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Durban Film Festival


Let's be frank


Gone to far


Technical issues can be so frustrating.

Last year's DIFF was dogged by technical issues as one of the main venues switched over to digital just before the festival. I tried to put that behind me. Come 2014, I flew to the surf city in a positive mood just to be slapped through the face with technical issues.

My first day at the prime film fest in the southern hemisphere was, I'm sad to say, disappointing. Icehorse, the first fully improvised Dutch film, was supposed to be my first film and I was looking forward to this film by the director of Visa/Vie. Due to technical problems the sound was almost inaudible and it was practically a silent film. I would have stayed if they turned off the sound and played classical music while watching the film and reading the subtitles! I felt for the director who was so embarassed. I wanted to see the film and will probably miss it as the next screening clashes with another must-see. As I was roaming the streets of Durban aimlessly waiting for something to watch, I joined the outdoor screening of Gone too far! on the lawns.. The film simmers with racial tension as experienced by a Nigerian teen in England. As a hardened filmfest freak I was determined to not allow day 1 to be wasted and Frank made my day. This must-see surreal yet funny comedy is superb. I take my hat off to Michael Fassbender who had to save face! He wears a giant head throughout the film and cannot show any facial expressions! The film follows a band of misfit artists with Frank as their lead singer. Maggie Gyllenhaal plays Frank's terrifying sidekick. I give it a 9/10. Try to catch Frank at the next screening at 17:45 on 25 July at Musgrave. * Day 2 has two gems in store: Eastern Boys (a film about the complexities of love and rentboys in Paris) and the Swedish film with the most intriguing name, The 100 year old man who climbed out of a window and disappeared.

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