A speech for the ages from a Black woman who has broken every boundary that powerful and bad men have forced onto her.Continue Reading "Oprah Winfrey’s Beautiful Speech"
An inspiring and riveting speech for all writers of stories true and bold.Continue Reading "Kazuo Ishiguro’s Nobel Speech"
Hugh Jackman’s final outing as the Wolverine.
This emotional blitzkrieg, filled with haunting themes of violence, masculinity and fatherhood, and the failures of life, runs into the heart with Logan’s final roar into the silent forest.
Let’s find out why Logan is Jackman’s best film to date, why it defies the state of masculinity in the modern world, and reminds us of what America stands for.Continue Reading "Logan"
Moonlight. It’s a masterpiece of dramatic filmmaking.
Let’s find out why.Continue Reading "Under Moonlight, Black Boys Look Blue"
A few years ago, I made the decision to dance Argentine Tango. In the years that followed that nervy start, I’ve found myself enriched, challenged and emboldened by a dance that forces both sexes to lead and to follow, and, more importantly, to learn how to listen to each other.
It changed the way I interact with people. Its Latin American bravado educated me about the importance of physical communication. And there is no better form of communication than the Tango’s famous embrace. With time, I found myself learning to feel out the subtle nuances of a woman’s body, how the delicate weight of each step ebbed and flowed with feminine grace, as my solid but controlled movements surged and broke with each whim. I search for that balance now, in each and every moment I spend in the company of the fairer sex. It is now instinctual, and I am glad for this gift.
But that is a praise spoken from the perspective of a straight male. Sexuality and sexual prowess are the hallmarks of the Tango. But it has become an art form that now breaks the stereotypes of gender in dance, thanks to an impassioned community that numbers in the millions across the world, and with a sizeable number who are proud members of the LGBT community.
Now, more so than any other time in history, the Tango thrives as the dance of balance between the leader and the follower, between the virile masculine and the graceful feminine. This balance is what first caught me as a young boy, having seen the Tango on a television screen, as those long legs captured an audience.
It is fulfilling that I have now come to understand this expression of movement as a form of storytelling. My favourite tango composer, Astor Piazzolla, was a master of this storytelling form, and his music enthralled a deep love for Tango in me that goes beyond its fleshy delights.
Let’s explore the Argentine Tango, and why the Tango is the ultimate dancing expression of a subtle and knowing but wordless story between the masculine and the feminine.Continue Reading "On The Argentine Tango"
John Steinbeck, the great but often maligned American writer, wrote more about people than stories or ideas. His stories live with his great empathy for the average man, reflecting his great admiration for working class people. He dedicated his life to discovering and documenting these people in his stories; stories which later brought him great acclaim.
But he was attacked for his views on poverty. He was famously criticised for restoring dignity and sympathy to the working class of America with the Grapes of Wrath.
Those criticisms defined his anxieties as a writer, leaving deep scars on his psyche that he battled to push away. His stances pushed him into exiles away from the cosmopolitan lifestyles of his peer’s literary circles that exalted his contemporaries. But it is ultimately in his writings we find one a great artist; an honest man who came to define the American Identity.
Over time, he won the hearts of the multitudes of readers. And his critics were silenced by the time his sweeping voice completed the East of Eden. The Nobel committee awarded him “for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception.”
My journey with Steinbeck began as a young boy reading The Pearl as a school set-piece. It was the book that was my Eureka moment as a writer; the book that made me realise that I wanted to write. Every writer has that moment when they read a book and say to themselves, “I can do better than that!”
As I turned The Pearl’s last page, in the silence that followed, I whispered, “Now I must write.”
What makes John Steinbeck a literary genius? Is it in The Pearl, The Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, or Of Mice and Men? Or is it in all things John Steinbeck, a man I wish I had known?
A man, I imagine, who would have the best answers for a young writer in these strange and dark times.
Let’s find out.Continue Reading "On John Steinbeck"
I love Star Wars and the prequel trilogy because I grew up with them. But I also saw A New Hope well before I saw A Phantom Menace. And it was on that big screen that I first saw Darth Vader.
And so began my journey through the Star Wars Saga. Because of this, I see both trilogies as one complete story. The prequel trilogy informs us of how it all began before Luke piloted his first X-Wing. Before Yoda showed Luke the power of the Force by raising that same X-Wing out a lake. Before Han Solo and the Millennium Falcon outwitted an Imperial Star Destroyer.
Before the Death Star terrified the Rebellion into near-submission; before a handful of bold and defiant guerrillas, led by a determined and strong woman, delivered its demise at the cost of their own lives.
Before Darth Vader lifted the Emperor and threw him into the abyss.
They tell us of the tragic tale of Anakin Skywalker. And when viewed as one overarching journey for the boy named Ani, the prequels complete the narrative when Luke takes off Vader’s helm to see his father’s kind but tired smile.
Now he is an old and broken man; no longer is he the young and powerful Jedi, or the wrathful Sith he later became.
Just how could a man with such kind eyes become the monstrous Darth Vader, one who often butchered a room of defenceless rebels without mercy?
From his journey of desperate longing and betrayal to turmoil and redemption, let’s explore one of the great tragic figures of modern storytelling, one responsible for turning George Lucas’s magnum opus into the series that enthralled millions, if not hundreds of millions, of fans around the world for many years.
The Tragic Tale of Darth Vader.Continue Reading "The tragic tale of Darth Vader"
Copyright by 0307 Films.
Storytelling has the privilege of entertaining those who embrace it. But good storytelling also has the ability to educate and enliven the passions of life within the audience, especially ones now lost in the quietly apathetic South African landscape. Even though it has been presented as an advert for VW, this is really a short film. And this short film is my favourite South African story. In the space of a minute and a quarter, an entire story has been expressed using truly South African themes that span across this country’s recent history. It inspired me to write a novel, and it has had a profound impact on my writing style. It is one of the stories that moved me profoundly as a kid, fumbling around with my misplaced words and confused ideas, trying to make sense of it all. And it is only after many years that I have been able to reflect back on it, and understand just why it captured me.
Let’s find out how it shows great and artful South African storytelling.Continue Reading "The Art of South African Storytelling"
First up, I’ll be posting about things you may find obtuse, informative or just entertaining. Whether it’s a book, a writer’s principle, politics, social change, or just a beautiful woman in a tango pose, these posts will be about ideas both grand and small.Continue Reading "Why I’m doing this"