There is no taking away from Ho Mann Jahaan’s fresh and youthful appeal; if only there was more meat to its plot… Read More A hit that’s somewhat amiss
Naseeruddin Shah’s play gives an insight into Albert Einstein’s compassionate side… Read More Einstein comes to life
Those who shunned Lollywood like plague are flocking to theatres and keeping tabs on the latest Pakistani releases… Read More Our films are back in vogue!
An exclusive interview with Mumbai-based Shailja Kejriwal, the creator of Zindagi TV… Read More “We are the only Indian channel to be airing Pakistani drama” — Shailja Kejriwal
With ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ in theatres, a small Pakistani film titled ‘Bin Roye’ is vying for attention in a first simultaneous world release… Read More Border Blockbuster
Oscar-winner Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy talks about switching gears, from documentary films to 3D animation for cinema… Read More “I took the first step, I jumped over the fire” — Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
First-time film director Nabeel Qureshi talks about ‘Na Maloom Afraad’ and Pakistan’s new, emerging cinema… Read More “Film is about story-telling” — Nabeel Qureshi
A breed of new, independent film makers is successfully filling the void left by an obsolete industry known as ‘Lollywood’… Read More Pakistan’s ‘new age’ cinema
An exclusive chat with Rachel Dwyer, Professor of Indian Cultures and Cinema at SOAS, and author of a number of books… Read More “If it wasn’t for Lahore, Bollywood wouldn’t be Bollywood” — Rachel Dwyer
An interview with Mumbai-based film critic and screenwriter Raja Sen who sheds light on some of the most interesting trends in Indian cinema, chiefly in regards to language, as it is used in dialogue form… Read More “You can’t label it as a ‘bad’ trend” — Raja Sen
The Pakistan government eased up on the import of feature films from India in Musharraf’s time, circa 2006. But the ‘issue’ has kept coming back, only to reinforce the ambiguity around it… Read More Just how real is the ‘ban’?
An interview with Nandita Das — a rights activist turned Bollywood actor who has a penchant for serious, issue-based cinema… Read More “Making a film is like giving birth” — Nandita Das
An “adjustable withholding tax,” proposed in the recently announced federal budget for the fiscal year 2013-14, is threatening to push the cinema industry back into a period of no business activity… Read More The show must go on, but how?
Yash Chopra’s last film features his signature style and for the first time super stars Shahrukh Khan and Katrina Kaif are paired on-screen. But it lacks everything that made the late film maker’s earlier works unforgettable… Read More Yash Chopra’s last film, but nothing more
Glimpses of America – beyond ‘90210’ and ‘Baywatch’… Read More A Lahori in LA
These are emergency times for Pakistan. Wistfully, my mind drifts back to my visit to the ADAMS Center in Virginia that receives faithfuls from practically all sects of Islam — a fact that’s too good to be true… Read More Reverse culture shock?
A Q&A with renowned academic and educationist Dr Arfa Sayeda Zehra… Read More “We started to sell…education, in the name of progress” — Dr Arfa Sayeda Zehra
Amateur production group, bizarrely named Naked Tyrant, showcase their first set of funny videos, leaving the Lahorites in stitches … Read More …what they did last summer!
By Usman Ghafoor He’s an academic, so it’s no surprise that any conversation with Steve Moore will easily turn into a long-winded, albeit well-argued, spiel — in this case, on Film, his graduation subject at Bournemouth (in 2005) before he came to Pakistan and started teaching at BNU and, more recently, at SAFMA. In between,… Read More Less is MOORE
By Usman Ghafoor Ever thought what you would do if you were “bored with comedy”? Saad Haroon sure did and his plan is to switch over to Film — a ‘lesser’ discussed passion of his that also recently led him to take part in the World Wide Jam, a BBC film project. Besides, he took… Read More He is ‘Very Live’ and ‘Real’
With 65 percent entertainment tax back in effect in Punjab, the already frail cinema industry finds itself going to the dogs By Usman Ghafoor April this year saw the much-dreaded 65 percent entertainment duty, levied by the Punjab government, come back in effect (it was an olden tax but the government had regularly been offering… Read More Is it curtains for cinema?
The next generation of most big film houses in Pakistan is loath to get into the business of cinema. And, they have their reasons… Read More Sons not lovers
No serious theatre, it may just be feel-good musical extravaganza. But that’s what Nida Butt’s Mamma Mia! means to be By Usman Ghafoor It’s about the pre-DNA-test times., clearly. Twenty-year-old Sophie is not sure who — of the “100” former lovers of her mom Donna — is her (biological) father. Neither can Donna know. But… Read More Mamma… don’t preach
By Usman Ghafoor Shoaib Mansoor thinks no one cries as convincingly onscreen as Zaib Rehman does. A lot of her costars in Shoaib’s underproduction Bol regard her as a ‘thinking’ actress. The sequence in the film where she breaks down because her daughter has been given the death sentence is said to be scene stealing.… Read More “I am like putty in the director’s hands” — Zaib Rehman
Hanif Tayyab’s The Music Gallery has some rare features By Usman Ghafoor TMG, short for The Music Gallery, a classically done three-roomer, housed in Lahore’s modest Muslim Town, is already a place with a ‘mixed’ identity. It’s a gallery cum music shop cum event & celebrity management company. What’s more, it is a place where… Read More House of music
By Usman Ghafoor It wasn’t John Abraham of Bollywood. Quite interestingly, Shaan became the first mainstream film actor in the subcontinent to strip before the camera — remember the detention sequences in Khuda Kay Liye? New York’s John and the upcoming Jail’s Neil Nitin Mukesh in nude shots have all followed much later. Bait him… Read More “I have a vision for our film industry, which is that it should break free of its shackles” — Shaan
A showbiz journalist’s life is no less ordinary By Usman Ghafoor Showbiz journalism is strange business. Being a part of it means you are vulnerable to all sorts of situations as well as criticisms – from all kinds of people in the creation. Don’t buy this? Picture this: Your colleagues think you aren’t doing ‘real… Read More Can you ‘beat’ that?
The queen of standup comedy from UK versus the bearded young man from Chicago who made everyone sit up and notice By Usman Ghafoor Both of them are extremely funny. British-born-and-bred Shazia Mirza tells of her mother having a “moustache” and walking “five steps behind my father because he looks better from behind”, while Chicago-based… Read More She’s crude and he doesn’t do dirty!
Depression is more than just an individual’s personal suffering; it affects his family, his home and his work. That makes going to an expert — in this case, a psychiatrist — all the more important. Sadly, the attitude of an average Pakistani society towards any psychological condition is not helpful at all… Read More The Prozac realities
A dialogue with Prof. Javed Ahmed Ghamidi, religious scholar and President, Al-Mawrid… Read More “Capital punishment is mandatory in two situations…” — Prof Javed Ahmed Ghamidi
An interview with multiple award-winning film maker of ‘Khamosh Pani,’ Sabiha Sumar… Read More “What’s wrong with this contradiction?” — Sabiha Sumar
An exclusive interview with Shoaib Mansoor who is ready to put the success of Khuda Key Liye behind him and move on to his next celluloid outing – a multi-crore project for Bollywood… Read More The Shoman must go on!
Mehreen Jabbar talks about Ramchand Pakistani and more… Read More “A good film is a story well told” — Mehreen Jabbar
By Usman Ghafoor Those who have seen Khuda Key Liye think of Fawad Khan as the suave but strong-headed, no-nonsense kind of a person. This image took effect from his convincing portrayal of the budding musician Sarmad who is pulled into the dangerous world of religious extremism. A lot of his fans started associating him… Read More Who’s that guy?
First-time film makers in Pakistan complain about facing a horde of issues — from lack of funds and technical infrastructure to red-tape. But their real test begins at the ticket window of the merciless box office By Usman Ghafoor Picture this: Moammar Rana shelves his much-tomtommed celluloid debut as director, after a grand opening and… Read More Only if you can set the cash registers ringing!
When the characters of his stories become putty in his hands, Syed Mohammad Ahmad says a writer achieves his catharsis… Read More “I know why most writers lose their sanity” — Syed Mohammad Ahmad
Although the customary ‘election fever’ or ‘hysteria’ is still missing, the campaigning is expected to get a shot in the arm with some innovation in style and design… Read More Married to the mob
By Usman Ghafoor The past 11 years, Imran Khan admits, have taught him ‘the hardest way’ that politics is ‘no cricket’. When he formed his political party, back in 1996, the sporting legend of the country and also the celebrated philanthropist suddenly found himself in the midst of a crowd of detractors who were ready… Read More “The real divide in Pakistan is that of status quo and anti-status quo” — Imran Khan
For an industry that thrives on commerce, to remain ignorant to the fruits of web is no bliss… Read More The page cannot be displayed because…
By Usman Ghafoor Govind Nihalani has a way with dark themes. Whether it’s Aakrosh (1980), his debut feature that strikes you for its frighteningly realistic depiction of a victim of the faulty judicial system, Ardh Satya (’83) that exteriorises the moral dilemma of an honest police officer in a corrupt system; Tamas (’88), a hard-hitting… Read More “Cinema for me is a very sensuous experience” — Govind Nihalani
Proud scion of one of the subcontinent’s famous dance gharanas, Pappu Samrat is loath to peg his better known Indian counterparts above himself By Usman Ghafoor For 37 years old Shaukat Husain Samrat, life is about living — or, perhaps, dancing — for the moment. There is no room for regrets, and certainly no time… Read More “It is a satisfying experience” — Pappu Samrat
By Usman Ghafoor Not many people who know Uttam Singh from his very popular Dil Toh Pagal Hai and Gaddar ditties are aware of the fact that this award-winning Bollywood composer started in music as an arranger, with much-revered qawwal Shankar Shambhu, back in 1965. Together this mentor-protégé duo would famously open the Ajmer Shareef… Read More “If you can make people dance, you’re a hit” — Uttam Singh
An interview with Dr Mubashir Hasan, the founding member of Pakistan People’s Party and, currently, President Punjab Chapter, Pakistan People’s Party-Shaheed Bhutto Group… Read More “No political party can revamp itself” — Dr Mubashir Hasan
Her movies may be a thing of the past, her magic isn’t. On the wrong side of 40, legendary Lollywood actress Babra Sharif continues to dazzle her fans and also flirt with camera, albeit when she pleases… Read More Babracadabra!
(Originally published in The Nation – Dec 8, 2002)
The impish, bubbly Saniya of mid-1980s’ phenomenally successful TV serial Tanhaiyan had such a big shadow, it seemed to linger over nearly all of Marina Khan’s later performances. So much so that people started to identify Marina with Saniya and vice versa. But Marina was not Saniya alone. She was a lot more. She was,… Read More “I’ve found my direction” — Marina Khan