By Sugandha Rawal
New Delhi, Feb 19 (IANS) His films don’t release in a theatre near you, and neither does he think they’re meant to be enjoyed with cola and popcorn.
Director Qaushiq Mukherjee, aka Q, dubbed as India’s most dangerous filmmaker by CNN, says he looks at cinema as an information device, and wants to “create some sort of physical disturbance” in the conscience of his audience.
Known for films like “Gandu” and “Tasher Desh”, Q — who is excited about his film “Garbage” becoming the only Indian movie at the Panorama section of the 68th Berlin International Film Festival this year — says he is not in the industry for entertainment.
“Garbage” will have the world premiere on February 21 at the ongoing Berlin International Film Festival.
“My whole idea is to shock people, to stun you or create some sort of physical disturbance in your conscience while you encounter my work. Cinema in India is looked as an entertainment device. I don’t look at it like that,” Q told IANS over the phone from Mumbai, before leaving for Berlin.
“Cinema is an information device for me, a communication device. And I have to not only counter people’s ideas of cinema but also counter the crores and crores of marketing money that goes into proliferating bullshit and filling the mind of people and sort of crowding their mind with bullshit data,” he said.
Q said that “in order to clear through that and have any kind of impact, I would have to do something really outrageous and I would do that. That is just a communication strategy and nothing else and the form that I practice is shock cinema.”
Is having the title of being India’s most dangerous filmmaker a challenge?
“I don’t really look at it that way. Like even the danger factor, the dangerousness is in the eyes of a certain set of people who are not privy to the kind of image or this kind of positioning,” he added.
Q picks hard-hitting and off-beat subjects and doesn’t shy away from breathing life to his stories by delving into the world of sex and abuses. Bengali-language films “Gandu”, “Tasher Desh” and “Ludo” being cases in point. He has also made sex comedy “Brahman Naman” for Netflix.
“I am not a traditional filmmaker and my films are not going to play in a theatre near you, because that is not my deal and not my world. I don’t want people to have a Coke or Pepsi while watching my film,” the director said.
Delving more on his idea of cinema, he said: “Traditionally, people look at cinema as a community entertainment thing. Many people sitting together and sharing a sort of a fantastic ride… That was cinema blockbuster idea. I have never watched that kind cinema and I am not aiming for that.”
Q said he got interested in the film world because of a certain kind of cinema which was “very personal”.
“I watched it alone because normally you wouldn’t get that kind of films over here (in India) because nobody distributes them,” he said.
“Gandu” was not released in India, and Q is not hesitant to admit that his film “Garbage” — a story about Phanishwar, a taxi driver in Goa, who lives with a mysterious girl whom he keeps in chains — will also face trouble in getting a clearance from the Central Board of Film Certification in India.
“Garbage” is produced by Shaailesh R Singh and Hansal Mehta of Karma Entertainment and Media LLP, and co-produced by Q.
Asked if he feels his talent is not as appreciated in India as in foreign shores, Q said: “A Turkish writer might be a legend, but you would not know as you don’t know Turkish. But that doesn’t take anything away from the person and the idea. I am always interested in artists that you didn’t know about.”
Q says “I will always drop things you don’t know about or have heard about. In my world, that is cool. I love that and I feel lucky to be able to find that.”
(Sugandha Rawal can be contacted at email@example.com)