Posted on 05.28.10
Film Reviews by Spling
If candid camera were taken as seriously as Pop Art… Leon Schuster would be its Andy Warhol. Besides taking the piss and literally taking a piss on his artwork, he’s dominated South African comedy film ever since Jamie Uys dropped a Coke bottle on N!xau’s head.
The side-splitting American comedy pursuit could only go so far with lawsuits flying around, yet the world of candid camera has developed its own raw sense of local flavour and hilarity under the wing of the accomplished Schuster. Now just like Warhol, Schuster isn’t fully appreciated by everyone… but it’ll be difficult for you to walk five steps in South Africa without meeting someone who remembers a funny moment with Schucks.
Andy Warhol was daring. Well, so is Leon Schuster. He’s resorted to wearing heavily padded prosthetic disguises in his latest outing, Schucks Tshabalala’s Survival Guide to South Africa 2010, but who can blame him if he wore a bullet-proof vest too! He’s taken at least a hundred snot-klaps in his day and that’s just off-camera. On-camera, Schuster has the ability of a full-time matchstick man, roping the victim in with his utterly bizarre set of South African characters and accents in a situation even more ridiculous. It’s a surreal scenario, like watching a car crash in slow motion as Schuster builds the mark up to such extreme emotion to have them hit him in the face or bolt like the last sheep in a slaughterhouse.
Schuster has become a household name, but more than that… he’s a legend – giving a country with 11 official languages something to laugh about is anything but easy. You can hurl sticks and stones at the brand of low-brow comedy in movies like There’s A Zulu On My Stoep, Mr. Bones and Mama Jack, but the numbers speak for themselves. Schucks Tshabalala’s Survival Guide to South Africa 2010 is a return to the candid camera stuff. The grand candid master must have realised how hungry people were for reality comedy in post-recession, pre-World Cup fervor. This must have also been spurred on by a reasonable attempt from a new candid franchise called Rainbow Skellums and it’s been a while since that 50/50 mix of story and candid camera in Oh Schucks, I’m Gatvol!
Alfred Ntombela, Schuster’s partner in crime and comedy makes yet another appearance as Shorty – Schucks’s sidekick. Just like Schuster, he’s willing to go the extra mile for comedy featuring in a laugh-out-loud mortician scene and as a shower security accessory. The two have heaps of fun in this lively, rainbow tribute to South Africa’s flavour ahead of the World Cup. Politicians such as Helen Zille, Alan Boesak and Rob van Vuuren are a few recognisable faces amongst the multitudes of “Oh, Schucks!” targets. The Survival Guide is set in Cape Town and cleverly connects the dots with an international tour group as Schucks is commissioned by SA tourism with the task of creating a tour guide movie for foreigners to acquaint themselves with our country.
Schuster does go to town with highlighting the problem areas in South Africa, but they’re no secret and he always reels things back in with a laugh and a hug for the ‘X’. As a Dutch correspondent, he loses his temper with a man selling vuvuzelas in the background of an interview with Helen Zille. He focuses on contentious issues such as roadside traffic bribery with an androgynous speed cop pulling people over and charging them for stopping in a no-stopping zone. Schucks even tests the boundaries with taxis, seeing how far they’re willing to go to make a buck as he tries to get a corpse to Wellington on a sunny day. The film is jam-packed with outrageous situations, some revised, some borrowed and he manages to set a good pace.
The end result is a typical Leon Schuster candid camera style movie with plenty of laugh-out-loud laughs and a genuine South African culture. No one’s untouchable as far as Schuster goes and the clash of cultures makes the whole show all the more enjoyable. This is a solid piece of South African comedy and the only real disappointment is that they couldn’t have come up with a more theme-committed conclusion. The Survival Guide to South Africa angle was well-conceived, but the whole production would have benefited from a stronger finish. The last scene rolls into the credits without a proper farewell, making the film seem a little inconsistent after a good run.
» » » » [Creativity Thinks]
Genocide Watch: Post World Cup xenophobic attacks and farm invasions: South Africa on the brink
by The Zimbabwe Mail
5 June 2010
A secret committee made up of ANC and government security agents is coordinating the country's post FIFA 2010 World Cup cleansing activities and it is already in full swing, identifying targets, and preparing use of hit squads, highly placed sources in South Africa and Zimbabwe said.
Together with xenophobic attacks, South Africa’s ruling party ANC is planning Zimbabwean style land invasions after the football World Cup.
Zimbabwe's military and Robert Mugabe's War Veterans of the liberation struggle have been ropped-in for crucial frontline back-up for the violent programme.
ANC's Youths who have been undergoing training in Zimbabwe, at the army's Staff College have completed their rigorous training and they will soon be deployed throughout the South African provinces ready to kickstart a State assisted land invasion which will be reported in the State media as spontaneous.
Controversial African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) President, Julius Malema, has already visited Zimbabwe for a a briefing by Robert Mugabe and he had a series of meetings with Zanu PF and Zimbabwe government's security agents.
Early this year, South African Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Gukule Nkwinti has accused white farmers of scuttling the land reform programme by frustrating government’s willing buyer willing seller policy through inflating prices.
He has warned that South Africa risks sinking into chaos as the patience of new black farmers is running thin.
Foreign migrants and refugees in South Africa have been warned to prepare for a wave of xenophobic attacks as soon as the final whistle of the World Cup blows.
Two years after the start of the 2008 riots that left scores dead across the country, a consortium of leading migration organisations has said it had received reports by foreign nationals that they were being threatened with violence after the tournament.
"These threats are coming from many different people: neighbours, colleagues, taxi drivers, passersby, but also from nurses, social workers and police officers," said Cormsa, whose members include Amnesty International, the South African Red Cross Society, and the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation .
"Some of those making the threats believe that they have the support of senior political leaders," it said.
Dozens of Zimbabwean women interviewed by the Guardian in Hillbrow, downtown Johannesburg, said they were being intimidated and threatened daily by their landlords and groups of men gathering outside their homes at night.
"They say they will come after the World Cup and they will kill us," said Ethel Musonza, 32, a mother of four. "These people are serious, they are organised, they know where we live. They say they won't do anything during the World Cup because of the foreign tourists but afterwards the police will step aside and some of us will get killed."
In an informal settlement in East Rand, groups of men who claimed they took part in the "war" of 2008 have told foreign migrants and refugees to leave the country before 11 July. "We sat down and talked and said let us leave them until the World Cup is coming to our country," said one, who admitted he broke the law to "protect his country from foreigners" in 2008.
"If we fight now, maybe they will stop 2010 … after that there is no one who can come to us and say don't fight," he added.
Cormsa has urged the government to act against xenophobia to try to defuse the risk of further violence. It has asked authorities to punish officials have used the threat violence to intimidate foreign nationals.
On 12 May 2008, a series of riots started in Alexandra township, north-east Johannesburg, targeting migrants from Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. In the weeks that followed, the violence spread to other informal settlements in the Gauteng province, Durban and Cape Town, and then to the rest of the country. Sixty-two people were killed during the clashes, including 21 South Africans.
» » » » [Genocide Watch: SA] [Genocide Watch.doc] [Zimbabwe Mail]