theSun had carried out interviews with all of the directors of the movies. In today entry, we will be highlighting all these interviews. We will start this entry with director U- Wei talking about his film Hanyut ( hitting the cinemas Nov 24) followed Dain Said talking about his film Interchange ( hitting the cinemas on Dec 1)and end with Syafiq Yusof talking about Desolasi. (hitting the cinemas on Dec 8)
Interchange ( Dain Said) ( Published April 13, 2016)
Headline: A Mystic Connection
By Bissme S
Dain Said was kind enough to show me some scenes from his latest film, Interchange, which opens in cinemas at the end of the year. I believe Interchange is going to be an exciting film.
Dain first shot to stardom in 2007 when he directed Dukun,a film loosely based on the life of the infamous Mona Fandey who committed a gruesome murder. Unfortunately, Dukun was never released here by the producers.
Putting this devastating incident behind him, in 2011, Dain went on to direct Bunohan, a thriller drama about an intense relationship among three brothers and their ailing father.
Bunohan paid off handsomely with the movie gaining screen time at several prestigious international film festivals. It also earned Dain a number of accolades, including best director and best picture, at the 25th Malaysian Film Festival.
Now, everyone is eagerly awaiting his next film, Interchange. Made with a budget of RM3.5 million, Interchange centres on forensic photographer Adam (played by Iedil Putra), who becomes psychologically traumatised after having to photograph endless pictures of the dead. Adam locks himself in his condominium and soon develops a habit of secretly taking pictures of his neighbours.
The beautiful Iva (played by award-winning Indonesianactress Prisia Nasution), who has just moved into the neighbourhood, catches him photographing her. Instead of getting angry, she befriends him and becomes his lover. Adam soon learns that loving Iva can be dangerous, and he gets dragged into a world filled with blood and gore.
There is no doubt that featuring tortured souls on the big screen is not a new thing for Dain. Is the director a tortured soul like his characters?
Laughing, Dain said: “I seemed to possess some of those characteristics when I was young. Most people would like to believe that I am an extrovert. But I can also be an introvert. When I was young, I loved reading stories featuring
characters [fraught] with intense angst. This kind of characters was far more interesting [compared to other characters].”
Interchange also stars another award-winning Indonesian actor Nicholas Saputra. The inclusion of these two Indonesian stars has led to some people insinuating that Dain does not have faith in Malaysian talents.
The director brushes this accusations aside. “One of the best things about our industry is our amazing actors,” he said.
“They can do their scenes in just one take. I have never doubted their talent.”
He explained that the plot features a tribal community from Borneo that speaks in an Indonesian dialect and hence, using Indonesian actors makes perfect sense.
The first time he met Prisia was in 2012, at the Asian Film Festival in Macau. They became good friends instantly and had always wanted to work together.
As for Nicholas, Dain has always been a big fan of his body of work, and felt it would be a wonderful challenge to direct this talented actor, who is known to be very picky about his film roles.
Dain has played with mystic elements in all his previous films, and he does the same in Interchange.
“There has always been mystic elements in my culture. Korean filmmakers have always taken a western genre, and injected their own culture into it. I am doing the same thing here.”
The inspiration for the film’s English title came when he was in Bangkok, doing the final editing for Bunohan. He was staying at a residence right in the heart of the city, with many tall condominiums in front of him and he could clearly see what was going on within the neighbours’ homes.That sparked him to write the story for Interchange.
“This movie is about change,” Dain said.
“Every character goes through some kind of transformation.”
Dain’s ambition to be a filmmaker started from his childhood.
“I grew up playing in the beaches of the East Coast,” said Dain who was born in Tumpat, Kelantan.
His caretakers took him to traditional theatre performances such as wayang kulit, menora and mak yong, held on the beach. At age seven, he followed his parents to live in Egypt and England but the sweet memories of those stories on the beaches of his homeland have always stayed with him.
“After 26 years abroad, I knew I wanted to come home and tell Malaysian stories,” he said
Desolasi ( Syafiq Yusof) ( Published Nov 8, 2016)
Headline: A Shot At Solitude
By Bissme S
The trailer for Desolasi looks interesting and intriguing. Actor Syamsul Yusof is seen running through familiar Kuala Lumpur roads like Jalan Bukit Bintang and Petaling Street. Usually, these areas are packed with people. But in this trailer, there is not a single soul to be seen except Syamsul. Those striking images made me curious about this RM2.8 million film, which will be out in cinemas on Dec 8. Syamsul plays a street artist named Aiman, who wakes up one morning and finds out that everyone has disappeared. He is the only human being alive in the whole world. Initially frightened, Aiman soon starts to enjoy his newfound solitude. With no other humans around, everything in the world belongs to him. Soon, however, he learns that loneliness can be a painful affair. Desolasi is written and directed by Syamsul’s younger brother, 25-year-old Syafiq Yusof, who declares: “This is an Islamic movie. God is testing Aiman.
“We are always under the impression that if you do good things, then good things will come your way. But sometimes, life does not work that way. Maybe, there is no fairness in the world. You can go [mad] thinking about [that]. Maybe the good things ... will be given to you when you are in heaven.”
Besides Petaling Street and Jalan Bukit Bintang, other famous locations such as Dataran Merdeka and Batu Caves are featured in the film.
Shooting the film was not without its problems. Syafiq initially managed to get permission from the authorities to close the roads for the film shoot. But, sadly, at the last minute, the deal fell through and he was forced to shoot with the crowds around. He then used computer effects to erase the images of people and activities from the street to create the empty atmosphere for his film.
“One of my friends did tell me to beware when making a film about God testing one’s character because in return, God will be testing me when I’m making that film.”
His friend’s warning turned out to be right. Syafiq recalls one incident where he could not shoot a scene in Cyberjaya because it was raining constantly. He and his team rushed to a different location in Bukit Melawati. Unfortunately, they could not go through because a fallen tree was blocking their way. His team managed to clear the road, but once they arrived at their destination, they realised that it was too dark for them to shoot. They then returned to Cyberjaya to shoot some night scenes. Out of the blue, the generator blew up and they did not have any lighting.
“That day was totally wasted,” he recalls.
“Maybe God was really testing me.”
Syafiq says he has shown the finished film to his father, renowned local producer and director Yusof Haslam, as well as to Syamsul, himself an award-winning director.
“My brother likes the film because it is very different from most of the Malay movies he had seen, while my father likes the conflict between the father and son in the film.”
“I find boys rarely have problems with their mothers. They get along well with their mothers. Most boys will have some tension with their fathers. This could be because fathers always have high expectation of their sons.”
Other than having his brother in the lead role, other artistes appearing in Desolasi include Bella Dally, Jalaluddin Hassan and Pekin Ibrahim.
Syafiq says his next film, out next year, will be an action thriller called KL Special Force, which centres on two police officers, Zul (played by Fattah Amin) and Roslan (Rosyam Nor), who are trying to nab a gang of thieves.