Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

District 9 like an alien my broe

So Big Friendly and I have been very excited by the sounds and noises that local movie District 9 has been making. It’s right up my alley. I love SF. I love send up. I love the idea that apartheid and xenophobia are looked at in an original way. I love that it’s local and that it has shot up the charts in such a huge way. It is a success story; just like our own Charlize. I especially love that it seems to have mainstream appeal overseas just like any other weird, SF, action movie would. It opens here on 28 August and I’m going to rush off to see it.

What has been really interesting (and telling) for me is that I have read two blog/reviews by two South Africans, both in America, who hated the fliek. One even walked out before the end. They both raised the same points and were equally disgusted by the movie and how it made them feel. They felt that the bad guy was a total Afrikaans stereotype. They felt that South Africans were portrayed as idiots. They felt that Americans would get the completely wrong impression of what South Africa and its people are like. They were embarrassed. They felt that the script was trite and weak.

Last night we got into a bit of a discussion before TheatreSports about art movies and mainstream movies and money and South African films. Everyone agreed that our serious movies often have a very limited, art house appeal. But we were all nervous about being misunderstood by a runaway success story, block buster, SF, action fliek.

I don’t know. I’ll reserve my judgement until I see it. In the meantime, I’m so excited that it’s raking in the dollars. Even if it had big, overseas money behind it. Bravo Neill Blomkamp.

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8 Comments

  1. megan

    News in from the Jozi premier last night is that it is good; very good.

  2. Zane Henry

    District 9 has klapped the US box office for six, clogged the blogosphere with fan posts and garnered almost unanimously favourable reviews (apart from, most notably, the wildly off-target, New York Press review by the troll-like Armond White). It’s got some weak bits, sure, but is a rollicking sci-fi blockbuster with more depth than any offering from the genre in a very long time.

    The review is appearing next week when the film opens but in the meantime, here’re some reasons why District 9 will fizz in your onnerbroekies.

    Afrikaaners is plesierig.
    Don’t you like the idea of millions of people across the world trying to pronounce Wikus van der Merwe? It’s not every day that you get to see an Afrikaans action star shouting ‘Bliksem!’ while kicking ass in an armoured mech suit. Well, if you don’t live in Boksburg, that is.

    If 6 turned out to be 9.
    The film got me thinking about what would’ve happened if the residents of District 6 had the same hi-tech weaponry as the aliens of District 9. My granny would probably still be there on her stoep in Hanover Street with her laser-cannon across her lap. Group Areas Act se moer.

    A Star is Born.
    SABC3 news anchor Mahendra Ragunath makes his big-screen debut. Sure, he might be playing himself for all of 15 seconds, but this is just the start, people. Rumours are that he’ll be playing Marc Lottering in the story of his life. Hollywood ubiquity looms.

    Local is lekker.
    While trawling movie sites, it’s become apparent that many international filmgoers and critics miss out on the film’s subtleties. Apartheid’s legacy, xenophobic violence, Rainbow Nation rhetoric, class distinctions, virulent crime and other South African realities are represented. Director Neill Blompkamp, who lived in South Africa till he was 18, has succeeded in making a South African blockbuster that can only be fully appreciated by South Africans.

    Make sure you see it. Hell, make sure you see it twice.

  3. megan

    Yee ha!

  4. Colourinse

    Particularily liked the line from Matt Stern (one of the mercs) aiming his gun at a Prawn…..”Kom na Pappa….”

  5. Beilla Gans (Tante B)

    In the NY Times today 8/21/09 : “CRITICS AND AUDIENCES # 1 MOVIE”
    ‘” CINEMATIC TRIUMPH'” ” SPECTACULAR” “INGENIOUS” ‘AWESOME”
    “THE SUMMER’S COOLEST MOVIE” NO. 1 AT BOX-OFFICE LAST WEEKEND.!

    THAT’S ABOUT “DISTRICT NINE” !!! “WILL BLOWQ YOUR MIND”

    Tante B – I must somehow get to see it.

  6. kzamats

    District 9 shows black people eating aliens, having sexual relations with aliens and barbaric. Main characters are white and black people are faceless and forgettable (and this is in South Africa where white people are only 10% of the population). It is surprising that most of the times when a white filmmaker makes a film in Africa portrayal of Africans will always be of barbaric and savage people. The stereotypical portrayal on Nigerians and if Bloemkamp cared he would have realised that Sotho is not part of Nigerian language but i guess all African languages are one thing in his ears. This film is an insult. But i guess another man’s poison will always be another man’s food.

  7. Zane

    Hey Kzamats

    I hear what you’re saying about the Nigerians. Out of curiosity, when did you see the film?

    Cheers
    Zane

  8. Colourinse

    Well I suppose Niel was going to use an Israeli gang but they weren’t so convincing.

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