Tag Archive for Movie Locations

As it is in Heaven

When I say As it is in Heaven is a Scandinavian Sister Act, I mean no disrespect to either movie. Both films feature a wild-haired, fish-out-of-water protagonist who unwillingly becomes involved in teaching harmony to a characterful, cacophanous choir, thereby allowing both choristers and choirmaster to discover joy and music, independence and community, redemption and love. There’s even a frosty religious zealot in both… Read more →

Quantum of Solace

Strangely enough, I wasn’t really looking forward to Quantum of Solace, the 22nd Bond offering. In South Africa, movie critics roundly labelled the movie as dull, muttering that the artsy German director couldn’t “do” action, and they hinted darkly that the demise in standards marked the end of the Bond franchise globally.  So to be honest, I was really pleasantly surprised.… Read more →

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Ok, now that the movie’s finally out, it’s probably finally safe to talk about this….. Although Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull features all sorts of Cold War triple agent spy-jinks and McCarthy-esque witch-hunts for hidden Reds, it would appear that most feared were those who might have tried to steal the movie’s secrets. The final credits even include a Confidentiality… Read more →


Caught Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Babel on tv again last night – a beautiful, gut wrenching and entirely appalling exposition of the confusions and mistakes and misunderstandings that separate us. In light of the xenophobic wrath unfolding in Johannesburg right now, it’s a timely reminder of umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu – our humanity connects us, a person is a person through other… Read more →

Your Winnipeg

The sister of our very fabulous friend Di lives in Winnipeg in Canada. Why any sensible, sun-drenched South African should make a life in a city where the average temperature is minus three, and it’s dark for nine months of the year (ok, it isn’t really, it just seems that it is) is beyond comprehension. Given my general bafflement, I’m… Read more →

Nearly Nailed by Political Interference

In the greater scheme of things, how an interfering official in the State of South Carolina dealt with the filming of the new Jessica Biel, James Marsden, Jake Gyllenhaal movie Nailed is a lesson on how not to engage with the film industry. In Nailed, Biel’s character Alice is a sweet, small-town waitress who gets a nail lodged in her head in an accident, and… Read more →

Pieces of Dan in Real Life

Anyone whining about the lack of success of the South African film industry need only to look at a movie like Pieces of April to understand what we’re doing wrong. Written and directed by Peter Hedges, April is a small, personal film, well told.  It stars Katie Holmes (post-Dawson and pre-Tom and therefore appealing) as an estranged daughter struggling to prepare… Read more →

Iron Man v. Ghost Rider

Someone up there was making a point; after the local release of the excellent Iron Man movie last week, the MNET Sunday night feature was Ghost Rider, another Marvel Comics superhero, this time starring Nicholas Cage. The story’s set mostly in Texas, though it was filmed in Australia at the Melbourne Docklands film studios and in a place reportedly called “the motorcycle… Read more →

Iron Man (again)

Based upon Marvel’s iconic Super Hero, Iron Man tells the story of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), a billionaire industrialist and genius inventor who is kidnapped by the Bad Guys and forced to build a devastating weapon for them. Instead, Tony builds a high-tech suit of armour and escapes captivity. Upon his return home, Tony comes to terms with his… Read more →

We’re going to have a Military Coup…..

A great story from Peter Biskind in March’s Vanity Fair; during the filming of The Deer Hunter in Thailand, producer Barry Spikings’ chief Thai liaison was General Kriangsak Chomanan, at the time the supreme commander of the Thai military. The producer simply called him “K.” Spikings recalls; “We needed lots of weapons, helicopters, armored personnel carriers—and he provided them all.”… Read more →

Little did he know……

In Stranger than Fiction, Will Ferrell plays Harold, an anal IRS agent who begins hearing a voice in his head, narrating his life. But then the narrator – a distinguished author with writer’s block – Emma Thompson, says: “Little did he know that this simple seemingly innocuous act would result in his imminent death……” I’d noticed the movie at the… Read more →

Mistress of Spices

Aishwarya Rai plays Tilo, Mistress of Spices, a kind of sayer-healer-agony aunt who is sent to California with three implausible challenges: help people to accomplish their desires (but never her own) through the considered application of spices; never leave the store; and never touch another person’s skin. But she’s sent to Oakland for pete’s sake, within spitting distance of San… Read more →

Interminable 10000 BC

OK, so even my regional loyalty can be pushed to its limits. Citing nothing more than the fact that it had been shot in Namibia as rationale, (it was the biggest budgeted film ever to have shot in southern Africa, employing hundreds of African cast and crew members in the process), I forced Christopher sit through the interminable 10000BC over… Read more →

The Talented Mr. Minghella

Selfish little shockwaves bouncing round my house this morning; with the untimely death of the prodigiously smart and talented Anthony Minghella, what will become of the rest of the series of No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency movies, the pilot of which shot in Gaborone last year? No.1 is of course the film of the much loved book by Alexander McCall Smith,… Read more →

The Breed

In bed over the weekend with a bad back, I took the opportunity to catch up on a couple of movies Made in Cape Town. The first – Wes Craven’s The Breed – was shot on Steenbras Dam, a beautiful stretch of water just over Sir Lowry’s Pass on the way out of town from Somerset West – where it was… Read more →


Caught the uncut version of Tarantino’s Deathproof on DVD over the weekend. Actually a bit of a blast, faux-70’s styling with dodgy edits, scratchy film, wandering colour balance etc. Check out the dents on 1970 Dodge Challenger – they get less as the crashes get worse. Deathproof features a deranged killer named Stuntman Mike – Kurt Russell – who stalks… Read more →

An entirely different moral universe: Hackney

I loved David Cronenberg’s History of Violence, which was widely critiqued as a blistering commentary on all the aggression and brutality behind America’s “have-a-nice-day-now” civility. So I wondered what I’d make of Eastern Promises, Cronenberg’s latest movie, now that he turns his attention to London. Eastern Promises is set in a place called London Fields, a patch of parkland in the borough of Hackney next to Broadway Market. And Eastern Promises unpacks this for… Read more →

Shirley Valentine

We have a pet hate in our family; the incessant and omnipresent Greek Tourism ad that tops and tails movie news on CNN. At 59 seconds, the (admittedly well-produced) spot seems longer than the snippet of film news it supports. Now in comparison, last night we caught Shirley Valentine on tv. It’s a great little movie (Tom Conti’s accent notwithstanding) filmed… Read more →