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Will Hollywood Tire of Endless Reboots and Sequels?


Think of a movie, any popular movie made in the last 30-40 years and there is a reasonable chance that a reboot has been mooted. That doesn't mean that it will necessarily hit the cinemas anytime soon, but that some Hollywood executive has sent out an exploratory team to start looking at the feasibility of a remake or sequel.

Here is but a flavour of the movies currently being mooted for a reboot: Big Trouble in Little China, Ace Ventura, Charlie's Angels (again), Clueless, The Crow, Flash Gordon, The Green Lantern, The Fugitive, Highlander, Gremlins, The Matrix, Masters of the Universe, The Naked Gun, Scarface and Short Circuit.

The list above is only a small selection of the reboots on the way. We also have several films that aren't exactly sequels in a traditional sense, but that aren’t really sequels either: Gladiator 2 is in the pre-production stage with events set to take place 25 years after the original. Top Gun: Maverick is another sequel set many years after the original movie's action, as is Coming to America 2 (titled Coming 2 America).

Screenwriters rebooting the movies of their childhood

There is a lot of speculation as to why Hollywood is making so many sequels and reboots. Of course, we know on one hand that they are doing it because it makes financial sense. It's ready-made marketing as people already know those films. Yet, it still begs the question of why there is such an appetite on the audience side? Why do people get excited for a remake of something like Ace Ventura?

It's difficult to answer those questions with any certainty. There is much speculation that many of the films were created in the 1980s and 1990s, popular during the childhoods of many screenwriters, producers and directors who are in their 30s and 40s now. But the average cinemagoer is still likely to be a teenager, so they wouldn’t have exactly grown up with these films.

Ready-made branding helps promotions

However, many of those films remain relevant in the popular consciousness. For example, Gladiator, Top Gun, The Matrix, Ace Ventura and Jumanji are hugely popular branded online slot games. You can find those games right here: www.casino.com/za/slots. Of course, they don’t have the same merchandising pull as something in the Star Wars or Marvel universe, but there are lots of ways they have stayed within the boundaries of cultural relevance.

Looming above everything else, though, is the question if we will soon tire of being fed reboots, rehashes and remakes, instead of fresh material. However, we could also argue that there is enough fresh material coming through the medium of streaming services. Artistically, long drawn-out television series have become the holy grail for screenwriters, directors and even actors. Hollywood has perhaps concentrated on reboots because there is enough fresh material elsewhere.

In a way, we can't really criticise the reboot frenzy. It's not as if we are compelled to watch the latest Ghostbusters or Jurassic Park remake. And, the important thing to remember is that there are many alternatives out there. Netflix and the rest of the streaming services have offered that alternative, so there isn't the same artistic pressure on Hollywood to come up with something new. If you have had enough of reboots, then simply turn on something fresh like Mindhunter or Fleabag.

 
The 8 Best International Documentaries on Showmax Now...


Documentaries have entered an unprecedented golden age, one that is only going to get better,” wrote leading film trade Deadline in February 2019.

It’s not just that cameras have become better, cheaper, smaller and less invasive, or that people’s lives are more documented than ever before thanks to social media, it’s also that streaming has made documentaries more accessible to audiences - and studios are now paying record amounts for them.

Not long ago, South African documentary lovers needed to wait for Encounters or Durban International Film Festival to get their annual fix, but now some of the world’s best documentaries are available to stream from the comfort of your couch, anytime.

Luckily for anyone who’s missed out on documentaries crossing over into the mainstream, Showmax has put together a helpful guide to their eight best documentaries of the year so far, which are all available to stream now:

LEAVING NEVERLAND

First screened on M-Net in South Africa, Leaving Neverland follows the separate but parallel experiences of two young boys, 10-year-old James Safechuck, and seven-year-old Wade Robson, who were befriended by Michael Jackson. Through gut-wrenching interviews with Safechuck, now 40, and Robson, now 36, as well as their mothers, wives and siblings, the film crafts a portrait of sustained abuse, exploring the complicated feelings that led both men to confront their experiences after each had young sons of their own.

Claim to fame: The two-part documentary has five 2019 Emmy nominations, including Best Documentary and Best Documentary Director (Dan Reed). This is Dan Reed’s first Emmy nomination, although he’s already won four BAFTAs. Leaving Neverland is currently the top ranked documentary on Rotten Tomatoes’ list of the best TV series of 2019 so far, sitting at number 13 with a 98% critics rating. As Rotten Tomatoes’ critics consensus says, “Crucial and careful, Leaving Neverland gives empathetic breadth and depth to the complicated afterlife of child sexual abuse as experienced by adult survivors.”

I LOVE YOU, NOW DIE: THE COMMONWEALTH VS. MICHELLE CARTER

In July 2014, 18-year-old Conrad Roy committed suicide in his truck at a parking lot in Fairhaven, Massachusetts; police later discovered a series of text messages in which his girlfriend, 17-year-old Michelle Carter, seemed to encourage him to kill himself. This sparked a controversial case that had the potential to redefine accountability in the digital age. The two-part documentary was first screened on Showmax in South Africa in July 2019, just months after its world premiere at SXSW.

Claim to fame: I Love You, Now Die is currently the second highest ranked documentary on Rotten Tomatoes’ list of the best TV series of 2019 so far, sitting at number 25 with a 96% critics rating. As Rotten Tomatoes’ critics consensus says, “Director Erin Lee Carr expertly blends journalistic edge and empathy in I Love You, Now Die to create a concise, compelling, and refreshingly exploitation-free exploration of a complicated crime.”

SURVIVING R. KELLY

Celebrated as one of the greatest R&B singers of all time, R. Kelly’s genre-defining career has been riddled with rumours of abuse, predatory behaviour, and paedophilia. In Surviving R Kelly, for the first time ever, survivors and people from his inner circle come forward with new allegations about sexual, psychological, and physical abuse. First screened on M-Net in South Africa, the bombshell documentary series features over 50 interviews, including conversations with civil rights activist Tarana Burke, musicians John Legend and Sparkle, talk-show host and former DJ Wendy Williams, ex-wife Andrea Kelly, ex-girlfriend Kitti Jones, brothers Carey and Bruce Kelly, and many others.

Claim to fame: Surviving R. Kelly is a 2019 Emmy nominee for Outstanding Informational Series or Special and is currently the third highest ranked documentary on Rotten Tomatoes’ list of the best TV series of 2019 so far, sitting at number 29 with a 95% critics rating. The six-part series was also named Best Documentary Series or Special at both the Black Reel Awards and the Critics’ Choice Real TV Awards this year.

THE INVENTOR: OUT FOR BLOOD IN SILICON VALLEY

In 2004, Elizabeth Holmes dropped out of Stanford at 19 to start a company that was going to revolutionise healthcare. In 2014, Theranos was valued at $9 billion, making Holmes the youngest self-made female billionaire in the world, touted as ‘the next Steve Jobs’. Just two years later, Theranos was labelled a ‘massive fraud’ by The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and her company was worthless. Directed by Oscar and Emmy winner Alex Gibney (Taxi To The Dark Side, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief), this HBO documentary reveals what happened and explores the psychology of deception behind Silicon Valley’s ‘fake it till you make it’ mindset. The Inventor was simultaneously released on both M-Net and Showmax in May 2019, just months after its world premiere at Sundance 2019.

Claim to fame: The Inventor is a 2019 Emmy nominee for Best Documentary and is currently at number 11 on the list of the best TV movies of 2019 so far on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus is that The Inventor is “a comprehensive overview of the scandal that allows viewers to mull over its implications towards the broader Silicon Valley.”

GAME OF THRONES: THE LAST WATCH

For a year, acclaimed British filmmaker Jeanie Finlay was embedded on the set of the hit HBO series Game of Thrones, chronicling the creation of the show’s final season and delving deep into the mud and blood to reveal the tears and triumphs of bringing the fantasy world of Westeros to life in the very real studios, fields and car-parks of Northern Ireland. Made with unprecedented access, Game Of Thrones: The Last Watch is an up-close and personal report from the trenches of production, following the crew and the cast as they contend with extreme weather, punishing deadlines and an ever-excited fandom hungry for spoilers. Game of Thrones – The Last Watch was simultaneously released on both M-Net and Showmax in May 2019, just after the Season 8 finale.

Claim to fame: The Last Watch is a 2019 Emmy nominee for Best Music Composition: Documentary and has a 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Mashable went so far as to claim The Last Watch was “a better ending than the Game Of Thrones finale… substantially more emotional and satisfying… A really, really good documentary…”

WHO KILLED GARRETT PHILLIPS?

From Oscar-nominated director Liz Garbus (What Happened, Miss Simone?), Who Killed Garrett Phillips? examines the 2011 murder of 12-year-old Garrett Phillips and subsequent trial of Clarkson University soccer coach Oral ‘Nick’ Hillary, a black man living in the mostly-white town of Potsdam, New York, who was charged with second-degree murder. The engrossing two-part documentary chronicles the five years following the murder, as Garrett’s family and community relentlessly seek justice for Garrett, while Nick, who maintains his innocence, fights to clear his name and take back control of his life while raising five children. Who Killed Garrett Phillips? takes on issues of racial fairness in law enforcement, while trying to uncover the truth behind a young boy’s horrific murder and the vilification of a black man swept up in a dogged quest for justice. Who Killed Garrett Phillips? was released first on Showmax in South Africa in August 2019.

Claim to fame: Who Killed Garrett Phillips? has a 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The Daily Beast called it “a stunning and enraging examination of race and the U.S. criminal justice system.”

WHAT'S MY NAME: MUHAMMAD ALI

Directed by Black Reel winner Antoine Fuqua (Training Day), What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali tells the boxing great’s story in his own voice, painting a vivid picture of the man Sports Illustrated declared the greatest athlete of the 20th Century. All Ali’s fights are here, from The Thrilla In Manilla against Joe Frazier to The Rumble In The Jungle against George Foreman - the world’s most-watched live television broadcast at the time - to his fight as a 38-year-old against his former sparring partner Larry Holmes, who wept after beating his idol on a technical knockout. But as thrilling as watching Ali float like a butterfly and sting like a bee is, the real joy of the documentary is listening to him talk: What’s My Name should be written up as not just a great sports documentary, but also a great comedy, with even more quick-witted verbal sparring contests than knockout punches. HBO’s two-part documentary on the three-time heavyweight champion of the world was released first on Showmax in June 2019, just a month after its world premiere at Tribeca Film Festival.

Claim to fame: What’s My Name has a 94% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.5/10 rating on IMDB. As critic Richard Roeper wrote in The Chicago Sun-Times, “The greatness of What’s My Name is that if you’re young and you know very little of Muhammad Ali, this would be the perfect place to start learning about him — but if you remember Ali in his prime and you’re well-versed in his history, it’s still a must-see television event.”

ICE ON FIRE

Produced and narrated by Oscar-winner Leonardo di Caprio, Ice On Fire is an eye-opening documentary focusing on solutions to our escalating environmental crisis. The documentary recommends an immediate, two-pronged response to climate change: both reducing carbon emissions and implementing “drawdown” measures to reduce CO2, like direct air capture, sea farms, urban farms, biochar, marine snow, and bionic leaves. Directed by Leila Conners (The 11th Hour), Ice On Fire was released first on Showmax in South Africa in August 2019, just months after its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.

Claim to fame: Ice On Fire was nominated for the Golden Eye award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and has a 90% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. As Screen International put it, Ice On Fire “should be essential viewing for anyone who plans to carry on living on the planet...”

 
Watch Virtual Reality Documentaries 'Tree' and 'Le Lac'


Virtual reality is opening a new dimension to entertainment, enabling video gamers and moviegoers an opportunity to enjoy a much more immersive storytelling experience. Multi-million dollar industries, it's easy to see how the interest in exploiting this technology will soon ensure that it becomes mainstream. While there are some challenges relating to the art of telling a story where the viewer has complete range of sight and more control over their environment, we are already seeing short form narrative productions underway. It's still quite early and experimental at this stage, but the demand will serve as a catalyst to turning this niche industry into much more than just a gimmick.

Another opportunity for virtual reality is in documentary film-making, a medium which has traditionally been more attuned to reality by virtue of its traditionally journalistic and low-budget cornerstones. This is the case with Tree and Le Lac, two VR documentaries that will be screened at the American Corner Cape Town at the Central Library, 1 Parade Street, Cape Town on 7 and 9 September 2019.

Tree is a multi-sensory VR project that transforms you into a rain forest tree, where your arms are its branches and your body its trunk. From the tree's growth into its fullest form, you will experience its fate firsthand. Le Lac is a short documentary that employs virtual reality to represent the plight of the oasis of Sahel, Lake Chad. Having lost 90% of her water, the region is now under threat. Farming, livestock, vegetation, fishing and basic human needs, climate change has shrunk the lake and brought about much insecurity. Having millions who depend on the oasis, the immersive documentary focuses on the lives of a pastoralist and fishermen.

Narrated by Saba Elbasha whose voice that could very well be the lady of the lake, Le Lac has a poetic and reflective quality. As the voice comes to personify the lake, which has now been reduced to ponds, the social documentary features a sequence of landscape scenarios depicting the crisis has relates to all that depend on her. "This is life, bad things can happen to anyone" is the attitude of the people whose futures remain uncertain.

Their livelihood has been directly impacted by a lack of natural resources and the area, which is home to a multitude of refugees, is more vulnerable to Boko Harem insurgents. This short documentary truly takes you there, adopting a subtle approach when it comes to representing the gravity of the situation. Director and writer Nyasha Kadandara opts to fully immerse her audience in an African dreamscape.

Winner of the best digital narrative at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2019, this is an important social and nature documentary, which opts for a much more poetic approach before closing with some dream-shattering factoids and observations. The VR exhibition is in partnership with the US Consulate General Cape Town , Central Library and the American Corner Cape Town.

 
50 South African Films to Watch Before You Die...


South Africa has one of the oldest film industries in the world. Home to a diverse cross-section of people and places, it's a world of its own and has become a renowned film-making destination. Being a South African and movie critic, Spling has made it his mission to watch as many South African movies as possible!

This list of 50 South African Movies to Watch Before You Die is a contemporary reflection, which is by no means definitive. To simplify matters, Spling's sidelined documentaries and well-regarded classics. While there are hundreds of South African films, a few of which deserve a spot, the films listed below are some of Spling's favourites and come recommended. Be sure to click through to read or listen to his review before you commit to watching a film listed below. While they're all recommended, some are not for sensitive viewers.

50 South African Films to Watch Before You Die

1. District 9

Watching District 9 was a new film experience, which could only be described as Hotel Rwanda, Fido and Lars and the Real Girl... in a blender.

Full Movie Review

2. Life, Above All

Life, Above All is a universal story about the intricate relationship between mother and daughter.

Full Movie Review

3. Dis ek, Anna

Dis ek, Anna is a powerful and provocative drama that seeks to bring the issue to light by telling the personal story of Anna, a victim of domestic sexual abuse, against the backdrop of a country in crisis.

Full Movie Review

4. Meerkat Maantuig

Meerkat Maantuig or Meerkat Moonship is a film by writer-director Hanneke Schutte, which tells the story of Gideonette, a young girl, who moves in with her grandparents after her father passes away and her mother goes to rehab.

Full Movie Review

5. Yesterday

Yesterday is a simple, pure, slow and quietly powerful South African drama from writer-director Darryl Roodt. It's the first feature-length Zulu film and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Film, lauded for its universality and purity, positively compared with The Bicycle Thief.

Full Movie Review

6. Kanarie

While South Africa’s complicated history of Apartheid diffuses the pop culture of the day, this is where we find Kanarie, a film about an army conscript searching for his true identity.

Full Movie Review

7. Sink

Sink is a sleek, harrowing and powerful South African domestic drama.

Full Movie Review

8. Liewe Kersfeesvader

While the title would make you think Christmas, this movie is more of a heartwarming sometimes prickly comedy drama about a dysfunctional family.

Full Movie Review

9. Vir die Voëls

While Vir Die Voëls also has a dramatic and romantic element, its quirky comedic undertones are carried by a plucky lead character who narrates and stars.

Full Movie Review

10. Ellen: The Ellen Pakkies Story

Ellen: The Ellen Pakkies Story tells of the troubled relationship between a mother and her drug-addicted son.

Full Movie Review

11. Hard to Get

Hard to Get echoes a similar passion and energy to the acclaimed Congolese crime thriller, Viva Riva.

Full Movie Review

12. Blood Diamond

Blood Diamond is an intense, thrilling, blood-drenched action drama about diamond smuggling in Africa.

Full Movie Review

13. Nommer 37

Nommer 37 is an Afrikaans language homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window, borrowing and re-imagining the concept at the heart of the classic thriller.

Full Movie Review

14. Die Seemeeu

Die Seemeeu or The Seagull is based on a classic Russian play by Anton Chekhov, which was originally modernised for stage by writer-director Christiaan Olwagen.

Full Movie Review

15. Five Fingers for Marseilles

Five Fingers for Marseilles is a gritty South African western directed by Michael Matthews and written by Sean Drummond...

Full Movie Review

16. Material

Material is one of the smartest, most heartwarming movies to originate from South Africa, telling the story of a young Muslim man whose love for stand-up comedy leads to conflict when his father expects him to take over the family business.

Full Movie Review

17. Tsotsi

Gavin Hood's Oscar-winning gangster movie, Tsotsi, put South Africa on the map with gritty, gripping and even touching crime drama.

18. Noem My Skollie

Noem My Skollie or Call Me Thief is the story of Abraham and the Young Ones, a small-time gang that were separated for two years by a dangerous stint in Pollsmoor prison.

Full Movie Review

19. Inexba (The Wound)

Having been banned, classified as pornography and elicited vitriol for its revelations Inexba (The Wound) has been a contentious drama from the get-go.

Full Movie Review

20. Wonderlus

South Africa has had its fair share of romantic comedies over the years but has never really toyed with a moody ensemble piece until Wonderlus...

Full Movie Review

21. Fanie Fourie's Lobola

This new South African romantic comedy doesn't insult your senses, it's actually street smart and mature.

Full Movie Review

22. Die Windpomp

Die Windpomp or The Windmill is a mercurial genre butterfly.

Full Movie Review

23. Thina Sobabili

Thina Sobabili (The Two of Us) is a brave, gut-wrenching and realistic drama about the exploits of a brother and sister in the Alexandra township of Johannesburg, South Africa.

Full Movie Review

24. Die Wonderwerker

Katinka Heyns is the director behind South African classics such as Paljas and Fiela se Kind...

Full Movie Review

25. Beyond the River

South Africa needs Beyond the River, an uplifting sports drama based on a true story.

Full Movie Review

26. The Bang Bang Club

The Bang Bang Club is the story of four conflict photographers, Greg Marinovich, Kevin Carter, Ken Oosterbroek and João Silva, in the build-up to South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994.

Full Movie Review

27. Johnny is Nie Dood Nie

Johnny is Nie Dood Nie, adapted from a play by Malan Steyn, is a reunion drama in the tradition of The Big Chill as four friends gather for a braai on the Sunday after Johannes Kerkorrel's suicide to reminisce about their student days.

Full Movie Review

28. Ballade vir 'n Enkeling

Ballade vir 'n Enkeling is an Afrikaans mystery drama based on the '80s television series of the same name.

Full Movie Review

29. Vaselinetjie

Vaselinetjie is a fascinating character portrait drama based on the book by Anouska von Meck.

Full Movie Review

30. Verraaiers

Verraaiers (Traitors) is the latest drama from director-writer team, Paul Eilers and Salmon de Jager, who previously collaborated on Roepman (Stargazer).

Full Movie Review

31. Roepman

Set in 1966, Roepman (Stargazer) is a charming and nostalgic coming-of-drama taken from the perspective of an 11-year-old growing up in a railway community.

32. Faan se Trein

Faan se Trein is an adaptation of a popular Afrikaans stage production that has been running for almost 40 years.

Full Movie Review

33. Four Corners

Pollsmoor Prison is overpopulated and way beyond capacity, famous for Nelson Mandela's incarceration and infamous for its prolific gangsterism.

Full Movie Review

34. Tess

Tess is a film adaptation of Tracey Farren's novel, Whiplash, which follows the heartrending journey of a sex worker who falls pregnant, and the difficulties she encounters on the streets of Cape Town.

Full Movie Review

35. Themba: A Boy Called Hope

Themba: A Boy Called Hope is an inspirational coming-of-age drama about a young South African boy's escape from poverty and the pursuit of a dream.

Full Movie Review

36. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Nelson Mandela is an extraordinary man, whose life story plays like a political version of The Count of Monte Cristo.

Full Movie Review

37. Ayanda

Ayanda is a fresh coming-of-age romance drama set in the suburb of Yeoville in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Full Movie Review

38. Hollywood in my Huis

Hollywood in my Huis is a South African romantic comedy about a wallflower, living in an impoverished railway neighbourhood, who tries to devise the perfect matric prom.

Full Movie Review

39. iNumber Number

iNumber Number leverages South Africa's burgeoning crime rate against Hollywood's burning desire to tell a story that's entertaining and thought-provoking.

Full Movie Review

40. Chappie

Chappie is Neill Blomkamp's latest thought-provoking sci-fi actioner, following in the wake of Elysium and the revered District 9.

Full Movie Review

41. Spud

Spud is faithful to the book, giving an account of 1990s South Africa with the release of Nelson Mandela and John "Spud" Milton's first year at Michaelhouse, an elite private boarding school for boys in Durban North.

Full Movie Review

42. Necktie Youth

Necktie Youth is a black-and-white drama with a documentary feel that attempts to capture the Zeitgeist of South African youth culture.

Full Movie Review

43. Little One

Little One is the story of a mother, who takes a young girl under her wing.

Full Movie Review

44. My Father's War

My Father's War is a drama from writer-director, Craig Gardner, which examines the fractious relationship between David, a war veteran father, and his rebellious son, Dap.

Full Movie Review

45. Siembamba

A young mother comes to terms with the trauma surrounding her new baby in the dark and unsettling horror thriller, Siembamba (The Lullaby).

46. Vir Altyd

Vir Altyd is the latest romance comedy drama from film-makers and stars, Donnalee Roberts and Ivan Botha.

Full Movie Review

47. 'n Man soos My Pa

'n Man Soos My Pa, which means A Man Like My Father, is an Afrikaans ensemble drama about a family reunion that turns into an opportunity for father-son reconciliation.

Full Movie Review

48. Invictus

Invictus is a film that attempts to capture the Zeitgeist of the New South Africa in its infancy.

Full Movie Review

49. A Million Colours

A Million Colours is based on the true story of two best friends, who fought the system that tried to separate them, after they shot to fame in 1975 with the release of the South African film e'Lollipop.

Full Movie Review

50. Vaya

Vaya is a South African crime drama, which essentially pivots on the story of three adolescents trying to find their way in the big city.

Full Movie Review

 
Where Musicals and Jingles Collide...

In the last year, we've seen a Queen and Elton John biopic emerge with an Elvis Presley picture on the way under Baz Luhrmann. Besides being a timely tribute, it seems that this is the latest and greatest way to give records another spin. It's great if the music biopic can make money in a standalone capacity, but the spin-off effect of all the related film marketing probably boosts sales and royalties two-fold. The Lego Movie demonstrated that you can create a legitimate film experience with positive effects and in the wake of Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman, it seems it can be a win-win for everyone.

Where Musicals and Jingles Collide

The digital revolution means that a performing artist's entire catalogue of music is available to the masses almost immediately. You don't have to own a CD player, buy an MP3 album or attend a concert to hear their music anymore. While the new streaming model has undermined the music industry, giving new and old fans the ability to deep dive into their favourite band's entire backlog of music means everything is as good as brand new. The Beatles, arguably the greatest band of all-time, may have some of the most easily recognisable tracks on the planet but they're also enjoying the showcase as one generation introduces them to the next. To keep the stone rolling, music artists have to keep reminding people about their music, which involves reunion tours, publicity stunts, TV appearances and of course, movies.

All of these films, including Across the Universe and now Yesterday, create their own soundtrack by blending or relying on the actor's voices. This bypasses expensive licensing issues, creates an entirely new product and makes fans long for the original recording. Across the Universe was a psychedelic tour of the music of The Beatles, creating a musical platform for baby boomers to reconnect and for their offspring to connect. Artful, immersive and capturing the spirit of the times, it made a big and lasting impression, possibly stoking the embers of die hard and peripheral fans enough to buy or demand more Beatles. Yesterday is similar but instead takes a high concept story to connect with more heart, tracking a struggling musician who wakes up after an accident to discover a world where things like The Beatles and Coke have never existed.

The result is leveraging a pre-existing fan base much like the Marvel universe has done for its superheroes, but instead channeling fans back to the music instead of comics, merchandise and films. The music industry desperately needs reinvention in a more visual-driven age and while there are pioneers like Billy Corgan, who has truly embraced the digital age by creating more visually-enticing mediums for the music of his band, The Smashing Pumpkins, there's still no new standard. This new strategy of creating a tribute film is fresh, gets radio station play lists more in tune with upcoming releases, captures the imagination of lifelong fans and revitalises music sales whether in-store, online or streaming. In fact, it's difficult to prove but it did seem like Deezer were adding Rocketman into their Flow play list more often than any other song ahead of the film's global release.

Thankfully, the glut of music films based on popular recording artists has been credible and strong, not simply serving as a cheesy marketing gimmick but delivering on the promise of entertainment without leaning too heavily on the music. You could argue that there's even a market for artists to launch their albums by way of film if you think back to John Carney's influential music-driven romance drama, Once. If they're able to keep the standard high, no one's complaining. It's when associated films start running out of good excuses to showcase the music that we'll start to see a drop off. Let's hope that day never comes...

 
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