Oris Aigbokhaevbolo: “God Calling” is Gospel Kitsch

Oris Aigbokhaevbolo: “God Calling” is Gospel Kitsch

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Oris Aigbokhaevbolo: “God Calling” is Gospel Kitsch
Minutes into the new BB Sasore film “God Calling,” one thing becomes clear: the film’s computer-generated images are its star. Besides the devotion to Christianity, it is what the crew takes the most care about. The trailer showcases a remarkable scene of a suicide on the 3rd Mainland Bridge that is better than anything else in […]
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Minutes into the new BB Sasore film “God Calling,” one thing becomes clear: the film’s computer-generated images are its star. Besides the devotion to Christianity, it is what the crew takes the most care about.

The trailer showcases a remarkable scene of a suicide on the 3rd Mainland Bridge that is better than anything else in the film, and there is a decent conflagration through a high window. A shot apparently made underwater is just as good. Unfortunately, there is a garish depiction of heaven later, but that is a rare low for the film’s very good VFX crew.

But let’s talk about God Calling’s fidelity to the Christian God. This is a film that wants to tell us that God has a plan for every life. Now, while that is a sentiment I appreciate, I just wish I didn’t have to stomach kitsch to get a lesson everyone was taught in Sunday school.

Sasore’s previous film, Banana Island Ghost, was concerned with an afterlife spent on earth. God Calling is concerned with the aftermath of a death. The first provided grounds for comedy; the latter is primed for some heavy lifting in terms of the drama of tragedy. A young couple loses its only child and spirals into sadness in the way movie people do: the husband (Karibi Fubara) seeks succor in the arm of a female colleague; the wife, Sade (Zainab Balogun), unravels into a depression. To complicate matters, Sade is a recovering drug addict unable to bear another child. That is a great set-up for some psychological probing, but the story that follows is neither intensive nor extensive.

A subplot concerns the husband who has never gone back to visit his parents since marrying into a rich family. That is a source of resentment for his father (Nkem Owoh, who alongside Onyeka Onwenu, who plays his wife, is the film’s best actor, but has too few scenes). This subplot, which could comment on Nigerian class, privilege, and urbanization, holds a dramatic potential far more intriguing than the film we are served, but it is never given the seriousness of the film’s gospel plot. And it would be great if that main plot was treated with some kind of reverential artistry, but given the laughs in the hall I saw the film, and my own eye-rolling, I was reminded of Apostle Paul telling a church in Romans 2:24: “For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you…

Fact is: Many believers working in Nigeria’s creative spaces think they have no obligation to artistry, that because the concept is belief they have no need for believability or elegance. This is especially true for gospel music makers. But in a world where religion is under attack fairly regularly, believing artists have to take both God and art seriously—at least if they want to ply their trade in the secular marketplace. The faith-based genre has some potential in a country like Nigeria, but might it be better to show these films in our many churches, if creative liberties are going to be taken at such a scale?

That is not a criticism that God Calling wholly deserves, but each time Sade’s phone rang with GOD (emphasis theirs) as caller ID, I snickered. Clearly, someone thought a phone call a smart metaphor to use in showing God calling a person to attend to his flock. But I want to know, what network was GOD using? It couldn’t have been any of Nigeria’s unreliable ones.

A cringeworthy scene shows a pastor (Patrick Diabuah) saying solemnly, “God is calling you, God is calling you,” to Sade. Sure as rain, soon after, the movie’s GOD makes that phone call. If I was a deity, I would be inclined to slapping someone hard on the face for the disrespect. Who knew a supernatural being had to bow to human technology and replace the famed still, small voice with an iPhone?

Another scene that could contest for the most head-shaking features RMD going through a transformation. RMD is not a bad actor, but he is not great either—so he can’t sell an inherently misguided scene that has to be credulous only to the most adamant of Synagogue TV watchers. In the interest of avoiding spoilers, it should be enough to say the scene tries to position Jesus (played admirably black and curly by Ademola Adedoyin) as Professor Peller.

As Sade, Zainab Balogun is once again asked to play a role she is temperamentally unsuited for. Sure, she tries, but she has repeatedly shown that she can’t quite work emotional extremes. There are tears here, but she can’t communicate anguish except through whimpering. Like most of her peers, faced with a physically demanding role, Balogun becomes more a face model than an actress. (One wonders how Nollywood actors and actresses would play a character with facial paralysis.) “We are going east,” someone announces in the film. It is quite harsh considering all the work that has gone into making God Calling, but if this was real life, I might be tempted to go west instead.

The post Oris Aigbokhaevbolo: “God Calling” is Gospel Kitsch appeared first on BellaNaija – Nigeria breaking & top news to the World 24/7. Read Today.

The Greatest Collaboration Of 2019 Is About To Hit The Music Industry

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The Greatest Collaboration Of 2019 Is About To Hit The Music Industry
Mpl Empire boss, Vic.O, has announced he has teamed up with the “irregular speedometer;” Speed Darlington, fondly called the “hottest African in America” to dish out a new  track; “Bella.” Both “comedians” have been going all about social media platforms promoting the song with it’s artwork and a snippet. Nigerians have long been anticipating a collaboration […]
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Mavin Records Presents; Rema – “Dumebi”

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Mavin Records Presents; Rema – “Dumebi”
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Mr Mys3 – “Check Your Watch It’s My Time”

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Mr Mys3 – “Check Your Watch It’s My Time”
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Buhari encourages voters to participate in supplementary elections

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Buhari encourages voters to participate in supplementary elections
<p class="">President Muhammadu Buhari, has encouraged his countrymen to participate in the supplementary elections fixed for Saturday, March 23, 2019.</p> <p class="">He said this in a state house press release a day to the polls. Due to many challenges including elections violence, polls are expected to be repeated in 17 states across Nigeria.</p> <p class="">Contrary […]
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PENGASSAN urges Buhari to appoint petroleum minister in new dispensation

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PENGASSAN urges Buhari to appoint petroleum minister in new dispensation
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NIS deports 4 Ghanaian nationals

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NIS deports 4 Ghanaian nationals
<p class="">The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has deported four Ghanaian nationals for violating provisions of the Immigration Act and Regulations.</p> <p class="">The Comptroller-General of NIS, Mr Muhammad Babandede, said this in a statement issued on Friday in Abuja by Mr Sunday James, the Public Relations Officer of the service.</p> <p class="">Babandede said that the deportation […]
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Tribunal split 2-1 on Osun election, majority favours Adeleke (Full report)

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Tribunal split 2-1 on Osun election, majority favours Adeleke (Full report)
<p class="">In a split judgement, the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Apo, on Friday, nullified the election of the Governor of Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately withdraw the Certificate of Return earlier issued to him as winner of the September 2018 Election.</p> <p […]
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CUPP kicks as EFCC arrest Onnoghen’s driver

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CUPP kicks as EFCC arrest Onnoghen’s driver
THE Coalition of United Political Parties,CUPP, yesterday, accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,EFCC,of arresting the personal driver of the suspended Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Walter Onnoghen. Continue reading CUPP kicks as EFCC arrest Onnoghen’s driver at Vanguard News Nigeria. Related
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VIDEO & AUDIO: TE – Wahala Dey

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Ede Emeka Timothy also known has T.E is a singer,songwriter and a bassist whose musical style is rooted to the afro fusion genre of music.T.E currently has released singles title like music featuring mavin’s korede bello, get down low and boobie girls ft killagibson. His latest solo effort WAHALA DEY which was produced by Pblaze […]
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We knew Seychelles would be difficult – Gernot Rohr

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Atiku’s morale in the judiciary boosted, as tribunal declare Adeleke winner of Osun Guber

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Atiku’s morale in the judiciary boosted, as tribunal declare Adeleke winner of Osun Guber
Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar has hailed the judiciary, over the victory of Senator Ademola Adeleke in the Osun state governorship election. Atiku, who has also filed a petition against President Muhammadu Buhari over his victory at the February 23rd, presidential election, at the presidential election tribunal, said that the […]
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[Video]: Is This What Timaya And Tuface Call ”Zanku”???

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[Video]: Is This What Timaya And Tuface Call ”Zanku”???
Legendary Nigerian musician, Tuface Idibia, was spotted dancing the now popular ”Zanku” dance alongside Papi chulo ”Timaya” but what was seen in the video doesn’t look anything near ”leg work.” Video: http://www.informationng.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/chulo.mp4   The post [Video]: Is This What Timaya And Tuface Call ”Zanku”??? appeared first on INFORMATION NIGERIA. Related
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