Archive for May, 2011

These are a few of my favourite things

May 31, 2011

Feeling a little tender, woke up a little late… oh Cape Town. Will I survive two weeks of this? Anyhow, I took some photos as I passed my past.

Oh just go ahead and mock my dreams why don't you. "Skolly" - actually spelled Skollie - is Afrikaans for "gangster without the threads".

Cape Town is beautiful. It's often annoying, pretentious, unmistakeably colonial in places. But walking around town, you'll feel good. Most people feel grateful to be there rather than in so many other places they could have wound up.

A cafe in SA is a shop. No coffee will be sold. In Durban they may call them tea houses. No tea is sold. But you can buy eggs for R1.50 each, fresh veggies, less fresh bananas... and a pen knife. I love corner cafes and thanks to 7-elevens they're a dying breed. I bought a coke. Miss SA coke. Real sugar (unlike US coke) but less sweet than Mexican coke.

The Labia is Cape Town's art and indie cinema. They're not named after the female genetalia, but after the Italian family who own them.

A chain. But they have free wifi, and breakfast with coffee for R20. That's about $2.50 to you, America, since it includes VAT (no tax to add up).

Vida e Caffe. It offers pretty much everything Starbucks does, but with food that actually tastes of something. I guess it's a Portuguese / Mozambiquan / South African take on the model.

And that’s where I am, uploading before I go buy some gifts and stuff. I might pop into Toi Toi – a toy shop that’s named after a pun on the toyi-toyi – a protest dance we all learned at marches and things back in the 80s and 90s, if we didn’t grow up with it (I didn’t, being a honky and all that).

This is where I wrote this post.

Corny but true – South African pride at Atlanta Airport

May 26, 2011

I spotted my first South African on the high-speed railway platform underground between A and E… unmistakeable without her even opening her mouth. And I can’t tell you how I knew she was South African. I just knew.

Then I knew I’d arrived at my departure gate. The last one in the last terminal. With a giant Mielie to mark it.

And in our sports colours... no coincidence there.

And as the guy at the Delta desk said “All those with South African passports” a giant cheer rose up. It was really sweet.

Yep. Careful.

Para-statals: the same wherever you go

May 20, 2011

Getting the usual fallout (stupidity) and a bit of sparse praise on my most recent News24 column. I really think I wrote positive stuff this time. But News24 readers don’t want to hear it, and managed to pick out the one or two things I was critical of.

Taken at Amtrak rail station in Anaheim, California, USA - where the trains NEVER run on time. Seriously. Which is fine by me.

It never ceases to amaze me how some South Africans just love dissing their own country and react with fury when you make fun of America at all. It’s sad. They have this idea that American streets are paved with gold. But America is just a place on earth, not heaven, or hell, but somewhere in between.

ps: thanks for the photo, Alex Griffin.

WE ARE ALL GONNA DIE! And go to heaven. Or hell.

May 19, 2011

What happens if the Christians are wrong? God only knows.

It happens every now and then… a group of crazy Christians decide to proclaim the end of the world. Judgement day. And then it never seems to come. Unless! And Here’s my Freaky Thought of the Week. It ALREADY HAS. Or is about to on the 21st, which is coincidentally also graduation day at Chapman. A day on which people who’ve been having an awesome time being at college begin to discover that real life sucks and that all that stuff they whined about while at college was like, totally awesome fun.

How would we know? What if it has happened, and we’re just locked in an alternate universe. Life as limbo. I don’t know. But I’m good with that as long as I get to stay in California for another few years and finish my MFA.

Photo from a CNN article by someone who says this whole thing has “Damaged Christianity“. Amazing that what the bible, religious wars and dumb costumes couldn’t achieve over all these centuries can be achieved with a few stupid billboards.

PS. For those of you in a different time zone, I suspect this will happen in American Time, so you’ll need to calculate the time difference, like you do with Christmas, Easter, New Year, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Worker’s Day (may 1 is now mayday here but they mean “flowers” not “communists”) and Women’s day. A different month here. Jesus is so busy watching you doesn’t exactly have time to watch the clock too.

Next, Please

May 18, 2011

I’m switching to a directing emphasis in my MFA, while continuing with screenwriting too. So almost double the workload for me, which I’m gonna love. And this also made me a lot more nervous at the screening of this project. I felt people would be sneering at me: “She sucks. What is she thinking?!” I finally understand why my director friends don’t enjoy going to their screenings. When it’s up there massive on a movie screen with real sound, every flaw is obvious. And the good stuff looks so much more incredibly good… except when the movie is a porn movie. Then it’s just gross. Nothing grosser than a pubic pimple the size of your head. This isn’t, though. A pubic pimple. Or porn.

Compression, or my monitor, has made this all look woefully pink. It looked a lot better playing from blu-ray full size. And the my killertracks.com credit is missing. Something happened on the cutting room floor / buggy lab! Anyhow, the music is all from killertracks.com, who are amazing.

I learned a lot making this film: about actors, about working with editors, about stress, about directing, about cinematographers, about the people in my team for this project – Alex, Dan, John and Kennedy. We literally laughed and cried. Or at least, I did. And not only when I had PMT.

The result of all this tears and trauma? Four minutes. A fun little piece about a teenage girl who goes to get birth control, and encounters a really weird guy in the waiting room… With Matt Green, Claire Gordon-Harper and Dalia Perla, cinematography by John Nodorft, edited by Dan McDonald. I wrote and directed this for my Production II 16mm 3-2-1 project (3 pages, 2 characters, 1 location).

Hello? Is it me you’re looking for?

May 11, 2011

Facebooked by my friend Selwyn. I love this.

lionel richie spoof

I considered combining this with missing posters from Walmart's notice board. But that would be insensitive.

In case you can’t read them in this blurry photo, the tear-off things say “I can see it in your eyes / I can see it in your smile / … etc.”

But I did think this one, from Obs Fest in Cape Town South Africa was er… fair game.

Lost! "Have you seen my cat? About 100 lbs, likes to play with his food." Observatory (aka obz) is a suburb full of hippies, cat lovers, and arty types. It's very windy there.

And a new addition from @EmperorNorton on twitter.

Yeah, well. Now we have.