‘Bollywood just laughed and said, “Go off and make your self-indulgent art film”
The terror, the terror
John Malkovich is championing her film, The Terrorist. George Lucas cast her in the next instalment of Star Wars. Make no mistake, you’re going to be hearing a lot about AYESHA DHARKER.
Words: Tom Dawson
laying a suicide bomber in a low-budget
Indian film may not be the most obvious
way of boosting an international acting career. but this unorthodox choice of roles has already paid dividends for 24-year-old Ayesha l)harker. ‘We were very surprised by its success.‘ she says of the international acclaim The 'I'r'rmrist has won. So much so that John Malkovich is helping to distribute the film. ‘All of Hollywood just laughed at us when we told them about it. They said. "Go off and make
Lights, camera, action . . .
[ATE N/GH T SHOPPING. director Saul Metzstein and writer Jack Lothian's upbeat- offbeat film shot in Glasgow (see forthcoming feature in issue 416). is being previewed at the Cameo Wednesday 6 June. It kicks oft a season of montth screenings spons0red by those boozehounds of cinema Stella Anois. For a ‘tree tickets with every pint' offer
Schnabel‘s portrait of Cuban writer Renaldo Arenas.
FIND OF THE FORTNIGHT, if not the year, has to be Scottish Screen Archive’s unearthing of Italian- Scottish filmmaker Enrico Cocozza. The GFT are screening a selection of the man’s long lost films plus a fascinating documentary, Sureally Scozzese, which is also airing on television later in the month (see
your self-indulgent art film". We went off for twenty days. I broke my leg towards the end. and whether it did well or not seemed irrelevant.‘
It was precisely because The 'I’r'rrriri'st offered an alternative to routine Bollywood fare that l)harker agreed to the project. without either having met the director. Santoin Sivan. or seen a script. ‘l'm not really into Bollywood or glamorous films: I find them rather silly.‘ she says. "This was a chance to tell a real story. and to get my teeth into a difficult part. I was struck by how different my character. Malli. was to me. People in those sort of terrorist camps don’t lead a normal life. They are separated from their families. People die around them every day and they have to deal with it. I couldn‘t find any personal details about the everyday situation of these guerrilla lighters. about how they actually live.‘
Throughout The 'Ii’rmri'si the camera lingers in close-up on l)harker's expressive features. and her performance is all the more impressive in that it relies so little on dialogue. ‘I like not having a lot of lines to deliver.‘ she confesses. ‘I find it liberating. Santoin said that sometimes he didn‘t want to know exactly what
Bannantyne have been awarded 95.000 to make a video for Soma Records release Surgeon. They've got four weeks to complete the promo. which Will be shown on Channel 4. E4 and in UK Cinemas.
THE EDINBURGH International Film Festival is hosting two weekends (26 & 27 May and 2 & 3 June) of family film screenings to coincide with the Scottish International Children’s
The Terrorist made a big impression on Samuel L. Jackson, who lent his copy to the Star Wars casting director
Malli is thinking. I found it much with the economical.‘ l)harker grew tip in Bombay after her Indian father and Pakistani mother mo\cd there from (ilasgow. She has been acting in films since the age of nine. making her debut in .lirllllfxtl
'l'lir' (ii'i'l ll’liii Iim/ 'l‘ir'i'r‘r'. ‘I got invited to Paris to watch the film] she recalls. 'll excruciating. because I wasn‘t at all beautiful. just a funny—looking nine-year-old. But I think it set the tone for the sort of parts I was interested in. she was actually a disturbed cltild.‘
She continued to appear in lllllts its Lt teenager (Roland .lol‘l‘e‘s ('i‘rv (HQ/(iv). btit regarded acting as 'something very disreputable and very dumb. I never thought of it as a job.‘ (ilobal recognition. however. may he imminent with her forthcoming appearance in the ne\t instalment of Slur ll'urs: her scenes as a 'regal leader" were shot in Italy. l)harker's not allowed to talk about this project. but says that a video cassette of The 'Ii'rrrii'i'si made a big impression on Samuel l.. .lackson. who in turn lent his copy to the Slur ll'rirs casting director.
l)harker has spent the last two years living out of a suitcase. having most recently completed shooting Ismail Merchant’s .ll_\‘.\'lfi‘ Mussr'rir in 'l'rinidad. She claims that she has no ‘career graph. I just try and do something different from the last thing I did in order to keep learning'.’ Indeed she seems to be the epitome of a modern cosmopolitan actress. whose work isn‘t confined to one country. nor the screen (she's been appearing on stage at the Royal National Theatre. London in lr’rriiiuvunu).
‘l have no rush to settle anywhere or sit down in one place.‘ she maintains. ‘In Bollywood you‘re only allowed one persona and I‘m too greedy an actress to be restricted to that..
Selected release from Fri 1 Jun. See review, page 29.
see stellascreen.co.uk. The night betOre. the Cameo also begins a monthly season of lesbian and gay film screenings. the first of which is Before Night Fal/s. Julian
26 THE LIST 2.1 May~7 Jun 2001
Goods for review). WINNERS OF THE 4 MINUTE Wonders pep promo making initiative have been announced. Edinburgh's Plan 8 Productions partners Alastair Graham and Raeph
Festival. New films Anne Frank’s Diary and Katja’s Adventure plus favourites from last year’s Film Festival will be screened alongside animation, drama
and movie make-up workshops at the Filmhouse and Lumiere cinemas.
FINALLY. APOLOGIES TO
The real Sightseer Emma Davie and Tracey Fearnehough for running the incorrect photo from their film Sightseer in the recent Scottish Film Special.