By Nomali Cele
On the occasion of his feature film directorial debut, we spoke to Kagiso Lediga about his visual love letter to Johannesburg that is “Catching Feelings.” The film, written, directed by and starring Lediga, touches on the frustrations of suburbia
“Catching Feelings” is a film about Max (played by Lediga), a black academic who seems to just a little past his prime — he published a celebrated debut but hasn’t shown any signs of writing something else in years. There’s a point very early in the film where Max’s student gives him her manuscript to read that I believed he would steal it.
In his charmed, electric-fenced Parkhurst life Max is married to a beautiful journalist (Pearl Thusi) whose primary role in the relationship seems to be asking him why he’s swiping irresponsibly on their joint bank account. Max wants to start having children, Sam doesn’t. Add to this tense home situation a world-famous South African born author (Andrew Buckland) whose motto in life seems to be sex, drugs and a bit a dash of white privilege.
Max is suddenly partying each day of the week with Heiner, which leads to Sam having to follow up on bank notifications. In a memorable cameo, comedian and actor, Ntosh Madlingozi plays a character that straddles the expansive territory between sushi king, Kenny Kunene, and a politician that Sam has been tracking down for an interview. Wealthy, well-moisturised and womanising.
We spoke to Kagiso Lediga about Johannesburg, the satisfaction that comes with wearing different hats while making a project and the privilege of working with seasoned professionals. In his own words, “Catching Feelings is not a plot movie.” Lediga says that for the longest time he referred to the film as “the feelings movie” and when you watch it you will see that all the characters seem to have a lot of feelings.
Listen to the interview below
Released by United International Pictures, “Catching Feelings” is a great addition to local film releases this year.