Stories about cinema

Tech for thought: The geeks have overcome

My phone today is exactly as powerful as the brand new computer I bought 12 years ago. It is not just processor power; we have come a long way with Internet connectivity as well. The Internet speed I get on my mobile phone today is faster than my dial-up internet speed ten years ago. Terrorists, militants and fundamentalists have obviously not slowed down the advent of technology in Pakistan. I can order books online from Kitabain.com and pay on delivery. I can buy anything else on homeshopping.pk and beliscity.com and do the same with nearly anything except groceries. It may not matter ...

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Long live Lollywood!

Lollywood originates from my hometown of Lahore. My childhood consists of vivid memories of Royal Park – unique as a glittering place – mesmerising me each time and offering escape from reality. However, the place has changed over the years and so has Lollywood. Who is to blame for the decay of Lollywood? The answer, simply, is filmmakers. Many have said that Lollywood needs a lethal injection to die once and for all as it couldn’t revive despite bans on foreign films, tax waivers, special grants and receiving the status of an industry. However, there’s always a flip side to the story. ...

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Pakistan army and the latent power of cinema

It’s safe to say that as a nation we don’t believe in the power of cinema. While it’s true that currently Lollywood doesn’t offer us much in terms of cinematic thrills, it doesn’t mean it has lost the power to deliver. Recently, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) in collaboration with a private production company launched Faseel-e-Jaan Se Aagay, a drama series based on the true stories of the brave Pakistanis who stood firm in their fight against terrorism. The principal objective of this drama series is to pay homage to those who sacrificed their lives in the name of their ...

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Slackistan: Not coming to a cinema near you

The Pakistani creative and entertainment industry is in the line of fire yet again. Last week’s cause célèbre is incidental heroine Veena Malik, the Lollywood actress whose participation in the Indian reality television show Bigg Boss, has touched a raw nerve with Pakistan’s self-appointed morality brigade (media and mullah alike). She emerged from Kamran Shahid’s show Frontline as an ambassador for showbiz and entertainment. This week, we have been greeted with the news that Hammad Khan’s feature film Slackistan with an all-Pakistani cast will not be released in Pakistan because of the raft of objections and censorship demands from the Pakistani Central ...

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The downfall of Pakistani cinema

Quite often I have noticed veteran directors, producers and actors from our local film industry on television screens complaining that Pakistani cinemas are greatly occupied with foreign films, further alleging that this has denied their own films’ access to local audiences. I personally feel that their attitude does not reflect a positive approach towards the issue of our diminishing film industry. By vehemently pressing for a ban on the screening of foreign films in Pakistani cinemas, they, rather than trying to raise their bars in terms of quality, are actually conceding to the fact that their films cannot compete on an ...

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Why Slackistan and Harry Potter are not in the cinemas

I remember watching Dostana in the DHA cinema. I was probably the only person in the audience  grimacing more often than laughing. There were couples, groups of friends, entire families and aunties with kids in tow. A few seats away there was even a three-year-old. I don’t hate all Bollywood movies. I usually enjoy whatever Amir Khan is in (except Ghajini). I liked Namastay London, Jab We Met, Umrao Jan (the one with Rekha) and Devdas. Yet, I hated Dostana. Aside from the song “Desi Girl”, it did not have one redeeming quality. It represents the reason I shy away from watching Bollywood movies; the ...

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All the bad lessons movies teach us

Amidst a plethora of job applications, I decided to take a break and treat myself to a no-brainer movie. It was not much of an endeavor to pick a Bollywood movie for the purpose. I found myself playing Dabangg on my DVD and what a treat it was. Despite taking a break of a couple of years from Bollywood, to my utter amusement, I discovered that Bollywood movies have not changed much. The story line of most movies is the same, where a man is either a gangster or a corrupt official with his own sense of justice and his own way ...

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The Matrix versus Inception: Dreaming of reality

The Matrix versus Inception – our table stood divided at two all. The waitress was the deciding vote. Which would she choose? I handed her the tip, whispering Matrix, Matrix, Matrix, under my breath. “Inception. No doubt about it,” she answered. Considering the decade that has spanned between the films, you would be forgiven for thinking that the Matrix is a sci-fi film from a different generation to Inception and therefore incomparable, but you’d be wrong. Indeed when writer and director of the film Christopher Nolan was asked in a recent LA Times article whether or not Inception would be another second-life film akin to ...

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Where art and cinema failed Pakistan

We are constantly judged as the nation that has failed. What the world fails to see is that Pakistan continues to breathe. Despite the daily risk to their lives, people still get up for work, sit in their Japanese cars, listen to Coke Studio recordings, work at multinational companies, munch on American chocolate bars and end the day with by watching channels broadcast from Hong Kong with a plate of daal chawal. The men and women on the field continue to live on, for those who have avoided the flood wage through the day. While those who are victims ...

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Only in Bollywood…

1) Irrational nomenclature – Bollywood: Named in pursuance of the oh-so-holy Hollywood the word was coined after Indian film capital Bombay, but since the city is now called Mumbai why not call it Mulliwood? 2) Aal iz well: Bollywood propagates the idea that India is filled with unlimited wealth which is utter nonsense. If you go beyond the movie sets and the candy flossed frames you will discover just how unglamorous life in shining India is. 3) The quanitity: The industry produces bad movies without any regret and displays an eagerness to make hopeless movies repeatedly. 4) The family business: Bollywood should be known as a monarchy since it is ruled and fought over like a royal’s heir battle for the throne. There ...

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