Hello ‘Khumba’

2013-10-25 00:00

TWO very different South African films open in the province’s cinemas this weekend: Triggerfish Animation Studios much-lauded new film Khumba, and the Afrikaans movie Die Ballade van Robie De Wee.

Khumba is the second film to come from the Cape Town-based studio and it follows last year’s award-winning Adventures in Zambezia.

It tells the story of a young zebra who is born with only half his stripes and is rejected by his superstitious herd, who believe he is to blame for a drought affecting the land.

Teaming up with Mama V, a sassy wildebeest, and Bradley, a flamboyant ostrich, Khumba sets out on a daring mission across the Karoo to find the legendary waterhole where the first zebras got their stripes. Along the way, he meets a host of colourful characters and comes face-to-face with a menacing leopard.

Die Ballade van Robie De Wee stars Neil Sandilands as Len van Jaarsveld, who was once one of the country’s leading music producers. He had it all: the stars, the hits, the connections —  but it all came crashing down: his wife left him, his bands abandoned him, the creditors moved in and he found himself on the street with nothing.

Just as he’s about to hit rock bottom Len is introduced to a rising new star Robbie de Wee (Marno van der Merwe). Len sees the talented youngster as a ticket back into the music industry and he’s determined to make him a star. He takes Robbie on, organising tours, publicity and music videos, and helps him climb the ladder to stardom while rediscovering his own formidable business talents.

But when a young girl is found dead in the singer’s hotel room, Len goes into overdrive to protect his star from the media and the authorities. But he will soon have to negotiate his own morality in a fight against time and what’s right and wrong.

Also new to cinemas this weekend is the latest instalment in the Riddick series, starring Vin Diesel in the title role.

Betrayed by his own kind and left for dead on a desolate planet, Riddick fights for survival against alien predators and becomes more powerful and dangerous than before. Soon bounty hunters from throughout the galaxy descend on Riddick, only to find themselves pawns in his greater scheme for revenge.

With his enemies right where he wants them, Riddick unleashes a vicious attack of vengeance before returning to his home planet of Furya to save it from destruction.

For fans of British romantic comedy, there is About Time, which tells the story of Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson), who, at the age of 21, discovers he can travel in time.

He can’t change history, but he can change what happens and has happened in his own life — so he decides to make his world a better place ... by getting a girlfriend. Sadly, that turns out not to be as easy as you might think. The film also stars Bill Nighy and Rachel McAdams.

Dance fans should enjoy Battle of the Year: Dream Team. It tells the story of the Battle of the Year competition, which attracts all the best dance teams from around the world. The Americans haven’t won in 15 years, so Dante enlists Blake to assemble a team to take the trophy back home.

The award-winning Bollywood film Mickey Virus, written and directed by Saurabh Varma, and starring Manish Paul in the title role, tells the story of lazy hacker Mickey Arora, who is recruited by the Delhi Police to help them solve an unusual case of hacking.

Last, but not least, film fans can catch Vermeer: Vermeer and Music, the latest offering in Ster-Kinekor’s Art On Screen series at Cinema Nouveau Gateway in Umhlanga.

The film gives viewers the chance to see the exhibition of Johannes Vermeer’s work staged at the National Gallery in London.

There are four screenings only, tomorrow, Sunday, October 30 and October 31.

• arts@witness.co.za

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