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Johannesburg Kultcha : Kultcha / Features

Adrian Loveland: Unhinged

Meet Adrian Loveland. You might not know him, because before he made a film, he was floating around doing a bit of everything; a little party organising, some DJing... Then he decided he wanted to do something that would make him money without him having to be there. He saved some money, had an idea and started filming. Now, he's created a 52-minute film about living in Joburg, called Unhinged: Surviving Joburg. It's a little bit real and serious, and a little bit hilarious. It takes you right to the heart of Joburg and its people, shows you around, and whisks you out again. And, if you love this place, live in this place, or are unsure about how to carry on in a city that is so hysterical, watch this documentary, filled with interviews from Joburg's residents, facts, stories and comments from Adrian himself. It's unassuming, honest and will leave you going "Ja, I get that!"

I sat down with Adi to chat about filming, car crashes and coping with one goddamn crazy city. Watch the trailer first:

How did you end up making a doccie about Joburg?
It was more of a logical progression than a plan. If I had started off saying, "I want to make a film" I would never have done it. I started off with an idea: that I'd drive around the city and say "Yes" every time someone tried to sell me something. We still do that in the film, but it became bigger than that as well. We kept filming, and eventually ended up with a 52 minute movie. It happened gradually.

Why Joburg?
Joburg is the kind of place where you get to know stuff on a deep level. If you live here, you really have to get to know this place as much as you can. I wouldn't have chosen to have been born here, but I think I would definitely have chosen to live here for a while in my life. Also, I wanted to use what I knew, and I knew Joburg.

What surprised you the most while you trekked through the city?
Everyone is so nice. I mean, sure, you get assholes - but they're such a small percentage of the people in Joburg. Everyone - from my editors, to the people on the street - was just so helpful. I never bribed anyone, because I never had to. You filter through the assholes and realise that Joburgers are a really nice bunch of people.

Kak and kiff things about this place?
I love that fact that South Africa is so central. We're the heel of the whole of Africa, you know? We're the heart of this huge continent. And, of course, I love its beauty. I know it sounds romantic, but it's true. What is kak? Purely, on a physical level, I hate the car crashes and the fact that people are always getting run over. Even cyclists shouldn't be run over, despite their attitude [laughs]. We like to abuse booze and then drive here, and that's really scary.

Your favourite place in the city?
My car. It's mobile and personal. I get to think in there, take in the world, listen to some 702. It's awesome. I also like hanging out in the offices of theProject; it's my base camp. And, I really like Emmarentia dam. Parks are perfect places to hang out in, smoke, play some soccer, and have some space.

So how do we survive this crazy city?
Honestly, I have no idea. I'm still trying to figure it out. But, if I was talking to visitors to the city, I'd say, "Don't do things too quickly. Don't go wandering through the middle of town, or get into a car with a guy who promises to show you a really cool club on your first day. Get a comfort zone and then make you own decisions. Ease into things." Joburgers know how to do that.

If you could take one person out of the city and bring one person into the city, who would they be?
I'd remove Glenn Aggliotti from this place. It's best to remove the source of many problems. I'd bring in Bill Clinton. I'd like to see Bill become the mayor of Joburg. I don't know much about our mayor now, but if it was Bill Clinton, we'd hear about it.

Final thoughts on Joburg?
Joburg is a really tricky place to manifest in, but you do it. And, it's hard not to love the place where you did that, where you became you. It's tiring and hard and often mad, but Joburg is actually really loveable.

Get the film by begging your local Musica or Look 'n Listen to stock it. Or, by logging on to www.survivingjoburg.com. It'll set you back R50 plus postage.

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