Thursday 20 February 2014

Meet Ali Sade, the man behind Kanebaaz

09:06 By Lollywood Online No comments

Siddiq (Mohib Mirza), a small-time hustler rises from the streets of Kharadar to Karachi’s high society where his card-counting skill is recognised by the infamous Bawan Shah (Faisal Rehman). PHOTO: FILE
Based on real events, Kanebaaz is about the bond between two men, one who is self-assured yet torn and the other who desperately needs a mentor to give credence to his skill and entity. Kanebaz offers a harsh glimpse of Karachi, where a queen in the pocket doesn’t always make one a king. The Express Tribune delves in a thorough conversation with the man behind this brilliant Lollywood drama film, Ali Sade.
Kanebaz is interesting on many levels; describe your state of mind when you decided to make such a film?
After directing my first British film, Somnolence, my attention turned to Pakistan. Having spent a considerable amount of time in Karachi, I was amazed by its charm and diversity. When the opportunity to make a Pakistani film came along, I made a conscious decision to ensure that I captured Karachi’s diversity. I observed the wealth of different cultures on the streets of Karachi — be that in dialect or architecture. Most of the local dramas and telefilms lack the true element of the streets of the metropolis. The local content is shot in Defence bungalows and the dialogue sound mostly upper class — the majority of people cannot relate to it. Therefore, I wanted to make a film that a common man can relate to. I wanted to make a film where you can feel Karachi — the heat, the intensity and the beauty. For example, in the beach scene, you can hear and feel the ambience of the seaside; the waves crashing, the sound of the camel chimes passing and the sunlight reflecting on water. This brings the viewer closer to the characters and also gives them a real feel of what it’s like on Clifton beach.
How did your interest in filmmaking develop?
I always knew I wanted to be a film-maker. Since the age of seven, I was passionate about films and since then, I had known that film-making is what I want to pursue as a career. When I think of my childhood, I remember that there were several instances in which I would find myself watching movie trailers and advertisements of certain films that I was not old enough to see. The fact that I wasn’t old enough to watch them used to make my imagination race wildly. I would use my own creativity; I’d deploy the possible stories being told in those films.
These early experiences laid down the foundations of my storytelling, which subsequently led me to study media, which eventually led me to making my own films.
Do you make an effort to not conform to traditional standards of formula filmmaking?
That’s very normal for me. If you watched Somnolence and then watch Kanebaaz, you will notice that the two films are structured very differently. In Kanebaaz, the narrative and shot construction is very linear whereas Somnolence is perhaps best described as French new-wave cinema. When approaching Kanebaaz, I made a conscious effort to make a film in a way that the Pakistani audience can best relate to.
The two things that stand out in your work are the comic elements and the slowed down action-sequences. Tell us about these?
When it comes to action sequences, my intention is to make them as real and exciting as possible. Imagine a batsman receiving a ball approaching him at a speed of 90kph. To the onlooker the event happens in a flash. However, if we look at it from the batsman’s perspective, he aims and hits the ball into a direction where he feels it will be safe to do so.
Within a split second, he slows the ball down in his mind and draws the moment out longer which mentally gives him more time to exploit it. I use that very same technique; we get to see that the character is slowing down in his mind and after the impact, we see a sudden increase in pace as it happens in real life.


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