TikTok and Drag Race did not invent lip sync but have made it ubiquitous. In Steve Smith Jemma Kahn takes lip sync to the nth degree, with an astounding performance by De Klerk Oelofse. In 2018 then Australian cricket captain, 26-year-old Steve Smith was at the centre of a ball tampering scandal that shook international cricket. When he arrived back in Sydney after the debacle (which reached its zenith at Cape Town’s Newlands stadium), he had to face a room full of journalists and apologise. At the press conference Smith valiantly stumbles through a prepared statement and then he falls apart. It is the perfect performance of arrogance chopped off at the knees. These four minutes of footage have been recreated by Jemma Kahn, with an astounding mimicry of the withered Smith by De Klerk Oelofse. Together they have created a loving and mocking portrait, in the style made ubiquitous by TikTok and Drag Race – the lip sync. Jemma Kahn has always enjoyed a lo-fi aesthetic and her filmmaking continues in this tradition. Shot on an iPhone 4 with Prestik as a tripod and edited herself she takes a simple technology and then pushes it, creating something scruffy, charming and utterly original.
A film by Jemma Kahn
Starring De Klerk Oelofse
Featuring Albert Pretorius
Art & Lighting by Jemma Kahn and Rocco Pool
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Jemma Kahn studied art and drama at Wits. She has performed at the National Arts Festival since 2012, with hit productions The Epicene Butcher, We Didn’t Come To Hell for the Croissants, In bocca al lupo, The Borrow Pit and Cellist With Rabies. In 2018 Jemma won the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Theatre.
De Klerk Oelofse is a stage, television and film actor based in Cape Town. His stage credits include Balbesit and Na-Aap, (directed by SBYA winner Jaco Bouwer), Babbelagtig and Nêrens Noord-Kaap, both of which won a KykNet Fïesta Award for Best Ensemble. This year he produced Die Poet, Wie’s Hy? – based on the poetry of Adam Small – which premiered at the Toyota US Woordfees winning the festival’s most prestigious award, for Best Production.