Friday, December 30, 2011

Lil bit of lovely

My gorgeous friend who is State-Side, Rachel, posted this video on Facebook.

500 Days of Summer is one of those "got to love it" movies. If you haven't watched it, do thyself the favour.

It is just too adorable - Zooey Deschanel AND Joseph Gordon-Levitt - because they KNOW we will never be able to get enough of them together.

Enjoy, a little bit of lovely cuteness ahead of New Year's Eve.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How did I miss this??!

Dineo Lusenga was in for Sash this morning, and she asked me if I'd heard of "Sophia Grace". Well, I hadn't, but Dineo is now my favourite for introducing me to this:

A little, pommie, white kid with THAT much swag? Nah-uh! But wait, there's more!

I could die from the cuteness. But it's more than lolcats cute. Such confidence! It's so great to see a child who's been brought up without that doubtful child-complex. (You know the ones who have the 'grown-ups know better and I should thus shut up' complex?) Such a treat.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Another one:

Stuart Hobbs sent me this on Facebook too. It's Stannis Baratheon speaking. Who's voice is that? Stephan Dillane. I thought it was Faramir's (that guy from LOTR and 300) voice, but alas.

Here it are:

"A Clash of Kings" teaser trailer...

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll already know how addicted I am to the Songs of Ice and Fire series of books by George R.R. Martin. This is of course the series of books that gave us that amazing TV show, Game of Thrones.

A Game of Thrones is the first book in the series. The second is called A Clash of Kings.

And we're a few months away from series two…

This was a fanmade youtube thingie. but watevs.

Didn’t you just get he heebie-jeebies?? I mean, it shows you nothing from the new series, bastards. Everything else seems to be along the same lines. Spring 2012 probably means it’ll be out in the US in May. Which also means we’ll be waiting a while, but at least there’ll be a better trailer by then.

Here's another that has some "spoilers":

It's a bit confusing, because in A Clash Of Kings, Daenerys' dragons aren't quite that large. They did use scenes from the later books in A Game of Thrones too though, so no harm I'm sure. 

Play Resumes…


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

In a Land Far Away, Long, Long Ago

Some say we should get back to a more rustic way of life; being at one with nature and our god given utensils etc. Experience how fortunate we are to live in the time we live in.

The smell of manure.
The greasy fingers after eating a chicken and roast with your hands.
The long and complicated monologues of entertainment.
Participating in silly dances at the order of a superior.
Using a wooden stick to bang on a table instead of applause.
Unimaginable BO. Un. Imaginable.
Getting drunk. (Hey, some things stay the same.)

All of which can be found at Greensleeves, that little, and very old entertainment plot outside of Jo’burg.

I suppose I should be more descriptive.

There was indeed mud and slush, as it had been raining, so “check”. Even got mud in my shoes. They do, indeed, make you eat with your hands, and punish you with ridiculous dances should you fail to feed someone else. Clapping apparently used to warn people off,should someone have a certain nether-region disease, so the stick-banging was a favourite. The MC does warble ad nauseam in his hot potato tone, yacking the rules.

But the BO must be confusing you. “Caw! Isn’t that going a bit far?” you may wonder.

As you can well imagine, people in medieval times smelled, quite literally, like swass. And so do the outfits at Greensleeves.

Now, I’d been there before a couple of years ago, and hated it so much that I swore on my life I’d never go back. Granted, I wasn’t with the funnest group of people. So when I was asked to go to a year-end function there last week, I was petrified. But I went, because this time it was an awesome group of people. My kinda possie.

We had a great time, getting pissed and shoveling meat into our mouths like savages. But Jesus, did those outfits stink.

People *ACTUALLY* get married there... 

If you’ve never been there (lucky you), what happens is, you book, and your costume is included. So once you get there you go into a big change room, pick an outfit, then go up to the hall for the, er, festivities.

This time, when I walked into that changeroom. I could smell the ass. I thought it might just be all the traffic in the place. But alas. I took two dresses into a change booth to try on. Put on the first, blue velvet: siff now, waaay stylish in 1492. Looked alright, but thought I should throw on the black one just to try.

I could not get out of that thing quickly enough. Oh my fuckeroo, I have never smelt anything like it. You know sweaty gym shorts that get left in a gym bag, and aren’t washed for a week? It smelled worse than that.

Not alone in this exposure to swass-covered costumery, and luckier, some of our party had no choice but to don an unfortunately-fragranced frock.

So this is the picture: a small-ish hall packed with about 70 people, eating with their hands and wearing BO robes.

This is actually the big hall - couldn't find a pic of the smaller one we were in.

Hey, if nothing else, they achieved the historical accuracy.

The evening is fun if you’re with good mates and if you’re keen on booze. If not, don’t ever go there. The food is edible, nothing to praise. The MC and musician were good. Just too many activities – after a while, people just want to be left to their boozing and heckling. The musician was better at guitar-playing than singing, but we urged him on nonetheless, being drunk enough to sing along to his Jack Johnson covers. (I know – what??)

Some of the "official entertainment"

But the whole idea is a bit dated IMHO. The opening monologues are okay, ‘cause everyone’s in the mood and feeling all jovial and jolly and shit. But after the two starter courses, they insist on doing a whole shpiel of “punishing” those who fed themselves, by making them all dance. For a really long time. It’s long-winded and boring. And the waitresses don’t serve while the show is on. THE FUCKERY.

It’s different, but not quite my brand of awesome fun, so I think I’ll be keeping my promises to myself in future. ;) 

Monday, December 12, 2011

The "Expert" Opinion

(DISCLAIMER: I've had one of those fantastically rejuvenating weekends, so I'm feeling pleasantly positive and generally patient with the human race. I wrote this rant, I suppose you'd call it, on Friday, after going through everyone's comments on Drive.)

You know what’s lovely about the still pre-law info-bill South Africa? The fact that we’re still allowed to have an opinion on ANYTHING. And Saffas love having an opinion.

What I love even more is the opinion on movies, music and books. Movies are art, in any form, because they’re unwaveringly subjective. It’s either your cup of tea, or it’s not. That’s why we talk about films with friends – to find out what other people thought; maybe give yourself a different perspective. Films are talking points. And that’s what makes their role in society so important.

(No, not every movie contributes so society, don’t get me wrong. A lot of them are made for pure entertainment value, and of course money.)

So why does the film critic, or even reviewer, still exist, when we’re so content to have our own opinion and stick with that?

It’s simply because we understand the things that separate one movie from the others. We know how a movie is made, we know how it’s constructed. We understand the cinematography, mise en scene, the deus ex machina – something employed very effectively in the movie I’ll talk about in a second, motifs. I could go on ad nauseam. But I don’t need to explain that pompous, theoretical crap to you – it’s obscure and tells you nothing you really WANT to know about the movie. But reviewers or critics in particular use the knowledge of those practices to judge how effectively a movie has been made. Or how much thought has gone into it. Because it’s the technicalities in certain movies that tell you more about it’s message; why it was made and what it’s trying to do.

I studied post-modernism, feminism, Greek theatre, Greek history and Greek mythology, Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, modernism, existentialism – I’ll leave it at that – in order to understand the motivation for making movies. Even the skop-skiet-en-donners use The Heroes Journey and other solid Hollywood techniques that I studied. The point of this Nonhle-tendency self-serving CV, is that (to a degree) I know what I’m talking about.

Reviews from people who aren’t “film educated” are also great, because they’ll often just give you a point of view purely in entertainment value. I try write my reviews like that, because let’s face it, only a drama lecturer gives a shit about the theoretical application to film. The viewer reading a review before watching something couldn’t care less about the tones, acting techniques or references to older movies. That’s also why Channel 24 has reader reviews.

I’m going to use the recent experience with Drive as an example, because I urged viewers going to the Nu Metro screenings to tweet their opinions. Now, if you DID watch Drive, you’ll know it’s most definitely not everyone’s grain of oatmeal. So I expected the largely female audience to hate it. Specifically since I’m sure they were imagining Gosling in his Crazy, Stupid Love form. Firstly: no naked Ryan, and secondly: gory, bloody violent and moody. I was thoroughly enjoying everyone’s shock – because it’s exactly how I felt watching it. I was cringing and uncomfortable in my seat the whole time, not to mention gasping in horror every five minutes. And some people hated it. More people loved the surprise and novelty of a movie that effective. I reiterate – that is why movies are great: we all have different opinions.

What I don’t love, however, is people trying to substantiate their dislike by pseudo-critting it: by commenting on its crap cinematography and weak plot… These are of course the same people that think Instagram makes them a photographer, so I shouldn’t be paying them any attention. But, I’d hate to tell you, Drive has some of the best purpose-suited cinematography I’ve seen.

Cinematography isn’t always about tricky angles and new ways of filming – it’s about serving the story, serving the tone and mood. That’s the whole point of knowing what to look for – knowing why each and every thing it set out in its specific way. The score and soundtrack were part of that too, for those who didn’t ‘get it’. It’s because it’s an action movie that’s echoing the silent, stoic characters of older action movies. And it was awesome, so, with all my vocal might: SHURRUP. In addition to that, the plot was hardly weak. You may have noticed there was little dialogue. If you’re a smart movie watcher, you’ll have realized the plot was being told in every second of silence. It makes you interpret things; it makes you think about how you as the character would feel – THAT’S how the story is told. It’s pulp fiction in some senses.

Speaking of which, another ‘criticism’ by the pseudo-experts was the “unnecessary” gratuitous violence. When one is shot at close range with a shotgun, ‘tis not a thin stream of blood that emits from the temple. Your head fucking blows off, innit? And I’d be willing to guess that some of these critics are huge fans of cult classics, Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill etc. So Tarantino’s cut off limbs spurting out more blood than the human body can hold, is somehow more acceptable? (Don’t misunderstand – I love those films.) The excessive is entertaining, but the realistic gore that made people so uncomfortable in Drive is kinda the whole point. You’re not supposed to ENJOY it the way you do in Tarantino movies.

I have no reason to be defending Drive, that’s not what my rant is about. It has its flaws, of course. Not a perfect film.

My point is, there is a difference between having an opinion and having an informed opinion. Or knowing and understanding why you dislike something. I thought it was a natural process to feel a certain way about something, and then assess why you feel that way. As a social human being, you then have the backing, should you need it, to explain your opinion. And you know what, screw everyone, if that’s how you feel, that IS the end of it.

But please, do yourself a favour. Don’t purport to know what you’re talking about, and make an arse of yourself. Leave that to the pros, huh? We enjoy looking like tools. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Official "Drive" Review

The trailer for this movie doesn’t give us too many expectations. You think it’s some kind of getaway driver, badass gangster movie. You might think it’s a bit of a thriller, even a love story. You could even guess that it’s a racing movie with a sordid-past plot.  I suppose in that way, the trailer gives us a hint: We’re not really going to be able to predict anything.  Drive is a multi-layered, multi-dimensional and tightly knit plot. There aren’t any hastily thrown together occurrences for the sake of violence or action. It’s woven together like an intricate Persian rug, with every single action in the movie having a reason and a consequence. There is most definitely an heir of mystery, but never of unintended confusion. There’s also shock so palatable it’s better described as disbelief.  And yet somehow, it doesn’t rely on cheap scare tactics or totally obscure plot twists. There are moments of bloody gore, but our bodies do tend to bleed profusely when maimed in one way or another. And that’s what I loved about this movie: I didn’t anticipate or expect anything...

(click here for the full review...) 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Little Jo'burg Whinge

The Lost City, Sun City, The Palace, Valley of Waves – the whole concept was befok when Sol built it. Gambling was also illegal everywhere, which is why it needed to be out in the North West.

I can’t call myself a frequent visitor – at all – I’ve been there twice. Once when I was about 12, and again about two weeks ago. I bought my parents tickets to see Josh Groban.

I think I can call the experience a steady downward spiral.

Firstly, I haven’t been privy to this little rule hotels have, which tells us we cannot stay there for one night over a weekend. Obviously they want to capitalize on their weekend income, but it’s straight up bullshit. Even half the lodges just outside Sun City demand a minimum of two nights. After trying to find a reasonable solution, and even considering booking two nights IN Sun City – and finding their prices to be hilarious – we decided to drive there and back.

This is no trip to Pretoria, mate. Solid two and a half hours. In fact, three, because the last 70 kilometers are on a pot-holed road with kids and goats running around everywhere. Not for the faint hearted, but we were left with no alternative. I’d also been assured that the drive wasn’t THAT bad, and figured it would be doable with four of us in the car to keep driver awake and on his toes.  

Unfortunately, when casinos in cities were made legal, it was bound to give Sun City a punch in the nethers. We have Monte Casino, pretty ideally placed in the middle of Jozi. Even Emperor’s Palace – despite how much I HAAAATE it and its parking issues. There’s no need to drive three hours to go gamble and be dodgy. We can be dodgy right here.

But then I figured, well, they have that wave valley, and the Palace, and that bridge and stuff – it must still have SOME appeal, right?

That place is falling apart.

I didn’t venture outside the Cascades and general entertainment area. But what I did see did not entice me. The lifts are old. The carpets have not been redone since Sol built the place 31 years ago. And they smell like it. The air-conditioning doesn’t work. In the superbowl, in the movie theatres – schvitsing nightmare. And it seems very small. Maybe that’s just post-Vegas Kimmeh, with all the huge casinos I’ve seen recently.

I don’t mean to be slating, but impressive it was not. The restaurants are great – good food, not so expensive that you may double-take after thinking the prices are in Zim dollars. The movies are latest releases, even though there are only four cinemas. And no air con.

And my folks really enjoyed Josh Groban. But that’s not to Sun City’s credit, that’s because he’s a great entertainer who engages his audience. According to my mom. (I didn’t watch the show, you see.) But the Superbowl was boiling hot, and the very expensive front row seats were those plastic bowls you sit on in school halls. Poor mummy had to shimmy and shake for about twenty minutes after the show to get the feeling in her bum back.

My point, after this long-winded description, is that there is no longer any point to hosting events in Sun City. Other than the Nedbank Golf Challenge. Or poker tournaments maybe.

Perhaps I should be more specific – there is no good reason to have concerts at Sun City. And I’m bitching and whining, because Michael Buble is coming to SA, and will be performing at… Sun City.

(I wont launch into why I LOVE MB, it’s a personal choice okay! Get bent.)

It’s like those selfish friends, who have almost no friends or family in Cape Town, but insist on getting married at a wine farm there. You have to fly your ass there, get accommodation, probably for a whole weekend ‘cause the bastard hotel wont let you book one night only, pay for dinners and lunches and even get presents for the rat bastards.

A lot of us say this to those friends:

And we don’t go to their weddings.

But I WANT to go to MB.
And I really WANTED to take my parents to Josh Groban for their xmas pressie, ‘cause they really love him. And that sacrifice was hundreds, they’ve had to schlep much further for me.

But I think the expense and fa├žade that is this Sun City shpiel (to be topped off with boiling inside a glorified potjie pot) is not worth it for me.

Sorry Michael… Maybe next time.  

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Stoner Chronicle 2: A Mere Lesson, for the kiddies.

The original Stoner Chronicle got me thinking about what a surreal experience that year was. As you can imagine, there’s a lot more to deal with than arb videos on the internet.

The flat was cohabited by me, and two friends. Stoner Friend and Study Friend. I call her Study friend as a matter of irony – she hated studying. Despite being a super genius.

Now, Stoner Friend had been staying in our flat over the very long varsity holidays when Study Friend and I had been at home with our folks. During that time Stoner Friend and her loser boyfriend and his/their stoner possie decided to make our flat the mother-ship.

Because Study Friend and I aren’t particularly fond of confrontation, we failed to bring up the awkward unacceptability that was having her entire plantorage at our teeny tiny flat every effing day. They were annoying, and broke our coffee mugs. Perpetually. This led to an entire year of having to deal with them, and their smoking up our (TIIIIIIIINY) flat with their cheap jutt.

One member of the possie was actually a really sweet dude. He’d had some spinal issue when he was a baby, so he was tiny, and looked a bit like Adrienne Brody – which I think is awesome. He was very movie-smart, and the only one who seemed to respect that the dwelling actually had inhabitants. There was Stoner Friend’s boyfriend, who Study Friend and I openly hated. And their tall friend, who thought he was infinitely smart. He played piano, and would carry on about what a genius Beethoven was, cuz, DUUUH. But Study Friend and I mostly ignored him.

‘Til that day he argued with us ad nauseam about how the West Indies were, in fact, in India…

And he would not budge.

Proof kids, that smoking too much dope makes you stupid, and damn insistent upon proving it.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The "Whether You're A Stoner or Not" Chronicle.

While I'm making you watch awful slash scary slash hilarious stoner videos, I thought it just that I include what's possibly my favourite video on Youtube.

And no, surprisingly, it's not a Lonely Mountain vid. Wait, Lonely Island? Ya. Lonely Island.

Something that you should watch a couple of times, because each time you watch it, it just gets funnier, and funnier and OH LOOK I'M PEEING!

pfffffffft, "LOOK OUT FOR THE WALRUS!"

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Stoner Chronicles

I was having an idle chat last night about a friend of mine who had a rather odd stoner possie. Those broke, student stoners have a special skill when it comes to finding all the weird shit on the internet. This is before they manage to collect a good catalogue of weird, artsy and/or scary movies, of course.

There is some fucking weird shit on the internet. Not that I’m stating the obvious, or anything.

There’s the basic stoner stuff that’ll get the infrequent, light stoner into a fit of giggles. Like Charlie the Unicorn:

The. Fuck. EH?

As with all things in life, there’s moderation. And those who have no idea how to exercise it. That’s how this little gem of a series was created. The stoner possie informed me that the animator actually writes these things on acid trips. Which isn’t hard to believe. Watch this with lights on, and possibly some happy music on standby. It is as creepy as Aunt Petunia’s quivering arse. Salad Fingers:

I do understand that you will need this now: