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
August 2018
M T W T F S S
« Jul    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  
  • Summer Box Office Report Card: Grading Popcorn Season by Studio
    The summer doesn’t officially end until Labor Day, but with only a few major releases left on tap, it’s time to take a look at how the major studios fared during popcorn season. Not that they asked us to, but the numbers crunchers at Variety are here to assess what movies worked and which ones […]
    Rebecca Rubin
  • Ron Moore’s Apple Sci-Fi Series Casts Joel Kinnaman, Michael Dorman, Sarah Jones
    Ron Moore’s upcoming Apple series is filling out its main cast. Joel Kinnaman, Michael Dorman, and Sarah Jones have all been cast in the series, which takes place in a world where global space race never ended. Kinnaman will play Edward Baldwin, one of the top NASA astronauts. Dorman and Jones have been cast as Gordo […]
    Joseph Otterson
  • YouTube Removes ‘The Nun’ Ad After Jump-Scare Complaints
    A recent ad for “The Nun,” the fifth flick in “The Conjuring” series, is not the most saintly. Because of the fear the six-second clip has incited in unsuspecting viewers, YouTube has notably taken the video down from the site. The preview, which was streaming before other videos would load on YouTube, displays a typical […]
    Tara Bitran
  • Anthony Mackie Joins Amy Adams, Julianne Moore in Joe Wright’s ‘Woman in the Window’ (EXCLUSIVE)
    Anthony Mackie is in negotiations to join Amy Adams and Julianne Moore in Fox 2000’s adaptation of A.J. Finn’s bestseller “The Woman in the Window,” sources tell Variety. Joe Wright is directing with Tracy Letts adapting the screenplay. Gary Oldman, Wyatt Russell, and Brian Tyree Henry are also on board to star. Scott Rudin and […]
    Justin Kroll
  • Lindsey Buckingham Announces Tour Dates, Which Begin Four Days After Fleetwood Mac’s Tour
    The 40-plus-year saga of the Lindsey Buckingham-Stevie Nicks incarnation of Fleetwood Mac took another turn today, when Buckingham — who recently parted ways with the band — announced not just a three-disc compilation of his solo material but a tour to support it… which will begin four days after the Fleetwood Mac tour that he […]
    Jem Aswad
  • Article
    Over the past few years, several low-cost carriers have stepped up to offer competition and cheapest prices to customers looking to cut down their monthly bills. Tags: 2gmhass90