BY ESE DIBEBI
Nigerian filmmaker, Daniel Oriahi has engaged TNS about what he thinks local film critics should consider when critiquing Nollywood films.
Daniel whose comedy, Taxi Driver: Oko Ashewo was a box office success took to Twitter to share his thoughts, prompted no doubt by Andrew Oke’s review of Mildred Okwo‘s Suru L’ere published by TNS yesterday.
His tweets have been compiled and don’t they make for a good read?
Film criticism is an intellectual art form and Nollywood needs critics who study film; its techniques and various forms. In order to make quality films and an attractive industry, one must be aware of the importance of a constructive review structure.
Filmmaking in Nigeria is still in its formative years. We don’t have the resources to support an ideal structured industry. Nigerian filmmakers make films with the little they have trying to reference foreign influences and their techniques.
Undermining how most of our films eventually become perceived by local critics most filmmakers know what makes a good film. Taxi Driver: Oko Ashewo is a subtle homage to Taxi Driver (1976) Martin Scorsese; Touki Bouki (1973) Djibril D Mambety and Ade Love‘s Taxi Driver. Foreign film reviews by Pauline Kael and Roger Ebert challenged filmmakers and made great reads. True film intellects.
Our local self-ordained film critics can equally take cue and study film to understand its various narrative techniques. Shout out to local film critics who seem to assess their film knowledge by bashing local films with poorly drafted reviews.
I’m going to make a film about Nollywood. Filmmaking is generally tedious and overwhelming talkless of making one in Nigeria. We don’t have union guilds to support production personnels given our unfavorable environment. Stable electricity nko?
Writers are mercenaries, writing several scripts at the same time just to survive. Producers seem to run underfunded projects with limited funds. Our actors are mostly theatrically trained or delve into acting for various reasons. Little cognizance for acting for screen. Our technical crew nkor? After some years under one technician they get ‘Freedom’ and declare themselves ‘Professionals.
‘In the end Nollywood is a just another reflection of Nigeria in general; ‘a band of dysfunctional survivals.’