Making Way: Contemporary Art from South Africa and China

Don’t miss the opportunity to view an extraordinary exhibition which seeks to open up new conversations about cultural diversity, social tolerance and human understanding at a time of intense movement and change in the Global South.

Making Way: Contemporary Art from South Africa and China, explores the ways in
which contemporary artists based in South Africa and China engage with new paths
of movement, with economic and cultural shifts, and with the rise of new regimes, new leaders and new social and urban spaces.

The exhibition includes works in diverse media by internationally acclaimed Chinese artists, Wu Junyong, Chen Qiulin, Maleonn and Qin Ga and local artists Lebogang Rasethaba, Gerald Machona, Michael MacGarry and James Webb. Also on display are a number of videos of performance pieces by Doung Anwar Jahangeer, Hua Jiming, Qin Ga, Athi-Patra Ruga, Randolph Hartzenberg and Brent Meistre which embed the action of ‘making way’ in personally, culturally and locally intimate ways.

This exhibition, curated by Ruth Simbao, Associate Professor of Art History & Visual Culture at Rhodes University is on view at Standard Bank Gallery until 28 March 2013. The Gallery (Corner of Simmonds and Frederick Streets, Johannesburg;Tel: 011 631 4467) is open Mondays to Fridays, 08:00-16:30; on Saturdays, 09:00-13:00; and is closed on Sundays and public holidays. Admission is free. For more information about Standard Bank Gallery see www.standardbankarts.co .za. For more information about Making Way see
www.makingway.co.za.

Oz: The Great And Powerful

Sam Raimi brings it all in the prequal to the L. Frank Baum novel of 1900.

The opening scenes bring on a sense of nostolgia, and memories of the 1939 Victor Fleming film (Judy Garland, Frank Morgan), as we’re introduced to our hapless hero, Oz (James Franco).

Mila Kunis is ever elegant as Theodora, alongside Rachel Weisz as sister Evanora.

The films sucks the audience in, much as Oz is pulled deeper and deeper into a magical land.

A must see film of excitement, great visuals, and a wonderful story.

Official site: disney.go.com/thewizard/
SAMDB profile: www.samdb.co.za/film/1600

Ernie ‘Lastig’ Solomon, A Lucky Man Out This March

A Lucky Man

Based on the real life story of legendary former South African gangster Ernie “Lastig” Solomon A Lucky Man charts one man’s violent rise from childhood in the slums of Cape Town to one of today’s most infamous criminals.

A Lucky Manis a morality story in which the perplexing issues of identity and ethics are played out in the life of a man literally living on the edge. Born into a family where he is branded a nuisance (lastig) and an outsider by his family, and growing up in a city and country in which he is a member of a community deemed neither white nor black, Ernie “Lastig” Solomon sets out on a road paved with crime, violence and abuse in search of himself and a place he can call home. It is the universal tale of humanity: the longing for belonging.

Set in the impoverished Cape Flats, a peri-urban sprawl on the periphery of one of the world’s most beautiful cities, Cape Town, A Lucky Man traces Ernie’s quest as he collides with both family and society. He becomes the ultimate outcast, a bastard son and a criminal. For such a man, there is but one home, prison, the “Big House”, the inevitable destination.

Ernie has an inventive propensity for self-creation. He assumes identities at will which, through a mixture of cunning and luck, enable him to survive. But he is driven by an irresistible search for his real self and trusts only his own instincts to take him beyond mere survival. He is unable to escape the “nuisance” of his self-badgering: to know himself and to be known for who he is.

The young Ernie Solomon discards the trappings of childhood respectability and begins the search for an identity of which he can feel proud. The teenage Ernie trades on his innocent looks and natural quick wit to embark on a life of petty, then violent crime. During an inevitable spell in prison, Ernie is forcibly initiated by blade and at last discovers a „society‟ in which he can earn respect and thrive. On release, proudly bearing his facial scar and his “Lastig”nickname, Ernie the man is finally prepared to carve out his slice of society and reap revenge on those who have crossed him.

As a fully-fledged crime lord, Ernie is challenged by rivals and hunted by police. Only if he can continue to fight hard to protect those close to him and keep one step ahead of his enemies, does he stand a chance of remaining a lucky man.

A Lucky Manneither glamorises nor sensationalises the lives of people for whom crime is not a choice, but often an inevitable response to living in a society in which they are bound by circumstances and fate beyond their control.

The film does not attempt to solicit sympathy. It simply asks the question: Given the same situation, in which you constantly have to watch your back as you search for your sense of self, for your intrinsic sense of belonging, what would you do? Would you consider yourself a “lucky man” to have merely survived, let alone to have learned to live and fulfilled the need to belong?

Gangs In The Western Cape

The Western Cape is the gang and drug hub of South Africa. In 2012, it was estimated that about 60% of gang and drug related crimes are committed in the tough impoverished slums of the Cape Flats, although the province is home to only 10% of the country’s  population.

This is due to the endemic nature of gangsterism in the region, which sees children growing up with family members and friends of the family belonging to gangs. They are exposed to gangs on their way to and from school and grow up in an environment where they were used to running for cover “when the bullets start firing”.

In communities where gangsterism is so prevalent, even children who want nothing to do with gangs are often marked by rival gangs simply because they lived in a particular area. A culture of gangsterism leads to young men being forced to show they are “unafraid to challenge or be challenged” and develop machismo and bravado.

The prison gang members from the infamous numbers gangs, the 26s, 27s and 28s, have often spent decades behind bars, evident from their jailhouse tattoos and scars. The tattoos serve as a form of hierarchy, signify the violent crimes they’ve committed, and are symbols of the organisation they belong to. The numbers gangs operate like well-organised institutions. They consist of lower and upper structures governed by strict codes of conduct and gang rules. Breaking any of the rules, or the code of conduct, could mean death. Many who have tried have paid with their lives.

The Film

The film concept emerged from discussions we were having with the notorious gangster Ernie „Lastig‟ Solomon. The story of his obsession with finding his own identity gripped us and begged to be captured in film. It‟s the story of a life, and not just another movie about gangsterism in coloured townships.

The story of people and communities finding their identity is a universal one. This is particularly so in an age when gangsterism and the crime that goes along with it touches so many lives directly and indirectly. The world is ever more cosmopolitan and these themes of cross-cultural understanding are ever more relevant at a global level. It‟s a story of survival.

Marke Fyfe, Producer

The film concept emerged from discussions we were having with the notorious gangster Ernie „Lastig‟ Solomon. The story of his obsession with finding his own identity gripped us and begged to be captured in film. It‟s the story of a life, and not just another movie about gangsterism in coloured townships.

The story of people and communities finding their identity is a universal one. This is particularly so in an age when gangsterism and the crime that goes along with it touches so many lives directly and indirectly. The world is ever more cosmopolitan and these themes of cross-cultural understanding are ever more relevant at a global level. It‟s a story of survival.

Ernie is a man of substantial stature within his community. Following the twists and turns of the decisions he made in his life brought him to a fascinating point. Ernie was driven by an obsession to appease his metaphoric and literal cousin and saw this as part of his quest to gain acceptance as a Solomon.

Official website: www.aluckymanthemovie.com
SAMDB profile: www.samdb.co.za/film/1642

Fanie Fourie’s Loboloa Wins Highest Honour At Sedona International Film Festival In US

Lobola

Fresh from its excellent opening weekend performance at the box office, South African romantic comedy ‘Fanie Fourie’s Lobola’ has won the Audience Choice Award for Best Comedy at the 19th Annual Sedona International Film Festival, a nine-day festival held in Arizona, from 23 February to 3 March 2013. Situated close to Arizona’s Grand Canyon, Sedona attracts
many tourists with its natural year-round beauty, comprised of hidden canyons,
red rock trails and sacred sites.

Touted as a celebration of the best in independent film from around the world, the Sedona festival includes features, shorts, documentaries, animation and foreign films.  It has been recognised by filmmakers and audiences as one of the top festivals in the world, and named the “Fest to Impress” by MovieMaker Magazine. The film festival honours filmmakers motivated by passion for their art and driven by a love for making timely, moving and important films.

This year, the festival screened 145 films. “To win the Audience Award for Best Comedy against the level of competition at Sedona is a huge accolade for ‘Fanie Fourie’s Lobola’, said the film’s producers, Lance Samuels and Kweku Mandela of Out of Africa Entertainment. “This is a highly regarded festival, and the audience award is widely recognised as one of the most important awards of any festival, because the winning film is selected
by the audience attending the festival, rather than by a few members of a festival jury. This is the second audience award that the film has won, following the Jozi Film Festival Audience Award in February.”

Helen Kuun of Indigenous Film Distribution, which released the film in cinemas in South Africa this past weekend, says it’s worth noting that Academy Award winner ‘Tsotsi’ won the Audience Award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, and the People’s Choice Award at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival in the same year. “Another independent film that followed a similar course and was hugely popular with audiences was New Zealand’s ‘Whale Rider’, which won the World Cinema Audience award at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival and continued to rake in Audience Choice Awards in the year that followed.”

“Audience awards are among the best harbingers of a film’s success, because they are decided on by regular cinemagoers and are an accurate reflection of the mood of the time and what people are enjoying and are interested in seeing on screen,” adds Henk Pretorius, director of ‘Fanie Fourie’s Lobola’.

‘Fanie Fourie’s Lobola’ tells the tale of what happens when an Afrikaans guy and a Zulu girl fall in love and have to navigate their way through the complicated process of lobola.

Website: www.Faniefouriemovie.com
SAMDB: www.samdb.co.za/Film/1587

Lady Luck

Set in the seedy underbelly of Cape Town, exotic dancer, Lisa (Sabine Palfi), tries to pick up the pieces of her broken heart. Things soon spiral out of control and she finds herself thrust into a dangerous love triangle with Dean (Bjorn Steinbach), her explosive former fiancé, and his Greek boss, Nic (Aidan Whytock), a seductive mobster.

Lady Luck Sugardaddy Poster A3 3

This original drama, written by Marlisa Doubell and directed by the award-winning Yvonne Copley, is brought to the Intimate Theatre by Sugar-daddy Theatre Company. No under 18’s.

Venue:
Intimate Theatre, UCT Hiddingh Campus, 37 Orange Street, Cape Town

Dates:
15 – 25th May 2013, 8pm (excluding Sundays and Mondays)

Price:
 R80 (Students/Pensioners/SAGA Members R70)

Special Offer:
‘Half Price Tuesday’ tickets sold at R40 on Tuesday, 21st May
Tickets available at Computicket
Stand-by tickets available at the door on the night (full price only)

Cast:
 Sabine Palfi, Bjorn Steinbach, Aidan Whytock

Director:
 Yvonne Copley

Lady Luck 2 Bjorn Sabine Aidan

National Arts Festival Appointed Curators Of SA Pavillion At 55th La Biennale di Venezia

The National Arts Festival, Grahamstown today expressed its delight
at being chosen to curate and stage the South African exhibition at the
55th La Biennale di Venezia, saying that it would embark on the project with the best interests of our country’s artists at heart.

Acknowledging this event as the “world’s premiere showcase for the
contemporary visual arts”, Festival CEO Tony Lankester said that participation in the La Biennale di Venezia was something that all artists should aspire to. “Venice is arguably the most prestigious and well-established visual arts showcase in the world, and having their work shown there is a major opportunity for our artists to get global exposure,” he said.

The choice of the National Arts Festival as curator was announced
by the Department of Arts and Culture today at the end of a public process in which proposals were sought from parties wishing to lead the process.

“We submitted a proposal to the Department and we’re delighted that they have bought into the curatorial vision we expressed,” Lankester said. “In putting the proposal together we drew on the expertise of Brenton Maart, who will be the exhibition curator, and his colleagues from our Festival Artistic Committee – Nomusa Makhubu, Dominic Thorburn, Brett Bailey and Jay Pather.
Together this team will now refine the idea behind the exhibition, and bring it to life through the work of an array of local artists.”

The theme and concepts underpinning the exhibition to be mounted on the South African pavilion will be unveiled to the public once this process of refinement is complete.

Lankester, who is currently chair of the World Fringe Alliance and
Treasurer of the African Festival Network, stressed the importance of global exposure for South Africa’s artists: “A platform like this is an important part of their growth as makers of art, and it enriches the perspective they bring to their work. It is also a step toward establishing their names and reputations in the global arts market and getting due recognition and reward for their talent,” he said.

The 55th International Art Exhibition will take place in Venice
from 1 June to 24 November 2013. The title chosen by Exhibition
Director Massimiliano Gioni for the 55th Biennale is Il Palazzo
Enciclopedico / The Encyclopaedic Palace
.

The National Arts Festival is sponsored by Standard
Bank, The National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, Eastern Cape Government, Department of Arts and Culture, City Press and M Net.

And The Oscar Goes To…

Best motion picture of the year
Argo

Best performance by an actor in a leading role
Daniel Day-Lewis
actorleadingrole2013

Best performance by an actress in a leading role
Jennifer Lawrence
actressleadingrole2013

Best performance by an actor in a supporting role
Christoph Waltz

Best performance by an actress in a supporting role
Anne Hathaway
actresssupportingrole2013
Best achievement in directing
Ang Lee
bestdirector2013
Best writing, screenplay written directly for the screen
Django Unchained
bestscreenplay2013

Best writing, screenplay based on material previously produced or published
Argo

Best animated feature film of the year
Brave

Best foreign language film of the year
Amour

Best achievement in cinematography
Life of Pi

Best achievement in editing
Argo

Best achievement in production design
Lincoln

Best achievement in costume design
Anna Karenina

Best achievement in makeup and hairstyling
Les Misérable

Best achievement in music written for motion pictures, original score
Life of Pi

Best achievement in music written for motion pictures, original song
Skyfall

Best achievement in sound mixing
Les Misérables

Best achievement in sound editing
Skyfall

Best achievement in visual effects
Life of Pi

Best documentary, feature
Searching for Sugar Man

Best documentary, short subject
Inocente

Best short film, animated
Paperman

Best short film, live action
Curfew

 

Donald Gordon Creative Arts Award Winners At Infecting The City

The Gordon Institute of Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA) partners with the Africa Centre in Infecting the (Mother) City with public art projects, from 12 – 16 March 2013.

In line with GIPCA’s interdisciplinary mandate,Trespassing
Permitted
engages with “off limit” zones within the performance space. The initiators ofthis work, Donald Gordon Creative Arts Award winners Mike Rossi and Ulrich Suesse, have created a crossover performance, featuring acclaimed musician Feya Faku on trumpet, and dance artists Nicola Elliott, Alan Parker and Richard Antrobus.

The composition process was informed by exploring and experimenting with boundaries; by developing new musical sound
and by collaborating in music and mixed media productions. Performers are not constrained by detailed notated scores; they are free to move, participate and improvise with their own contributions – Trespassing Permitted. Improvisation encroaches on composition, jazz invades western classical, African and European sound spectra are interpolated, dancers meddle in the creation of sound. The programme moves from individual performances to an increasingly participatory performance, with parallels being drawn to the reopening and re-activation of city spaces.

Old and new converge with the Cape Consort’s exploration of early
vocal repertoire in Shades of Grey, a fractured audioscape of late medieval European and 19th-century colonial culture in historically informed interpretation. The work is the result of a Donald
Gordon Creative Arts Award, awarded to musicologist Rebekka
Sandmeier.

Manuscript 4.b.5 of the Grey Collection in the National Library of South Africa – an office book from diocese of Münster – contains the late medieval chants for the office of St Liudger. Late medieval
chant is often seen as “impure” or “decadent” by plainchant scholars and not much is known about it, both in terms of scholarly research and performance. This dearth of knowledge gives the opportunity for experiments such as the use of isons and early improvised polyphony or composed polyphony. In this regard, Shades of Grey follows the tradition of historically informed performance.

In order to ground the music in space and time, it will be interspersed with music from the time of George Grey’s government, and substituted with readings from Grey’s writings on the collection and current views on his government. The music can be perceived as if through an aural kaleidoscope, which even though it fragments the image, unites the fragments into a pattern: the original veneration for the saint in 15th-century Münster, Grey’s inclusion of the music in the collection during his governance of the Cape Colony, today’s research on early music and its historically
informed performance.

The Cape Consortis comprised of Tessa Roos and Vasti Knoesen (alto), Nick de Jager and Lance Phillip (tenor), Charles Ainslie and
Patrick Cordery (bass), and Erik Dippenaar (organ).

These performances are presented by The Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts, as part of the 2013 programme for the Infecting the City Public Arts Festival. Trespassing Permitted
will be performed on Church Square at 20:00 on Tuesday 12 March and Thursday 14 March as part of Programme B. Shades of Grey will be performed at the Slave Church in Long Street at 12:30 on Thursday 14 March and 10:30 on Saturday 16 March as part of Programme E. For more information on the Festival, see
www.infectingthecity.com or www.gipca.uct.ac.za

Permit Applications And Registration With City Of Cape Town

Letter from the CEO of the Cape Film Commission (CFC), Denis Lillie:

As of today, we can confirm that for the first time in its 12 year history, the Cape Film Commission is registered with the City of Cape Town as an organisation which is able to officially enable the application of film permits within the City of Cape Town property and roads portfolio for our Members.

As many of you know, achieving this registration has been an uphill struggle. We required this registration to afford many of you the opportunity to apply for film permits as Members of the CFC. Previously there was an implied requirement that to apply for a permit, especially if you were not registered with the City as a Production Company, you would have to align yourself to a local production company. Many of you have expressed to us on many occasions that you did not want to do this and have requested that we register on your behalf, this we can now do.

The CFC registration now means that subject to the provision of certain required documentation, our individual members and SMMEs together with inbound production companies can now come through the CFC and use their CFC Membership number, our postal address, together with PL insurance obtained through us, to apply for a permit to film on City property and roads.

The registration cost with the CFC for applying for permits using your CFC Membership is a flat rate of R500 per annum to cover administration costs. Permit applications through the City are still free of charge with associated costs for roads closures, traffic officers etc.

Please note that we also manage the referral process for filming on Western Cape Provincial Property. We also serve as the interface with Home Affairs on visa and work permit applications where you may be encountering some challenges. The CFC is also the DTI, SEDA and SETA partner for the film industry.

With many of our Members from Gauteng, KZN and from the international community wanting to film in and around Cape Town, the opportunity that has been granted to us from the City of Cape Town is a welcome addition to the services we offer and we thank them for that.

We look forward to working with you on this new initiative.

Fanie Fourie’s Lobola Showcases The Best Of SA Music

New romantic comedy Fanie Fourie’s Lobola, a contemporary romantic comedy about love and tradition in a rapidly evolving society, is a real treat for South African music fans with a soundtrack that features a number of popular and lesser-known local artists.

“The 23 tracks on the soundtrack represent many different genres of South African music,” says producer and co-writer Janine Eser, who also selected music for the film. “The selection process was exciting because the broad choice of tracks came to represent the collection of diverse characters in the story, which is about what happens when an Afrikaans guy and a Zulu girl fall in love. Choosing the right music was a vital part of the filmmaking process and the music almost became an additional character in the movie.”

Adam Schiff, the composer of the score for the film, and Eser spent many months listening and trying to find a combination of music tracks that would work in the scenes and with the characters.  “We chose well-known artists like Hip Hop Pantsula, Jack Parow, Freshlyground, Radio Kalahari Orkes, Lira, Mi Casa, Teargas, Bongo Maffin and fokofpolisiekar,” says Eser. “But we also felt that a few underground tracks would be interesting, so we included artists like Mix n Blend, Richard the 3rd and P.H.Fat. There was an amazing range of spectacular South African music to choose from.”

A highlight of the film is Chris Chameleon in the role of Fanie’s successful brother Sarel, a cheesy Afrikaans pop star. “He‘s not only a fantastic artist, but also a skilled comedic actor. As a well-known singer himself, he understands the dynamics of Sarel’s character. His contribution to the film, and all the songs he wrote with Hunter Kennedy (Die Heuwels Fantasties/fokofpolisiekar ) and Fred Den Hartog (Die Heuwels Fantasties) is truly brilliant. He not only took his role to heart, but his three “Sarel Fourie songs” added another dimension to the soundtrack.”

Composer Adam Schiff says both the score and music tracks should enhance the emotion or mood that is already present in a scene. “In ‘Fanie Fourie’s Lobola’, in a comedic scene like the one where the timid but friendly Fanie meets Dinky in a bakery, the score plays with the existing comedic dynamics and heightens them subtly for maximum effect.” In scenes that are more ethereal, such as when Dinky is walking down a dirt road to meet with Fanie for their first date, the visual image is filled with an otherworldly quality, which is almost suspended in time. “Fanie is transfixed by her beauty,” says Schiff. “She’s walking down a dirt road, but it looks like she’s walking the red carpet. The score had to make us feel that we were in that magical moment with them.”

Schiff’s score is a mix of comedy and drama. It incorporates musical ideas from both lead characters’ backgrounds and weaves them together into a body of music that captures the main themes of the film in a modern way.

“Instead of a large orchestra or musical group, I used various South African instrumentation in an intimate and neatly intermingled manner,” says Schiff. “Traditional Afrikaans instruments like the banjo and concertina represent Fanie’s universe, while Dinky’s brings in drums, marimba and kalimba. The instruments don’t always sound natural as I treated them to give the score a more modern resonance.”

On the process of scoring a film, Schiff says it should be organic and echo the characters and tone of the film. “Instrumentation and melody need to combine to form the aural heartbeat of the film,” he says. “Once the instrumentation is decided on, usually by experimenting with different combinations of instruments while watching the visuals, I start writing the themes or even mood pieces that become themes later on as the score progresses.”

With ‘Fanie Fourie’s Lobola’ Schiff believed it was important to feel that each melodic choice was rooted in specific African instrumentation. But he also wanted to allow the score to have a modern, non-traditional feel. The result is a score that feels as contemporary as the film.

Official Website: www.Faniefouriemovie.com

On SAMDB: www.samdb.co.za/film/1587

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fS8lnglPSw

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