26.05.2015

Zeitgeist

A single scroll through the best of this month’s culture and finds

This month we…

Watched Inherent Vice

This movie has all the makings of a cult classic. Solid story? Yep. Thomas Pynchon, the author of Gravity’s Rainbow, Crying Of Lot 49, V and Vineland, spins a paranoid yarn about a stoner private investigator, Doc Sportello, and the complex conspiracy he gets caught up in filled with crooked cops, militant blacks, neo-nazi bikers, surfers and dope-fiends. Cool guy director? Check. Paul Thomas Anderson has flicks like Magnolia, Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood and The Master to his name, and not only directed but also wrote the script. Big name stars? If you consider gentlemen by the names of Messer’s Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson and Benicio del Toro big names, then yes, we can tick that box, too. Okay, but would you buy the soundtrack? Oh believe. Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood scores his third Anderson film, this time recording with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The throwback soundtrack features some 1-hit wonders from the 60s forgotten treasures and a new Radiohead song, Spooks. Watch it with your girlfriend if she forced you to watch The Notebook. – Paul Sanctuary

Ate an IYO Burger

We’re pretty spoilt for choice when it comes to Burger offerings in Cape Town. I could write an ode to Royale and let’s just say my happy place is a Clarke’s burger the day after a night out (that buttery brioche bun? Stop it!) Having sampled most of the notable burgers in the city, I got my first taste of Inside and You’re Out (IYO) a few weeks ago at the Oranjezicht City Farm Market when I covertly stole a bite from a friend allergic to sharing food. Needless to say my interest was piqued and I decided it was time to try out their new burger bar on Bree. Before I’d even set foot inside I’d heard a lot about owners Jonah and Jean Marc’s passion for sustainability and good quality, organic produce – this extended to the décor with lettuce and herb planters lining the walls. Taking a seat by the window, my friend and I watched the world and his wife streaming into La Parada before turning our attention to the self-service menu (you tick off what you want and hand it in at the till). The trickiest part of the whole process was choosing what to eat as everything, from the pulled pork pancakes to the Umami BBQ burger, looked amazing. I decided to go for the BBLT (Better BLT), and holy bacon and onion jam was it a good choice. IYO’s defining factor is that they put the cheese and toppings inside a perfectly seasoned patty meaning the melted cheddar continued to ooze out throughout the meal, something that I found to be thoroughly agreeable. Added to this were the crispy pieces of tomato, sesame roll, oh, and did I mention the bacon and onion jam? This masterpiece came with a side of curly fries and homemade whisky BBQ sauce that, incidentally, I wouldn’t be opposed to putting in a bottle and taking home with me.

All thoughts of heading out for a drink were dashed as we sleepily made our way home, a little too full but oh so happy. If you haven’t visited yet I suggest you correct that as soon as possible – I’ll definitely be back to sample pretty much everything else on the menu. - Rosie Goddard

Got Weird at Afrika Burn

We were somewhere between Ceres and Calvinia when the dust began to take hold. I remember shouting something like, “Is that another discarded tyre with its sidewall blown out?” and suddenly there was a convoy of kids in their fathers’ 4x4s all around me. For four days this privileged hipster-turned-hippie braved the desert (and old men flaunting their wrinkly bags) in order to find enlightenment. But not really. Still, Afrika Burn is something different for everyone, to some it’s a hedonist's playground while for others it’s a spiritual place. For me, ZA’s take on Burning Man was a week’s worth of weird that took me back to being a grom at the beach and just bumming off of everyone all day long. You see, you can’t buy anything at the Burn; everything you need you have to take with you. In retrospect my 24 beers, two packets of chips, a bag of oranges and 13 pre-rolled joints hidden inside of a pepper steak pie was never going to cut it. Fortunately, whenever I wanted something I could just say, “Ah, score me some, bru?” and the person would oblige. A man with a plan, who had created a lot of shade, took me in. He braaiied meat for us every afternoon, had a fridge filled with cold beer, and offered me the use of his bicycle so that I could use his place like a hotel, coming and going as I pleased. Add to this the leather bracelet someone gave me and the keffiyeh that I found and the dabs and tokes and bumps and drags and sips and flips that I demanded every time I spotted someone indulging in some sort of questionable act, and after some quick sums, subtracting the cost of a ticket and repairs to the undercarriage of my vehicle, I still came out on top! Which isn’t really the spirit of the Burn, but I plan on going back again and again until I eventually become a better person. Namaste. – Dylan Muhlenberg

Found A New Drink Of Choice

Mother’s Ruin is nice, but the secret gin bar at the back of Honest Chocolate is better. Gin is the best. Could this be the next craft beer movement where people start paying a premium for what’s typically a cheap drink? This is Cape Town, so anything is possible. Still, we like the vibe here, and the drinks are good, and you can’t really drink beer in winter like you do in summer. So, if you see a man crying into one of the signature cocktails in the lovely courtyard, give him a hug already – we don't know if the liquor makes Dylan weepy or if our blog editor is just struggling with the price transition from The Kimberley Hotel's R30 double gin-and-tonic specials. – Cayleigh Bright

Read Two Local Authors

Khaya Dlanga’s memoir, To Quote Myself, is a humbling read to say the least. This guy came from the type of rural Transkei village that humanitarians of Tinder set as their profile pictures in the hopes of appearing like they give a fuck in order to get a fuck. From ashy-legged and snot-nosed tyke, Khaya did things like tell the headmaster at his new all-white school that he needed to take a step back and come correct, then finished up at another, far better school. He eventually enrolled himself at AAA in Cape Town, which is where my ex-girlfriend went and, lemmetellyou, they bleed you dry there fee-wise, which is why Khaya was homeless for a portion of the time it took him to complete his degree. Anyway, say what you will of advertising, but after Khaya got his first job in the industry he won some awards, then got a different job and won some other awards, until he was working for Coca-Cola with one of the biggest followings on social media and some very famous friends who he now shamelessly namedrops.

Alex Van Tonder’s, This One Time, is a gripping page-turner that reflects our times. Brodie Lomax is the nom de plume of a bro-blogger who finds himself hostage in an Alaskan lodge. He is then tortured by the crazed ex-girlfriend of a fan of his blog, who does things like start a human Pinterest Board, make him eat shit-stew, and, shudder, write listicles that go against the personal brand he’s worked so hard to build. Shout-out to misogyny! With nods to Misery and The Shining, and maybe Seth Rotherham, the author formerly known as Cape Town Girl makes some excellent points about social media, technology, the age of the blagging blogger, and who is really using who. – Dylan Muhlenberg

Sent Max to watch Mad Max at the Imax

“If you can't fix what's broken, you'll go insane”. So says Tom Hardy’s titular character in one of the few lines of dialogue in Mad Max: Fury Road, a film rightly being heralded as the best action movie of the last decade. Over the top? Hardly. The overwhelming response to this particular film is telling. The trailers preceding the film, of Jurassic Park 8: The Deep Blue Sea Formula and 2 Fast 2 Terminator, suddenly don’t feel quite as exciting as before. Since the turn of the century the necessary ingredients for a summer hit have been an Avengers-style ensemble cast, location and character and intrigue overload, with CGI-saturated scenes of trauma and destruction as a Vin Diesel drives a car out of an airplane, millions perish as New York gets flattened, the hero aligns his moral compass to holy-martyr before taking on a definitely-suicidal mission only to survive inexplicably because I don’t know, is it the power of love, oh yes wait he’s kissing the girl, definitely the power of love. People hadn’t fully noticed, but something was broken in the world of blockbuster movies, MMFR seems to have fixed it, and we were going slightly insane letting it slide for so long. (See how it’s tying up nicely with the opening line? Fuckin’ nailing this review!) So what’s so good about Mad Max? Well it’s certainly not down to originality: A reboot/sequel of a 30 year old franchise with an all-star cast combining a plot reminiscent of The Warriors with the desert action of games like Borderlands and the look of late Saturday night Afrika Burn (complete with children huffing spray-paint). The thing that makes it so good isn’t that it brings something new to the cinema, but rather that it presents a sincere and loving revival of what action films used to be. The plot is simple with no major twists, turns, romances or backstories, and the dialogue is as scarce and bizarre as the post-apocalyptic setting. It is the characters however, with their immense depth and detail, with lovingly crafted war vehicles, cancerous mutations and ambiguous moral alignments that make this film. These seemingly superfluous character details have long been avoided in fear of distracting viewers from bloated storylines but in this instance, expand this film to show the extent of the universe Mad Max inhabits, one full of potential, where a newly introduced Imperator Furiosa can be the protagonist, the story can be nothing more than a 2 hour car chase concerning pride and resources, and the titular character be nothing more than a mumbling, passing thought in the whole thing. “If you can't fix what's broken, you'll go insane”. Well thank fuck for that. Because with a whole lotta Mad and very little Max, it’s insanity which got George Miller to build War Rigs and Doof Mobiles and race them through the desert for the love of the concept. The payoff is a film already developing a cult following while still on circuit – let’s hope Hollywood sit up and notice! – Max Lazarus

Guilty pleasured all over Taylor Swifts new music video

Maybe it was the inclusion of Kendrick Lamar, or all of those cameos, or watching Taylor Swift do karate in a latex bustier, but whatever it was, we enjoyed a Taylor Swift song (for shame...). 'Bad Blood' is best enjoyed when accompanied by the video, which has Swift accompanied by the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Jessica Alba, Lena Dunham, Lily Aldridge, Selena Gomez, Serayah, Mariska Hargitay, Cara Delevingne, Hayley Williams, Ellie Goulding, Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss, Ellen Pompeo, Zendaya, Hailee Steinfeld, Martha Hunt and Cindy Crawford. And not that we even have to say this, because we’re quite sure that Waddy has already said it for us, but don’t you think the star-studded video cameo concept was very similar to Die Antwoord’s 'Ugly Boy'? Watch and judge for yourself. – Paul Sanctuary

Followed Barack Obama on Twitter

The Mmusi of America’s first tweet read: “Hello, Twitter! It's Barack. Really! Six years in, they're finally giving me my own account.” Follow him on @POTUS while you can because the account belongs to whoever is sitting in the big chair. – Amber Pretorius