NAF Day 1: Reviews, Videos and Weird Stuff

2008-07-03 15:04
Here's some of the stuff we overheard, and some weird stuff I saw. But first, today's reviews, fresh from our frozen fingers...

Reviews from Friday 27th June

Evan Dando and Ray Phiri live
Old Mutual Encounters stage, De Taphuis
De Taphuis is a bargain - R60 for a whole night's entertainment, in a venue with good food, and occasionally some bar service. Syd Kitchen and Max Normal had been on before, and all Evan Dando and Ray Phiri had to do was deliver something reasonably rehearsed. Evan hit the stage with the impact of a feather landing on snow and delivered a thoughtful recovery set of acoustic self-exploratory vignettes, refusing to speak a word to his audience through his Kurt Cobain-esque bangs. The crowd withdrew into their seats. Ray Phiri brought the room back to life with his eighties-flavoured, somewhat preachy ballads for a new South Africa that hasn't quite happened yet. Then finally they got together on one stage - in front of a dwindling crowd who'd gone in search of ... who knows? Beer? Light entertainment? Bed? They didn't seem that familiar with each other's styles, and though the odd track clicked, they generally sounded like two guys just jamming. Which isn't a big deal, really. But you can watch the videos below and decide for yourself if you should be tracking Evan Dando down on his tour of SA.
- Watch a video the solos and the colabs Cokey Falkow's Odd One Out
Directed by Rob Van Vuuren
Cokey's gone - since his first appearances onstage maybe nine years ago - from the guy with tons of talent who did gross-out stuff about doing girls up the ass and poo and so on and on, to the guy who finds the delicous twist in every twisted routine. Odd One Out keeps you laughing constantly because it's about humanity's many terrible flaws. The audience still naiively finds Cokey shocking at times, but despite occasional gasps it sounded like they were laughing because they were listening. Not all Cokey's fans will be nuts about the somewhat camp self-deprecation he uses to remain unthreatening enough for the less er... "thinking" punters to stay with him, and for the more politically oversensitive to forgive his satire of South African archetypes. This is one of the many new tactics he employs to make this show more than just straight standup - although it still feels personal, and true. For anyone still considering the basic insanity of loving and trusting another homosapien, coming to terms with this kind of comedy could be a starting point. And forget that pompous crap already - Odd Man Out is prime entertainment. It's hilarious, touching and convincing, and only occasionally revolting. Like many of the best people, really. Don't miss it.
- Jean Barker

Darrell James Roodt's Lullaby (2008)
Anyone who sees this film will shut their yaps about local film being crap. It's not a film about racism, it doesn't espouse rainbow nationhood and the new SA it portrays doesn't have that new car smell. Lullaby keeps it real. It's also a world-class film in terms of editing and sound. So if you're looking for a reason to boycott Hollywood blockbusters, this is a good one. The story of the lengths to which a mother's love for her son can drive her is set in Hillbrow, Joburg. Action-packed and emotionally wrenching, South African cinema has arrived.
- Natalie Sineke

The African
Written and directed by Saeloelo Maredi
This quaint drama won't dazzle you with an elaborate set or dramatic costumes. At a glance it doesn't look like much. But it's not about what you see; it's about the message. It offers a perspective on our confused African identities, our constant battle between the sugar-coated concept of modernity and the abandoned foundations of tradition. Offering a definition of the ambiguous word "African", and attempts to guide us forward. While it could have been shorter, it could not have hit harder.
- Natalie Sineke

Overheard in Grahamstown

Two blondes singing arm in arm singing walking to The Rat:
"Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea"

Two sistas singing arm in arm, five seconds later, past Munchies takeaway joint:
"My bonny lies over the ocean... My bonny lies over the sea..."

Pleasantly titilated young girl leaving the Scout Hall after Cokey Falkow's Odd One Out:
"I can't believe he actually said that!"

Drunk rugby type to stumbling buddies:
"Just wait til tomorrow night. That's when the shit hits the fan."
"Where shall we go now?"
"How much is it to get in?"
"It's free!"
All: "Yaaaaaaay!"

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