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Bingeing with Spling - Project Power on Netflix Tonight


Tonight's the movie night you've been waiting for! The next 'Bingeing with Spling' watch party is upon us and Spling's here to introduce Project Power starring Jamie Foxx and tell you what to expect.

While you're at it... meet our special guest, the one and only Charles Tertiens! We're both going to be watching Project Power on Netflix so get excited and get involved. You can tweet and follow Charles and Spling via @CharlesTertiens and @MovieCriticSA. Grab some popcorn, charge your phone and get comfortable - it's going to be a fun night!

 
Bingeing with Spling Watch Party - 'Project Power' on Netflix


Spling Movies has been around for over a decade, fronted by Stephen 'Spling' Aspeling, a movie critic and film writer who has kept calm and carried on. During this time, Spling has promoted films through reviews and articles, built content campaigns, curated movie events, delivered introductions and served as an event host. Having gradually moved some of his weekly reviews to the streaming service arena, the lockdown essentially forced him to go virtual by combining all of these factors into 'Bingeing with Spling', an online watch party hosted by and driven by Spling.

Here's the forthcoming #BingeingWithSpling movie night for Project Power starring Jamie Foxx on Netflix... with special guest actor, comedy magician and TV personality, Charles Tertiens!

Bingeing with Spling - Project Power Watch Party

The Big Idea

In South Africa, the Sunday night movie on M-NET has become an institution. Spling noticed that on some nights, the film would generate a keen amount of interest on social platforms with viewers sharing their thoughts on Twitter to the point that the film started trending. This is in essence what the 'Bingeing with Spling' watch party is all about... getting together to watch a movie at the same time and sharing the experience. The difference isn't a byproduct but a purpose. During lockdown when people were forced to stay at home, the events industry's shutdown meant that most people weren't getting their fix of community-driven fun.

Spling decided to bring it home through the 'Bingeing with Spling' watch party, which has already been described as "the best movie night in... ever". It's much more than just a live commentary with Spling dedicating a week to the watch party event's build-up. Having overseen and hosted Ster-Kinekor's Movie Buffs live events for almost 2 years, Spling tries to ramp up the experience to break the fourth wall. Getting related companies, products, prizes and people involved... the movie night goes from just another movie to an interactive, engaging and fun experience. He's taken that spirit into the making of 'Bingeing with Spling', which is gearing up for its third watch party event.

Sharing movie trivia on the night, creating warm up games before the movie, recording an introduction and getting special guests involved too, it's all about celebrating movies and the magic of escapism. Giving away prizes on the night, running Q&A sessions with film-related people and celebrities, Spling is trying to make these online movie nights a much anticipated monthly event that almost anyone can join.

How It Works

Once the movie title, date, time and viewing platform have been selected, it becomes about creating hype for the big night! When the day finally arrives, folks start out by having fun online an hour before the movie. Spling releases a welcome and introduction video to get the watch party started, sharing a few words about the movie and what to expect from the night.

Getting everyone going and into the swing of things with some fun social media games, people all get ready to hit play together from the comfort of their couch. The watch party can take place on a specific TV channel, a streaming service or via a link - so check out the details before the big night. Once the movie's rolling, Spling will post movie trivia and run a live commentary on the film itself by engaging with other movie goers. Awarding prizes to make the evening more exciting, sharing in the fun of movie night with a crowd of like-minded movie lovers... it's a real celebration.

There's no charge, so participants just need access to the platform and social media to get involved. Following and using the event hashtag, #BingeingWithSpling is how folks keep track of the conversation thread on Twitter. On Facebook, fans just need to like the official watch party group to stay up-to-date with the conversation and event posts on the night. Enjoying the movie, having a laugh, joining in the banter and doing movie night with some popcorn and with a community of SPL!NG fans... it just makes sense!

Photo credits: Spling - Grant Hinds, Charles Tertiens - Eric Uys

 
How Spling Became A Movie Critic...


Spling has been reviewing film since 2007, but what led him to want to become a movie critic? Check out Spling's Confessions of a Movie Critic podcast for a breezier version.

When kids are asked what they want to be when they're older... most will say something cool like astronaut, pirate or pro wrestler. I wasn't quite that young when I decided "movie critic" but it's a pretty far-fetched idea to think that you could say you "watch movies for a living". Now years into the dream job, I'd still love to say "I watch movies for a living".

Everyone seems to automatically think this is all it takes, but nowadays more than ever, there's no set financial model for a movie critic. Gone are the days when your affiliated publication would cover your contribution to the paper. With entertainment sections shrinking and syndication thriving, it's more about belting out content than delivering thoughtful opinion. Movie critics have to carve their own path or be subjected to a general entertainment job title like showbiz ninja.

Before it gets too depressing, it was probably Barry Ronge who inspired Spling to want to become a film critic. The famous bearded film critic and entertainment journalist featured on TV art and talk shows, radio and had his own magazine column. An iconic and easily recognisable public figure with a trademark waistcoat, he was prolific, respected and entertaining even if you didn't entirely agree with his estimation of films. His gift of the gab, the way he wrote reviews and his multi-pronged fame made him an influential figure.

Watching and pontificating about film seemed like a great idea to Spling, whose favourite subjects were Art and English. The profession essentially centred on reviewing many art forms, which came together to form a single illusion. The illusion of film, similar to the art of magic, required careful suspense of disbelief and sleight of hand to immerse an audience in a dream state. Who wouldn't want to be able to slip in and out of dreams all day?

Spling's art history helped steady his art marks through school, writing essays based on the artworks featured during the art class slideshows. Unpacking the artist's meaning, the medium's efficacy, the material and the method enabled him to flex both his creativity and analytical side in piecing together an argument. Since English and creative writing were another favourite aspect of his education, Spling loved deconstructing a creative work through reasoning.

While he hardly ever read any of the set work books besides Lord of the Flies right through university, he was still able to wrestle with the themes and use external references to build a decent essay. Perhaps the dense writing of Passage to India and The Great Gatsby put him off the whole idea of novels. Having been a keen reader of Douglas Hill, Roald Dahl and Willard Price up till the age of 15, perhaps the academic works were a bit too boring. After all, he was that kid who would almost always pick page-turners like Asterix and Tintin from the local library.

Graduating from high school with academic honours based on his marks for Art and English, the presumptuous and premeditated photo of the year's glut of prospective honours students had to be trashed. They didn't have mad Photoshop skills back then and inserts and exclusions would've made it look like a nasty scrap book. It seemed like a bit of a fluke, especially when you consider mathematics, but Spling applied himself in his matric year working out a disciplined exercise, napping and study regime.

While Spling opted to do a bachelors degree in the Film, Media & Visuals Studies stream at UCT, it was only years later that he truly committed to film. Having muddled his way through a possible business information systems Masters in the productivity enhancement of speech recognition software, he quickly realised that without a proper supervisor it wouldn't be possible. This led Spling to accept a job as a copywriter to pursue a more creative role.

He had acrylic paints and an easel to continue his artwork after school, but he wanted to make it more than a hobby. Writing creative copy wasn't a bad option to leverage that creative energy and after coming up with catchy product names, mailers and overseeing some of the creative from art work to sound - he changed course. Working from home he was able to ply his skills elsewhere. Reviewing a film a day for a year, Spling started renting movies and writing at his blog, spling.co.za.

 
'The Unfamiliar' Drops First Trailer


Henk Pretorius is the South Africa film-maker who brought us Bakgat, Fanie Fourie's Lobola and Leading Lady. His latest film, The Unfamiliar, sees him shifting focus onto a brand new genre in horror. While best known for comedy, the gear change has seen the director wrestling with what makes people love horror. Tapping into the horror family, the film's first trailer has landed and promises to be an unsettling immersion into Hawaii's ancient culture and secrets. Take a look for yourself...

When a British army doctor returns from war to rekindle her relationship with her estranged family, strange things start happening in her house. Her husband believes she's suffering from PTSD but Izzy militantly pieces the daunting puzzle together to reveal a terrifying, invisible enemy that has infested her household.

The chilling horror mystery thriller stars Jemima West, Christopher Dane, Rebecca Hanssen, Rachel Lin and Harry McMillan-Hunt. Spling discussed The Unfamiliar with Henk - check out the interview.

The Unfamiliar will release on 21 August 2020 with Vertical Entertainment in North America, followed by Lionsgate UK (digital) in the United Kingdom on 11 September 2020 and by Filmfinity just in time for Halloween in South Africa on 28 October 2020.

 
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