Tuesday, September 03, 2002

Wiesenhof, Cresta

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

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

I'm doing some structuring work on my film. Just cracked a vital piece of information-planting in an early scene. Worked out how to motivate Lesley-Anne's falling for Jules. This causes an orgy of SMS sending. I send self-congratulatory notes to Damon in Cape Town, and Janet in Pietermaritzburg. They send me supportive messages back. Yay! My friends love me and think I'm clever!

Supper is fundamental. A kiddie's burger with chips. I can't handle large expanses of animal flesh. I prefer it pertly packaged, tucked into a wheat-sheath. (Or on a futon.) So this dish is ideal. It arrives, and it turns out to be groovy value for money. The best thing about it is that the bread roll has been crisply toasted on the inside, under a toaster, and not squashed onto a grill. Nice touch.

The tea could be a bit better though. One bag. Big pot. A bit weak for three cups.


I catch the ten o'clock show of THE SUM OF ALL FEARS. At the box office, I ask the attendant to alert the manager to my presence at the cinema. She laughs.

"I'm serious," I say. "He's even given me his phone number, in case there are focus problems. This cinema always has a focus problem."

"Cresta???" she says.

I show her the manager's number on my phone.

I get to the queue of people waiting to go in. I say to the usher, "Who do I need to speak to if the focus is incorrect?"

He looks at me, points a finger at his own chest. A couple who've bought tickets for the same movie laugh out loud at my question. The girl tugs at her boyfriend's arm and says to me, "You serious about this?"

I smile broadly. After all, I'm a media guerrilla, aren't I?

In the cinema, the trailers and adverts are out of focus. Just before the main feature rolls, I phone the manager's number.


"Hi," I say. "I'm sitting four rows from the front in your cinema, the one showing THE SUM OF ALL FEARS. Please will you ask the projectionist to focus the picture?"

Rapid-fire Zulu and laughter.

I take the initiative. "Hello?" I say loudly into the phone. "Please focus this movie, all right?"

"Please will you hold?"


She's put the phone down on me. So I dial again. And it keeps ringing until the movie starts. Just as I'm about to get up to complain about the focus to a human being, a contingent of Ster Kinekor uniforms mulls about the back of the cinema, rushes out, and suddenly, thirty seconds later, the movie is in focus.

On the Roy scale, THE SUM OF ALL FEARS gets a sweaty-palmed 8 out of 10. Good, solid, thrills, with a clever script. Very few obvious plot holes. Hmm. Actually. On reflection, it's FULL of plot holes. My reconsidered rating is 6 out of 10.

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