The neo-noir style of storytelling was made popular by crime movies in Hollywood in the ’50s and the pop-culture resurgence of that can be pinned to the Sin City movies where the use of shadow elements and angles that focus on the impact of visuals is prominent. Usually, in such genres, there’s always a dark twisted end to it and I’m happy that Showmax is bringing this genre to widen the kind of entertainment we produce in the country.
No shade to the lighting department, but this should be easy because a lot of shows we’ve seen in local Free To Air channels have been giving us neo-noir realness, unintentionally.
SA’s streaming platform has released the first trailer for Skemerdans, a Cape Flats murder mystery set at the Oasis jazz club, the centre of a power struggle between two brothers, a scorned widow and an organised crime syndicate. It will be available to binge end of April 2021.
Shot largely at the iconic Club Galaxy during October 2020 while on lockdown, the 13-part half-hour series revolves around the Fortune family, played by SAFTA winners Kevin Smith, Ilse Klink, Brendon Daniels; SAFTA nominee Vinette Ebrahim, Carmen Maarman; rising star Trudy van Rooy; and Ceagan Arendse, who tragically passed away in February 2021.
Not to mention Fleur du Cap winners Sanda Shandu from The Kissing Booth 1 & 2, Mbulelo Grootboom; Comics’ Choice nominee Carl Weber; Kim Syster; Bongo Mbutuma; and Danny Ross.
When asked, where did the idea for Skemerdans come from? Co-director Amy Jaftha said, “We love the noir genre, so we had an aesthetic in mind. We wanted to create something that felt different to any South African show we had seen.
A lot of the shows here are so bright, whereas we found there was something so beautiful about playing with darkness and shadows. One night we just took a drive down Voortrekker Road for a location recce and we thought, ‘This place has so much life; so many stories in the cracks.’ We don’t think it’s been seen on screen before, so part of Skemerdans came from wanting to tell the story of this world.”