Monday, August 22, 2005

New Melville Theatre, Melville

Monday, August 22, 2005

Service: N/A
Food: N/A
Ambience: * * *
Babe Count: * * * * *

A portrait of Niccola Deane, Aryan Kaganof's current (?) and/or past (?) girlfriend. She's unfortunately leaving for Scotland. A real babe, and a good artist. She punched me three times on the bicep for missing her art exhibition at Guto Bussab's MUTI GALLERY a few months back.My buddies Eran Tahor and Aryan Kaganof have organised a second screening of indie South African films, and the place is packed with people. I'm here with S, and she's looking hyper-edible.

Another buddy of mine is MC for the night... Akin Omotoso, director of GOD IS AFRICAN. And boy, does he have his work cut out for him tonight. The audience is rowdy. And drunk. And pretentious. And all those nasty things that make a Q&A session after a screening very very trying.

Akin introduces the four films up front. "Tonight we'll be watching I LOVE YOU JET LI, directed by Jaco Bouwer." He points at Jaco. People clap. "(IN)SECURITY, directed by Neil Shaw." He points at Neil, and the clapping happens again. "KOFIFI, directed by Mic Mann." Clapping. "And BLOW, directed by Llewelyn Roderick." Still more clapping. And it's all enthusiastic. "Enjoy the movies."

Akin sits down, and the first movie starts. S and I are in the front row, sitting with her buddy, a photographer, and Damon Berry and Digby Young. I LOVE YOU JET LI is a visually interesting experimental film set in an airport departure lounge. It's marred by only two things... a bland and soul-less narration, and the writing of the narration. To my taste, the narration was fairly wordy, and somewhat obvious.

(IN)SECURITY has a very funny setup. It's a couple locked up in suburban paranoia. There's a neat twist near the end, which I won't give away. This movie could be really funny if it were cut in half. It's WAYYYYY too long. But interesting.

A portrait of me, done straight onto my palmtop, by filmmaker Garreth Fradgley.The highlight of the evening is KOFIFI. This is an AFDA student film, shot on 35mm. It looks like it had a major budget behind it. It's a rather surprisingly fresh and naive look at Sophiatown in the 1950s, and it's a musical!!! A love story of a black man and a white woman who fall for each other across the colour line (this was considered miscegenation under South African law in those days). The crowd goes wild. A very funny and touching story.

Then BLOW plays. The camera follows a dude doing various deals on his cellphone while on his way to a soccer match. The sound was very poor, and the final twist was inaudible, making it almost impossible to get. Problem is, I'd already guessed what the twist was about a minute into the movie. So I would have been disappointed even if I'd heard it. Also, the art direction was faulty. WHY THE HELL DID THE DUDE WEAR A YELLOW JERSEY, LLEWELYN??? Sewed confusion. (One of the soccer teams in the movie had yellow colours on the poster. The other had red.)

The four directors file onto the stage, and Akin begins the Q&A session, asking each of them a pertinent question about their films. Interesting answers. But the audience is showing its colours. They're ignorant fucks, pretty much. Some chick, Giselle, I think her name is (Kaganof introduced her to me at the beginning of the evening), starts drunkenly heckling early on. And continues all the way through.

In the audience are Diane Victor and Gordon Froud. Diane is one of South Africa's most awesome artists. Gordon is a galllery owner and sculptor. My stuff is in his gallery. This little sketch is Diane's first attempt ever at electronic art. She's blown away, and tells me I'm welcome to keep this sketch. Yay!!! I now own another Diane Victor artwork!!! (I've got one of her etchings on my wall.)She shouts at Mic Mann, the director of KOFIFI, "Why is it a white woman and a black man?"

I shout back at her in exasperation, "What SHOULD it be? A Chinese woman?"

Akin says, "Roy, let her finish her question."

"That's not a question," I mutter. "It's fucking idiocy."

The questions continue in that vein, and I'm getting mightily pissed off at the level of dumbfuckery on display. Sheesh. One pathetic excuse of a human being says, "In (IN)SECURITY, what are you trying to say about reality? And drug addiction?" Aaaaaargh! Watch the movie, people. Don't ask stupid questions. Ugh.

Anyway. The evening's really cool, despite the flaws in the films, and despite the general patheticness of the audience.

Applause to Kaganof and Tahor for taking the initiative.

CORRECTION: These screenings are the initiative of THREE people, not two. They are: Aryan Kaganof. Eran Tahor. And Joel Assaizky. Sorry Joel! I didn't know until Eran told me. Thanks guys.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Sundown Ranch Hotel, Boshoek, Pilanesberg, North West Province

Friday, August 19, 2005 -- Later Still

Service: *
Food: *
Ambience: *
Babe Count: *

What's the deal with institutional food and gristle?

Do these people think that the money they save on buying lowest grade meat will offset the cost of people not returning? I won't be eating supper here again. And after breakfast tomorrow morning, I won't be eating breakfast here again either.


  • A buffet with some lumpen potatos.
  • Some boiled pumpkin.
  • "Beef" curry (yes, the inverted commas are here to convey irony).
  • Some kind of fish curry.
  • Assorted salads.
  • A variety of white bread.
  • Tea and coffee (free).
  • Drinks you pay for.
  • Sweet things for dessert (I'm not religious, but Jesus help me... please!).

And I don't have to spell out what happens when you get to a buffet supper half an hour after everyone else cos you've been told to by the maitre d' and his sidekick cos they "can't seat one person at a table meant for eight". But I'll spell it out anyway.

The food is cold. The meat that's left in the serving dish consists of bone, gristle, and little tufts of edible-ish meat. Almost all of the salads are finished. Except for the popular stuff like beetroot salad. There's a full bowl of that. And not an apology to be heard.

The maitre d' floats up to me as I'm dishing up. "That'll be your table over there," he says, pointing to an "intimate" table directly in front of the tea and coffee area.

The place is still full. And lemme tell you something... the babe count has dropped. What's with cyclist chicks? Do they all have overbites? Or is that just a characteristic of a cheapish hotel near a gambling palace? (For anyone who doesn't know, Sun City is a casino resort, and it's tremendously expensive. Which means that people on a budget, or losers, or desperados stay in place like this, ten minutes away from Sun City. I like to think of myself as being on a budget. But maybe I'm actually a desperado.)

I finish dishing up, put my food down, and make some tea. There's no milk in the jug. And it's a two-litre jug. An industrial-sized jug. With nothing in it.

I schlepp the jug to the maitre d'. "May I have some milk please?"

He takes it from me with a smile, then romps over to the tea and coffee area and searches it. He assumes I'm not watching him, and I see him make an angry gesture with his head, and he slaps an open hand onto the side of the jug. He's clearly furious with some or other member of staff who's duty is to keep the jug filled.

I sit. I start piling a side plate with bones and gristle and bits of tough fat. It's a pile. I eat a bit. It's okay. But tepid. And I want to gag. But I force myself not to, cos this is the only food I'll be eating till breakfast tomorrow. Blah.

The maitre d' brings the milk jug back to the tea and coffee area. He ignores me. I stand up to put milk in my tea, and he simply steps aside and walks off.

Courtesy costs nothing. I'm courteous. He's in the hospitality industry. All I want is a bit of courtesy back.

Actually, I'd best revise that... all I want is courtesy and an antacid tablet for my indigestion.

Sundown Ranch Hotel, Boshoek, Pilanesberg, North West Province

Friday, August 19, 2005 -- Later

Service: *
Food: Looking grim
Ambience: * *
Babe Count: * *

Okay. So the service rating of this place has just plummeted to one star. I haven't actually eaten the food yet, but I've just been in the dining room and seen it. It's looking pretty fuckin' diabolical. Here's the story.

I arrive in the dining room. A waitress and a maitre d' both approach me, slightly too urgently for my liking.

The waitress says, "What is your room number?"

I say, "One oh five."

She looks at her computer printout. "You're here for bed and breakfast, not dinner bed and breakfast."

"I just checked in an hour or two ago, and paid for dinner bed and breakfast," I say.

She shows me the printout. I show her my meal card. "Eish," she says, shaking her head. "These reception people."

The maitre d' steps in. "That's okay, sir," he says. "Go ahead."

A woman with a clipboard steps up to the maitre d'. "Where you gunna sit this guy?" she says. "Is he just one person? We haven't got space for one person. We can't sit him at a table for eight!"

The maitre d' says to me, "Sir, is the table just for yourself?"

"Just me," I say.

The woman says, "Well, we haven't got a table for just one person."

I say, "Well, when will you have a table for me?"

The maitre d' says, "In about five minutes."

She says, "In about half an hour."

"Okay," I say. "So if I come back at eight o'clock you'll have a table for me?"

"Ya," she says.

"Sorry," says the maitre d'.

So I'm back in my room considering making another cup of tea. (Earlier, the service rating hit four stars because I asked the lady at reception to organise me some real milk for my tea. She had them send over a cup full of the stuff. So I don't have to use the powdered coffee-creamer.)

I think I'll be asking them for a free drink at the buffet for my trouble. Harummph.

Sundown Ranch Hotel, Boshoek, Pilanesberg, North West Province

Friday, August 19, 2005

Service: * * * *
Food: Unknown as yet
Ambience: * * *
Babe Count: * * 1/2

I have to be at Sun City tomorrow morning at 8:45, and I didn't wanna drive all this way before daybreak. It's a two-hour-plus drive, and the roads are a little on the narrow side. So I figured I'd treat myself to a night away from Joburg.

The Sundown Ranch Hotel is just ten minutes away from Sun City. And about twenty minutes out of Rustenburg. Which would be ten minutes out of Rustenburg if the road didn't have so many stop signs. I stopped counting at fifteen.

This is quite a charming place. My room is on the ground floor. Non-smoking. And there's a door that leads out onto the pool. All of the rooms are arranged in a circle around the pool. And there's a little refreshment area out there. There's a sign that says, "Coffee and Cake". But it's a lie. There hasn't been coffee or cake anywhere near that pool in at least a decade, judging by the state of the fridge and the counter.

I was lucky to get a room. Alana, the woman who took my booking over the phone, said, "Are you one of the cyclists?"

I said, "Which cyclists would those be?"

She said, "The ones in the ride against cancer."

"Nope," I said.

"Oh," she said. "So then you won't be needing the special breakfast pack? Fruit, some juice, some stuff for the road? Cos the cyclists will be leaving quite early."

"No thanks," I said.

So I'm in my room looking our over the pool. A big room. Huge bed. Real cotton linen, so I won't be getting that awful skin irritation that one gets with polyester sheets.

Hmmmmm. Hang on. There's a lithe blonde babe approaching the pool. With her child, a little girl in a pink costume. The blonde takes a seat in a deckchair, back towards me. Her hair is quite short, curling out at the back. A larger woman joins her. A mullet hairstyle. Long at the back, tightly cropped at the top. Ughhhh.

A lesbian couple?

Nope. The blonde girl turns to talk to the big girl. She has a moustache. She's a man. A cyclist, by the looks of things. One of those damn moments. You know what I'm talking about. When you're driving behind the cyclist, and she's got the most gorgeous arse in the whole world and she turns out to be a he. Ah well.

I didn't bring condoms anyway. I figured I'm not going to be testing out my polyamory with S for a long time to come. And I'm missing her. Pity she couldn't make it here tonight with me. Sigh.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

My Flat, Cresta

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Service: * *
Food: * * *
Ambience: * * * 1/2
Babe Count: N/A

Hmmmm. It's been an eventful two months since I last blogged. Quick catchup...

I took a job writing copy for an online gambling empire. My job was to addict fat American housewives to online gaming, via direct response communications. I thought the job would be a wonderful challenge, both to my morals and my skills. I started out in advertising writing direct response, and loved it.

This is Beau Sia. He's a performance poet of the highest order. Saw him at a show in Johannesburg, along with a whole bunch of other international pohetes. He rocked. Very funny. You HAVE to see him perform. Keep an eye out for his name, and DON'T MISS HIM!!!However, this particular company just has no idea about direct response. They also have no idea about how to get creative beings to stay in their employ.

They were clock watchers of the worst kind. I had to be in the office at 9am, take exactly one hour for lunch, and leave no earlier than 6pm. Ugh!!! Now I'm a particularly fast writer. Humungously so. Give me 22 direct response mailers to write, and you'll have them within two days. Budget a week for them, and I'll be sitting with three days of boredom on my hands. If you don't have the grace to give me the time off, I'll be a very frustrated man.

Which is why I left.

I sent out my cv to a coupla corporate video companies, and within half an hour received a response. The company was UNPLUGGED, and they needed a heavyweight writer to do a humour-packed script for Standard Bank. I met with them, was given the job on the spot, and resigned from the online gambling empire immediately.

They're busy putting the finishing touches on the final edit of the video, and the client loves it, according to my producer. Viva!

I then turned down another writing job, cos the money wasn't right for me, and the job felt rather hectically undefined. I'm a fiendishly expensive writer for many reasons. One reason is that I'm realllly good at what I do. Another is that I'm picky about the gigs I get involved in. Another is that I'm actively living my motto: "I live my art in prosperity and abundance."

This is my filmmaker buddy, Eran Tahor. I've been experimenting with different ways of using colour on my palmtop, and this pic gives me a lot of satisfaction.My philosophy came about a day or so after the planes hit the Twin Towers. I said to myself, "Roy... if you're in a building that gets hit by a plane, you'd bettttttter be doing something you love."

From that day on, I've been moving closer and closer to ONLY doing jobs I love. And charging between R50k and R100k for them. And walking away from those I don't love.

On the love-front, M and I split up. Basically, it wasn't really working for me. She was pretty set on monogamy after my polyamorous exploration stopped.

You may remember that I was in a polyamorous setup with J, and with M, and that they were both cool with it while it was happening. But then J decided it wasn't cool for her, and she quit the arrangement. As soon as that happened, M said, "Okay, Roy! I'm not keen on polyamory, and I want to be in a monogamous relationship with you."

As much as I liked her, the pressure suddenly seemed enormous. And things fizzled out for me.

But then I met S. She's a babe, and I've fallen head-over-heels in love with her. Smitten, I tell you. She and I discussed polyamory, and we're both theoretically cool with it. Our arrangement is that our current relationship is our primary one, but that we're both free to pursue other relationships after discussion with each other. We've both agreed that we won't do any such pursuing until our relationship is fully established.

Another brilliant international performance poet. He totally cooked at the show. Totally. Yeehaaa!I have to admit, though, that I'm feeling spectacularly happily monogamous with S. She's pretty much everything I've ever wanted or needed in a woman. She feels like the person I wanna be with. Yummy.

Part of the reason I haven't blogged till now is that I've been putting my energy into building the relationship. And also, she's been a little nervous over my blogging about her. So the arrangement is that I blog without naming her or making it obvious to anyone who doesn't know us who she is. She'll read what I put on the site, and we'll evaluate as we go along.

On other fronts, I'm experiencing a huge creative upsurge. I've just written a short film, which I'll be directing, with Damon Berry shooting. We'll be filming it early next month. And I've been spending some time breaking the script down, storyboarding it, and generally being a director-producer on it.

I'm looking for some actors (based in Johannesburg, South Africa). Lemme know if you're interested in auditioning. I want to make it clear that this is a freebie though. There is NO MONEY involved in the making of this film. None whatsoever. Not a cent. So if you're in it, it's for free. Email me on if you're keen.

I'm also pursuing voice-over work seriously.

And a chance encounter over a French beret has led me to a bunch of people who run team-building seminars that I might find myself part of. I'll be sitting in on one of their processes this weekend out in Sun City.

Blogging will now continue as normal. Good to be back.