The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv - EVAN WIL­LIAMS

AN­OTHER run for that ven­er­a­ble cult clas­sic The Gods Must Be Crazy ( Sun­day, 11.30am, Seven), and the gods at Seven would be crazy if they didn’t rel­ish an­other chance to show it.

This quirky, one- off charmer from South Africa, a throw­back to the days of slap­stick silent com­edy, looks at first like a doc­u­men­tary about the Kala­hari bush­men.

We meet Xixo, a re­spected tribesman whose peo­ple live sim­ply and spurn ma­te­rial pos­ses­sions. Then a light plane drops a Coke bot­tle into their midst and the rush to ex­ploit its po­ten­tial uses and sup­posed pow­ers leads to much comic may­hem and mis­un­der­stand­ing.

Mod­ern tastes may find the com­edy a tri­fle pa­tro­n­is­ing ( it was re­leased in 1981, di­rected by Jamie Uys, when apartheid was still the rule in South Africa), but the old- fash­ioned sight gags haven’t palled.

Quirk­i­ness seems to be ev­ery­where this week. In Tony McNa­mara’s Aus­tralian com­edy The Rage in Placid Lake ( Satur­day, 9.30pm, SBS), Placid Lake is a mixed- up 17- year- old youth, barely out of school. He is so called be­cause his par­ents, Doug and Sylvia Lake, lib­er­ated, spaced- out, free- think­ing swingers from the baby- boom­ing ’ 60s, are de­ter­mined to rear him as a sen­si­tive, peace- lov­ing softie. Pop singer Ben Lee is spot on as Placid: he has a mild, sweetly mourn­ful face that sug­gests queru­lous good hu­mour.

This is an adap­ta­tion of McNa­mara’s play The Cafe Latte Kid , and there are some good laughs. But the film goes for too many tar­gets: mid­dle- class val­ues, big busi­ness, cor­po­rate am­bi­tion, parental ir­re­spon­si­bil­ity, self­ish­ness and greed.

William Zappa, as a hard- headed chief ex­ec­u­tive, of­fers the film’s main text: ‘‘ We ask for your loy­alty, your heart, your mind, your soul — and in ex­change you’ll get sa­loon cars and a big house.’’ It’s a world that Placid re­jects, but he’s too silly to evoke much sym­pa­thy.

The quirk­i­ness is a lot more vi­o­lent in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill: Vol. 2 ( Satur­day, 10pm, Seven). Uma Thur­man re­turns as the blood- spat­tered Bride seek­ing re­venge for the mas­sacre on her wed­ding day. In the process she is buried alive by a liquor- soz­zled ma­niac ( Michael Mad­sen), but with one bound ( and af­ter a lit­tle tran­scen­den­tal med­i­ta­tion) is free to pur­sue her neme­sis to a bloody show­down.

There are homages by Tarantino to just about ev­ery­one ex­cept Rodgers and Ham­mer­stein, with prom­i­nent ref­er­ences to noir thrillers, spaghetti west­erns and ’ 70s

mar­tial arts movies, not to men­tion Tarantino’s own pre­ten­tious­ness and self- ob­ses­sion.

In Gar­den State ( Sun­day 10.30pm, Seven), first- time di­rec­tor Zack Braff plays a mixed- up Jewish lad who has achieved pre­co­cious fame as a Hol­ly­wood star and re­turns home to his es­tranged fam­ily for his mother’s funeral. His fa­ther ( Ian Holm) is less than de­lighted to see him, and rel­a­tives and friends treat him with mild dis­dain. Then he meets the spry, imp­ish Sam ( Natalie Port­man) and we are launched into a com­edy of con­sid­er­able charm and so­phis­ti­ca­tion. Braff’s di­rec­tion is a model of poise and re­straint, and the hu­mour is so del­i­cate that we are scarcely aware of it un­til af­ter­wards. The end­ing is rich and ex­hil­a­rat­ing.

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