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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ije, the Journey

No publicity is bad publicity. I am here to praise Ije and condemn the filmmakers. I watched the first 20 minutes and had to leave. I could predict the entire movie so I was not hurt to leave. Don't get me wrong. I am dying to watch the rest. i had to leave because I had a flight to catch from Lagos to Senegal. Yes. I am enjoying my graduation, touring countries in Africa and doing a small hand held camera work on cultures.

I have read many reviews that have called Ije the standard setter. The young filmmaker herself called her NYFA Thesis film the first Hollywood Movie of Nigeria. What an insult to Nigerian filmmakers. I doubt Chineze wants to start her career by making enemies in an industry she CAME TO MEET. I have read many comments that share my anger.

For clarification, Ije came to meet the Nollywood revolution and is one of those movies that will be included in the revolution. It did NOT start the revolution neither is it a pacesetter. It is rather a desperate attempt to get noticed by Hollywood from Chineze and the rest of the crew and cast excluding Genevieve, Omotola and Clems. They already have their fame. The movie painted Nigeria is such an ignorant light, and tried in every way to make the black man the victim. so cliched!! At least, it won 8 awards from unknown festivals and that is always a start. I am not hating on Chineze. I am telling her to put a stop to belittling Nigerian filmmakers because she was lucky enough to have NYFA student benefits extended to her, plus family money to go make a good movie.

I want to draw her attention to Jeta Amata. Who made the first bonafide Hollywood movie Amazing Grace. He has made another called Black Gold with Billy Zane of Titanic fame. Other filmmakers have used real Hollywood stars like Billy Zane, Nick Moran, Jimmy Jean Louis, Hakeem Kae Kazim, Caroline Chikezie etc. I can also remember the movie Secret laughter of women with Nia Long which started the likes of Joke Silva.

How then is Ije the movie all these people must emulate? Have I forgotten to mention ground breaking, box office breaking movies like Through the Glass from Stephanie and The Figurine? So Ije with is struggling thespians cannot be anything Nigerian filmmakers need to follow. It is not a Hollywood Film. It is a Nigerian Film.

Pride goes before a fall. These filmmakers she is disparaging have struggled against odds of making movies in our substandard industry and yet have managed to make good films. She was surrounded by school professors and a 99% American crew and 80% American equipment. No struggles to find equipment or crew who know what to do.

I would like to see how she fares by working alone in Nigeria. No Paula Moreno to produce and no Kevin Smith to DOP. Just use resources in Nigeria, race against Nigerian time and lets see what happens.

Ije should be marketed with all the aplomb, but do not make it larger than life because there is nothing special about it. it is nothing Nigeria film industry had not seen before. It is least the African Film industry has seen compared to the likes of Gaston kabore, Sissako and Darrel Roodt.

Genevieve looked damn good in the movie, not sure why they made her talk like some illiterate Nigerian, (insulting if you ask me), she is a banker, in Nigeria, why should she be naive?
Regardless of the predictability of the piece, its naivete nature and factual errors, Ije is very entertaining and beautifully shot. Try and watch it!!

jeta Amatas black gold.


T.W.O: Dynamic Duo. Love Unending. Legitimate Music.

The Charly Boy Show was an integral part of the Saturday ritual for those who grew up in Nigeria, in the early 90s. The show was popular for segments like ‘Joker,’ ‘This is Not the News,’ ‘Madam Zizi,’ as well as the highlight of the show ‘Candid Camera’. It was the crux of Saturday afternoons back then (If you didn’t have cable, there wasn’t much to watch on TV).

Specifically, Wunmi made spoofs as Miss Snowbottom and Tunde was a regular with the Joker segment. In 1998, it became common knowledge that Tunde and Wunmi had gotten married. It was no surprise seeing as their chemistry on-screen was scorching to say the least. What most people do not know however, is that they’d met years earlier while they both were students of the University of Lagos .

They were members of the on-campus music band, Turning Point. The story began with Tunde’s initial indifference to her presence, then the gradual warming up, the eventual friendship and the (still) blossoming romance. The relationship which has spanned over 20 years has given birth to a happy relationship with lots of good and wholesome music. With their exploits on TV behind them, they delved solely into music – the reason they’d met in the first place. Their brand of music is lighthearted, high spirited and fun. Over the years they’ve added great songs like Mogbomoya, Zombie as well as Like a Fool in their kitty.

Last year, there were rumors that they’d given up their music for TV. And as if in answer to those rumors, they began recording a new album titled TWO legit. They released the said album, titled TWO Legit on August 2nd, 2010. The LP boasts of production credits from heavy weights: ID Cabasa, Puffy T, Rymzo, and Foster Zeeno amongst many others.


Lady Gaga's grandfather dies

Joseph Germanotta, the 88 year old grandfather of Lady Gaga, died on 24th September 2010. Gaga had only visited Joseph on Wednesady 22nd. The mature person in me though realises how heartwarming that may be for her in the months to come. It would have been worse if she had not seen him for months.
Whilst touring the UK in May Lady Gaga broke down on stage and told the audience about her grandfather's ill health.
Gaga's boyfriend Luc Carl has been comforting her since her grandfather's death and being as supportive as possible.
The Mail Online has reported that:
"Dozens of messages of sympathy and support for the star have been posted, both at an online obituary for her grandfather and on Twitter.
The obituary in the Star-Ledger said Mr Germanotta had lived in New Jersey. He was self-employed and had served in the Army during World War II. He was survived by his wife of 57 years, Angeline, as well as his son Joseph and granddaughters, Gaga and her sister Natali.
The obituary asked that in lieu of flowers, donations were made to the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson's research at"
Although they looked sad, Lady Gaga and Luc Carl were spotted in New York on Saturday. As ever Gaga was making a statement piece with her clothing. She was wearing a leotard, killer heels and a leather jacket.
Then again perhaps her grief just made her forget to put a skirt or trousers on.
RIP Joseph