The movie spans a few days, and the plot unravels slowly; but the movie is strangely gripping. It has shades of "<a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0134119">The Talented Mr Ripley</a>", but the plot is not as complex with regards to motive and means.
- I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).
18 May 2013
It starts of slowly, with a big emphasis on style, almost over substance. India, looses her father on her 18th birthday, and a mysterious uncle appears during the funeral, and stays a while. Set on the grounds of a large mansion, the <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1682180">movie</a> seamlessly incorporates the beautiful house and gardens in a very sinister plot. The cinematography is very stylish, and although it is clear that the family is very wealthy - wealth itself is not a central plot component, except perhaps for the scene with "Aunt Julie".
12 May 2013
Conrad Koch has taken Chester Missing as a standalone act - together with two new puppets, Hillary and Ronnie, in a 90 minute set. Unfortunately, most of the Chester Missing act is the same material as presented at Blacks Only (with some passing commentary on the Guptas); which is a great pity, since there was so much potential for more fresh, topical political satire (perhaps a more South African Daily Show style?)
The addition of new puppets to the show certainly adds more dimension, and the final act, of converting an audience member into a puppet was not only fun, but has incredible potential in political commentary.
The show runs at the Market Theatre until the end of the month, before moving to Baxter Theatre in Cape Town.
11 May 2013
I got a Blackberry Curve for work - and have been using it for about 3 weeks. As a smartphone it is horrible - screen is small, navigation within the screen is horrid, and in general doesn't have much going for it. And the famed keyboard - I find it too small, and tend to make a lot more mistakes than with my iPhone while typing.
But it's not all bad - the battery life is amazing; it is quite responsive, and the enterprise integration for email and contacts work very well; and viewing office documents is easy. That doesn't mean that the iPhone doesn't do these things well (except for the battery life); but the Blackberry does show what focused purpose devices can do.
Regardless, I am not giving up my iPhone - maybe the Z10 would have changed my mind - the iPhone remains the superior platform.
05 May 2013
I saw the advert for the Winter Sculpture Fair, by accident on a billboard at Hyde Park Corner - accident, because I took a wrong turn. I was intrigued enough to Google for it, when I got out of the car - and the attraction of good food in an interesting location was too good to pass up.
Unfortunately the good food part didn't turn up completely. By the time, M and I got there (about 1pm), most of the food was sold out - and the remaining stalls had long lines waiting for food. There was also a lack of parking - since all parking was on the side of the road, outside the venue - and the parking easily stretched 1.5 km! This is the first such event, and should there be future events, it could do with a bit more organisation in these regards.
All that said, the Nirox Foundation's Sculpture Park is an amazing venue. Rolling green lawns, with amazing landscaped gardens and ponds, make perfect spot for picnics - although picnics are usually not allowed! There is a warning regarding a stray hippopotamus, on the outside fence - but that was nowhere to be seen.
It is a large park, which takes quite a while to walk around. Unfortunately, there are no labels as to the title of the work, the artist or any other information. Some sculptures - such as the bakkie made of plastic clothes hangars were easy to identify - the more abstract pieces less so.
One of the cool things about sculptures, is that is very tactile - and whether allowed or note - some of the larger installations led young children to use them as their playground. That alone brought some extra life to installations.
Some of the abstract pieces were at least cool to look at - such as the fractal heads - I counted 8 - but perhaps there were more I couldn't see.
The hunter and her dogs was my favourite installation - it is quite simple in some respects - but at the same time, the complexity of balancing the dogs on one or two legs is more impressive - and the level of detail up close is amazing!
The head of a doll, in a mattress (stripped of all the foam) was weird (and there are a line of such doll heads). Quite a few of the installations featured skulls (human and animal) - and it seemed to be strong theme.
There were a few installations which leveraged off the water features. I particularly liked the reflection of the dog in the pond water.
03 May 2013
Dave's Worker's Day post had a link to a very interesting (but dated) video of Noam Chomsky speaking about worker's rights, specifically related to the contribution of trade union movement to human rights - and the suppression of trade unions in the US; and its impact on human rights. You need to skip about 30 minutes for the Noam Chomsky part of the presentation (which is actually the only bit I watched).
The part that stood out for me was the discussion on trade unions contribution to human rights - specifically in the context of keeping the government honest, and businesses focused on things other than profit.
In the South African context, the contribution of the trade union movement in challenging apartheid is well known, and acknowledged. But post-1994, apart from Vavi, the trade union movement - specifically COSATU - has often faded into the background. In fact, as demonstrated last year at Marikana, it seems that COSATU has specifically shirked its responsibility regarding human rights. Vavi actually stands out like a sore thumb - continually asking questions about corruption, and whether you like his economic positions - he has held principled stance.
Even if you don't agree with Noam Chomsky's positions on worker rights - the discussion itself is enlightening; especially with regards to the "non business world" view. That alone is a reason to watch it - and it certainly makes one think - should worker's movements (like COSATU) even consider joining political movements in the first place?
02 May 2013
I got this email, this morning - perfectly formed and almost indistinguisable (click for a larger size). Pity, I am not a customer ...
The headers, and specifically Gmail's processing makes interesting reading (highlight my own). I wonder why it is a classified as a "Softfail" when the rule is clearly violated ...
Received: from dc1.DFMCASTROL.com ([22.214.171.124]) by mx.google.com with ESMTP id iv6si3639532pac.241.2013.05.01.15.45.30 for ; Wed, 01 May 2013 15:45:36 -0700 (PDT) Received-SPF: softfail (google.com: domain of transitioning firstname.lastname@example.org does not designate 126.96.36.199 as permitted sender) client-ip=188.8.131.52; Authentication-Results: mx.google.com; spf=softfail (google.com: domain of transitioning email@example.com does not designate 184.108.40.206 as permitted sender) firstname.lastname@example.org Received: from User ([220.127.116.11]) by dc1.DFMCASTROL.com with Microsoft SMTPSVC(6.0.3790.4675); Thu, 2 May 2013 06:28:03 +0800 From: "Standard Bank"
01 May 2013
May 1 is celebrated as Worker's Day in South Africa, and in various other guises across the world. Worker's Day specifically is about the celebration of "the role played by trade unions, the Communist Party and other labour movements in the struggle against apartheid". Like most public holidays in South Africa, it is also used by most middle class households for shopping, and consequently the shops and shopping centres are usually full. It is therefore ironic, that a holiday that celebrates and commemorates the struggles of the working class, means that a significant port of the working class ends up working. At least they get paid more for working on a public holiday.