Madame May does Metropolis


With a little help from hyper-real hipsters David Cope and Gavin Elder (below), Madame May de Lencquesaing has produced a 7 minute black and white filmic meditation on glass called… Glass. This is glass noir. Almost as if Fritz Lang came back to document terroir in the sandy soils of Glenelly in Ida’s Valley. Metropolis of the mountain.

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So is the Simonsberg the new Murano? If so, this would take the locavore movement to the Next Level: food and wine from the same terroir enjoyed in stemware fired from the soil. No Riedel, too nouveau. Too smousy, even.

Madame May herself was not present in person at the Plascon premier last night – sorry, Lady May, according to the invite below as the curious campaign of Anglicization of a Bordeaux super second continues apace. A premier in an unexpected movie house above Hemelhuis on the Waterkant pedestrian precinct with amazing snacks, almost heavenly, nibbles.

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Although Madame had to attend a parliament opening dinner with the French ambassador, her fingerprints are all over the film. The intellectual arrangement of glass and wine as the harvest of grandeur de la pauvre for starters. Or how the best wines and finest glass come from the poorest soils.

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May’s own action man on scene, winemaker Luke O’Cuinnegan (below), was present to casually join the dots. Glass and wine are both liquids you can see through, both literally and figuratively. Of course they both make art and both depend on terroir for quality. And they’re both brittle and fragile.

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Four months ago, May bought some glass objects made by Salvador Dali which are now on their way to Glenelly. Surrealism on the Simonsberg. Now that’s a new angle for the American Express Stellenbosch Wine Routes or the kind of thing to attract a David Lynch to the appellation. Or at least the brilliant director who documented his reaction to Dom Perignon.

Step forward Gav and another David, this time the serious joker Mr. Cope who introduced sumo wrestling to Klein Constantia in one of the first Winelands videos. In a flash, commenting that the estate, now owned by a competitive cycling duo, takes itself way too seriously.

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Glass is a hyper-real deep-peel of the skin of SA wine. Meditations on birth and death and the history of a handful of dust. A new benchmark for sipping shorts has been set. “Watch out for mechanical shapes” as Mr. Lynch says.