Noman Ansari

Noman Ansari

The author is the editor-in-chief of IGN Pakistan, and has been reviewing films and writing opinion pieces for The Express Tribune as well as Dawn for five years. He tweets as @Pugnate (twitter.com/Pugnate)

The man on a black horse: Supporting theatre in Pakistan

To the neighsayers (warning: some awful horse puns) who claim that Pakistani plays can’t stay the course, I give you The Man on a Black Horse.  Running at T2F, formerly known as The Second Floor, in Karachi, Pakistan, The Man on a Black Horse is a highly energetic piece of theatre which accomplishes what few other live performances in Pakistan have: it doesn’t suck. Written and directed by Rouvan Mahmud and Ali Junejo (the duo are also two of the three performers in the play), the performance tells the tale of two soldiers, Sal (Rouvan) and Rumi (Ali). These characters, through the memories of an enigmatic woman they ...

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Zero dark thirty: Entertainment, not a documentary

If ever there was an appropriate name for a film, Zero Dark Thirty is it. The title here, which is military speak for the ‘middle of the night’, not only stands for the pitch black hour at which Osama bin Laden was apparently killed by the US Navy SEALs in Abbottabad, Pakistan, but represents the murky nature of the decade long clandestine hunt for the notorious al Qaeda leader.  Zero Dark Thirty highly dramatises these events to create a supremely gripping intelligence film which clicks on multiple levels due to the cold gun-steel style of its director, Kathryn Bigelow (Hurt Locker.)    Yes, it is ...

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In Pakistan, you must be Muslim to have a monument named after you

How far does religious background, rather than actual character, go towards establishing respect in this country? The news that the plans to rename the Shadman Chowk roundabout in Lahore after historically instrumental freedom fighter Bhagat Singh have been scrapped isn’t surprising, considering the rising level of intolerance in our nation. Reports state that after pressure from right-wing religious organisations, the ‘Dilkash Lahore Committee’ opted for poet Habib Jalib’s name instead. I have nothing against the Pakistani poet, who by all accounts was as impressive at his prose- as he was in his stance against oppression. What is actually regrettable here is ...

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Skyfall: Easily the best Bond film ever made!

Daniel Craig earned his license to play James Bond with engaging performances in his two previous outings as the iconic British intelligence agent. Here in the dark and intelligent Skyfall, his performance is killer and he owns the role, clearly establishing himself as the best James Bond since Sean Connery. This is all the more fitting as Skyfall is easily one of the best Bond films ever made. The secret to the spy film’s quality lies in the talent of its director Sam Mendis, who has made a compelling espionage film on its own merit and not just as a worthy instalment to the ...

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Windows 8 is great!

I didn’t expect Windows 8 to be very good. Why? Because Windows 7 was excellent, and as longtime Microsoft consumers understand, the Redmond based software giant hasn’t released two quality iterations of Windows in a row. Not until now, that is. Windows 8 has been a pleasant surprise. It looks quite gorgeous, runs lightning fast, and best of all, is rock solid. For the $15 upgrade price I purchased it for here in Pakistan, it is an absolute steal for an officially licensed operating system. Over the years, whenever Microsoft has tried to take revolutionary steps with Windows, the initial results have ...

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Will Disney do justice to Star Wars?

When people today talk about popular culture icons whose creativity has affected them personally, they speak of stars like Steve Jobs (Apple Inc.), J K Rowling (Harry Potter), Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight series), George R R Martin (A Song of Ice & Fire). But it seems that for many, George Lucas, the man behind Lucasfilm Ltd., isn’t the force he once was. Some of this is understandable, considering that the last film in the Star Wars franchise was released in 2005, Revenge of the Sith, and it capped a prequel trilogy, which while entertaining overall, lacked the heart and soul ...

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Do not be merciless this Eid, please!

Have Pakistanis forgotten the principle behind Eidul Azha? This supposed feast of sacrifice, popularly known as Bakra Eid in our nation, is where Muslims are meant to pay symbolic tribute to Prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son on the command of Allah (SWT). During this annual three-day Islamic holiday, Muslims who earn a good enough living, follow Prophet Abraham’s example by committing a fraction of their wealth to the sacrifice of livestock. The meat gained, of course, is divided into three portions, one of which is supposed to go to the poor and needy. This holiday is meant to impart the practitioners of ...

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Azhar Ahmed: Punished for irresponsible freedom of speech?

His crime was posting comments that were tasteless, rude, offensive, and highly insensitive to those who had lost their loved ones, but were they worthy of a criminal trial? According to various prominent UK news organisations, including The Independent, the following comments posted by a 20-year-old British man, Azhar Ahmed, on the social networking website Facebook, landed him in hot water: “People gassin [venting off] about the deaths of soldiers! What about the innocent familys who have been brutally killed.. The women who have been raped.. The children who have been sliced up..! Your enemy’s were the Taliban not innocent harmless ...

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Pakistani cricket fans: Must our sentiments for our team always be extreme?

It has been interesting following the sentiments of Pakistanis on social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter through this current World T20 tournament being held in Sri Lanka. The emotions expressed towards the national side ─ depending on the match results ─ have either bordered on hero worship, or have been overly harsh admonishments. Even outside of social media, reactions on the streets have been fairly extreme: after Pakistan’s unlikely victory against South Africa, celebratory gunfire could be heard across the night sky all over Karachi. However, in the next match, where Pakistan was thoroughly outplayed by India, conversation in ...

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September 24, 2012
TOPICS

9 reasons why I hate being a motorist in Pakistan

Here’s a hate-list I was compelled to make as a motorist in Pakistan: 1. Driving in the rain: In some nations, driving in the rain is a serene and beautiful experience, which is likely to fill you with relaxation as you appreciate your surroundings, and take in the earthy scent of rainfall. In Pakistan, if it rains for more than fifteen minutes, everyone and their mothers scramble for home in a mad rush, as they try to escape the lakes that begin to form over their streets. To make matters worse, since the down-sloping side of any road in Pakistan gathers ...

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