Since May 2013, reviewmyscript.com founder, Stephen ‘Spling’ Aspeling has been the resident movie reviewer and host of Talking Movies on Fine Music Radio, where he has broadcast over 500 consecutive episodes of the weekly film review without fail. Spling’s ongoing passion project is a much-loved cinematic radio feature, which frequent listeners have called as “erudite”, “succinct”, “fresh and spontaneous”.
Spling says it has been his “mission to enrich the understanding of cinema and expand his audience’s love for the art form” as one of South Africa’s only dedicated movie review radio programs. Spling adds that he’s “tried to keep listeners informed, entertained, and inspired” by using a conversational tone to keep his evaluations accessible and relatable without downplaying the writing.
The 10-year anniversary and 500+ straight weekly episode milestone is notable, having not missed a single week’s broadcast on arts and culture powerhouse Fine Music Radio. Spling, who has been called a “national treasure,” “our generation’s Barry Ronge,” and “South Africa’s answer to Roger Ebert,” recognizes that he has a responsibility not just to his readers and listeners, but also to the local cinema industry.
Spling created a special show to countdown his top ten favorite movies of all time* after commemorating 500 episodes of Talking Movies by donating the same number of DVDs to the TEARS animal welfare charity.
Spling has heard various reasons why listeners tune into Talking Movies over the years, whether it’s to hear his unique perspectives, pick up movie conversation points, or wait for him to eventually give something 10/10. I’ve met a lot of listeners over the years, and it’s funny how some of them anticipated him to be older, taller, and even blonde.
Talking Movies has remained largely unchanged in format, beginning with “Welcome to Talking Movies, I’m Spling”… and ending with “…and remember, don’t wing it, SPL!NG it!” Spling has ticked off another item on his bucket list by publishing The Essence of Dreams: An Anthology of Film Reviews. While Spling is recognized for Talking Movies, he is not only talking or writing about films, whether streaming or on tour, but also assisting them in reaching their full potential through screenplay consultancy, reviewmyscript.com.
So, whether you’re hearing about Spling for the first time or enjoyed every single episode of his Talking Movies, Spling sends “a big thank you to everyone” who has made it possible. Here’s a podcast of the 10 Year Anniversary broadcast:
*In descending order: Monty Python & The Holy Grail, Sunset Blvd., Chinatown, Excalibur, As It Is In Heaven, Into the Wild, The Intouchables, Departures, Army of Darkness and Mad Max: Fury Road.