MAGAZINE INTERVIEW WITH
Cue Magazine : July 2000 -
you think there is a new film culture coming out of South Africa?
BLOOD received funding from the South African Government's Department
of Arts & Culture - part
of the new Film Development Initiative that has been started. It's actually
the first of these films to be completely financed in South Africa and
go into production. I managed to raise matching funds from Anant Singh,
this country's biggest producer, and from Revolution Pictures. The rest
I raised from private equity, so it's 100% homegrown.
PURE BLOOD is a culturally significant film in that it has been
made in the true independent spirit of filmmaking. This is very rare in
South Africa and I don't know of a local feature to be made this way out
of the Government's Development Initiative. We had no presales, no foreign
stars, no studios or broadcasters put up the money. It's a lean and mean
movie. It's the way our filmmakers will have to make films if we want
to be free to express our own visions and stories.
So maybe, I don't know, this could be the start of some kind of a new
wave of movies from here.
film combines different styles and genres. There seems to be human drama,
horror film elements, and a good dosage of tongue-in-cheek dark comedy?
since my first short movie was banned as "undesirable" by the racist government
in South Africa, I wanted to make a feature film that reflects the state-of-mind
that created Apartheid and look at those people today and what they're
going through. The film had to be accessible and entertaining and I chose
to write a dark comedy that kept far away from the obvious heavy political
drama of those anti-apartheid movies from the 1980's. PURE BLOOD
is about a dysfunctional family, obsessed with their dark secrets from
the past and a very unhealthy and screwball view of the future. I was
inspired by the humour and social satire in films like PARENTS
(dir: Bob Balaban), THE YOUNG POISONER'S HANDBOOK (dir: Benjamin Ross)
(dir: Jeunet & Caro). These films made me laugh, but they also touched
a tender nerve in their observations about families and the human condition.
focused on the human drama, the things that motivate people to turn against
one another, seeking revenge, and justification for their actions. I wanted
to show the human dimension and play it off against the political allegory
in the film.
PURE BLOOD I used elements of Jacobean tragedy, the pulp fiction
of that era. I turned to American splatter movies of this century and
combined these themes into a story that deals with revenge, jealousy,
betrayal, ascendancy and bloodline. In this I found really dark ghoulish
did you begin conceiving this idea and figure out that there was a movie
started writing PURE BLOOD when I was working as a Television News Producer
for international networks covering South Africa and the political uprisings
of the 1980's and early 1990's. I found myself under fire or under arrest
for contravening the draconian media regulations the white minority government
had instituted under the State Of Emergency.
was angry with what I saw and I needed some way to express it.
look and styling of the film is abstracted - when is the film actually
I like to think that the film is taking place in a time that some say
will never come. By that I mean that the film deals with a moment in history
that we have been living through, a time of remarkable transition. I am
talking really about white South Africans, who never thought the sun would
ever set on their little corner of sunny Africa. But now things have changed
and some are fearful, some are clinging to the past and all of us are
trying to figure out where we fit in to this new country and its new democracy.
There is often weird and funny ironies at work as people struggle with
the way things are now in contrast to the things they once believed in.
The time they thought would never come - has come and it's here to stay.
content courtesy of Cue Magazine.