do something about it.

I personally, try to write and blog as much as I can. Every week I come back and look at my work and then identify possible mistakes and grammar errors. I know that I may not be a good writer yet but with too much practice, one day I will make sense. “How could you make it if you never even try?” the American rap duo, Outcasts once asked.

As journalism students, we tend to forget that soon our job description will be to inform and educate the general public. How are we going to do that if we lack adequate values (information and good writing skills)?

When you are in the university, you have no justification for being incompetent or ill-informed. You have libraries and information centers waiting for you to explore “late and soon” developments, e.g. TUT offers three daily newspapers and a Sunday newspaper on Mondays.

Our lecturers in TUT often encourage us to write more in order to improve our writing skills. As part of our practical tasks, we are given an opportunity to report for the weekly community newspaper, Rekord Noweto. Often I feel discouraged to grab a copy of Rekord on Fridays because I usually find only one or two stories written by my fellow class mates.

While we are still enjoying this freedom of expression that is in extremist, let us take this opportunity and write whatever we like and think, as long as our topics are fair, reasonable and helpful.

Quote of the day:
“….the expectations from editors are that graduates would arrive with good theoretical grounding and use of language. Editors also expect graduates to bring to the newsroom some practical experience, not just exercises done in practical rooms but real-world work that would have been marked and published.” Mathatha Tsedu, Rhodes Journalism Review, July 2010.

SA government prevents functioning of media

by Phumlni Nkwanyana
I’m the journalism student and I strongly feel that our government is totally doing duties which are out of their scope. They are contributing to the malfunctioning of South African media, which is trying so hard to adapt in the global media sector.The government of South Africa’s attempt is to stop the proper functioning of media houses in this democratic country. These political gurus want to do their illegal matters and never be identified. As the country we have obtained democracy in 1994, which gave every member of the society freedom of expression.
Therefore media houses must not be shut when conducting it’s duties of informing the society. This is painful to witness that the 16 years of South African liberation has come into ruins so swift as media is not liberated accordingly. The unjust arrest of Sunday times journalist Mzilikazi WA Africa clearly indicates that our government has a long way to go in maintaining fair and free functioning of the media. Wa Afrika’s arrest was just the means of intimidation and endeavours of shutting effectiveness of investigative journalism.
The government should be focusing much on matters to stop poverty and unemployment which are major challenges facing this country. I believe that there is no editor that can allow false story to be published in the national newspaper. All the facts laid by Wa Afrika are true, but the government is trying to defend it wrongs by arresting journalists. Hawks should be chasing corruption which exist in our municipalities and do away with unnecessary arrest of journalists. Billions of rands vanish without any development or transformation being made in our society. But police are busy fighting media. Our government need to know that, it the undoubted fact that media is the most powerful tool in the society. They cannot do their wrongs and never be exposed.
That why investigative journalism was established, for extensive digging out of underground facts which exist within our societies. The sad part of this story is that the court found Wa Africa not guilty of any charges. But money was exceedingly spent from his arrest. The government used the amount raging from R20, 000 for Wa Africa’s arrest, R2, 000 for cost of transporting innocent Wa Africa to Mpumalanga and R15, 000 for court proceedings. This money could have helped many destitute societies. Our government should start focusing on more crucial issues of the society.

12 August, 2010

The Auckland Park Declaration

Posted by Anorth Mabunda in support o the media freedom in South Africa

"We, the title editors of South Africa's major publications and members of the South African National Editors' Forum, are deeply concerned about attempts to curtail freedom of expression and the free flow of information in our country.

Free speech and access to information are the lifeblood of our democracy and were at the very heart of the struggle for freedom. Human dignity is indivisible from freedom of speech.

We vigorously oppose the restrictive clauses in the Protection of Information Bill and the proposed media appeals tribunal.

We appeal to the South African government and the ruling ANC to abide by the founding principles of our democracy, and to abandon these proposed measures.

We commit ourselves to join hands with all South Africans who value their freedom to defend these basic rights which are enshrined in, and are indeed the cornerstone of, our constitution."

1 Ainsley Moos, Volksblad
2 Alan Dunn, Daily News
3 Alide Dasnois, Cape Times
4 Andrew Koopman, Son & Sondag Son
5 Andrew Trench, Daily Dispatch
6 Angela Quintal, The Mercury
7 Barney Mthombothi, Financial Mail
8 Bongani Keswa, Sowetan
9 Bun Booyens, Die Burger
10 Charles Mogale, Sunday World
11 Chiara Carter, Weekend Argus
12 Chris Whitfield, Editor-in-Chief,
Independent Newspapers Cape
13 Clyde Bawden, The Independent on Saturday
14 Dirk Lotriet, Sondag
15 Ferial Haffajee, City Press
16 Fikile Ntsikelelo Moya, The Witness
17 Jeremy McCabe, Weekend Post
18 Gasant Abarder, Cape Argus
19 Heather Robertson, The Herald
20 Jovial Rantao, The Star
21 Liza Albrecht, Rapport
22 Makhudu Sefara, The Sunday Independent
23 Martin Williams, The Citizen
24 Moegsien Williams, The Star
25 Mondli Makhanya, Editor-in-Chief, Avusa
26 Nic Dawes, Mail & Guardian
27 Peet Kruger, Editor-in-Chief, Media24
28 Peter Bruce, Business Day
29 Philani Mgwaba, Sunday Tribune
3. Phylicia Oppelt, The Times
31 Ray Hartley, Sunday Times
32 Thabo Leshilo, Avusa Public Editor
33 Themba Khumalo, Daily Sun
34 Tim du Plessis, Beeld
35 Thulani Mbatha, Isolezwe
36 Zingisa Mkhuma, Pretoria News
37 Brijlall Ramguthee, The Post

11 August, 2010

Everybody wants new things

by Anorth Mabunda

“In with the new, out with the old,” says Michael Salzwedel in the 2010 Rhodes Journalism Review.

Have you ever noticed how weird it is to drop your plans just to wait for prime-time news bulletins on e-TV or SABC 3? Honestly, we are all tired of being controlled or limited by certain individuals, we all want to have our voices heard, and we need control over the “platform, space and time”(Newton: DCI).

Radio came up with a brilliant idea of updating its audience every thirty minutes and establishing talk shows where listeners can comment on air, but because of our piling daily tasks and the pervasive entertainment (e.g. music), we just can’t concentrate.

Another compromising effect is the agenda setting theory of the media, the media are known for their tendency of making us relate to their rhythms while neglecting the rhythms that readers and listeners want dance to.
“They (audience) expect the media to give an accurate representation of themselves” writes Irene Costera Meijer in the 2010 Rhodes Journalism Review. Irene argues that today’s audience expects constant updates, a broader selection of topics and a greater variety in design instead of news on fixed times and in tightly directed formats. Hence they opt for the new media.

Let us look at the political side of life, everybody wants new things, former president Thabo Mbeki was sacked from his seat before the end of his term because he opted for another term and for more than 24 years the Swazi’s are busy struggling to topple the feudal monarch system of King Mswati III, why? The answer is res ipsa loquito, people want new things, they want to have a say, they are tired of being passive all the time, they want mahinya-hinya(mixture) as we call it in my mother tongue.

Quote of the day: “Kids need to see newspapers as something that informs them-where you can learn (new) things that relate to your life.” Patti McDonald, Publisher of Avusa Education

06 August, 2010

Fashion bloggers unite

Fashion blogging is a new art, especially in South Africa. Whilst there are multitudes of fashion bloggers in America and France, there is only a handful in South Africa. Many have attributed this to the fact that the fashion industries in these countries are vastly bigger than the one in South Africa.

Despite this, I strongly believe that the South African fashion blogosphere can compete with its Western counterparts. Thanks to the growth of the internet, anyone from the bustling streets of New York City, to the dusty streets of the Khayalitsha, can blog about their personal style or their views on anything related to fashion.

Also, judging from the number of bloggers and members of arguably the biggest fashion website in South Africa, iFashion, there are many South Africans interested in fashion and fashion blogging.

As a journalism student, I know that the rise of new media necessitates a multi-skilled journalist and so, I have my own blog, Zee Fashionista. One of my favourite past times is to blog and read other fashion blogs. I especially love blogs on personal style, my favourites being Natalie Suarez’ Off Duty, Nadia Sarwar’s FrouFrouu and Julie Sarinana’s Sincerely, Jules.

Julie Sarinana (Image via Refinery29)

Nadia Sarwar (Image via Refinery29)
So that’s my mission for now – getting South African fashionistas to blog about fashion! While I love the views of renowned fashion bloggers like 13-year-old Tavi Gevinson and The Sartorialist, it would be wonderful to see and read South African perspectives on fashion.
By: Zinhle Mncube