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Talking Movies with Spling - Dark Places, Mistress America and The Voices


Spling reviews Dark Places, Mistress America and The Voices as broadcast on Talking Movies, Fine Music Radio. Catch Talking Movies on Fridays at 8:20am and Saturdays at 8:15am every week on Fine Music Radio.

 
Movie Review: Dark Places


Dark Places is a movie with a personal slant for lead actress, Charlize Theron, who witnessed her mother kill her father in self-defense after he arrived home drunk in 1991. Gillian Flynn's novel has been adapted to film by Gilles Paquet-Brenner, after David Fincher did the same for Gone Girl. Instead of a married couple, we follow a willful yet troubled women by the name of Libby Day in Dark Places.

The film deals with her thirty years after her sisters and mother were murdered on their farm, as Day is coerced into confronting the demons of her past and unearthing cathartic truths. We jump back-and-forth in time as events building up to the night are juxtaposed with Day's present circumstances as we too, grapple with her delayed journey of self-discovery.

It's as if Flynn was influenced by the documentary West of Memphis, which recounts the grisly murder of three Arknasas boys in 1993, who became known as the West Memphis Three. The true crime derived it's own adaptation starring Colin Firth in The Devil's Knot, yet there are marked similarities in tone, pacing and story as our lead re-examines old evidence, revisits testimonies, discovers links with the Occult and reconnects with her seemingly apathetic, incarcerated brother.

Charlize Theron plays Libby Day, a character who must have some remarkable significance for the actress, given Theron's personal history and South Africa's family and farm murder heritage. Not only does she share an eye witness account of a family tragedy with Day, but she's also choosing to revisit her past in a role decades later. The correlations and circumstances make this Oscar-calibre actress perfect for the imperfect role and she delivers a fine performance as a tomboy loner with shades from her turn in Young Adult.

Dark Places Movie Review

"It's true... I have dirty laundry."

Unfortunately, much of Theron's performance is hidden by her character's reluctance to reveal her face. Her state-of-mind is conveyed by her body language, but with a shadow looming over her face, we miss some of the nuances as Day is kept in the dark. Theron leads a stellar up-and-coming cast in Nicholas Hoult, Christina Hendricks and Chloe Grace Moretz, who make do with small supporting roles.

While Dark Places functions as a character study, we're forced to rely on the photo negative and reflections in windows to get a clearer picture of Libby Day. As such, the crime story takes more of the weight, remaining aloof, dangerous and unpredictable as it moves from morbid pop culture curiousity back in time to the dark energy of the Occult as truths surface.

It's more of a crime drama than a thriller that builds with intrigue and atmosphere as new shiny trinkets come to light. While mostly entertaining with its true crime swagger, it becomes rather underwhelming with an ending that feels like the bloody carpet has been pulled from under your feet. Theron anchors proceedings, but by keeping the audience at a distance, we never truly cross the threshold. You're left wondering how a director like David Fincher would have handled it.

The bottom line: Curious

 
Talking Movies with Spling - Boychoir, Glory Game: The Joost van der Westhuizen Story and Infinitely Polar Bear


Spling reviews Boychoir, Glory Game: The Joost van der Westhuizen Story and and Infinitely Polar Bear as broadcast on Talking Movies, Fine Music Radio. Catch Talking Movies on Fridays at 8:20am and Saturdays at 8:15am every week on Fine Music Radio.

 
Top Ten Movies with... Christia Visser


Christia Visser is a young South African actress, who is turning heads with an equal dose of girl-next-door charm and enigmatic screen presence. She played a small part in the inspirational drama, The Perfect Wave, in 2014 and has already racked up a star-making lead performance in the quirky high school "romcom" Hollywood in my Huis with other lead roles in upcoming thrillers, Girl from Nowhere and Last Ones Out, and a noteworthy supporting performance in the sprawling Afrikaans mystery drama, Ballade vir 'n Enkeling.

Visser was born to perform, having grown up wanting to act, sing, dance and write since she was a little girl. She finished her advanced studies at Act Cape Town in 2012 and went on to perform in plays such as Cardenio, Vers Kabaret, Sonde met die biere, Offer and Land van Skedels. Having undergone rigorous training with some of the country's best and most experienced film talents, she's poised for the big time with the ability to cut across any genre.

This is only the beginning for the young South African starlet, whose diligence, passion and talent is paying off. Winning over South African audiences and critics alike, it seems like only a matter of time before she starts performing on an international stage. She says what she does "It's more than a job, it's who I am.", which made us curious to find out more about her in this Top Ten Movies interview...

"I'm always the first one to tear up while watching a film."

I can't watch movies without...

- Popcorn. Cinema popcorn just tastes different somehow, throw some Whispers in the mix and we have a winner! Although generally I just love to eat!

Which famous people share your birthday?

- Here's something I never knew, Dr. Seuss shares my birthday! That's quite something. Also, Pitch Perfect's Rebel Wilson, she's really fun... current James Bond, Daniel Craig... some people think he's hot... Jon Bon Jovi, for the music... and Jennifer Jones. (2 March)

What is the first film you remember watching?

- The Lion King, so many many times! My parents took me and my sister to the cinema three times to see it before they bought us the DVD and I still love it!

What's the worst movie you've ever seen?

- The Hottie and the Nottie wins hands down. Paris Hilton at her... worst? This film was just all kinds of bad.

Which movies have made you tearful?

- Oh, I'm always the first one to tear up while watching a film, my list is long, but just to mention a few: A Walk to Remember, Seven Pounds, P.S. I Love You, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, 12 Years A Slave, The Fault in our Stars and Tinkerbell: The Legend of the Neverbeast... yes, that is correct, Tinkerbell.

Who is the most famous movie star you've ever met?

- I've had the privilege of working alongside local stars such as: Nicole Holm, Jana Cilliers, Rolanda Marais, Louw Venter, Nicola Hanekom, Lee-Ann van Rooi and Sean Cameron Micheal... but the most famous internationally goes to... Scott Eastwood, he starred in The Longest Ride and a film called The Perfect Wave, in which I played a small yet crucial part.

What's your favourite movie line?

I have a favourite line in almost every movie, here are a few...

- "Nobody puts Baby in a corner." ~ Dirty Dancing
- "This family is a f**king Picasso painting." ~ The Judge
- "Fear doesn't shut you down, it wakes you up, I've seen it." ~ Divergent
- "It's called a Lance, hello!" ~ A Knight's Tale
- "I sing you to me." ~ Australia

And of course...

- "The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return." ~ Moulin Rouge

Who would you choose to play you in your biopic?

- Shailene Woodley. I feel like she's got the "kaalvoet meisiekind" and red carpet mix just right... and so much talent!?!

Christia Visser in Last Ones Out - Top Ten Movies

If you could produce a movie, what would it be about?

- Oh wow, I have no idea, there are just so many stories to tell. I do think it would have to be something real, something that will make audiences think and feel.

Finally, your top ten movies of all-time...

Warning: My top ten might not be what you expect. I would love to mention some of the world cinema masterpieces, but that would be a lie... I'm no movie buff. I just like films... all kinds of films. I honestly need a top 100, but here we go...

- Dirty Dancing ...I always wanted to be like Baby, and I love to dance.

- Seven Pounds ...Will Smith is so brilliant at doing less. This plot is so carefully executed, you can't help but feel for the characters.

- Country Strong ...I love country music and this film depicts this insane industry and the entertainment ups-and-downs so well.

- The Perks of Being A Wallflower ...a coming-of-age film, touching the deepest parts of the teenage mind.

- The Fault in our Stars ...the most heartfelt teen romance ever.

- Australia ...this film is all kinds of right. Send Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman into the Outback and throw in a little aboriginal boy called Nala... the possibilities are endless.

- Silver Linings Playbook ...because a little bit of crazy goes a long way, this is twisted and I love it!

- G.I. Jane ...what better film to show the strength of a woman, Demi Moore, I salute you.

- How to Train Your Dragon ...my cat is Toothless and it's so beautifully animated... like most people... I absolutely love animation! 

- Moulin Rouge ...it's filled with great music, performances, visuals, script and is brilliantly executed. This film epitomizes beauty.

Top Ten Movies with... is a people series on SPL!NG, featuring a host of celebrities ranging from up-and-coming to established personalities from all industries including, but not limited to: Internet, Radio, TV, Film, Music, Art and Entrepreneurs. It's a chance to discover who they are, find out where they're at and to get a fun inside look at their taste in movies.


 
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