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    #OnTheBigScreen: A Tarantino joint, LGBTQ+ love and Good Boys

    A faded television actor and his stunt double strive to achieve fame and success during the final years of Hollywood's Golden Age in in Tarantino's Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. Three boys ditch school and embark on an epic journey while carrying accidentally stolen drugs, being hunted by teenage girls and trying to make their way home in time for a long-awaited party in Good Boys.

    A high-school basketball coach volunteers to coach a troubled teen in long-distance running in the faith-based Overcomer. When love blossoms between two girls, they are forced to choose between happiness and safety in Rafiki. And an ambitious and determined young woman searches for the success that only the corporate world can bring in the local film Uncovered.

    Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

    With Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino continues to evolve and to surprise audiences. While it has all of the hallmarks of a Tarantino film – a wholly original story with fresh characters, presented with bravura technique – his ninth film also breaks new ground for the writer-director.

    It is a character-driven story, dealing with mature issues of unfulfilled expectations that inevitably confront us all as we age. In Hollywood, this struggle is particularly dramatic, as success and failure live side by side. In Once Upon a Time, they do so literally as well as figuratively.

    Uniting two of today’s greatest stars in a first-ever pairing and recreating an entire lost era, Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, the film is big cinema made for the big screen. A true original in a landscape of sequels and superheroes.

    Read more here.

    Good Boys 

    After being invited to his first kissing party, 12-year-old Max (Room's Jacob Tremblay) is panicking because he doesn't know how to kiss. Eager for some pointers, Max and his best friends Thor (Brady Noon, HBO's Boardwalk Empire) and Lucas (Keith L. Williams, Fox's The Last Man On Earth) decide to use Max's dad's drone – which Max is forbidden to touch – to spy (they think) on a teenage couple making out next door. But when things go ridiculously wrong, the drone is destroyed.

    Desperate to replace it before Max's dad (Will Forte, The Last Man on Earth) gets home, the boys skip school and set off on an odyssey of epically bad decisions involving some accidentally stolen drugs, frat-house paintball, and running from both the cops and terrifying teenage girls (Life of the Party's Molly Gordon and Ocean's Eight's Midori Francis).

    It is directed by Gene Stupnitsky in his directorial debut and written by Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg.

    Overcomer

    Life changes overnight for coach John Harrison (Alex Kendrick) when his high school basketball team and state championship dreams are crushed under the weight of unexpected news. When the largest manufacturing plant shuts down and hundreds of families leave their town, John questions how he and his family will face an uncertain future.

    After reluctantly agreeing to coach cross-country, John and his wife, Amy, meet an aspiring athlete who's pushing her limits on a journey toward discovery. Inspired by the words and prayers of a new-found friend, John becomes the least likely coach helping the least likely runner attempt the impossible in the biggest race of the year.

    This faith-based film was directed by Alex Kendrick and written by him and Stephen Kendrick. It is the Kendrick brothers’ sixth film and their second through their subsidiary, Kendrick Brothers Productions.

    Rafiki

    The film follows two stylish teens, Kena (Samantha Mugatsia) and Ziki (Sheila Munyiva), who crush on each other despite their families’ political rivalry. When love blossoms between them, they must contend with small-town busybodies and the judgment of their conservative society.

    With the support of numerous international funders and the participation of six co-producers led by South African production company Big World Cinema, pre-production began in December 2016 and was the first Kenyan film in Official Selection at the Cannes Film Festival (Un Certain Regard).

    Uncovered

    The story follows Aluta (Nqobile Khumalo), an ambitious and determined young woman who searches for the success that only the corporate world can bring. Having big dreams of being a CEO of a mining company, her life takes a full 360° turn.

    As she dodges bullets while seeking justice for her and her family, this movie will leave audiences on the edge of their seats. Directed by Zuko Nodada.

    Read more about the latest and upcoming local films: writingstudio.co.za/south-african-filmmaking

    About Daniel Dercksen

    Daniel Dercksen has been a contributor for Lifestyle since 2012. As the driving force behind the successful independent training initiative The Writing Studio and a published film and theatre journalist of 40 years, teaching workshops in creative writing, playwriting and screenwriting throughout South Africa and internationally the past 22 years. Visit www.writingstudio.co.za

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