Forget about the Durban you know. Welcome to …

2010-03-20 00:00

DURBAN’S youngest and most prolific film maker, the multi-award winning Claire Angelique, started shooting her new feature film, Palace of Bone, earlier this month.

Inspired by winning the Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year 2010 award for her first feature film My Little Black Heart, Angelique has set herself a challenge to write and direct another film exposing and focusing on Durban’s subculture, to debut at this year’s National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.

Palace of Bone is described as a “black metal thrash comedy” and centres around a cast of crazy characters living and surviving in their own unique way around the St George’s Street area.

These include Caterpilla, a drug dealer who is trying to get his senior certificate at a nearby night college; Shady Frost, a retired 70-year-old ex-stripper once famous for her snake act; and the enigmatic blue Shazi, a Hindu girl who thinks she is the female version of Krishna and faces arrest after trying to kill off her grandparents living at a nearby state nursing home.

Speaking about the film, Angelique says: “It’s set in a post apocalyptic Durban. It’s the piecing together of ‘found’ video footage off cellphones, digital video and still cameras, film slides, 16 mm stuff from the sixties and VHS home movies.

“It has a Youtube kind of feel to it, like someone has pieced all these short vignettes and character sketches together and finds a strange tale about certain miscreants and forgotten personalities that live near the Albert Park area of downtown Durban.

“I’m really excited about the premise and the project. It’s a totally new perspective on the city, and because of the rogue crew and cast and small budget, the beautiful freedom of creating a new work with no restraints from big money and scared producers eliminates the fears that normally hold hands with directing a feature film.”

Angelique will be using the actors themselves to shoot the footage to add authenticity to the story and will be editing the film herself. Music will be a mishmash of local artists as well as original compositions by Jonathon Hischke, a Los Angeles musician who plays with the Mars Volta.

There is however, one small fly in the ointment. Angelique admits she is still short on money for the final budget and is currently looking at private investment.

“Because it is a low-budget film, the returns for small amounts of private investment from R5 000 upwards means that the returns are high and I’m not against the donor appearing in a cameo role in the film,” she laughs. “As long as they’re willing not to take themselves too seriously… and suck a lollipop.”

For more information on the film or to invest, telephone Carol at

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