Pure Drive-In Pleasureby Nathan Zeno / 10.08.2009
2009 has been a good year for film in South Africa, three brave independent films have been made (Shirley Adams, Long Street, Intonga), and the big budget District Nine is getting good press world wide. Hell Barry Ronge even tipped it for an Oscar. But how do we know that the film industry is really coming into its own? B grade knock-offs, that’s how. In the past foreign companies would come here to shoot dodgy Jeff Fahey pictures destined for the Argentinian video (yes ten years ago) market. Now we are shooting our own. Still in theatres is the spectacular Surviving Evil, and by spectacular, I mean crap. But now, good news from Nu Metro publicity department, “the feature film The Race-ist has commenced shooting in Brakpan, east of Johannesburg, with a star-studded local cast, and is set to hit the big screens nationwide on Wednesday, December 9th 2009.”
How can I judge so soon? Well, any film with stunts and effects that’s shot and rushed through post production in six months can only be B-grade. But let’s look at the cast, “ Strini Pillay, up-and-coming actress Nicole Smart, 5FM’s DJ Fresh, DJ Mark Stent, Tsotsi star Craig Palm, Brandon Auret, veteran actor Ian Roberts, Jonathan Pienaar who starred in Blood Diamond, former Big Brother turned security specialist “Bad” Brad Wood and Afrikaans pop icon Kurt Darren to name a few.” Okay, a film starring Kurt Darren, DJ Fresh and Bad Brad? Does anyone remember Bad Brad?
But wait there’s more, “Andre Marich, Executive Producer said the movie was created after “extensive research of what South African’s want and like to see in films namely; high quality productions with action and humour, hot cars, beautiful girls and great location shots”. Hot cars? The Race-ist, geddit? Huh? huh?
But don’t worry parents, this film wont just be a humourless Lipstick On My Dipstick meets Fast and the Furious, Instead we will be treated to “Wisdom and what we like to call ‘nuggets’ of life-lessons [that] are imparted throughout the movie as an inspiration to disregard obstacles and face challenges in order to make dreams a reality. Winning truly has no colour in our country”
Side Note: Goethe said “If you want a man to say as he is, treat him as he is. If you want a man to change treat him as you wish him to be”. Saying “Winning has no colour” is like saying racial divisions exist but we have no problem with them. If you truly had no problem with them, they wouldn’t exist. I don’t see how entrenching stereotypes helps defeat stereotypes, but that’s just me. The Race-ist is basically the film version of that tourist jive band Hot Water’s marketing strategy.
To add to it’s C-list credibility (yes, it’s slipped a notch since I started writing) it boasts sponsorship from Big Boss Auto, Play Energy Drink, Autostyle Motorsports, The Rock Raceway, Speed & Sound Magazine among others.
The Race-ist looks to truly be a celebration of diversity, a diversity of marketing ploys fighting it out with ex Big Brother “stars”, icons of Afrikaans music and house dj’s for screen time. I cannot wait. Seriously. There’s going to be some good comedy coming out of this one, and the fact that it exists gives me hope.