Four Corners Film ReviewFour Corners Film
The narrative of Four Corners is equal parts Tsotsi and City of God, set in the sprawling South African ghetto of Cape Flats and following the people that struggle to survive it. At times, the dialogue is sparse and the acting is relatively wooden, but the overall message, and the despair of the situation, makes it an engaging film worth noting. Selected as the official South African submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards, Four Corners missed out on a nomination, but remains a bold undertaking by director Ian Gabriel, who chose to tell the story in Sabela, the secret language of certain gangs in South Africa), Tsotsi taal and Afrikaans.

Four Corners Theatrical Trailer

As the Northern Hemisphere goes full blast into the wintry days, those in the Southern Hemisphere are in for hotter and sweatier times, perfect for feel-good sounds that scream of sunshine and socialization more than darkness and hermitude. South African Music - Feel Good Mixtape Curated by UmliloAfter our experimental foray into South African house music proved to delight audiences domestically and abroad, we've invited the androgynous genre-hopping musician Umlilo to offer up a hand-picked selection of noteworthy South African musicians, as marked with the seal of approval by a local. So before we launch into the mixtape, complete with Umlilo's thoughtfully written track descriptions, please enjoy his latest music video for "The Elements", which shows off his interest in fashion, gender-bending, and explorations of vocal styles galore.

Umlilo - "The Elements" Music Video

Last month, I came across a music video that Total Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs called, "one of the best music videos I've seen in a long time": a live performance by iFani EWE in the Johannesburg neighborhood of Soweto. Having just seen a South African dance documentary called The African Cypher, this assertion of "best" did not hold true for me; awesome dance is threaded throughout the country's musical and social culture of SA. This reminder did, however, lead me to dig deep into South African music videos to hunt for visual and sonic gems -- the best of which I have shared in this post. (No Die Antwoord on the basis on their being well-known by all.)

Mafikizolo ft. Uhuru - "Khona"

I recently stumbled across this website called OkayAfrica, and it is definitely one of my favorite new internet finds. Of their recurring posts are summaries of notable African fashion designers to watch out for, and the fashion in this music video for "Khona" reminds me of these top designers in some ways. Geometric shapes and bright colors abound, abound, abound, in eye-catching ways galore. Glittered male dancers dive and swoop around a strong female lioness and a hypnotic rhythm, pushing "Khona" hard as a visual highlight and a repeat listen. DOWNLOAD MP3 [audio:/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Uhuru-ft-Mafikizolo_Khona.mp3|titles=Uhuru ft. Mafikizolo - Khona]

 

There is an inherent danger with really diving full-force into a film festival that has a scope as large as the Seattle International Film Festival. Often, the movies are top notch, well-selected and well-curated, and fit perfectly within the framework of that section of the festival. Other times, after sitting through self-indulgent artsy dribble that someone, somewhere, found interesting enough to greenlight with millions of dollars, you realize sadly that two or more hours of your life will never return. Now that we're through SIFF 2013, we've decided to give the rundown of what we appreciate and what we will never need to watch again.

The African Cypher (South Africa)

Directed by Bryan Little * TOP PICK * Films like The African Cypher showcase what is so great about festivals like SIFF. This documentary takes a long, sweeping look at the different street dance styles across South Africa, where dancing isn't just something people to do for fun, but something people to do to live. Director Bryan Little takes a backseat and lets his story tell itself through captivating dance sequences and enlightening interviews, as his subjects go from the confines of their neighborhoods to compete with the best at the "Big Dance Competition". Although The African Cypher's run has already passed at SIFF, mark it down as a film to place on hold at the library in the near future -- if anything, for the jaw-dropping dance sequences Little captured forever on film. - Peter Woodburn
 
Due the unfortunate fact that we are merely human and Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) is just beginning its three-week film rampage, we've sifted through the Festival's gigantic catalog to come up with the best films of the bunch -- or so we suspect. SIFF is annually guaranteed to have a mixture of some of the best and worst films that one can see -- and these film recommendations come from the minds of three REDEFINE writers with good intentions. Yet at best, these selections are our most educated hypotheses, determined from a mixture of film industry knowledge and intuitions based on trailers. Below, we've grouped our selections for 2013 by world region. Stay tuned in the weeks to come, as we offer updates throughout the festival's progression, with general thumbs up and thumbs down summaries of the films we will painfully and enjoyably slog and float through, as well as one-off full-length reviews. Happy SIFFing!
The 2012 Seattle International Film Festival begins on May 17th, 2012! In the next few days, we will be providing film previews for our top SIFF picks of the year. Times and dates are subject to change, so please visit siff.net before heading to theatres, or see HERE for all film preview coverage, including film selections from other regions of the world.

 


FOUND MEMORIES
Brazil/Argentina/France Directed by Julia Murat
A youthful photographer decides to open up her eyes and mind to the stories of older individuals in a small Brazilian town, giving new perspectives on life and death. May 22 @ 9:00pm, Harvard Exit May 24 @ 3:30pm, SIFF Cinema Uptown

 

The 2012 Seattle International Film Festival begins on May 17th, 2012! In the next few days, we will be providing film previes for our top SIFF picks of the year. Times and dates are subject to change, so please visit siff.net before heading to theatres, or see the Docsfest for all documentary films presented.

 


AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY United States Directed by Alison Klayman
A feature-length documentary about Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei, an influential and ground-breaking liberal artist considered a "God of Love" or the "Beijing Andy Warhol." He controversially goes as far as giving the middle finger to the Motherland and telling it, "Fuck you." May 18th @ 6:30pm, AMC Pacific Place 11 May 19th @ 4:00pm, AMC Pacific Place 11

 

BLK JKS released their first US full-length last year, and it made a relatively small ripple in the music pond. This year's EP Zol! from the South African band promises to make much more of a splash, due mostly to the well-deserved hype that has surrounded them recently. Not only did BLK JKS win a prestigious SAMA (South African Music Award) for their full-length After Robots, but they will also be playing at the first ever FIFA World Cup Kickoff Celebration Concert, a high honor.

 

ALBUM REVIEW CONTINUED BELOW Listen to "Zol!" - DOWNLOAD MP3