December 10, 2023
The Unexpected Sinister Swerve of Polite Society
The Unexpected Sinister Swerve of Polite Society By I’d heard the murmurings about and its Scott Pilgrim-esque flights of fantasy action, which made me eager to watch it. The framework of a rom-com wrapped in a South Asian ribbon and forged in the fires of Edgar Wright’s visual flair meant that whatever else you thought of Nida Manzoor’s debut movie, there’s no denying it combined some fresh ingredients with the familiar ones. It’s a funny, personal tale with family at its heart and a scenery-gnawing villain that would embarrass many of those offered up by modern comic book adaptations. But the most surprising thing about Polite Society’s greatness is that it takes a big old swerve into Horrorville. The film’s plot sees a pair of ambitious sisters striving to do something in their chosen field. The elder sister has art, and the younger is adamant she’ll become the next great stuntwoman. The film deals with how you come to realize specific dreams might be more challenging to fulfill than others, and how the fear of failure can lead you down terrible paths. Their collective drive is shattered when elder sister Lena (Ritu Arya) meets the man of her dreams, Salim (Akshay Khanna), and shies away from her artistic tendencies, much to her younger sister Ria’s (Priya Kansara) frustrations. Ria begins to suspect there’s something off about her sister’s new beau, and when the pair get engaged, Ria goes on the hunt for proof he’s a bad egg. Polite Society gaslights Ria and the audience into thinking it’s just desperate despair from Ria, who needs her sister’s passion for art to match her own passion for being a stuntwoman. Frustration concerning their lack of progress in either field plays a huge part in pushing these closely bonded sisters apart as the film progresses. Still, Ria does make a discovery that changes everything if she can get anyone else to believe her. This is the real spoiler cliff now, so if you want to go into Polite Society relatively cold (and you really should), then this is the jump-off. As much as Polite Society dabbles in spreading itself across genres and being somewhat fantastical, it does feel primarily grounded in romance and drama. That is until it takes its horror swerve regarding Lena’s sudden romance. Ria’s snooping uncovers an underground lab dedicated to finding the perfect host for Salim’s child, and Lena is the perfect candidate. A conspiracy of scientific experimentation, drugging, and subterfuge is unveiled, but the big problem is that Ria has already disgraced herself in trying to prove her sister’s new man is not on the level. So begins a delightfully ludicrous heist that is part Jane Austen adaptation, part Edgar Wright visual extravaganza, and part Bruce Lee movie. The body horror swerve of that lab is so unexpected and fittingly is up there with the abrupt genre hops of Edgar Wright’s Hot Fuzz, The World’s End, and Last Night in Soho. We are already told Polite Society should be somewhat fantastical, but it fits a theme until then, and given those obvious influences, you expect any shift in tone to be something a little safer. Instead, we get what appears to be a surface-level chuckle about a Mommy’s Boy becoming prickly, and uncomfortable truth. It turns out Salim’s overprotective mother (a barnstorming turn by Nimra Bucha) wants to have another crack at life and has found a way to effectively be born again, with the right host, of course, and Lena’s womb happens to be the perfect place for her soon-to-be mother-in-law’s rebirth. Aside from the creepy twisting of an age-old story of grandparents looking to get a do-over of sorts with their grandchildren, the fact Lena is drugged and tested to see if she is the most viable candidate is an unpleasant revelation. And all the while, she’s being swept off her feet by a man who had been shaped into the kind of guy she likes at a low point in her life. Happily, the truth comes out, and we return to the ass-kicking and jovial shenanigans. Polite Society’s overarching plot is familiar, somewhat predictable, fare, but it’s full of fine moments that keep it fresh, and that swerve into horror is one of the most outstanding examples of that. Neil became a horror fan from just a nightmare-inducing glimpse of the Ghoulies VHS cover and a book on how to draw ghosts. It escalated from there and now that's almost all he writes and talks about. Share article Subscribe to our Newsletter Related
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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