Check out the amazeballs trailer for Fully Committed, then go to Alexander Bar and book for the one off performance on Sat 30 March! Love it.
Month: March 2013 (Page 1 of 2)
Today is my birthday. There is a cup cake surrounded by silver hearts outside my door. I am lying in bed, in my boet and sister-in-law’s place in Jozi, surrounded by double the stuff I brought with, to pack and take home. Big Friendly is the coffee maker. And I am generally delighted.
Last night though, last night was a celebration. One of those accidentally serendipitous, magical bests. Heather Mac, Mark Harris and Amber Parr (Heather’s glorious daughter) just happened to be in Jozi, performing a gig at Old Mutual Theatre on The Square as a fundraiser for Assitej. I invited a small posse of Jozi friends and family to join us to watch and listen, and it was truly, totally amazing.
Heather is an exquisite and deeply moving performer, with a heart voice connection and a presence on stage that literally brings me to sudden tears, and that is how I stay, from first note to last. Mark Harris is delicious on stage as guitar man and Amber Parr is the most generous and gorgeous back up singer to her mom. It also helped that the best sound guy in SA, Heather’s brother John Mac was there to do the best ever sound. It was an awesome gig and a total treat to have been in Jozi to witness it. I thank my closest, who I dragged there, but who loved it as much as I did. My only wish was that more people had known about it. Assitej deserve the money, and I know for sure Heather has many, many old fans (just like me and my friends) from and in Jozi, who will hear about this gig today and literally kick themselves for not knowing about it sooner.
I am lucky. I have access to Heather and get to see her a lot more in Slaap Stad. And I will always be there. Crying along. Thank you, my great friend and inspiration, Leather Sac.
It is Saturday evening and Big Friendly and I, and my brother and sister-in-law are at their home in Jozi. It has been a crazy four days of family; a rolling function with close family who came here from Sydney to celebrate a barmy. We have eaten, talked, drank, socialised, met and re-met, chased children, hugged, squeezed, driven, sat and listened, been proud, loved family, shared things, laughed, reminisced, re-enacted scenes from the past and basically spread the love.
This afternoon a crazy game of football took place in an old, huge Jozi garden, between some of the adults and all of the kids, as the rest of us looked on and criticised and cheered. The sky started turning grey and the first rumbles of thunder began. The air was charged and we sat drinking pink gins, and I could see the movie shot.
And in a pure moment of art imitating life, I was a character in this beautiful, electrically lit people and family filled space in the world and it was magnificent.
I am a leetle worse for wear this morning. That Distell bubbly has quite a kick to it if you have more than three or seven. I was definitely in a celebratory mood after the lovely ceremony, even though my faves didn’t win. I had my money on Daneel van der Walt and Charl-Johan Lingenfelder. That is how it goes I guess. The judges and I seldom agree.
There were three stand out moments at the ceremony this year. The lifetime achievement award to Richard Kearns from The Baxter was brilliant, moving and so satisfying. Great choice FdC. Then Mbulelo Grootboom’s thank you speech, incoherent as it was, was an emotional delight. Lastly, Quanita Adams’s speech (delivered by her brother) with a moment’s silence to all the Lenas was a sobering and powerful touch.
Then it was Partay time. Big Friendly left after sampling the meat and I stayed on. I forget the rest.
I saw something last night and it left me feeling really uncomfortable. I was watching a movie and the middle aged male protagonist was having a thing with a very young adult, or teenager girl actually. Now, I completely understand that this was written into the story; this was the story that this director had chosen to make into a movie, but it was the ‘how’ of it that really bothered me.
You see, the male actor was really very good. His performance was complicated, nuanced and layered. He delivered character and emotion and power and conflict and pain. She, on the other hand,Â was entirely gorgeous, and quite useless. We saw her gorgeous breasts before we got to know her, and we saw them again, a lot. It crossed my mind more than once that she was chosen for her velvet brown eyes, ripe body and sexy everything, and that the question of her lack of acting skill was overlooked. And I got squirmy. It felt a little bit like somebody behind the scenes was getting their rocks off. I started thinking about the actress and not the character. I couldn’t see the story any more because the creepiness was about the people who made the movie, and not the characters in the story. This interpretation totally objectified women, and turned them into a single sexual thing. And it became pornographic.
I know that these lines are terribly blurred, and there will be many who totally disagree with me. But I had that very creepy, pervy feeling. It’s not a ‘thing’ exactly, it is a notion, a sense, an intuition. I have had it before while watching certain Woody Allen movies (even though his creative genius has often saved the situation) and I have seen and sensed it in theatre productions, where straight directors have objectified women, and got them to do stuff on stage for them, and gay directors have left women invisible in order to explore the male sexuality between characters; often where it isn’t even there in the story.
I think that you male directors need to apply a lot more rigour to your work, and a lot more honesty and self-knowing. If you want to make a movie or play because you want to see beautiful young boys or girls without their clothes on, I don’t want to watch you do it.
I have been struggling this last week or so, and I haven’t been able to put my finger on it. Finally, I think I am starting to scratch beneath the surface, to work out why this horrific story of Mido Macia, the taxi driver who was cuffed and dragged by a police van, and who later died of his injuries, is so upsetting.
First of all, I could not come to terms with the fact that there was a video; someone had recorded this horrific act on a cellphone. Then I could not imagine actually watching it. And still, I knew, if it wasn’t for the video these cops wouldn’t have been caught.
Over and over again though, I try to imagine what split in the brain takes place that people can allow themselves to inflict such grotesque pain on another human being. I make this statement general. I know that the police in this country (and others) are under resourced, over stressed, desperate, and have all seen the hideous and unbelievable. But they are still people. And people should not be able to do this kind of thing to other people; regardless of who they are and what they have done.
The detailed description of the pain he suffered before he died makes me want to gag. I cannot ever read it to the end. And there were people who did it, people who watched it happen live, people who watched the video footage.
Today, in court, the cops’ defence team brought evidence to light that this man was involved in an accident that killed five children. As if somehow this was an excuse to torture him until he died. It makes me sick. It makes me sick that people can do what they do.