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Top Ten Movies with... Derric van Rensburg

Derric van Rensburg started his journey as an artist at the age of ten with his first pencil drawing. His career began in the commercial and manufacturing world of arts, later teaching art. His first exhibition in Cape Town was held in 1978 and quickly sold out, but it was not until 1986 that Derric became a professional artist, successfully exhibiting his work in Portugal, Italy, England, Australia and Germany. N.B. Catch Derric's next exhibition called Double Vision in Steenberg, Cape Town on 27 November, 2010 at RED!.

While he started his career as a wildlife artist painting in water colours, van Rensburg is most famous for his Van Gogh-inspired impressionistic "Earthscapes", which have made his artwork instantly recognisable along with his trademark natural flair for broad brushstrokes, bright colours and spontaneous use of acrylics.

His work is sold all over the world and he is one of South Africa's most popular, prolific and versatile artists. While van Rensburg's art has become known worldwide, Derric's remained something of an enigma. A Capetonian at heart, Derric and his gorgeous wife have found inspiration in the Western Cape environment from the Overberg to the winelands, and now currently reside in Betty's Bay.

While elusive to the public eye, friends know him as an affable, down-to-earth and immensely gifted guy, whose talents extend to music as well as art. Cultured, humble and armed with a wicked sense of humour, we managed to catch up with Derric to get his take on film with his Top Ten Movies...

"...when I came out of the movie I looked around to check
for people just to make sure the world hadn't come to an end..."

I can't watch movies without...

- ...some advice from the local girls who run a video shop in Betty’s Bay, who give me the low down on every movie, the plot, who is who in terms of actors and genre; and of course a canvas to paint on in front of me, two cute schnauzers (Clementine and Winston) at my feet and a glass of wine.

Which famous people share your birthday?

- Michael Palin was born on the same day as me best known as an English actor, comedian, writer, TV presenter and for his roles in the comedy group Monty Python one of my all-time favourite TV shows, which I never get tired of watching albeit not a movie! (5 May)

What is the first film you remember watching?

- The first film I remember watching was The Incredible Journey - coming from a strong Baptist influence I was not allowed to go to the movies at all. So when I came out of the movie I looked around to check for people, just to make sure the world hadn't come to an end because I was doing something forbidden!

What's the worst movie you've ever seen?

- The worst movie ever was of course The Incredible Journey - over all these years I have not changed my mind. Hostel might come in a close second for pure terror, as it managed to stay in my mind for days. I think the fact that it was based on a true event also made it horrific, so probably not the "worst" in terms of a bad movie but "worst" in terms of the feelings I was left with and how it managed to get into my head!

Which movies have made you tearful?

- Dead Poet's Society made me cry like a baby, why I am not too sure - maybe it brought back memories of many less than perfect school days. Empire of the Sun probably connected at the heart level of being a small boy and feeling so helpless, yet overcoming all adversity – a hero and naturally The Incredible Journey – could only be nostalgia!

Who is the most famous movie star you've ever met?

- I met Terrence Hill (remember him I think his movies were known as “spaghetti westerns”) many years ago in a hotel in Johannesburg. I went with a friend to take photographs – he was an exceptionally nice guy with probably the bluest eyes I had ever seen on a man. He and Bud Spencer could be hailed in the same way as Clint Eastwood for his The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, however Eastwood had the advantage – I think.

What's your favourite movie line?

- I cannot just choose a line but I have to go with the whole scene from the movie The Fisher King. Robin Williams is stark naked and lying on the grass with Jeff Bridges and he starts to sing I Love New York in June - How About You?

Who would you choose to play you in your biopic?

- Well the guy who most does it for me is Oliver Reed, especially his role in the movie Gladiator. Pity he is dead!

If you could produce a movie, what would it be about?

- I like the story and plot of Empire of the Sun, so a similar story, about a hero who overcomes the odds and turns out to be incredible despite the circumstances!

Finally, your top ten movies of all-time...

Oliver, 1969Dead Poets Society (1989) ...what touched me about this movie was again I guess the hero theme, but also the willingness to go against the grain no matter the cost. It felt real and made me want to be someone who made their mark on the world seizing my own day as it were!

The Fisher King (1991)
...Fisher King reminded me of a verse in the bible: “no love has a man except that he lay down his life for another” – this is the essential theme of this movie and it impacted me greatly. To be fair as well I am an absolute fan of Robin Williams and his role in this movie was unequivocal, for me probably his best role ever, apart from Good Morning Vietnam.

Shirley Valentine (1989)
...a favourite of note and I think this is because of Tom Conti’s role in the movie, the quintessential man about town. I have watched this movie at least 6 times and eventually was teased mercilessly by my wife because I could quote whole sections of the dialogue; needless to say the sections I could quote shall remain “unquotable” due to PG ratings.

Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)
...well what can I say about Bridget Jones except that I think I fell in love with Renee Zellweger, as a result I generally try and see every movie she has ever been in regardless of the plot or genre leading me onto my next favourite.

Nurse Betty (2000)
...the character portrayals in this movie of the various actors was amazing, of course Renee Zellweger but also Morgan Freeman who I am a great fan of. I don’t think I can remember the plot too well but I enjoyed the dialogue and interaction between the actors.

Gladiator (2000)
...a great epic of a bygone time, this movie had everything – the star-studded cast, a riveting story line and of course history, which is another great interest of mine. Oliver Reed’s portrayal of Antonius Proximo – the old gladiator trainer and his treatment of Maximus probably drew my attention because he seemed to retain some humanity despite being a gladiator.

Hostel (2005)
...as I mentioned before, this movie kept me riveted to the screen, but also turning away and feeling sick at the absolute horror of it all. The ultimate in human evil and degradation, while a great movie I do sometimes ask myself why I put myself through movies like this? Perhaps the morbid fascination of the lengths that human beings go to when no holds are barred.

Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
...I found this Guy Ritchie movie clever, racy and like a comic book page turner. A slice of madness!

Sound of Music (1965)
...cinematography was brilliant for the day and time of screening. It was state of the art! The music has lived on to the present day and it's a classic. Can one ever forget the role that Julie Andrews played and the finesse with which she did it?

Oliver (1968)
...this story by Charles Dickens, I consider to be one of his absolute best. The brilliant music direction and songs composed by Lionel Bart can still keep you tapping your feet or shedding a tear should the occasion arise even now. The characters, music and story line have stood the test of time. It is the kind of movie that you can watch over and over again!

Top Ten Movies with... is a people series on SPL!NG, featuring a host of celebrities ranging from up-and-coming to established personalities from all industries including, but not limited to: Internet, Radio, TV, Film, Music, Art and Entrepreneurs. It's a chance to discover who they are, find out where they're at and to get a fun inside look at their taste in movies.

CREDIT ROLL: Photography - Casey Crafford