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Miss Ntertainment


* The Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack has spent a second week at the top of the Billboard 200 chart. Just goes to show how cool ‘ol skool’ really is, seeing as the songs are all 80s classics. As Keith Caulfield over at Billboard notes, it’s been a good year for soundtracks as they’ve topped the chart for 15 weeks – with Frozen contributing to the mix. I do love a good soundtrack! Speaking of which, I finally heard the one from Middle of Nowhere last night, featuring Fink and Goapele.

* With the Emmys a few days away, the producers of the ceremony say they will be paying tribute to the late Robin Williams during the show. In a sad twist of poignancy, Williams last year delivered the tribute to humorist Jonthan Winters. Bill Crystal, Williams’ friend and fellow famed comedian will be the one doing the commemorating. Williams won 2 Emmys during his career, but was nominated for 8 more. Word has also come that his ashes were scattered over the San Francisco Bay a few days ago.

* The Vivienne Westwood hat Pharrell Williams bought one day and decided to wear to the Grammys will go on display at the Newseum in Washington DC from today until the 26th of October. Six months after it trended online, Pharrell’s Hat has been curated for the museum to show the intersection of news, celebrity and social media. It’s been loaned to the museum by Arby’s, the company that bid over $44 000 to own it, after noticing the striking resemblance to their logo. There is still life left in that hat!

* It’s just a tiny tidbit – ever so small – but a teaser trailer for American Horror Story: Freak Show is out. Admit One, indeed. The circus-themed series is due to air on October 8. Reasons to be excited about this new season? Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Sarah Paulson and Angela Bassett are reason enough to watch this multiple-Emmy nominated horror show.

* In Action Bronson’s version of the film Easy Rider, the Queens-born rapper is the one riding his Harley into the sunset and taking on 20 men in a bar no problem. At least in the music video for his new single of the same name, he can make that version come to life.

With all that’s going on – the continued unrest in Ferguson and the news that journalist James Foley, who was with South African journalist Anton Hammerl when he was killed in Libya, was beheaded, it’s hard to think about matters of triviality like entertainment news. But the arts and entertainment are there to help us live this life we do, so onward we must go.

* Hot on the heels of the new casting additions to Ant-Man comes the first look at Paul Rudd as our superhero, against the backdrop of the Golden Gate bridge where filming on the movie has begun. To be honest, I never ever thought of the comedian in this kind of role, but after talking to him at Comic Con, I’m excited to see where he takes it – even though the film has so much going against it, given all the drama it took to get it off the ground.

* The house where Johnny Cash grew up has opened its doors to the public as a museum. Fans make pilgrimages to the birthplaces of Elvis and BB King, and now they can see where the country star, who died a decade ago, grew up in a little house in Dyess, Arkansas.

* Nicki Minaj is giving it her all and leaving it all out on the table, so to speak, in the video for the single from her forthcoming album, The Pinkprint.  The video for Anaconda, the track that liberally samples Sir Mix-A-Lot’s Baby Got Back, was released at the stroke of midnight, started trending and has sent waves of wildness across the Internet. As someone with a small butt, I have to say, it’s okay if those anacondas don’t come a chasin’.

* The Toronto International Film Festival organisers are declaring September 5th Bill Murray Day. Hooray for the chance to celebrate a man who has made us smile and likes to randomly join in people’s karaoke parties and weddings.

* The lucky buggers in England who got tickets to see Kate Bush in her very limited, very rare tour, which kicks off next week, have been asked to please refrain from using cellphones and cameras at the show.  On a somewhat related note, fellow British singer PJ Harvey fans will want to see her receive an honorary degree from Goldsmiths next month.

As an added bonus of love and remembrance, and in case you missed it, David Letterman paid tribute to Robin Williams in a way only a friend who’d had the actor visit his set over 50 times could.

[Pic: Marvel]

Hello from New York – and an America where the Ice Bucket Challenge has turned practically everyone, from Oprah to Lady Gaga, into caring, water-wasting ‘slactivists’. This one, by Girls’ actor Andrew Rannells is my favourite though.  

* Leonard Cohen will be turning 80 in September, and a day before he does, he’ll be releasing 9 new songs as part of an album he’s titled Popular Problems. It’s not clear yet if he’ll be touring the new album, although he has said he won’t be doing so in 2014, so perhaps next year?  Even though he is the man who said: “Touring is like taking the first step on a walk to China. It’s a serious commitment,” I would love for him to undertake that commitment again to give fans like myself, who’ve never seen him perform live, the chance to. 

* Taylor Swift also released details of her new album, called 1989, in honour of the year of her birth. She released her new (definitely-not country) song through Yahoo on Monday, premiering too, a music video directed by Mark Romanek, who made One Hour Photo, starring the late Robin Williams (oh, how hard that is to still write). He’s directed videos for other artists, like the one he did for Michael Jackson and Janet, for Scream, and Jay Z’s 99 Problems. Called Shake It Off, the song and video sees Swift take on various dance roles, as she addresses her “haters.” The song is catchy and a few of the dance moves are cute, but there are a few misguided scenes.

* Sharlto Copley has his next role – he’s set to make his TV debut in Powers, alongside Michelle Forbes, from The Killing, as the lead in the TV series based on the comic book. The show is meant to be part of Sony’s PlayStation network’s push into original programming, and I know it would definitely make me tune in to see Copley every week for a 10-week arc. Copley is currently filming John Krasinski’s The Hollars.

* Three weeks ago at Comic Con, director Peyton Reed said Ant-Man would begin filming around now, and production has indeed begun on the long-gestating movie. Also, the movie has added names like Mad Men‘s John Slattery, Judy Greer, and TI, the rapper to the cast. Wishing Reed and the rest godspeed – they have an unenviable task ahead of them, given the rocky-road the film has been on. 

* And with the tense situation going on in Ferguson, some artists have chosen to speak out – like John Legend and Nelly. The rapper says he’ll be setting up a scholarship with the family of Mike Brown, the teenager that was killed by police in his hometown state of Missouri a week ago.

[Pic: Sony Music]

Nat Nakasa was a South African author and journalist, who came to the US to take up a Nieman Fellowship, but in doing so, was forced to take an exit permit, meaning he couldn’t return to South Africa. As a journalist, I knew of Nakasa and his work for the anti-apartheid magazine Drum but when I moved here to New York, where he committed suicide at the age of 28, I became more interested in his story. After almost 50 years, his remains, which have been lying in a grave in Upstate New York, are now on their way home. I covered the story for Eyewitness News, City Press and the Sunday Times. Here is an unedited version of one of the stories I wrote…

Broadway Presbyterian Church in Harlem, New York could have been a place of worship in Kwazulu Natal on Sunday morning, as a memorial for the late author and journalist Nat Nakasa took place – a send-off 49 years in the making. “Se’si nqobile (we have overcome),” sang those gathered in the church – a few blocks away from where the late writer died in 1965, when he jumped from the seventh floor of a friend’s apartment.

Nakasa’s only surviving sister, Gladys Nakasa Maphumelo, flanked by her niece Nombulelo and nephew Thamsanqa, as well as her son Sipho Masondo, attended the memorial, together with the Consul General George Monyemangene, expats such as Felicia Mabuza Suttle, and members of the American community who helped the struggle for freedom from afar, including documentary filmmaker Danny Schecter.

Maphumelo, using a crutch to help her walk, watched as a coffin draped in the South African flag and covered in white roses and orchards, containing Nakasa remains, which were exhumed on Friday, was carried into the church. Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa helped carry the coffin, before addressing the crowd, telling them this is the dignified service Nakasa deserved. “It has taken a culmination of many years of work to bring him back to South Africa,” he said. “And in doing so, we take Nat from being a ‘native of nowhere’ [as he once wrote] back to being a patriotic son of South Africa. In returning him home, we are also declaring apartheid an ideology of nowhere.”

Mthethwa lauded Nakasa’s work in nation-building and social cohesion, saying he was one of the people who helped build a bridge of good relations between South Africa and the US. Nakasa died at the age of 28, in what was ruled a suicide. After taking up a a Nieman fellowship at Harvard, he was not allowed to return to South Africa by order of the apartheid government. Even in his death, bureaucracy and high costs meant he could still not return – until now.

An empty tombstone in Ferncliff Cemetery is all that physically remains of Nakasa’s time in New York. But law professor Harold McDougoll, who was a Nieman Fellow alongside Nakasa in 1964, spoke about his legacy of mentorship that will live on. “Nat was 27, and I was 19, and so I looked up to him greatly,” said McDougoll. “He was one of the most diligent of my teachers,” he said. “He taught me the importance of culture as a source of strength,” he said, sharing memories of listening to Zulu poetry and jazz together.

To those who knew him here, or who found out about him after his death, his legacy will live on, even if it’s not overt. “He taught me about social change, and was a great mentor to me,” McDougoll told the crowd at the church. McDougall says he created a mentorship programme at Howard University, inspired by the guidance he received from Nakasa at a young age, called the Invisible College. “He is the Professor Emeritus of the Invisible College,” McDougoll said.

Matthew Keaney, who wrote his MA thesis on Nakasa in 2010, said he was pleased to see a large space dedicated to an article on the author in the New York Times this past week. “If more people here in the US realized the importance a figure like him plays in our own country’s history, perhaps we would be better off,” said Keaney, referring to the spate of racially-charged events taking place in Ferguson, Missouri, this week.

Thembinkosi Ngcobo from the Ethekwini Municipality, who was part of the delegation returning Nakasa’s remains home, thanked the Americans who played a part in fighting for freedom in South Africa, and civil rights in their own country. “There will always be that link between our two countries,” he said.

But for Maphumelo, who is now in her mid-70s and has waited almost 5 decades to lay her brother to rest, this weekend has been a time of great healing. “It’s a miracle this is happening,” she said, upon visiting his gravesite, for the first time ever this week. “Even though I can’t believe this is finally happening, I never stopped praying it would.”

“This is where the future is going to lift off from,” Connell Cruise says, looking out at the New York Stock Exchange. “It’s a dream so big I couldn’t have possibly dreamed anything close to it.” This Friday the 27-year-old singer was finally able to reveal a secret he’s kept under wraps for the past few weeks. He has been signed to Epic Records, a division of Sony Music, home to the likes of Sade, Outkast and Avril Lavigne.

“It’s unreal how huge it is,” he says, his voice soft-spoken but full of delight. “There’s still a lot of work to be done. This is just the beginning. But it’s such a great beginning!” Cruise, who’s been playing the piano since he was 4, released his debut album last year, which spawned hits like Not Just Friends and 99%

Producer extraordinaire LA Reid, who is responsible for signing artists like Usher and Pink! during the course of his career, inked the deal with David Gresham and Andrew Mitchley of local label David Gresham Records. Mitchley has been back and forth to New York with Cruise, meeting with labels who expressed interest in him, following the success of his most recent single, Into the Wild.

The track, which reached the top of the South African iTunes chart in April, caught the ear of Epic Records A&R rep, Matt Maschi, who took it to Reid. “Beyond the numbers, I thought it was a good song,” says Maschi. “It has a positive message – it’s loud, big and has an element of sound that doesn’t come from here in America. It has this world sound that comes from South Africa.” 

Cruise joins fellow South Africans, Kongos, who have rocketed to success in the US, off the back of their song, Come With Me Now. The track was certified Platinum this week, selling over a million copies in the US, and Double Platinum in Canada. “It would be cool if we saw more songs over the next 5 years coming out of South Africa and being successful like this” says Maschi. “But no matter where you’re from, a good song is a good song.”

Yet Maschi says it was more than just the song that helped seal the deal for Cruise. “He’s a wonderful person. Just hanging out with him I’ve found him to be a charming guy, who’s down to earth, and that’s a rare find.”

He says there are big plans for Cruise, who’ll stay in the US to finish his second album, working with the best songwriters and producers in the business. But Cruise says those plans will include regular trips back to South Africa, to perform for his fans. “They’re the reason I’m here,” he says. “I could never leave them behind.”


It seems it’s a good time to be South African and a part of Epic Records, Sony Music’s label headed up by producer extraordinaire LA Reid.

On Thursday, South African-born, Greek brothers, Kongos, who are based in Phoenix, Arizona, were awarded plaques by Reid and Sylvia Rhone, President of Epic, on the occasion of their single Come With Me Now going Platinum and selling over a million copies in the US.

Congrats to Johnny, Jesse, Daniel, and Dylan Kongos – or, I should say, opa!

The band has been riding an incredible year, with the single permeating the US, being played everywhere. They were supporting Kings of Leon on tour, up until Saturday, when KoL’s drummer Nathan Followill sustained a rib injury after a car accident. The tour has been put on hold, but Kongos will still be playing a few shows of their own in the meantime.

Then today, the news is out that South African singer Connell Cruise has signed a deal with Epic Records too, making him now label-mates with the likes of Sade, Outkast, Avril Lavigne, and Kongos. Under the deal, Cruise will record 4 albums. I spoke to Cruise ahead of the news going public, and he called it a “a dream I couldn’t have dreamed this big.” He is currently working on new songs in a Brooklyn studio for his sophomore album. Cruise recently scored a number 1 on the local iTunes chart in South Africa with the single Into the Wild, which he wrote via Skype wrote with American Authors’ James Adam Shelley and Brooklyn based producer Ido Zmishlany, who co-wrote the track Life of the Party, which has become a hit for Vine personality Shawn Mendes.


* Ryan Adams is preparing to release his new album – his 14th to date – with a slew of tour dates and a music video for the single Gimme Something Good. The video for the first single of the self-titled upcoming record, features Mistress of the Dark herself, Elvira, who haunts Adams with unpleasant dreams. Spotify has also given us another new track to listen to, My Wrecking Ball, from the man who just produced Jenny Lewis’ lauded new album, The Voyager.

* Michael Jackson‘s record company released the music video for “new” single, A Place With No Name, on Twitter on Wednesday night – heralding it as the first music video to ever be debuted via the social media site. It’s directed by Samuel Bayer, whose music video repertoire includes Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit and Green Day’s Boulevard of Broken Dreams. There’s something just a little eery about watching old footage of a younger MJ dancing, spliced together with scenes of a man and a woman meeting in the desert and then themselves beginning to dance. Turns out the footage of MJ was shot for In The Closet, and had been kept in a vault since 1992.

* A fabulously-mustachioed Johnny Depp will soon be seen on the big screen as a debonair art dealer named Charlie Mortdecai, created from the novels by Kyril Bonfiglioli. The trailer for Mortdecai looks like the comedy could be a lot of fun as it traces the protagonist’s quest to recover a stolen painting rumoured to contain the code to a lost bank account filled with Nazi gold. It’s out early next year.

* There have been some beautiful images of screen siren Lauren Bacall, who died on Tuesday at the age of 89, being shared as people pay tribute to her life. And some beautiful words too, like these from THR‘s Scott Feinberg.

* Kongos, the South African-born group of Greek guys who have jumped into the American spotlight with their single, Come With Me, are making new plans after their support slot on the Kings of Leon tour was put on hold. KoL’s drummer Nathan Followill is recovering from a broken ribs injury after a car accident on the weekend. Meanwhile, Questlove became an honorary member of the Followill clan when he filled in for Nathan during the band’s Wednesday night slot on Jimmy Fallon.

It’s a very sad morning across the world, as we remember Robin Williams…

* Tributes have been coming in from fans, friends and fellow actors alike, paying homage to Robin Williams who gave so many incredible performances and brought so many characters to life. An autopsy is expected to be done today, to investigate further into his death, but authorities in California, where he was found dead, say they believe he died of suicide caused by asphyxiation. Williams still had an active career, and had four movies due to come out over the next few months. His death is like a gut punch to the collective film-loving public.

* Foo Fighters have released cover art for their forthcoming album and documentary, Sonic Highways. The band has also let us know the official release date, which is November 10th. Ever inventive, the band has created different covers for the vinyl, based on each of the cities they recorded the documentary in, exploring the music scene there. I am biased, but I am partial to the New York cover, although the one featuring all the cities together is pretty spectacular.

* An oh-so-short teaser trailer for Better Call Saul, the spinoff to Breaking Bad, is doing the rounds. The spinoff, which follows the antics of lawyer Saul Goodman, played by Bob Odenkirk, before he met Walter White, is due to air in February next year.

* Another TV series that looks to be doing well is Outlander. It’s based on a book from 1991, and airs on the US network Starz, where it’s found a solid audience following this past weekend’s debut. It definitely looks like one to keep an eye on, as more episodes will air until the end of September. Also worth noting, season 4 of Homeland (which filmed in South Africa) will debut with a double episode, come October 5th.

* Staying with TV news, Patti LaBelle is heading to American Horror Story for 4 episodes. Like Stevie Nicks before her, LaBelle will bring her star-power to Ryan Murphy’s hit show, but she won’t be singing. LaBelle is set to play a local townie who begins to unravel the deadly secrets of a clown killer, in the series sub-titled Freak Show. Should be a goodie!

To end things on a somewhat sweet note, have a look at Sir Ian McKellen helping a South African director propose to his partner.

We all have our favourite Robin Williams roles.

There are numerous memorable parts he played, accompanied by lines only he could deliver. You only need to hear “gooood mooorrrniiiinnnggg, Vietnam!” to think of his irrepressible, feather-ruffling DJ in the Armed Services, or “hellloooo” to think of Mrs Doubtfire and see his face covered in pie. “Oh, Captain, my captain” takes us to his inspiring turn in Dead Poets Society, where he told us “we don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute; we read and write poetry because we are members of the human race.” The park bench scene in Good Will Hunting where he schools Matt Damon’s character is unforgettable. Sure, it won him the Best Supporting Actor accolade, but he won over 50 other awards, and was nominated over 60 times. His career was as memorable as they come. Yes, he had a few dud comedies, but on the whole, he left a body of work behind that is a treasure for many.

The authorities in North California where he was found dead at his home say they believed he died of asphyxiation, and that it was a suicide. Williams’ battles with depression and addiction had been public knowledge – he was in rehab just last month, after a stint in 2006 too. But, as has been noted by many people, just because we were aware that he had his struggles, doesn’t make his death easier to accept. He is one of those actors who is truly beloved. For certain, we didn’t know him personally, but as it was with Philip Seymour Hoffman, we just want to know that someone we admire and respect, who has given us so much pleasure as fans, is happy, and healthy, and well.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, on July 21 1952, Williams became one of Hollywood’s greatest – adept at both comedy and drama. He shot to fame on the TV show, Mork and Mindy, and from then on continued to feature in our lives, on our TV screens, in our cinemas, on our stages. The Julliard-trained performer has been remembered by colleagues for his generosity of spirit, his knack for impersonations and improvisation, and his kind heart. Everyone from US President Barack Obama to Questlove have shared memories about him. He leaves behind 3 children, and countless fans across the world.


I had the chance to meet him once, when I first moved to New York, and I had hoped I would get to again, for an interview. Although his TV show with Sarah Michelle Gellar, The Crazy Ones, had been cancelled, he had 4 movies he was working on, so I always thought that I would still get that chance.

I had the chance to meet him once, when I first moved to New York, at the gallery his daughter-in-law ran in New York’s Chelsea neighbourhood. I had hoped I would get to again, for an interview. Although his TV show with Sarah Michelle Gellar, The Crazy Ones, had been cancelled, he had 4 movies he had still coming out, so I always thought that I would still get that chance. 

There was the sequel to 1993’s Mrs Doubtfire that was still in the early stages, but he had reprised his role as Teddy Roosevelt in Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, another sequel, which wrapped production in May, and is due out in December. Another Christmas movie, titled Merry Friggin’ Christmas is also due out then. At the TriBeCa Film Festival earlier this year, he starred in a drama called Boulevard that hadn’t yet been set for release, and he voiced a dog in an animated British film called Absolutely Anything, alongside Simon Pegg and Kate Beckinsale.

Nonetheless, he remains one of my all-time favourite actors, and I know for many, the same is true. I will be watching The Birdcage for the gazillionth time in his honour, and hugging my friends a little tighter this week.

[Pic: Williams in Good Will Hunting]

Howzit from New York! Hope you caught the Super Moon on Sunday night – the next chance will only come in about 30 years! 

* Despite its 19% score on Rotten Tomatoes, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, still earned a hefty part of the box office this past weekend, more than was expected. The reboot made over $65 million in North America, $20 mill more than was expected, breaking Guardians of the Galaxy‘s stronghold. It really goes to show that critical acclaim doesn’t mean much in the face of a family-oriented action flick.

* The Teen Choice awards gave surfboards to The Fault in Our Stars cast, Pretty Little Liars, Demi Lavato, and Donald Sutherland as choice villain for The Hunger Games, among others. According to the show’s hosts, over 165 million votes were cast for the public-vote awards. Wonder how many of those were repeat votes?

* Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett is spending part of the US summer on a New York stage, for a limited run in the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of The Maids, by French playwright Jean Genet. From the sounds of things – and the $375 upwards ticket prices – Blanchett is dazzling, alongside French astar Isabelle Huppert and Elizabeth Debecki (who played Jordan Baker in Baz Lurhmann’s film version of The Great Gatsby).

* Actress Gillian Anderson will soon release her debut novel, A Vision of Fire, and of course, it’s a science-fiction one. The X-Files star has teamed up with best-selling author Jeff Rovin, to help kick-start a new imprint from Simon & Schuster publishing house that will focus on fantasy and stories of the supernatural.

* “An August moon surrenders to a dust cloud on the rise…” Duran Duran collaborated with Nile Rodgers on The Wild Boys (*clap clap*), among others, and now the British group is reuniting with the producer, as well as Mark Ronson, for their latest album. They had such success with collaborating in the past, so I’ll be happy if this partnership leads to another track like Wild Boys.

[Pic: Paramount Pictures]

There’s really no better place to watch James Cameron’s DeepSea Challenge than at the American Museum of Natural History, in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, to be exact, with its giant whale perched up above, and all the various other sea creatures spread around the cavernous room. That’s where the premiere for the film took place, complete with vegan catering, as per the Oscar-winning director’s wishes, earlier this week.

On the cusp of his 60th birthday, Mr Cameron – ahem Jim – is letting the world witness how he became the first person to travel solo to the deepest part of the ocean. It was a feat he achieved in 2012, but the National Geographic documentary about the expedition is releasing this weekend in the US, and in other countries in the months to come.

For Cameron, this feat is one more to be added to his list of achievements. He has, after all, climbed to the top of the artistic ladder, smashing all kinds of box office records with Titanic and Avatar – films that are just as critically-lauded as they are commercially successful. At the same time, he’s achieved his dreams of exploring ocean wreckages and creating new technology to make his movies, reaching the depths of the scientific world. This documentary, which he didn’t direct but is the star of, takes us back to show how this latest feat was achieved and how Cameron’s team came together under pressing deadlines and the tragedy of two deaths, to still make it all possible.


The film follows the crew (which features a very young-looking guy in charge of the electronics who wears great t-shirts) and Cameron, from his dream as a child to be in a submarine, to talking about, and then building, the submersible and testing it, before he actually completes the task himself. In the beginning there are a lot of re-enactments of a little boy, and also of the two explorers Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh, who first went to the deepest part of the ocean in 1960, which I didn’t care for too much as they felt a little out of place and inauthentic. Nonetheless, you get the gist that Adult Cameron is fulfilling Boy Cameron’s dream by taking on this task.

What I enjoyed about the doccie is it traces how Cameron’s love for the ocean developed alongside his movie-making – from The Abyss to Titanic and Avatar. Those last two, of course, went on to become the two highest-grossing films of all time, but throughout it all, Cameron’s passion for diving deep below the surface of the earth is unshakeable. As I watched his dreams get bigger, I found my appreciation of the ocean and what lies beneath it, grow too. As he gets closer to achieving his dreams – from exploring the Bismarck wreck to maneuvering a robotic camera into the sunken Titanic – so I found myself getting more interested in the so-called nuts and bolts of how it all works.

Far away from being a science geek and still very uncomfortable with numbers, I found it hard not to be enthralled seeing the kind of fish and sea critters that swim on past Cameron as he’s submerged underwater. Seeing them in 3D made me actually mouth out the word ‘wow’ and I may have even let out a little squeal at the sight of one particular little multi-coloured creature. It’s when the use of 3D really pops. More than just an appreciation for sea-life, though, the doc tries to somewhat put it all into a bigger context – why there’s the need to understand the ocean better, clearer, and what impact that understanding has on dealing with natural disasters like tsunamis.

I will admit though, I did wonder while watching the film, whether this was just one big expensive adventure, sponsored by Rolex, to make one man’s dream to reach the bottom of the deepest part of the ocean come true. Cameron addresses the question of why one wouldn’t just send a robot down to the bottom of the ocean – he believes there’s something to be said for a human being doing it, someone who can bear witness to what really is down there. One of his crew members, whom I spoke to after the premiere, said he disagreed with Cameron and believes there is no need for humans to do what robots can, at a cheaper cost. But the engineer told me he does understand the marketing power behind having someone like the Oscar-winning director complete the task. As Cameron details his love for the ocean, and therefore preserving and appreciating it, he shares that with a wider audience than just those who are already interested in the subject.

Once Cameron finally reaches his goal, as seen at the end of the doccie, I had to wonder though, if any film could ever give him the same kind of fulfillment he seemingly gains from this once-in-a-lifetime, record-breaking achievement. Even if the actual moment doesn’t prove to be quite as eventful as the days leading up to the actual dive. That was one of the questions I got to ask him during an interview that took place the day after the premiere. Cameron’s reply is in my story that’s coming out when the movie hits the South African big screen, tentatively scheduled for next month.

When he was preparing for the DeepSea Challenge, James Cameron sent "selfies" to his crew from inside his sub. In that spirit, I took one post-interview - only he called it an "usie."

When he was preparing for the DeepSea Challenge, James Cameron sent “selfies” to his crew from inside his sub. In that spirit, I took one post-interview – only he called it an “usie.”

[Top pic: National Geographic Society/Rolex]

Hello Weekend! Looking forward to celebrating the second week of Summer Streets in NYC…

* Fresh from reuniting and performing on the Daily Show, Wu Tang Clan have released their new single, Ron O’Neal from the forthcoming album A Better Tomorrow. The song, named after the actor from Super Fly, is the second single off the album, but it’s the first one that’s been released since RZA and Raekwon declared a truce of sorts in order to go ahead and get the album out. It’s due out in November, but the group is still working on that one-of-a-kind performance album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, too.

* Rihanna and Eminem kicked off their co-headlining tour, Monster, in Pasedena on Thursday night, during which the pair performed a mix of their own songs, the singles they’ve recorded together, and a cover of B.o.B and Hayley from Paramore’s Airplanes. I would have liked to have heard that track as done by the two of them. According to USA Today, Em delivered the more energetic set out of the two.

*It’s hard not to get choked up watching the trailer for the Stephen Hawking movie, The Theory of Everything. Eddie Redmayne plays the respected scientist, who developed motor neuron disease, and Felicity Jones plays his committed and steadfast wife, Jane. The film is out in November. (And while we’re at it, the trailer for the hopefully heartwarming sequel The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, featuring Richard Gere, is also out.)

* Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles releases on the big screen in the US this weekend. Directed by South African born, LA-based Jonathan Liebesman, the film has been getting some rather scathing reviews, but it’s still expected to bring in a decent amount of mula for its opening weekend. Such is the summer blockbuster.

* On a much smaller scale, James Cameron‘s latest project is also out this weekend. The Oscar-winning director is the subject of DeepSea Challenge, which chronicles his expedition to become the first solo man to reach the deepest part of the ocean. His passion for the subject is contagious, and it’s great to see how his passion for the sea has developed alongside his movie-making career.