• Film,  Miss N

    No Ghosts Please, Just Filmmakers

    When the person sitting next to you on the plane tells you they made the Weiner documentary, it can be hard to suppress the urge to geek out entirely and bombard them with questions about how they made the film, which follows the former NYC mayoral candidate as he attempts to mount his great comeback. How he let them continue to shoot even when he’d been caught again for his sexting exploits (and this was even before the latest Hillary-enveloping development); how each new scandal has affected their film; whether they’d go back and do a follow-up. So many questions. Finding myself next to directors Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg on my flight to Savannah…

  • Film

    In Celebration of Subtitles.

    Oh, how I’ve grown to love the Foreign Language category of the Oscars. When I was younger and watching the ceremony, I’d usually pass it over, because there were no recognizable stars to me, and, what kid is really watching films with subtitles? Thankfully, growing up and into my cinema tastes opened a whole new world, and movies with subtitles have been some of the most rewarding film experiences I’ve ever had. Especially in my own home country of South Africa, where foreign language unfortunately also encompassed 9 of the 11 official languages. It’s been 10 years since South Africa had a film competing for a Best Foreign Language Oscar. That film was Tsotsi, and…

  • Film

    African Film at the Toronto Film Festival

    This story first appeared in The Sunday Times. The line of people wrapped around the building and carried on across the street. It wasn’t for Arrival, the new science-fiction offering sure to have Academy Award members talking about Amy Adams for months to come. Nor was it for the latest Ryan Gosling-Emma Stone onscreen pairing, La La Land, that’s had critics swooning. For sure, these films drummed up their share of attention at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), but this particular bulging line, filled with people dressed in their finest, was for The Wedding Party — a rom-com set in Lagos. This year’s festival highlighted Nigeria’s film industry,…

  • Film,  Miss N

    Highlights from the Toronto Film Festival #TIFF16

    My time at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival was unfortunately shorter than usual, on account of being an in-demand journalist (ha, just kidding, but I did have another assignment that required me to be in Los Angeles) and so I hold dear the time I did get to spend and the film-going experiences I had while there. My stand-outs start with the film that went on to win the People’s Choice award, La La Land. I liked it so much I was inspired to dedicate an episode of The Rundown to it. The film stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, in their third on-screen pairing, as a couple who…

  • Film,  Miss N

    Florence Foster Jenkins

    Originally published in The Star Tonight. 40 years ago, Meryl Streep couldn’t have known, when she joined college friends in having a laugh over a recording by a person dubbed the world’s worst opera singer, that she herself would one day replicate the sound she heard on that tape. She couldn’t have predicted she’d take on the role of a woman whose voice elicited astonishment from all who heard it – or that it would be just one of a number of memorable characters she’d take on in a career as one of this generation’s finest actors. Back then, while studying at Yale School of Drama, the multiple Oscar-winning actress…