Something for everyone

Something for everyone

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There is something for everyone this week – theatre, parties, wine festivals and live music – brilliant!

Review – Evita:
After tremendous feedback from readers we decided to send Lesley Stones to the theatre to go and watch Evita.

There are certainly parallels between the political landscape in which this production is set and South Africa. This story is uplifting and is full of creative tricks to make the show glitzier.
Read the review

Party – Basement Jaxx
Those who enjoy dancing till the sun comes up will not want to miss UK dance duo Basment Jaxx this weekend. With a string of club and radio hits under their belt, Basement Jaxx has been leading the way in electronic dance music. They will be supported by acts such as Roger Goode and Flash Republic.

Date: Saturday, 4th September, 2010
Venue: Sky Raiders, Rand Airport, Germiston
Cost: R260 to R1300
Read more

Wine – The Soweto Wine Festival
The Soweto Wine Festival gives you the chance to dress to impress and taste as many of the Mzansi wines as possible to experience different styles and cultivars – red and white, sweet and dry, as well as fortified, sparkling and Cap Classique wines – until you find the one.

Date: Thursday, 2nd of September to Saturday, 4th September, 2010
Venue: University of Johannesburg, Soweto Campus
Cost: R60 to R150
Read more

Music – Joburg Day

The annual 94.7 Joburg Day will take place at Riversands Farm this weekend and will feature hot artists such as Jack Parow, Arno Carstens, The Parlotones and Prime Circle. One of their best line-ups ever!

Date: Saturday, 4th September 2010
Venue: Riversands Farm, William Nicol Drive, Fourways (toward Dainfern)
Cost: R70 to R200
Book through Computicket

Jen Tile: Straight out of Norwood

No laughing matter

Sundays are perfect for lazing on the couch, eating popcorn, watching DVD’s and forgetting the troubles that the work week ahead will present. I was not in the mood for one of those tear-jerker type movies where everyone dies, breaks up, or has an ongoing custody battle for a snot-nosed kid. No. I felt like laughing, so I thought I would turn to Leon Schuster’s latest movie to provide the chuckles.

To be honest, watching paint dry is funnier. You are more likely to crack a laugh during Texas Chainsaw Massacre than you are in Shucks Tshabalala’s Survival Guide to SA. Yes, there are a few slapstick scenes in which you can’t help but smile, but if the biggest sellers in our movie industry are candid camera flicks, we have problems.

If the pinnacle of our movie industry relies on making fools out of people or placing ordinary folk in situations they would not normally encounter for the sole purpose of laughing AT them, then I fear it will be many years before a South African movie will win a Best Picture Academy Award.

I don’t get it. The man has made a career out of painting himself in make-up, using a faux African accent and saying things like, “Eish”. Where is the comedy in that? Why is his chubby sidekick with the irritating laugh billed as a “funnyman?” The plot in his movies are weaker than knees of an arthritic and about as intelligent as climbing a lightening conductor in a thunder storm, yet people still flock like sheep to see his movies which generally involve men being hit between the legs and someone ending up with dung on their face.

While I am not a big fan of his flicks I will concede that Schuster is a brilliant businessman as he consistently rakes in the cash with his movies. He knows how to hit his target market with every release, a skill few film-makers worldwide have mastered. Clearly he is doing something right – he does not have to get by writing weekly columns.

Do we South Africans view film purely as a means of escapism and therefore choose movies that are not very cerebral; or are we quite a thick lot who still think toilet humour, silly accents, and obvious gags are funny? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should only watch foreign, subtitled movies that arty, pretentious types watch and then discuss as if it has a major bearing on their lives, but I do think that we need to start producing comedies that don’t rely on racial stereotypes, puerile humour and pranks.

These things are good for a quick, cheap laugh, but they certainly don’t help our movie and comedy industries grow in international stature.

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