Tag: south africa

MOVIE REVIEW | Rope of Sand (1949)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “I was constantly entertained every time the two power hitters came up to bat.”

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“Consider the diamond itself for instance. Carbon, soot, chemically speaking. And yet the hardest of all matters. So hard, in fact, that whatever it touches must suffer.   Glass, steel, the human soul.”

Before I started writing about movies for Bored and Dangerous, I always knew Burt Lancaster was pretty great, but I never knew why.  Tough Guys, his awesome 80s team up with Kurt Douglas and Dana Carvey, might have been the only movie of his I could name off the top of my head back then.  But in the last few years, I have seen a good handful of Lancaster joints.  Some I sought out, some I have been lucky enough to stumble across, but all have been further proof of his awesomeness.  Including my latest lucky discovery, Rope of Sand.

It’s Colonial South Africa, a time when white dudes from various European nations had decided they’d just take whatever they wanted, including South Africa’s immense deposits of diamonds.  When big game hunter Mike Davis (Lancaster) returns to town after several years away, diamond company cop Vogel (Paul Henried) is immediately on his back.  It seems last time Mike left town, it was after a vicious beating at Vogel’s hands in search of a bunch of stolen diamonds. (more…)


In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “It’s the kind of movie that doesn’t celebrate its titular character, or judge him either.  It impartially tells his story and let’s it speak for itself.”

The main reason I started this blog was to make me watch more movies, and to vary the kinds of movies I watched. The first part of that has been well and truly accomplished with me watching hundreds of movies for the first time, instead of falling back on old favourites over and over again.   But l’m not sure if I’ve varied my selections enough. I still watch mainly American movies, with directors, writers and actors that make them a pretty safe bet. So this year, I’m forcing myself to seek out more international movies. With Foreign Language Weekends, every weekend(ish) during 2016, I’ll review two(ish) non-English language movies.

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“What kind of bastard would break a dog’s back?”

According to movies, South Africa is a hell hole, a place of misery with no real happiness to be found.  Well, at least according to the movies I’ve seen about South Africa, that seems to be the case.  Are there any upbeat, fun, positive movies set there? My (admittedly very limited) experience with stories set in South Africa might be entirely made up of the horrible racism of The Power of One, the horrible racism and inhospitable slums of District 9, and Chappie, the movie set in a sci fi dystopia, that looks like they just used present day South Africa as is, no set decorations or faux desolation required.  Well, I can add another title to the list of movies that make me never want to go there, Tsotsi.

Leading a gang of thuggish teens, Tsotsi (Presley Cheweneyagae) coordinates a mugging on a train that leads to the death of their victim.  When Boston (Mothusi Magano), one of his underlings, questions their increasingly violent actions, Tsotsi beats him severely before disappearing into the night.  Relieving even more aggression and trying to deny the fact that he knows Boston is right, Tsotsi shoots a woman and steals her car, only to find her infant son in the backseat. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | AUSSIE WEEK 3*** Breaker Morant (1980)

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“The fact of the matter is that war changes men’s natures. The barbarities of war are seldom committed by abnormal men. The tragedy of war is that these horrors are committed by normal men in abnormal situations.”

If Australian war movies have a common theme or connective thread, it’s that we always seem to be at the mercy of some more powerful country, throwing us head first into a war and giving us the worst jobs. The Australian soldiers in The Odd Angry Shot seem mainly oblivious to why they’re fighting in Vietnam or the not so justified reasons for the war in the first place. Gallipoli is the Australia’s most famous war story, as the Brits made our soldiers cannon fodder for the Turks in WWI. And now, I’ve found another one to add to the list of movies where Aussies get fucked over during a war, Breaker Morant.

In South Africa at the turn of the 20th century in South Africa, the Beor war is being fought between the British and the Dutch colonialists. As was British tradition at the time, they sent in Aussies to do their dirty work. With Dutch farmers taking up arms and practicing a kind of guerilla warfare, the poms had to develop new ways to fight an enemy that wasn’t always there in plain sight, wearing a bright uniform to identify themselves as the enemy. Which is where the Bushvelt Carbineers come in. The first group of soldiers ever referred to as commandos, they fight behind enemy lines and resort to any measure to get the job done. (more…)