About Me

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).

22 March 2007

Movie: Babel

There are really four separate stories here - a story of a village herding family, a story of a married american couple on holiday in Morocco, a story of a deaf and mute girl trying to get to grips with society's apparent rejection and a mexican nanny trying to balance caring for other peoples kids with the need to participate in her own children's lives.

Off course there is a connecting thread through it all; and like Pulp Fiction and Crash, the movie follows each story at its own pace. And more like Crash, the movie is a social commentary - on socity's general treatment of people who are not like ourselves ... immigrants, foreigners and the disabled. But it is also a movie about celebration - of how strangers are willing to help strangers, of how technology could make the disabled be more normal (3G video calling is a godsend for the deaf) and how the nanny's family treats the kids, who are really intruding on a very special family occasion.

The acting is superb, the filming is brilliant - esp when parts of the movie is shown through the deaf girl; how do you go clubbing when you can't hear the DJ - and it is well worth watching.

18 March 2007

Culture and Shit

I have never watched Shallow Hal, but the quote describes yesterday morning in a way. Hans-Peter and I went to watch the RAG Floats procession around 11am, and then proceeded to see the National Gallery and have a general walk about in the Cape Town CBD. I have done this in many other cities, but I suppose it was time to do the same in the city I now call home.

As for the RAG Floats, I think it is a good move to go back to Adderley Street. There seems to be a lot more people, and more enthusiasm for the event. The theme was great inventions, although I don't think two of the floats, the soccer ball and the vuvuzela, really qualified, but maybe it's a matter of interpretation. And another interesting point - so many of the inventions were entertainment related: the iPod, the Jukebox and the TV. And there were only two engineering inventions on parade: the steam engine (again Kopano led the way with innovation, with steam coming out of the engine) and the hot air balloon (although it was a bad float as such).

And off course, the floats wouldn't be the floats, without the Dummies and their nursemaids.

As for the national gallery, it's really small. But there are are a few pieces that make it absolutely worth it (and it's free anyway). A bust of Othello in a hood, made completely of stone (I think, very solid regardless), but really looks like cloth, even up close.

There is also an old painting of Cape Town, with the harbour (or was it just a canal) near the City Hall. So, after lunch at the German Deli (in Gardens Centre), Hans-Peter and I walked back to see how much (if anything) of the painting remains today. Unfortunately, apart from one sculpture, the castle and the City Hall, not much remains ... a great pity :(