Featured Guest | Jenna Cato Bass
PARTING SHOTS. OR NOT.
Posted March 19, 2010
Home. Indulged in all several classic South African pastimes: complaining about politics in the garden, contemplating death while underwater, eating fish curry.
And now it's back. Back back back to normal. And how do I know this? Because its pretty much 5am and I can't sleep. Things are in the pipeline, afloat and afoot. The wilderbeest are on the move. Since returning, the one thing that has happened (other than getting a reeeaally good, and slightly over-rehearsed sounding, summary of how the Great Festival Trip went together) is that all the things I thought, said, did, heard and absorbed in the past 2 months crystalized and coagulated into something resembling a gameplan, with the obvious goal, as ever, of getting a feature made as soon as humanly possible. It is twofold. One is steaming ahead with 5.6 Seconds of White Noise, the mad Durban-set story co-wrote with Nikhil. Daniel is attached to produce, and so I'll be going about this relatively conventionally... or as conventional as it gets when I am involved. Simultaneously, I am putting together the script for Tok Tokkie, my careening, Cape Town set sci-fi whodunnit which, worst case (or rather, 'whatever-case') scenario I will produce myself on a micro-budget - everything about the script will be geared towards making it doable in terms of what I am capable of as a producer. And after The Tunnel experience, do I know my limitations, oh boy. Between the two projects, I think it's safe to hope that at least one will reach fruition sooner than later. So the short term goal at the mo is getting both projects accepted into the Durban Filmmart taking place quite soon. This should help fill the gap before the major funds re-open for submissions. Not quite sure how I am going to budget Tok Tokkie in time to submit, but one can but try. I might as well get used to the impossible.
Other sideprojects going on involve a hip-hop TV show and another rock video involving ghosts and drum majorettes. Or at least thats the plan.
And then there's The Tunnel. There is always The Tunnel. As always, whenever I think things are winding down, new things will be tossed up. Nothing picks up the spirits like a really nice invitation to a cool festival, even ones I'd never heard of before (like Molise - an Italian festival travelling to small villages where most of the films address the conflict between the city and the country). We have also been accepted into some GREAT festivals - a few biggies even (and there I was thinking that now that our world premiere status had gone, we would have less options), which I look forward to revealing in due course. For now, those in NY check out The Tunnel screening at the New York African Film Festival in April. And then there is of course the question I'm being asked a lot now and for which my answers get increasingly sheepish: 'When will The Tunnel screen in South Africa?" Good question. Also investigating options in Zimbabwe - which is majorly important. So the struggle continues.
So, I think I was expecting to end this blog with the end of my Africa First short, but you know what, I think I'm going to stick around. If that's OK with you. Firstly, because the short is a neverending saga of mystery and intrigue. But also because now there should be the next film. There should always be a next film. And also you know, I find this helpful. Because there are always times when its 5am and I can't sleep and there is so much to TELL people. or complain about. or both.
So, as a final note for now, in keeping with the title of this post: Final shots in movies and how great they can be. I was only really alerted (or reminded rather, I hope) of this on watching Memories of Murder by Bong Joon-Ho (recent director of Mother which I am DYING to watch), with its masterful parting shot, Kang-ho Song's detective turning his tortured and disbelieving gaze to the camera, to the audience, to the enormity of the universe and our eternal insignificance. Genius. The only thing that comes to mind that tops it, off the top of my head, is Mike Leigh's track back in Naked... don't get me started on that one.
So for now... adieu... for now....and now.....
PS If you haven't, watch Lumet's The Pawnbroker!