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Top Ten Movies with... Guy van der Walt


Guy van der Walt a.k.a. Plasticboy is a talented CG artist, entrepreneur and citizen of the world, whose profession has taken him to international destinations such as London and Bangkok. Cape Town is his hometown, where Guy grew up, training in the art of illusion at the College of Magic. He studied graphic design and was awarded a bursary by a leading animation studio, where he was introduced to the world of 3D animation.

His animation business took off in Johannesburg, working on a range of high profile TV commercials. Guy's talents drew international attention, moving to London where he generated digital content for the National Geographic and Discovery channels. These projects prompted him to create a set of virtual 3D models of the human body and over several years, he has set up an online business trading in "virtual anatomy". He relocated to Thailand where he spent almost a year exploring urban South East Asia as well as living on remote islands.

Since then Guy's returned to Cape Town, where he continues to work in the 3D animation arena, on his own projects with occasional collaboration between other studios. We managed to catch up with the animation guru known as "Plasticboy" to find out what films have made the grade in his Top Ten Movies...

"I was really inspired by Inglourious Basterds."

I can't watch movies without...

- ...seeing producers, focus groups, budgets and suits. Lately I find myself struggling to be seduced by Hollywood. It's a bit like that scene in The Matrix where Cypher tells Neo: "...I don't even see the code. All I see is blonde, brunette, red-head." All I see these days are executives and market researchers. Blockbuster sequels are excruciating!

Which famous people share your birthday?

- I'm amused to say Richard Nixon, Lee van Cleef and Deep Fried Man. Daniel and I actually share the same day, year and even hospital! (9 January)

What is the first film you remember watching?

- Mary Poppins... I was about 5, and we just got our first VHS video recorder. I remember pleading with my mother to let us take out a Tom and Jerry video. She refused and insisted rather that we begin our cinematic education with the classics. My sister and I protested, but by the time Dick van Dyke was prancing across the roof tops we sat mesmerized by Julie Andrews' wicked charm.

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

- It's interesting, because when you're first asked this question, it's quite hard to think of one. You start going through recent movies that came out - I'm tempted to say Jock of the Bushveld 3D, but I never actually saw that, so technically I can't claim to have an informed opinion.

If I start thinking back to my youth then the titles start to flow: Weekend at Bernie's 2, Surf Ninjas and Police Academy 12 are the first three that spring to mind. To any of my animator buddies who may have worked on Jock 3D: I'm sure it wasn't you. Let's just chalk this one up to the budgets and suits.

Which movies have made you tearful?

- In My Country, based on the book Country of my Skull by Antjie Krog. There's a scene where an old man confronts an Apartheid era policeman that has trampled on his little trees and asks him: "Why?" It's a moment that resonates with me on a deep emotional level - why? Why would anyone go out of their way to make someone else's life worse?

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

- Last week as I savoured a salmon and cream cheese bagel at the Old Biscuit Mill Neighbourgoods market, Danny Trejo, the star of Machete, brushed past me and half of Cape Town.

Oh, and I house sat for some friends who live next door to Keira Knightley in London for a brief period a few years ago. I caught a glimpse of her entering her front door once or twice, but alas, never a meeting did take place.

What's your favourite movie line?

- "...pretty please... with sugar on top. Clean the fucking car." - The Wolf, Pulp Fiction

Who would you choose to play you in your biopic?

- That guy from The Darjeeling Limited - Adrien Brody. The man's got style.

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

- I was really inspired by Inglourious Basterds. I can't believe there aren't more movies that follow this concept: take a real life story that everyone agrees is not cool, and just rewrite it with a happy ending! Ok, so my film would be the South African version of this idea.

I'd love to make a film that presents the South Africa that we have today - corrupt fat cats running the show at the expense of the most vulnerable. The beauty of this story is that, unlike the depressing reality we regularly wade through in the papers today, in this film, there is a happy ending.

Don't get me wrong, I don't want to see a bunch of vigilante hooligans running around dishing out mob justice to the powerful elite. Rather I'd like to see a fictional tale of a true man of the people rising up, and genuinely transforming the country into a good one for all. Let me take this opportunity to clearly state that Julius is not the person I have in mind.

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

- Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels ...this is one of those films that snuck up on me when I least expected to find greatness. When I saw it, there was no hype, no indication it would be a whole new way of making films. He hit the mark on every aspect of this film.

- Inglourious Basterds
...as I mentioned earlier, this film is just a winner in so many ways. It's a feel good story, has Tarantino's fearless use of violence. Unlike some of his earlier work every frame of this is masterfully shot, framed, focused and graded.

- American Psycho
...this film really does do justice to the book. The character is so suited to Christian Bale, one really feels drawn into the era. Something about Bateman's cold and calculating character appeals to me and is fascinating to behold.

- 500 Days of Summer
...for me this is one of the few "real" romantic films. I love how the film contrasts the highs and lows of love. It's a real world tale set in a beautifully stylized environment.

- Groundhog Day
...evidently a good technique for coming up with a top 10 list, is to think back to films I've seen countless times. Groundhog Day is one of those films. No matter how many times they re-run this movie on TV, I just never get tired of it. A taste of what if?

- Full Metal Jacket
...this is possibly my favorite Kubrick film - it took a while for me to appreciate it, but every time I see it, I love it more and more. "Me love you long time!"

- Perfume
...when I watch this film, my senses are heightened. It evokes an awareness of one's surroundings through the subject matter and high quality production value.

- Amelie
...I have to be honest I haven't seen this in ages, and I'm a bit reluctant to. This is one of the only movies that I've watched 3 times in a row at the cinema, just because of it's beauty. Unfortunately I over did it when I got the DVD, but I still think it's worth a mention.

- Religulous
...does this count? Ok, it's a documentary, but I love the way that Bill Maher tells it like it is.

- Soylent Green
...this one's for my good friends Darren and Kristy. You gotta love the classics! What is the secret of Soylent Green?!

CREDIT ROLL: Photography - Casey Crafford

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.