VIDI, the South African on-demand entertainment service, has announced that the Matrix trilogy will join its lineup of movies-on-demand from June 11.
The Matrix remains one of the top-ten all time science fiction movies among critics and cinema-goers. Keanu Reeves stars as a computer hacker who learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers. Laurence Fishburne and Carrie-Anne Moss also star. All three actors reprise their roles in the two sequels, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.
Says Taryn Uhlmann, VIDI’s GM Marketing, “Even if you have seen all three movies before, a Matrix binge-watch is one of the best ways to spend six hours!”
From June 1, all three movies in The Mummy trilogy will also be available for viewing. This includes The Mummy, The Mummy Returns and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. In the original film, Brendan Fraser stars as an American serving in the French Foreign Legion who, while on an archaeological dig in Egypt accidentally awakens a Mummy. The film also stars Rachel Weisz and South African Arnold Vosloo in the title role. All three go on to reprise their roles in the sequel while Fraser teams up with Jet Li for the third instalment.
Other movies that will be added to VIDI’s library in June include:
• Speed Racer – from the Wachowski brothers who brought you the aforementioned Matrix movies, comes this action-packed film starring Emile Hirsch as a young driver, who aspires to be champion of the racing world with the help of his family and his high-tech Mach 5 automobile. Susan Sarandon co-stars. (from June 11)
• Fracture – a tense, gripping film about an attorney who, intent on climbing the career ladder toward success, finds an unlikely opponent in a manipulative criminal he is trying to prosecute. An all star cast including Anthony Hopkins, Ryan Gosling, Rosamund Pike and South Africa’s Embeth Davidtz. Not to be missed! (from June 27)
• For the kids there is Jim Carrey in Dr Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas as well as the fantasy adventure Peter Pan, in which the Darling family children receive a visit from Peter Pan, who takes them to Never Never Land where an ongoing war with the evil Pirate Captain Hook is taking place. (Both films from June 1)
VIDI’s made-for-television offerings starting in June include:
Considered by many to be the best ever television comedy series, season one of Fawlty Towers, starts on VIDI on June 15. Monty Python’s John Cleese stars as hotel owner Basil Fawlty whose incompetence, short fuse, and arrogance form a combination that ensures accidents and trouble are never far away. Prunella Scales plays his long-suffering wife and Andrew Sachs as the dim-witted waiter Manuel.
Alias – in this brilliant action adventure series, Jennifer Garner stars as Sydney Bristow, a young, athletic, college graduate who was recruited her freshman year as a secret agent for SD-6, a top-secret branch of the CIA. After a few years – after Sydney confides her lifestyle to her boyfriend, the evil head of SD-6 – Arvin Sloan has him killed. Sydney learns that SD-6 is part of a rogue international agency called the Alliance of 12, out to rule the world. So she becomes a double agent, working with the real CIA to bring down SD-6 with the assistance of her handler and her estranged father who also happens to be a double agent. Along the way, Sydney fights various rival agents, rival terrorist groups, and traitors all the while keeping her cloak-and-dagger lifestyle a secret from her friends. This series is from JJ Abrams (Lost, the Star Trek movie reboots, Mission Impossible movies and producer of the new Star Wars movie). It also features a fresh Bradley Cooper who plays Sydney’s murdered boyfriend.
Here’s a little known fact. When the makers of Doctor Who started working on a new series, they were stumped when it came to a title for the show. So they played around with the letters from Doctor Who and came up with the anagram Torchwood. John Barrowman, currently starring in the hit TV series Arrow, plays Captain Jack Harkness, a former Time Agent and con man from the 51st century who travels to early 21st century Cardiff, Wales. There, he becomes a member of a renegade criminal investigation group which battles hostile extraterrestrials and supernatural threats. (Season 1 from June 24)
Finally, also launching on VIDI in June are seasons three of Downton Abbey, In Plain Sight and Call the Midwife as well as season two of Whitechapel
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SA rises as Spotify turns 10
October 2018 marks 10 years since Spotify officially launched its music streaming platform and to celebrate this milestone, Spotify has taken a look at some of its biggest discoveries in music.
Spotify provided the following information:
The service only launched in South Africa in March this year, so this country is not included in the retrospective, but Spotify supplied Gadget with the following local streaming landmarks:
· Most streamed South African artist – Jeremy Loops
· Most streamed female South African artist – Shekhinah
· Highest first-day streaming record – AKA’s Beyonce
Since launch Spotify now sits at 180 million monthly active listeners across 65 countries. These Spotify users can enjoy a music library of over 40 million songs and podcasts, and over 3 billion-plus user-created playlists. As of 31 August 2018, Spotify has also paid over 10 billion euros to rights holders since launch.
To date, over 2 000 genres of music have been identified on Spotify, among them Wonky (electronic music characterised by synths with unusual time signatures), Shimmer Pop (a Swedish cousin of indie pop and indietronica), and British Blues (the blues…with a British flavour).
Spotify has also done an assessment of “listening diversity,” – the number of artists the average user streams per month – which has risen on Spotify over the past 10 years, at an average of about 8% per year. In the past three years alone, listening diversity increased about 40% on the strength of new personalised and editorial playlists – meaning people are listening to an increased number of artists on a regular basis.
An official Decade of Discovery playlist features the most-streamed songs over the past decade, including favourites like Avicii’s “Wake Me Up,” Hozier’s “Take Me To Church,” Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE.,” Rihanna’s “Work,” Sia’s “Chandelier,” Major Lazer’s “Lean On,” and the star-studded “Despacito Remix”.
Festival taps into source code of African identity
The Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival enters its final week from 24 to 29 September with a special focus on gaming and beats. With the theme of “Tap Your Afro Source Code”, this year celebrates technology, creativity and innovation from across the African continent.
Dr Tegan Bristow, Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival director, says that the theme centres on African visions of technology by tapping into the sources of African tradition and culture alongside technology, creativity and innovation: “This year we are exploring how local culture can move and change the future of technology. How would you understand and unpack the source code of your African identity?”
In its final week, the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival explores music culture via the annual Beats Programme curated by WeHeartBeat, which will descend on the Tshimologong Precinct with a six-day takeover of Braamfontein’s tech hub. The program comprising of workshops, experiences and performances, facilitates the meeting of mind and spirit in an environment geared around the festival’s theme, “Tap Your Afro Source Code”.
The Fak’ugesi Beats Lab, running from the 24th to the 28th of September will host international electronic artists and explore the connection between music, technology and culture with local and international artists. The outcome from these sessions will result in an EP release, a short documentary and a live showcase performance at the Fak’ugesi Beats Bloc Party on the 29th. The artists featured in the 2018 Beats Lab are S.Fidelity (Switzerland), Zikomo (USA), Morena Leraba (Lesotho) and South African artists Bonj Mpanza and Hlasko.
In partnership with Ballantines Whisky and Business Arts South Africa, the programme includes panels on: ‘The Future of Music’ facilitated by Tefo Mohapi from iAfrikan.com and featuring guest panellists Riky Rick and Thibaut Mullings; ‘Managing Health Amongst Creatives’ featuring psychologist Thembi Mashigo and panel guests Ayanda Seoka, Mx Blouse and more. The day will include a Masterclass with Black Milk (USA), The Art of Remixing with Zikomo(USA) and close with a ‘Power of Collaborations’ session featuring Zikomo, S.Fidelity , Morena Leraba and Bonj Mpanza.
The last week of Fak’ugesi Festival also hosts a special session on the Future of African Gaming on the 28th and 29th of September. A full day on gaming, this will take place in collaboration with Red Bull Basement and focus on the theme of Tech for Good. The programme includes an Indie Games Arcade; a ‘Games for Good’ workshop focused games that address issues in South African urban environment.
The workshop will be followed by a “Futures and Networking” session, inviting the gaming community in the Southern Africa region to contribute to an understanding of what and how the Fak’ugesi Festival can develop and better support African games. This invitation comes after Fak’ugesi Festival in 2018 says farewell to A MAZE. / Johannesburg, which has supported its program since 2013 as the gaming partner.
A MAZE, under the leadership of its creative director, Thorsten S. Wiedemann, linked the Johannesburg gaming scene to an international network of indie developers for six years from 2012 until 2017. The two-way bridge between A MAZE. / Berlin and A MAZE. / Johannesburg inspired other projects like Super Friendship Arcade in Cape Town and Glitch Face in Johannesburg and was a huge impetus in the development of the Game Design programme in the Wits School of Arts. When the Fak’ugesi Festival was established in 2013, A MAZE fell under Fak’ugesi Festival support as the gaming partner. Weidemann added: “It’s been amazing meeting, working and learning from the local and national game and playful media community. We definitely made history together.”
The week’s activities culminate in a celebration at the Fak’ugesi Beats Bloc Party on Saturday 29 September. This event will reignite the energy and spirit created at the inaugural party in a union of performance, music, technology and digital innovation. The Bloc Party aims to showcase the best in underground talent, both local and international – etching its name in the cultural textbooks as an inspiration to future generations of creators, producers and innovators. The second instalment of this ground-breaking event will host performances from the Beats Lab participants, as well as Black Milk and a strong local contingent including Langa Mavuso, Mx Blouse, Symatics + Ramz, and Micr.Pluto.
Tickets for Thursday 27 September are R50 per session and can be purchased via WeHeartBeat. There will be a limited run of R200 student tickets available for Fak’ugesi Beats Bloc Party, upon presentation of a valid student ID. Workshop and student tickets can be purchased throughout the week at the reception of the Tshimologong Precinct.