Akhtar, the joker. Maybe its become the norm now, for me to sketch out something from different events. My first attempt to respond to a seminal black and white film. A thought provoking experience to see a single moment drawn from an entire movie where i decide to capture this scene only. The protagonist is whipped like a butter knife slashing into melting butter. The Afghani guard beats Akhtar the Joker tied to a tree and his shirt ripped apart. He is being punished for love.
Sharing notes on drawing:
Many scenes of him being whipped flashed before me as i drew. All those angle shots of the face and the body enhancing the power of this scene. It’s as if i can see his face yet he faces the tree. I can not animate him on a single paper yet the film plays in my head through a static moment sketched on a flat surface.
Drawing is also dealing with incompleteness. Something which seems incomplete or yet to come into form. Simple mark making allows it to remain as a work but as an idea also. So nothing is constructed, only an idea to build. So holding a brick as the building itself is not there or is to be constructed.
I know what it was like for the Afghan guard who was so quick in beating up Akhtar. He got his whip entangled in the branches of the tree in one shot of the movie. It seemed the editior did not edit it out. The Master whose sister Akhtar liked shouted to thrash him like toilet paper being torn. Finally the whip gave way and he was thrown out of the bunglow like trash. Akhtar had his first taste of love. Sweet and spicy.
Akhtar was shown from all angles. The tree was a fork shaped. So we could view a 360 degree view of the assault.
Thurrrr… a vibration of the back. Akhtar was dancing whilst tied to the tree. Eventually he gave in towards the end as started to lose consciousness. He was then falling on the tree.
Drawing this today lets you re visit an imaginary moment of the film being shot, rehearsed. The imitation by an actor of feeling pain, pretending to go through physical pain. It lets you view the director who is programming a scene to give a certain output. You can now alter it. Because you can re write it, extend it, manipulate it or give it your reality. Akhtar was not being beaten but dancing tied to the tree. It was a pool party followed by stabbing and blood. The rope used to tie was not a rope for tying but a way to wrap something around the wrists. And what better way to spend time with a tree. The whip was a back massage. Akhtar was in heavens or Akhtar was feeling relaxed. It was whip therapy. Akhtar loved it so much that he came back many days later to teach this to others.
It was all a Joke at the end of the day. Akhtar Maskara.