Romantic and rough, art from here and there


Romantic and rough, art from here and there

ALI VAN WYK reviews the story of Prince Andrew's TV interview about the Epstein saga and a romantic series with all the complications of real life. NICOLAAS MARITZ lists his favourite fellow artists from South Africa and elsewhere.

  • 24 May 2024
  • Lifestyle
  • 4 min to read
  • article 14 of 18


Ali van Wyk's recommendations:

TV film: Scoop
Platform: Netflix
Director: Philip Martin
Actors: Billie Piper, Gillian Anderson, Rufus Sewell

Apart from Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, the Duke of York — Britain's Prince Andrew — is the only prominent person to have faced any consequences in this disgusting case of large-scale sexual trafficking of minors. But he was never charged in a court. The worst among those consequences was that he lost his military titles and his patronages. 

It's a sobering reminder that the same kind of money and power that kept Epstein's destructive activities under the radar for so long still keep his many prominent enablers cosy. Andrew probably would have escaped unscathed too were it not for his naivety due to his sheltered life. His mistake seemed not to have been the alleged repeated sex with a minor but that it put the British royal family in a bad light.

The movie Scoop tells the story of Andrew's infamous television interview with Emily Maitlis from the BBC TV programne Newsnight, from the perspective of Maitlis and especially producer Sam McAlister, who set up the interview. When the FBI snared Epstein in July 2019, Andrew and his media office realised they needed a strategy, because Andrew's alleged sexual abuse of Virginia Giuffre was going to be exposed.

McAlister offered Andrew a candid interview and Andrew's private secretary, Amanda Thirsk, thought it was a good idea because she had faith in his natural charisma. Andrew's media consultants strongly opposed the interview.

Nice movie, especially if the media and the heinous antics of the “upper classes" interest you.

Lees hierdie artikel in Afrikaans:

Mini series: One Day
Platform: Netflix
Director: Molly Manners et al
Actors: Leo Woodall, Ambika Mod

The formulaic romantic comedies of the Eighties and Nineties with wholesome, desirable “good girl" characters played by actresses like Jennifer Aniston and Meg Ryan, and cute, half-distracted carnal men played by actors like Hugh Grant and Billy Crystal, had lost their kick by the turn of the century.

Audiences were no longer interested in fairy tales without the risk of the complicated emotions one gets in real life. That's why series like One Day, based on David Nicholls's 2009 novel, are so appealing these days.

It starts like a romantic comedy with a handsome boy who meets a girl full of intrigue, but soon strays from the rom-com track and gets entangled in the mazes and thorns of  gnarly life.

Dexter (Leo Woodall) initially seems like a privileged handsome boy, but self-destructive tendencies and demons don't take long to start dancing on the surface. And Emma (Ambika Mod), well, she is a dignified and moral woman but also one of the most surprising and complicated female characters in a long time.

Not only is her face as multifaceted as a Picasso painting from his analytical cubist period, her soul has as many shadows and levels. It remains a romance but with delicious subtleties.



Multimedia artist Nicolaas Maritz from Darling shares his five favourite South African artists:

#1 My number one of all South African artists is without a doubt the early rock artists. From deft naturalism to magical realism, the wide range of subject matter and depiction, from weathered engravings to faded paintings, is still refreshingly universal and our greatest national art treasure.

#2 Hylton Nel. Unadorned and brash ceramic works with a witty sense of humour. Always has a bouncy surprise, with frequent in-your-face references to the mundanity of sex.

#3 Lynne Lomofsky. For her beautifully vivid still-life drawings and paintings of flowers and plants in simple glass containers. Also for her uncomfortably informative small-scale portraits.

#4 Cheryl Traub-Adler. For her fearless and inspiring personal investigations into alternative media, methods and concepts of art and anti-art. Truly an underrated trailblazer.

#5 Fred Page. Probably a little lost in his later years, but without a doubt, Pierneef notwithstanding, still my favourite artist when it comes to black and white linocuts.

And his five favourite artists from the rest of the world:

#1 Margie Britz. Her ambitious and highly nuanced paintings and installation works, featuring stone, bones, starfish, dried frogs, torn paper and natural earth pigments, remain a sensory inspiration.

#2 Anselm Kiefer. For the sheer phenomenality of his wryly blatant nationalism and the unnecessarily monumental messiness of his gizmos in straw, molten lead and gold leaf.

#3 David Hockney. Everyone's favourite deaf art granddad and determined tobacco smoker, who can always draw so joyfully and beautifully on the road and brilliantly colour digitally.

#4 Ray Ken and the many other Australian indigenous traditional artists, some anonymous. Their timeless road-map works are a living group effort that powerfully proves “anachronism" in the arts ultimately is a highly contemporary phenomenon.

#5 Gilbert & George. Hip hip hooray for their sleazy slapstick humour and restless photographic modernity, balanced somewhere between a stiff dick and a steaming fresh turd, as well as that uncompromising work ethic.

♦ VWB ♦

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