Tag Archives: durban

Spud & John Cleese

I went to the Spud premiere on Saturday night. It was a completely last minute invitation that saw Gaby and I throw on playsuits and GHD our hair into submission in the space of 5 minutes. Later that night I met John Cleese.

The premiere event at MonteCasino was fantastic – a free tuckshop where you could load up on as many Milo bars and Jelly Tots as you wanted! Photo booths for happy snaps of you and your friends! Boarding school snacks and sandwiches! Oh, and John Cleese was there.

The movie was rollicking, boys-own fun and my favourite Python was genius, as usual. The kids were great too, especially Jamie Royal (Gecko).

Steady direction from Donovan Marsh (Dollars & White Pipes) and crisp cinematography by Lance Gewer (Tsotsi, Beat The Drum), combined with high production values, will make this a surefire local hit. It’s being released in South African cinemas 3 December 2010.

It will be interesting to see how Spud does in the States, where most of John van der Ruit’s books have been sold. I think it has the potential to do surprisingly well. The humour is accessible enough for international markets, with the high-jinx, naughty schoolboy experience being pretty universal too.

Obviously it all comes down to publicity, but I’m sure the legend of Mr. Cleese will help with that. (He was very English and polite, despite being obviously tired from numerous fans asking him why the fish was called Wanda.)

In defence of the Mother****ing City

A woman named Anne Stevens recently proved that not all Durbanites are peace-loving, banana-eating hippies, when she lambasted Cape Town (“Cape Town, you can keep your mountain”) for its many flaws.

Hey, she’s got a few points. My hometown is far from perfect. It irritates the shit out of me that we’re such crappy drivers for example. But I think she was a little harsh and deluded, especially in her Durban comparisons. So here’s my argument for the defence.

Charge 1: The “bloody mountain” is everywhere.
Defence: Yes… it is… Seriously?

Charge 2: The traffic is a nightmare.
Defence: Dude, have you been to Joburg? The Cape’s hour-long drive home is a friggin’ nature walk compared to the Ben Schoeman highway. And Durban’s got its entire population travelling along one damn freeway every day because they’re too cheap to pay the new toll road. However, I do concede that CY drivers are pushy. You would be too if you lived in Belville.

Charge 3: Cold and rain make for a hellish winter.
Defence: This might come as a shock Anne, but that’s what winter is supposed to be like. You’re from a city where 21 degrees is considered a cold snap. Besides, there is a cosy pleasure in sitting by a fireplace with lamb curry and red wine while the rain lashes the windows. Try doing that in La Lucia.

Charge 4: “I would venture that [the restaurants] are not only characterised by indifferent service, but overpriced and over-hyped grub.”
Defence: First of all, it sounds like you haven’t even tried a Cape Town restaurant. What the hell does “I would venture” mean? I’ve sampled a few ‘good’ restaurants in Umhlanga and I’m sorry to burst your bubble but they were priced the same as Cape Town. I found this exorbitant because the food was terribly average. Not bad, just not as good as when you have to cater to a bunch of fussy, fickle Capetonians who would never refer to food as ‘grub’.

Charge 5: The people are rude and irritating.
Defence: Now, now, play nice Ms Stevens. Every city has its fair share of tribes and snobs. I take the mickey out of Cape Town cliques all the time, but they’re no better or worse than anywhere else. There are “Sloane Rangers” in 4x4s in Ballito and Parkhurst too. As for Capetonians being rude, you’ve obviously never been to Paris. We’re really just straight-talking. Suck it up already.

In mitigation of sentence:

  • People live and work in the city centre. We have not relocated all our business and residential areas to outlying suburbs.
  • Muizenberg’s water is pretty warm.
  • The mountain really is spectacular and we’ll keep it, thank you.

Table Mountain