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The Labia Theatre is 70 this Year


The Labia Theatre is a landmark in Cape Town, a film institution that is celebrating its 70th birthday this year. The independent theatre, based in Orange Street recently had a face lift, maintaining its old world feel yet improving its technology, amenities and general feel. While a provocative anatomical name, it was originally an Italian Embassy ballroom, inaugurated by Italian royalty, namely Princess Labia. While seemingly singular, it's not the only piece of history looking back to this era, sharing its name with the Casa Labia in St James, Cape Town.

Labia Theatre - 70 years

While the Labia Theatre is celebrating its 70th year, it wasn't long ago that the cinema complex was under threat of closure. The pressure to go digital made it difficult to keep running without embracing the new age, forcing the cinema to appeal to the wider public through crowd-sourcing platforms like Thunderfund. The necessary funding was secured to upgrade projectors and revamp, giving fans a chance to feel invested in the future of the Labia.

Independent and arthouse film lovers have come to rely on the Labia Theatre, which entertains a wide spectrum of films ranging from commercial films through to foreign films and documentaries. Very much a part of the Cape Town film community, keeping one foot in the past and one in the present, it's a special place that holds many wonderful silver screen memories.

Celebrating its 70th along with Roodeberg Wines, which also turned 70 this year, the cinema has planned a red carpet event to acknowledge this milestone. While some cinemas seem to be under constant threat in our ever evolving age of home entertainment, the Labia Theatre has survived, continuing to offer its loyal filmgoers a unique and even retro magical movie experience. Make a point of visiting the grand dame if you haven't ever, or just simply check their schedule to find something that you can add to your collection of cherished memories.

Reasonably priced movie tickets, a wide selection of confectionery items and old school charm make this not only a tourist attraction but a place with its own personality.

 
Richest Actors in South Africa

Source: Briefly News South Africa

South Africa is one of the countries on the African continent with some of the best technological advancements as well as academics. Besides this, the government has recognized that there is much potential in the entertainment scene as South Africa has some of the richest actors and actresses who are making it big locally as well as internationally, earning lots of revenue for the country. Read on to find out actors and actresses that have made it onto our list.

Our list of the richest actors in South Africa is dominated by female actors. This is because they are versatile with so many talents that aid them to gain more wealth than their male counterparts. This does not mean that there are no men in the list, as there are a number of males in the industry as well. Have you ever questioned how much some of your favourite actors earn? Read on as we have compiled a list of some of the richest actors in South Africa based on their net worth.

Top 10 richest actors in South Africa

Here are the top actors and actresses that have made fortunes from their acting careers.

1. Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron is a renowned fashion icon, actress and movie producer. As an actress, Charlize has starred in several award-winning movies in Hollywood such as The Devil’s Advocate (1997), Prometheus (2012), Mighty Joe Young (1998), Hancock (2008), Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), The Cider House Rules (1999), The Fate of the Furious (2017), Atomic Blonde (2017) and The Italian Job. Moreover, she has been a recipient of various awards including the first-ever Academy award to be won by a South African actor, the Silver Bear and the Golden Globe Award.

Besides this, Charlize has also done a couple of film productions with her firm Denver and Delilah Productions, which have done various movies, some of which she has starred in like Dark Places (2015) and the Burning Plain (2008). Theron is considered the number one richest actor in South Africa with a net worth of $130 million.

2. Sharlto Copley

Sharlto Copley who is an actor, movie producer, and director comes second on our list of the highest paid actors in South Africa. He has an estimated net worth of $15 million. Sharlto has featured in many great movies and is famous for his role as Wikus van der Merwe in the Oscar award-winning District 9 science fiction movie.

3. Trevor Noah

Third on our list of richest actors is none other than the best comedian in all of Africa and arguably the entire globe, Trevor Noah. In the past, Africa was not huge in comedy but that has changed as there are various comedians making a killing from making people laugh. Trevor Noah is not only a brilliant comedian but also a writer, media critic, producer, actor and television host. Before Trevor relocated to the United States in 2011, he worked as a TV host in South Africa for nearly eight years, showing that he's a patriotic individual. Presently, Mr Noah is the Daily Show television host and it is believed that he has a net worth of $13 million.

4. Sello Maake Ka-Ncube

I am sure you all know Sello Maake Ka-Ncube who is one of the prominent South African actors as well as a voice actors. Sello has played various roles in theatre, film, and television both in South Africa and in the USA, Europe, Canada and Britain. Locally, we all love Sello’s character as Daniel Nyathi in the longest running soap opera Scandal! Moreover, Mr. Maake came to the limelight for developing the documentary movie of Africa’s Outsider, which describes the unusual chase and hunting of wild animals. Sello Maake's net worth is approximated at a whopping $13 million, making him the fifth on our list of richest actors in South Africa.

Read the end of the article at https://briefly.co.za/18821-richest-actors-south-africa.html

 
The Rise and Rise of the Box Office Blockbuster


Blockbuster superhero films aren't just saving the world, they're rescuing the traditional cineplex and movie theatre. As streaming services and the evolution of home entertainment systems rally for control of the entertainment world, comic book giants DC and Marvel are keeping movie-going audiences going to the movies!

The biggest box office hits over the last few decades have all been action-packed, high fantasy visual extravaganzas. James Cameron's Avatar and Titanic headline, but the top grossing films of all-time now include Marvel's Avengers series with Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Avengers: Infinity War. There's little doubt that the latest installment, Avengers: Endgame will also find its way into the top ranking.

Other major entrants are the new Jurassic World, Fast and Furious and Star Wars series, making the list packed with movies made in the last decade. The resurrection of 3D technology and escalating currencies probably have something to do with this, but the numbers don't lie.

While we've entered an age where CGI is becoming capable of representing the unimaginable, the prevalence of CGI-heavy films demonstrates the ongoing demand for escapist cinema. Back in the day when digital visual effects hadn't been birthed, George Lucas realised he was writing the middle story for Star Wars and declared that the special effects weren't capable of representing the first Star Wars movies he envisioned, which is why they were delayed. "I never thought I’d do the Star Wars prequels, because there was no real way I could get Yoda to fight. There was no way I could go over Coruscant, this giant city-planet. But once you had digital, there was no end to what you could do."

Years on with the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney, the franchise is firing on full thrusters, necessitating a staggering of the latest films in order to give fans a chance to anticipate new sequels and spin-offs. The rate at which these blockbusters are being churned out is so fast and furious (sorry) that it's becoming overwhelming to keep up with each of the varied and beloved series. Thankfully, studios like Amblin, Disney and Marvel (now Disney too) are keeping their standards high, making it easier for filmgoers to hand over their cash. The turnaround time of film shoots is also shrinking, making efficiency and planning critical in effecting big budget productions with more pressure overlapping into post-production wizardry.

It's quite amazing how screenplays that should take up to ten years to write are now being crafted, rewritten and set in stone much sooner. Writing teams help get the product finished quicker, franchise requirements probably also limit the bounds of imagination, making the process more methodical and even mechanical. Leaning on the CGI, it's probably not as important to grab the audience with compelling drama, when you've got eye-popping visuals to fall back on.

As we know from Roland Emmerich films, the writing is still very important, but then again... the large ensemble pieces aren't allowed to go too deep with characters. Spawning superhero, sci-fi, animation, street racing and space-opera blockbusters left, right and centre, the audience is so distracted from what's hot off the press that they're already looking forward to the next big release before they've even bought their tickets.

The rise of the blockbuster is great for the film business, generating great returns at the box office and roping in existing fan franchises. To some extent, it's also good for the post-production side of visual effects, enabling business for multiple agencies, who have to produce more on tighter budgets to be more competitive. The downside is that when special effects take centre stage, the acting and writing tends to become secondary. Harnessing the collective star power of some of this generation's best, means they're not quite as important... not becoming the drawcards of yesteryear. This makes them cheaper, compelled to bend to the current financial climate and ultimately dispensable.

While it may seem like a good idea for stars to have an ego-check decades after the star system, the problem is that this middling syndrome shifts the focus from performance to style. It's not as important for actors to exude what makes them who they are, but rather that they get in line and just make sure they remember theirs. While a seemingly small adjustment, making visual effects more important sends a message in an industry already on the cusp of moving over to digital stars. The problem is that by gravitating in this direction, substance, personality and human interest are becoming afterthoughts rather than a focus.

Truly timeless films deal with the human condition and what makes us tick. While it's critical that we revive flagging cinemas and create polished and profitable cinematic products, it's also important that we don't lose our souls in the process. Disney have been buying up major media companies, possibly in an effort to remain relevant and stay in control of the entertainment world in the age of Netflix.

While streaming services like Netflix are servicing the low budget film market, keeping many stars in business with their own production division, there's a whole new battle over rights to content old and new. With Disney+ on the verge of mixing up the game once again, we've just got to hope that we won't lose the healthy middleground in the process.

 
Being a Movie Critic in the Internet Age

 

I've been reviewing film for more than 10 years, which puts me in a position to offer some advice to those wishing to become a film critic. The last decade has seen a major shift that has been brought about by the rapid evolution of the Internet and its "adapt or die" effect on traditional news services. Having received a number of emails in which aspiring young critics ask me how to do it, I thought I'd put some words on "paper" to give prospective critics a lay of the land.

While there are more practical aspects relating to how to become a movie critic or "watch movies for a living", this article is more of a then and now, which should give you an idea of what's changed and where you're expected to focus nowadays.

My usual advice to critics is for them to start reviewing immediately and consistently to build a portfolio of movie reviews, which demonstrates their commitment, passion and budding talent. Whatever your blog, channel or point of publication, this becomes your hook to get your reviewing on bigger publications, serves as a platform to showcase what you're capable of and can eventually become an income generator if you manage to link with advertisers and sponsors. I'm sure there will be an article that delves more into this at some stage... stay tuned.

The Old West

I remember watching Barry Ronge, who had an extensive presence across film television, radio and print media. A luminary of the profession in South Africa, the iconic waistcoat and beard were almost everywhere in an age when there were only a handful of TV channels and radio stations. An entertainment journalist with a special interest in film, he appeared on arts and entertainment shows, hosted a weekly film talk show on Radio 702 and even had a column called Spit 'n Polish in the Sunday Times. He had a way with words, able to concoct reviews that made it almost seem like he was more of a word chef than -smith.

His counterpart was Leon van Nierop who had a bigger Afrikaans following, a movie segment on G.M.S.A (Good Morning South Africa) and also wrote radio plays and reviewed on radio. Their mainstream media domination made it seem like they were the only two reviewing film in South Africa at that time. While these two film commentators were prolific, there's never really been a true financial model for a movie critic in South Africa, making it a freelance role about contributing to a number of publications, platforms, educational institutions and jobs. While associated with substantial media outlets and platforms, it's not like they were able to dedicate their talent to one home base like many international critics have done over the decades, signing and partnering with regional or national publications.

The Game has Changed

While Peter Travers is forever connected with Rolling Stone and Roger Ebert with the Chicago Sun-Times... it seems as though the very nature of film criticism has changed, evolving with the times as avid readers have turned into watchers. It's not like it happened overnight, Ebert and Roeper's At the Movies show is a great example of how film critics entered the pop culture arena and realised catchphrases like "Two Thumbs Up".

There's just so much content now with the Internet, a low entry level in terms of creating media with cameras on almost every smartphone, that it's become a struggle to get your voice heard in a crowd armed with loudspeakers. Print publications are struggling to attract advertisers now that the Internet has taken the legs out, making the idea of turning pages in a newspaper as nostalgic as slotting in a VHS or cassette tape.

As the old school readership dies off, it's becoming more of an inevitability that publications move from traditional mediums to online spaces. While digital is certainly cheaper than printing, it's a much trickier and more competitive space because you're not just competing with ten other newspapers. There are literally thousands, even hundreds of thousands of news hubs/blogs that are pumping out original and/or regurgitated news.

Generally-speaking, the quality has taken a dive because platforms like Twitter, popularise the idea of instant gratification and make breaking news citizen journalism the new norm. The speed of writing, editing and publishing is difficult for newspapers to compete with when a story has already been disseminated by the time the ink hits the paper.

being a movie critic in the internet age

A reduction in advertisers and ad revenue, has also made print publications more thrifty in terms of how they operate, gather news and even manage human resources. Some have embraced the citizen journalist, making them contributors, a part of the news or the news itself. Many have accepted that they need to move with the times, gravitating to a more even split across print and digital, making it necessary for writers to become more media savvy and report across a spectrum including YouTube, Instagram, Twitter with a need for video and audio know how. Film critics were able to be employed in a sole capacity as specialists, but have now been given much broader job titles in order to keep them locked into the ever-broadening scope of the newspaper, embracing more general entertainment domains and job responsibilities.

With the changes in home entertainment and improved technology making it easier to just stream or watch high quality content from the comfort of your own home in style, it's becoming increasingly difficult for movie houses to remain relevant. While adopting cinema tech and gimmicks to reinvent the experience and maintaining their big screen advantage when it comes to blockbusters, which thankfully seem to be on the rise thanks to the popularity of Disney, Marvel and DC, it just seems so much easier for someone to turn to the closest screen, sit back and "chill".

While it's promising to see a host of streaming giants rising from out of nowhere to hopefully subvert piracy, grow the mid-range film industry and ensure that filmmakers are reimbursed, film-going has been down-sized by media corporations in terms of importance. Hopefully initiatives like Filmocracy will be able to make it easier for the smaller fish to thrive... especially when you consider that when Reservoir Dogs was screened at Sundance it was picked from roughly 250 submissions, when nowadays there are closer to 14,000.

Once viewed as a regular form of entertainment, the new outlook is that it's just not as important to have journalists dedicating their time to pontificating on movies as much. This has led to a situation where newspapers have been opting to syndicate reviews from sister publications rather than employ critics, a cheaper option, which while not localised maintains some level of quality.

This has unfortunately led to many retrenchments, reassignments and resignations over the years, reducing film commentary in the media, and in so doing narrowing the importance of cinema and its movie night regularity. While this may be true for traditional media platforms such as television, radio and print, the Internet continues to flourish with most film critics taking to the online space.

Master of All Mediums

These days you have to write compelling film content, but also open yourself up to the possibility of broadcasting, whether it be recorded for television, online, radio or podcast purposes. With the rise of the Internet news reader, there's been a drop-off in terms of time that people actually take to read an article. The benefit of paper and tangible news service content was that readers were compelled to focus on one page at a time, able to turn their attention to one article and actually read it from start to finish. The Internet has created a glimpse culture where the average time spent on a page is roughly 8 seconds, which means that most people will only take a few seconds to get the gist of an article rather than taking the time to sift through and enjoy the piece.

There are exceptions to the rule, but by and large, this is the new norm, forcing writers to simplify their content and use catchy, often misguided headlines ("click bait") to lure readers to their articles. The Internet is designed around speed, which is no surprise considering how irritated people tend to get when the page loads slowly, making this information highway all about fast and free information.

With the rise of fake news, we are seeing that credibility is becoming more important once again, integrity is also becoming a watchword when it comes to information retrieval and specialisation is making experts indispensable in a time when most know a little about everything, but not a lot about one thing.

Being able to Google is making it less important to actually become an expert in any one subject, keeping things fairly shallow. There are, however, limitations and without the funding, trusted media stalwarts like the New York Times and more recently Wikipedia are at risk of closing or reinventing their information accessibility.

It's becoming difficult not to treat every news item with suspicion, especially when big brands and corporates already have vested interests in media conglomerates and ulterior motives, which can slant reporting to favour one viewer over another. Thankfully, independent commentators and journalists are rising out of the ashes of the old way to hopefully restore some faith in journalism. They say "everyone's a critic", but even with the great film aggregators like IMDB and RottenTomatoes.com, there's space for movie critics who can help sell the drama.

 
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