As far as I can count, Nelson Mandela has so far been played in the movies by Danny Glover (Mandela), Clarke Peters (Endgame), Dennis Haysbert (Goodbye Bafana), and Sidney Poitier (Mandea and de Klerk). And now comes Morgan Freeman, playing Mandela in a movie called Invictus. What does invictus mean? It sounds like a virus. Turns out it is a poem written by William Ernest Henley in the 19th century. What is Invictus about? Made by Clint Eastwood, it apparently has something to do with how the future of South Africa in 1994 was saved by Mandela and Springbok rugby captain Francois Pienaar, who is played by Matt Damon. Clint Eastwood can pretty much make whatever movie he wants, which is probably how a movie about politics, rugby and South Africa, with the strangest title this year, is finding its way to the screen. I have my doubts, but I will go see anything with Matt Damon in it. If you didn’t hear the interview he did on South African radio – which totally took him for a ride – listen to it now. This guy has a great sense of humor, and it sounds, at least from the movie’s trailer, that he has the Seffefrican accent down just right.
Archives for November 2009
The flight from New York to Tel Aviv hardly prepared me for the place I was going to see. The entire 747 seemed to be packed with Hasidim, who prayed in throngs at the back of the plane, while their conservatively dressed women stood seriously in the aisles. Holy Land, here we come. Right? Wrong! Land at Ben Gurion Airport, and suddenly you are transported into a sybarite’s paradise. Wonderful food (check out Herbert Samuel, Messa, Orna & Ella, and Manta Ray – and that’s just the start of your cuisine itinerary), a 10-km long beachfront and esplanade full of hot bodies, many scantily dressed, quaint old suburbs with Bauhaus architecture and chic cafes near Rothschild and Montefiore, a nightlife that goes on till 4 in the morning (which is why Benedict stays open for breakfast 24/7), and the old port city of Jaffa, a place that might make you think you are in Casablanca. The hummus at Jaffa’s Abu Hassan, by the way, is arguably the best in the country, even though that argument rages on. Go taste it (and Tel Aviv) and decide for yourself.