Archive for the ‘Donovan Marsh’ Category

Surviving School for the Absurd

Spud

 

 

Spud the film adaptation of the bestselling novel by John van de Ruit concerns the trials and tribulations of a schoolboy on the threshold of puberty going to a private boys school in the Natal Midlands abounds with literary references from Joseph Heller’s Catch 22 to Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.

The allusions to the Theatre of the Absurd is not lost on John Milton, the 13 year old boy, nicknamed Spud who escapes his wacky household in Durban North and thrust into the crazy, cruel and bullying world of schoolboys all attempting to be part of a dorm gang who resemble more Lord of the Flies than Dead Poets Society. From the wild antics of his fellow classmates Spud finds refuge in his literary conversations with his English Teacher, Guv, a spot on performance by John Cleese, who is both witty and fragile as a man trapped in an environment he clearly would like to rise above, but cannot gather the courage to do so. The ever sickly and accident prone Gekko becomes Spud’s best friend offering advice on girls, moral support and non-conformity, whilst giving Spud perspective on the situation he is in from their journeys up to Hells View.

Spud is a superb South African film, which has the right balance of pathos and panic, humour and character with great cinematography, first class casting and a real sense of capturing the period of Transitional South Africa in the early 1990’s.

Directed by Donovan Marsh  and produced by Ross Garland who also brought the insightful 2007 film based on the memoirs of Radya Jacobs Confessions of a Gambler to the big screen, Spud is drawing in the crowds at all local cinemas gaining the  honour of the highest grossing film in SA in the opening week. Both Spud and Confessions of a Gambler deal with characters who go on emotional journeys in hostile environments which are unsympathetic to their own personal growth,  showing their own humanity and tenacity, which inevitably shines through.

catch_twenty_two

With John Cleese and Troye Sivan giving excellent performances of teacher and pupil who both go on an often hilarious but very different change of life journeys, Spud is sure to break into the International film scene with the same dexterity that the title character manages to navigate his way through the first year of boarding school in an environment which is as ludicrous as Catch 22  and as treacherous as Dicken’s Oliver Twist.

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
December 2019
M T W T F S S
« Nov    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  
  • Bollywood Icon Madhuri Dixit to Make Netflix Debut (EXCLUSIVE)
    Iconic Bollywood actress, Madhuri Dixit Nene is poised to make her Netflix acting debut with an as-yet-untitled series. Karan Johar is set as creative producer. The series will be a suspenseful family drama about a global superstar, wife and mother who suddenly vanishes without a trace. As police and loved ones search for answers to […]
    Patrick Frater
  • A.R. Rahman, Ken Kragen Go ‘Hand in Hand’ for Climate Change (EXCLUSIVE)
    Music industry veteran and humanitarian Ken Kragen, the driving force behind the “We Are The World” and “Hands Across America” campaigns, has joined hands with award-winning composer A.R. Rahman for a climate change initiative. Kragen, a recipient of the 1985 United Nations Peace Medal for producing “We Are The World,” has teamed with immersive entertainment […]
    Patrick Frater
  • Juice Wrld: An Appreciation — Five Key Songs and Features Beyond ‘Lucid Dreams’
    Moody emo-trap-pop hits such as “Lucid Dreams” are the tracks most associated with SoundCloud king Juice Wrld. But the 21-year-old Chicago rapper, who passed away Sunday morning after an apparent seizure, crafted a sizable, diverse catalog for his ever-so-shadowy lyrical mien, touching on depression, drugs, doom and death to go with his silt and silken […]
    chrislwillman
  • ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’ Recap: A ‘Titans’ Cameo and a Fallen Hero
    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part One,” the premiere of the 2019 “Arrowverse” crossover. Bringing “Crisis on Infinite Earths” to the small screen has been years in the making, so it’s no surprise the epic five-part crossover kicked off with plenty of action on Sunday night […]
    Danielle Turchiano
  • Mary Steenburgen on Her Movie Tunesmith Side Career: ‘People Tried to Discourage Me — But It Didn’t Take’
    Mary Steenburgen has a long and storied enough career that it may be difficult to think of her as an underdog. But as a songwriter, she counts. The actress has been moonlighting as a tunesmith for the last 12 years, and now may be coming into the daylight with a number that’s getting a fair […]
    chrislwillman
  • Read More
    Different providers offer different cell phones, so take a look at the options from each provider to choose the right one for you. You may also want to look into any promotions that the providers have to offer, such as free cell phones in exchange for signing a contract. Tags: 2gmhass90