Congolese Director Djo Munga Aims to Revitalize a Nation's Film Industry with the Gripping Gangster Thriller 'Viva Riva!'
Djo Tunda Wa Munga didn’t have to return to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he was born and spent the first nine years of his life, to make his terrifically entertaining feature debut, Viva Riva! In fact, filming the erotically charged film noir, which he likens to the movies of Quentin Tarantino and True Romance director Tony Scott, might have been easier if he’d stayed in Belgium, where a cinema workshop Munga attended in 1993 inspired him to enroll in film school.
If Joseph Sargent’s original Taking of Pelham One Two Three seemed to capture the essence of New York at its mid-’70s nadir – overrun with crime and teetering on the verge of bankruptcy, its world-weary residents conditioned to expect the worst and hardly surprised when it happened – Tony Scott’s slick, competently staged remake is a warmed-over exercise in style.
Despite the movie’s early mixed reviews, the NFL is rolling out the red carpet for Denzel Washington’s latest thriller, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3.
Here in the Bay Area, San Francisco 49ers stars Alex Smith and All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis will be joined by Nnamdi Asomugha, Darrius Hayward-Bey and Michael Huff of the Oakland Raiders to host a special Wednesday night screening of the film at the Great Mall in Milpitas. The players will arrive to walk the carpet at 6:30 p.m., with the movie, a remake of Joseph Sargent’s 1974 subway heist, to follow.