NYU Black Renaissance Noire NYU Black Renaissance Noire Volume 16.2: Fall 2016 - Page 149

Afolayan ’ s penchant for greatness in all his movies are first seen in the lineup of the most notable cast in the industry . His movies speak in their own tongues , and he can always be trusted to be the star of his movies , not because he always finds ( or forces ) a role for himself in his films , but because he is usually a bigger name than his actors . Afolayan ’ s knack for big budget films is comparable to Kelani ’ s flair and makes plain the truth that the duo are not only close to each other , but that the industry is moving towards a new Nollywood — the point where the barriers between Hollywood and Nigerian films will be broken , both in ticket sales and in production aesthetics . Kunle Afolayan started off filmmaking through the fatherly guidance of Tunde Kelani , and as a true ‘ son ’, Afolayan has in no small measure proved his mastery of filmmaking in line with international best practices . He knows the true uses of different kinds of shots and ensures that his films have all necessary camera angles , from aerial shots to deep focus .
All three criteria proposed by renowned American film scholar , Andrew Sarris , for recognizing an auteur are the primary qualities of Afolayan ’ s films . Through his film training and tutelage by veteran filmmakers like Kelani , Afolayan has developed a high degree of technical competence , as his films have continued to be applauded for their remarkable pictures and narrative qualities . This explains why Afolayan has become the director / producer to beat in every local and international film festivals and awards that celebrate African films and filmmakers . In comparison to other ranking African filmmakers , Kunle Afolayan is in a class by himself . Also , if distinguishable personality is a characteristic of the auteur , Afolayan himself is definitive of this . His big budget films , his unique trademark quality , his mastery of the indigenous culture , his celebrity lifestyle , and knack for quality cinematography , to name but a few , have distinguished his personality from the typical Nollywood director whose ultimate goal is a high return on a diminutive investment . Finally , Kunle Afolayan ’ s films have interior meaning arising from tension between personality and material . In Afolayan ’ s films , fiction can hardly be distinguished from reality , because narratives are ordered in such a way that the fictitious is reality itself . For instance , Araromire the goddess of prosperity and misery , is nothing close to reality . There is no old Yoruba folktale that has even a resemblance of this goddess , and the chants , incantations and remarkable sound tracks in The Figurine are but fiction .
In fact , the chants are meaningless Yoruba phrases with no syntactic correlation . The term Araromire is neither a word in Yoruba nor a place in any part of the Sub-Saharan Africa . But the most important thing to note is the degree to which his films are made reality to the extent that one would believe the existence of his fictions more than realistic events . To the passive Nollywood audience , his fictions appear more real than reality . He does these , not because the film medium by causal necessity is a window and a mirror of the society , but because of the tension between his personality and material contingencies . In addition to all of these , it is also worthy of note that Kunle Afolayan ’ s films have certain things in common , when compared and contrasted . Afolayan demonstrates a mastery of the cinematographic apparatus : the high quality cinematography , the peculiar camera angles , the unique sets , and locations , not found anywhere else in Nollywood narratives , and all of these form the hallmarks of Kunle Afolayan as an auteur-director .
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