Interview with Muzzamer Rahman: When a house becomes a commodity, it is the beginning for other cruel things.

Muzzamer Rahman is a Malayan filmmaker, author, editor and producer, identified in his house nation for the horror-comedy “Takut ke Tak” and “Pang Pokok Ketapang”, which was produced for tv. Nevertheless, Rahman acquired worldwide consideration with the drama “Hail, Driver!” (“Prebet Sapu”). The film was launched in his house nation on 16 December 2021 after earlier screenings at festivals equivalent to Udine Far East Movie Competition and Toronto Reel Asian Worldwide Movie Competition. It was additionally nominated for the White Mulberry Award at Udine.

Within the interview Muzzamer Rahman talks in regards to the themes of “Hail, Driver!”, the way it displays fashionable Malaysian society and using black-and-white cinematography within the function.

What units Kuala Lumpur aside from different capitals on the earth and what makes it engaging for you as a director?

I feel it is rather like different cities overseas, the place we are able to meet various kinds of folks from completely different backgrounds and international locations. For me, Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia is sort of a ‘melting-pot’. Right here, though like different cities with varied backgrounds, it has by no means requested them to develop into Malaysians. In the event you stroll and see, there are some locations that appear to be small states for Bangladeshis, Filipinos, Thais, Myanmaris, Arabs, Pakistanis and others. And on the subject of having a various neighborhood, then meals in Kuala Lumpur additionally has many selections. This is among the explanation why I discover town attention-grabbing.

In what manner is “Hail, Driver!” a portrayal of points like loneliness and companionship, particularly in a contemporary metropolis?

Aman and Bella are born and raised in Malaysia, however each really feel ‘left behind’. Aman feels economically marginalized, regardless that Kuala Lumpur is a wealthy metropolis. Bella, however, is socio-culturally marginalized as a result of she feels that Malaysia doesn’t settle for her as a result of she is Chinese language. These two characters are literally scuffling with their very own psychology and future. Then after they meet, they really feel there are similarities. These items are literally frequent issues within the fashionable world and develop into the theme for “Prebet Sapu”.

The film additionally offers with the difficulty of housing. Are you able to give us some extra particulars about it? 

I’ve at all times felt that house is a fundamental human want. When a home turns into a commodity of commerce and it’s virtually not possible for one to purchase a home due to the excessive worth, it’s the starting for different merciless issues. Malaysia’s minimal wage is RM1200, and the worth of a home that’s thought-about the most affordable begins at RM250,000. I really feel it is rather unaffordable. For me this is a crucial subject that must be addressed.

Generally, what was your start line/ inspiration for this movie?

I’ve been planning to make a function movie for a very long time. Since 2013 once more, however it was tough to get the funds. Then in 2017, I believed, I ought to produce a movie earlier than I used to be 30, with all the things I had. So whereas on the prepare heading to the East Coast, I considered a narrative about two people in Kuala Lumpur – the capital of Malaysia. The film “Taxi Driver” and the tales from my expertise and the experiences of these round me, together with Lim Mei Fen, impressed “Prebet Sapu”. After telling my ideas to my girlfriend- Bebbra Mailin, who’s now my spouse, and close-friends, all of them absolutely supported and provided to assist in producing this movie.

Why did you select to have the movie in black-and-white?

I’ve at all times been fascinated by the black-and-white images of Kuala Lumpur right now. There’s a sense of solitude, isolation and an aesthetic of its personal. So I attempted to borrow that concept for the “Prebet Sapu” visual- that’s when it comes to kind.

When it comes to content material, “Prebet Sapu” brings up the query of the place racial and pores and skin colour variations in Kuala Lumpur usually are not important as a result of all working class communities are struggling to outlive. As well as, I additionally need to carry the viewers to see the world from Aman’s perspective. 

You as soon as stated opening photographs are probably the most vital parts in a movie. With that in thoughts, are you able to give us some particulars in regards to the one in “Hail, Driver!”?

When my father handed away greater than 10 years in the past, I used to be within the Philippines, and once I arrived in Malaysia, the funeral was over. In Islam, the earlier the funeral ceremony is carried out, the higher. Since then, I’ve imagined the way it felt to place my father’s physique within the grave. So this opening shot was designed as a reminder to me of how the expertise was and the way I imagined it.

As well as, this dying scene is vital, as a result of with the dying of a cherished one, we are going to suppose extra about our lives in a while. This scene can be a press release that I need to ‘bury’ outdated issues and need to consider new issues.

How was your cooperation with Amerul Affendi and Mei Fen Lim? Generally, how was the casting course of for the movie like? 

The casting course of was really easy. For Amerul, regardless that I didn’t know him personally on the time, I used to be already following his profession. I watched his performing on the theater stage in addition to on display. So once I wrote “Prebet Sapu”, I already considered Amerul as principal character. As for Bella, since there’s a story of Lim Mei Fen in Bella’s character, I felt she was the right alternative.

In the event you needed to identify 5 films that influenced you and your directing type, which of them would you choose and why?

The reply to this query will fluctuate, relying on the time you requested. (laughs) But when requested, what movies influenced me when making “Prebet Sapu”, the movies are “Taxi Driver” by Martin Scorsese, “Completely happy Collectively” by Wong Kar-Wai, “Copy of My Thoughts” by Joko Anwar, “Chassis” by Alix Adolfo Borinaga and in addition “Bintang Malam” by Adman Salleh. All of those movies have one thing in frequent, which is about loneliness and life in an enormous metropolis.

What’s your opinion of the Malaysian movie business on the second?

It’s getting attention-grabbing. We’ve got profitable blockbuster filmmakers and we have now filmmakers with very private themes and concepts. This sounds good to me. And with the existence of latest platforms equivalent to streaming providers, many daring concepts start to be produced. Filmmakers have extra alternatives. And the viewers additionally turns into extra mature.

Which genres, characters or tales would you wish to deal with in your upcoming initiatives?

Presumably a detective film as a result of I actually like mysteries. Or a movie with a ‘coming of age’ theme.



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