Al Jafree Md Yusop
Malaysian writer and director
Al Jafree Md Yusop (born 1966) is a Malaysian writer and director of TV and feature films.
"Mencari Rahmat – The Importance of Adaptation: Al Jafree Md Yusop in conversation with Eddin Khoo" (2020)Edit
- My late grandmother used to say that the most damning thing is when good people remain unaware of the bad they have done. That, to me, is the theme of 'Mencari Rahmat'. Society often acts cruelly without realising it. It expounds further the notion that humanity’s worst enemy is itself. In 'Mencari Rahmat' I add that humanity’s worst enemy is society itself.
- Many have reminded me that directors like Wong Kar Wai have directed their films without a screenplay. But it must be remembered that Wong Kar Wai emerged as a filmmaker following a period as a scriptwriter who had written hundreds of scripts for television. He has understood and become synergised with the process of shaping a screenplay. The art of the screenplay is very important, and the neglect of it is one of the principal problems with filmmaking in Malaysia.
- There are two adaptations of play scripts for films that I love – 'Long Day’s Journey Into the Night', directed by Sidney Lumet from the play script of Eugene O’Neill and 'Throne of Blood', directed by Akira Kurosawa from Shakespeare’s 'Macbeth'. Sidney Lumet was incredibly brave in representing O’ Neill’s play without any changes. This was my inspiration when producing the film 'Mencari Rahmat'. I used the original script of the stage production without any changes. Lumet proved this could be done successfully. 'Throne of Blood', meanwhile, is an example of how a work from the West can be adapted for the cultures of the East. Most important was its subject, which remained relevant even as the cultures were very different. Kurosawa gave me the confidence that this could be done.
- I once watched a production of Arthur Miller’s 'Death of a Salesman', done in translation. I had a problem relating with what I was watching when the character Willy Loman spoke in Malay but referred to places like Brooklyn and New York. I felt detached while watching it. It was here that the importance of adaptation was affirmed for me.