AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

Nollywood

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Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Not Nollywood: An Interview with Nigerian Filmmaker Tunde Kelani

Tunde Kelani is a seasoned Nigerian filmmaker wrapping up his sixteenth film, Dazzling Mirage. On the film’s website Mainframe Movies, his production company founded in 1991, promotes this as a “movie and a movement.” This is not Nollywood. Observers, scholars, and critics usually describe Nollywood as everything but “cinema.” For some critics, it’s all absence

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Kenneth Gyang’s “Confusion Na Wa” and the growing desire for variety and novelty in Nigerian cinema

In the discussion that followed the first public screening of Kenneth Gyang’s ‘Confusion Na Wa’ (2013) at the Lights, Camera, Africa Film Festival in Lagos, audience members drew comparisons to Crash, Pulp Fiction, and Quartier Motzart as...

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Nollywood Week in Paris

Even though Nigeria didn’t get much love at this year’s FESPACO film festival, some Parisian organizers believe that the francophone world has been ready for Naija cinema. Nollywood, the world’s second largest film industry, produces over 2000...

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Zina Saro-Wiwa’s ‘Phyllis’ and the subversion of Nollywood cinema

Zina Saro-Wiwa’s “alt-Nollywood” short film, Phyllis, is one of the weirder fifteen minutes of film I’ve seen in some time. “Using Nollywood to subvert Nollywood,” it is an atmospheric, impressionistic, and haunting film, chronicling Phyllis’s emotional states...

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Film Africa (5): ‘The Assassin’s Practice’

Somewhere in the opening shot of The Assassin’s Practice there is a woman crying alone in bed, tangled in a blue room. If the sound of her racking sobs is enough to turn your stomach, you won’t...

Monday, October 1st, 2012

Nollywood: Nigeria’s Mirror

This past summer on a rainy June afternoon, I spent a few hours interviewing Nigerian poet and critic, Odia Ofeimun. I met him while co-producing a radio documentary about Nollywood (streaming in full here). Odia has been...

Friday, September 7th, 2012

Shameless self-promotion. Ghanaian film posters and film viewing culture

Axe of Vengeance: Ghanaian Film Posters and Film Viewing Culture opened last week in Bloomington, Indiana. This exhibit features hand-painted Ghanaian film posters made by Ghanaian artists in the late 1980s to mid-1990s advertising Hollywood, Kung Fu, Bollywood,...

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Africa Utopia and London’s “Festival of the World with Mastercard”

The London Olympics starts tonight and certain streets of the city are swollen with purple-shirted volunteers, track-suited athletes and tourists. In Hyde Park, the continent of Africa has been reincarnated as ‘Africa Village’ and ‘Africa Land'; the emphasis...

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

New films roundup N°1

My latest list of new African films or films with African topics. From now on I'll start numbering them. So this is N°1. This list include "The Ambassador," a Western set in Namibia, a sort of sequal...

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Nollywood and Hollywood

In a recent article in The Guardian, Phil Hoad writes that ‘maverick’ Nigerian director Jeta Amata is perhaps ‘Nollywood’s gift to Hollywood.” Amata’s new feature,  Black November, is a Hollywood-friendly big budget epic, delving into the horrific situation...

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

The first-encounter aesthetic rush

If you’re wondering what took us so long to say something about South African rapper Spoek Mathambo’s new music video — for his cover of Joy Division’s “She’s Lost Control” , well, we can’t make up our...

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

T.I.A. (Nollywood Edition)

Nollywood film posters in a store window on Nostrand Ave. in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. Photo: Boima.  

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

The Nollywood Recipe

Nigerian director and producer, Ade Adepegba, speaking ahead of the new film festival, Nollywood Now–apparently the first entirely dedicated to the genre–that takes place in London from 6-12 October: Nigerians are the largest group of Africans living...

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Pieter Hugo’s Nollywood

I first saw Pieter Hugo’s ““Nollywood” at the opening party for his exhibit at Michael Stevenson Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa, in January 2008. I went with a group of my students from the State University...

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

Weekend Links

Stuff I missed or was too tired to give adequate attention to over the last few days: * Great commentary on the proposed Hollywood biopic of Winnie Mandela starring Jennifer Hudson as the mother of the nation....

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Is this Nollywood?

With few exceptions, I usually celebrate South African photographers. Among them is Pieter Hugo, whose most recent work, “Nollywood”– a series of portraits recreating what for Hugo represents “archetypical characters” from the southern Nigerian film industry–opens tonight...

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Pieter Hugo’s Nollywood

You can see most the photographs from Hugo’s “Nollywood” project (now a book) on his website, along with an introduction by Federica Angelucci and an essay, “Nollywood Confidential” by Cape Town-based Stacy Hardy. The actual book also...

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Is the first “quality” feature film out of Nollywood?

From a friend in London: “… I attended the conference on African Film in the Digital Era yesterday and they were talking about The Figurine, a “quality” Nollywood movie that recently...

Friday, September 11th, 2009

COMMENT: DISTRICT 9 AND THE NIGERIANS

Nigerian-born, Brooklyn writer, Teju Cole, writing in Nigeria’s NEXT newspaper: Even making allowances for the fact that is a fable, with strong elements of satire and allegory, the one-dimensionality of the Nigerian characters is striking....