Hanif Kureishi is a 29-year old British playwright and author. He was brought up in South London by his Pakistani father and Caucasian English mother. The duality of his own background has become the focus of most of Kureishi's writing, culminating in the partly autobiographical script for "My Beautiful Laundrette" (1985) - a Channel 4 film directed by Stephen Frears, with Kureishi as assistant director.
Kureishi's early influences included his father, who worked at the Pakistan Embassy in London and also freelanced as a writer, and later Stephen Berkoff, with whom Kureishi worked briefly before embarking on his own as a playwright.
The strong impression made by seeing Berkoff's adaptation of Franz Kafka's "Metamorphosis" (1977) later resulted in Kureishi's own adaptation of Kafka's "The Trial" (1981) at the Riverside Studios, London.
One of Kureishi's first plays, "Mother Country" (1980 - Riverside Studios), won him critical acclaim and brought him to the attention of a national audience. It was soon followed by "Borderline" (1982), which was even more successful and translated into German, French and Italian. A common theme in both these plays was about being young, Asian, British, unemployed and culturally displaced from one's parents.
The script for "My Beautiful Laundrette" introduced Kureishi to a North American audience. Originally commissioned by Britain's Channel 4 in the Fall of 1983 and completed in Spring, 1985, the film was shown at the Edinburgh Festival in the Summer of 1985 where it became a runaway hit. It was released in the cinemas in September, 1985, where it continues to play, and to date has not been aired on British television.
The success of the film is due in part to its challenging script, in that Kureishi was one of the first British Asian writers to erase the racial barriers and portray Asians, not as victims, but as individuals with faults/strengths just like any other Briton. As stated by one of the film's main characters, "I'm a professional businessman, not a professional Pakistani".
Kureishi is currently writer in residence at the Royal Court Theatre, London. He has just published a novel about living in Thatcher's Britain called "The Rainbow Sign" (including the script for "My Beautiful Laundrette"), and is working on new play.
Info: On Edge
Cineworks, Graffiti Books, On Edge, Pacific Cinematheque, Praxis and Videomatica announce the Vancouver visit of HANIF KUREISHI Dec. 1 - 10, 1986
Graffiti Books, On Edge, & Videomatica invite the public to a Book Signing, Video Release Party and Reception for HANIF KUREISHI - THE RAINBOW SIGN and MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDRETTE
Tuesday, Dec. 2, 1986 8 - 10pm
Graceland, 1250 Richards Street - Rear
Friday, Dec. 5, 1986 $5 7:30 pm
1131 Howe Street
HANIF KUREISHI at 30 is one or Britain's most brilliant, exciting and talked about ‘new generation’ of authors and playwrights. Brought up In South London by his Pakistani father and Caucasian english mother - the duality of his background has become the brunt and focus of his writing. His early play MOTHER COUNTRY (Riverside Studios. 1980) won him critical acclaim and national attention. This was quickly followed by BORDERLINE (1982) which was even more successful and translated into German, French and Italian. A common theme in both plays was about being young, Asian, British, unemployed and culturally displaced.
HANIF KUREISHI gained exposure in both sides of the Atlantic as the screenwriter for the runaway hit MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDRETTE directed by STEPHEN FREARS. The low budget 16mm production for Channel 4 is a loaded script that bites and kicks, “veering - like a local and more genial CLOCKWORK ORANGE - between realism and lurid unreality, it is a morality tale for the times, dense in its multiple layers”. LAUNDRETTE is witty and controversial, jabbing at intolerance, racism, gay love, class systems and capitalism.
Mr. Kureishi is currently writer in residence at the Royal Court Theatre in London and has just completed his second film script SAMMY AND ROSIE GET LAID, scheduled to begin production in January 1987. The film will be co-produced by Kureishi and TIM BEVAN who also co-produced LAUNDRETTE.
The Vancouver visit of HANIF KUREISHI is a busy itinerary of workshops, screenings, discussions, a book signing and video release party. The book consisting of THE RAINBOW SIGN and the script for MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDRETTE is available for $9.95 at Graffiti Books and/or at the book signing. The visit of Mr. Kureishi is well timed to the North American MCA release of MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDRETTE on video cassette available from Videomatica.
In addition, his visit is sandwiched between showings of the film at the Ridge and Vancouver East Cinema.