Stories about cinematography

With classics that stand the test of time, Stanley Kubrick’s odyssey is still shining

Stanley Kubrick still stands, timelessly, as one of Hollywood’s most revered and celebrated filmmakers. His almost maniacal obsession with perfection, symmetry, scale and discipline singles him out as the pioneer of film and cinematography. Kubrick’s genius lies perhaps predominantly in his seamless foray into nearly every genre of film, where he emerges more victorious with every venture. From a dystopian crime drama (A Clockwork Orange) to what I feel is his magnum opus (2001: A Space Odyssey), every genre Kubrick delves into, he handles with extreme precision. What distinguishes him from his contemporaries is his remarkable ability to choose a ...

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Good work appeals to the intellect and does not have to be a feast for the eyes – and ‘Parchi’ offers exactly that

Five of the most talented actors, Ahmed Ali Akbar, Hareem Farooq, Shafqat Khan, Usman Mukhtar and Ali Rehman Khan, star in the upcoming feature film Parchi. Good-looking, well-groomed and polished – to varying degrees, these actors are show business professionals. Hence, they understand the difference between acting and modelling and rely, almost exclusively, on their histrionic abilities when working as actors. Films and television shows are vastly different from fashion shoots and commercials. They rarely need good looks, clothes, jewellery and accessories. And they certainly do not require affectation, artifice and fake accents. Not everyone in the cast needs to have flawless ...

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Great performances and a powerful message, yet ‘Saawan’ will fail terribly at the box office

It is next to impossible to produce an experimental film in Pakistan, mainly because the distributors do not support the venture unless it comprises of a star-studded cast. Director Farhan Alam and Kalakar Films deserve appreciation for breaking barriers with their new film, Saawan. The film is written by Mashood Qadri and features Syed Karam Hussain, Imran Aslam, Najiba Faiz and Saleem Mairaj in pivotal roles. The film revolves around Saawan (Syed Karam Hussain), a physically challenged young boy who suffers from polio and lives in a valley in Balochistan. His father is frustrated, depressed and hopeless because of his son’s disability and does not treat ...

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Will Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dunkirk’ be just another glorified World War movie?

Faux-clever and quasi-mysterious to some, while pseudo-intellectual and cine-snob to others; irrespective of the amount of criticism levelled at Christopher Nolan over the years, we can all agree that The Dark Knight-famed filmmaker is one the most famous people alive. Whenever probed for a favourite director, most of the film students I teach would invariably come up with Nolan. Now whether that is a real reflection of his work or simply a by-product of his popularity is up for debate, but what we cannot deny is the cine-cult status that Nolan enjoys. So whether you like it or not, an early peek into ...

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For better or worse, Janaan is a step in the right direction

The Macmillan Dictionary defines a romantic-comedy as, “A funny movie, play or television program about a love story that ends happily.”  Janaan is just that, but it’s not funny in the ordinary sense of the word. The film, directed by Azfar Jafri and co-produced by Reham Khan, is a latter-day ode to Pakhtun identity and heritage. It is a story about Meena, played by Armeena Khan, who returns from Canada to attend her cousin’s wedding in Swat, but falls in love with her adopted cousin. On paper, it sounds appreciable to the Pakistani viewer, and for the most part, the outcome on the screen is adequately gratifying. The stunning introductory shots ...

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Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’s teaser is out and it was worth the wait!

We finally caught a glimpse of Karan Johar’s ambitious project, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, starring Ranbir Kapoor, Anushaka Sharma, Aishwarya Rai Bachan and our very own Fawad Khan. What I gathered from the snippet is that the movie is fresh, dark, passionate and has a melodious soundtrack. This is Karan Johar’s first directorial venture after Student of the Year (2012). But Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is expected to be comparatively bigger, better and more appealing. Ranbir Kapoor, Anushaka Sharma and our very own Fawad Khan.Photo: Instagram Karan Johar and Fawad KhanPhoto: Instagram I am extremely excited about the following things. 1. Music Karan Johar is famous for the euphonious music ...

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Eddie the Eagle is not just another biopic

Biopics are usually a pleasant watch and Eddie the Eagle can be said to be the same. Directed by Dexter Fletcher, Eddie the Eagle is a true story revolving around the British skier, Michael Edwards, famously known as Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards. He was the first person to represent England in the 1988 Olympics in the category of Ski jumping. Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards and Taron Egerton.Photo: IMDb Despite wearing leg braces as a child, Eddie (Taron Egerton) dreamt of competing in the Olympic Games. Doctors advised him not to engage physically strenuous activities, yet he persisted with training in pursuit of his dream. Taron ...

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The verdict is out: Presenting Bollywood’s most popular versus most impactful movies from 2015

2015 was a mixed bag of a year for Bollywood. On one hand, we saw a lot of new-age filmmakers come up with some really off-beat stuff, while on the other, we were subjected to some same old, regressive, masala films. The classic confusion that every movie critic faces in picking the top films of the year is whether to go with flicks that have Box Office tills ringing or go with movies that set one’s own heart fluttering. I have simply avoided the whole dilemma by including both. So without any further ado, here are the top five popular movies ...

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O21: Comically bad?

Perhaps the most impressive thing about O21 is that it was made at all. Aside from the fact that this bi-lingual Pakistani film boasts a talented cast of both Pakistani and foreign actors, and is helmed by filmmaker Jamshed Mahmood Raza, aka Jami – who here has directed his first feature length film – O21 also takes a risk by featuring a narrative that avoids all the cliché-ridden trappings of a Pakistani film. A bigger risk, however, is the pacing of the film, which at times is so slow that it makes the deliberately paced cinematic Steven Kubrick classic 2001: A Space Odyssey seem like Usain Bolt running on angel ...

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X-Men: Days of future past – Hollywood’s version of DDLJ?

Are you a Bollywood movie buff? Did you fall in love with Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge? (DDLJ) Did you pray for Simran to catch that train which Raj was lunging out of? The heaving, the pleading, those stretched arms, the intensity, that suspense and the never ending drama? And just when you thought you were about to have a nervous breakdown, Simran grabs on to Raj’s hand and tears of exuberance fall out of your eyes. Well, we have another DDLJ in town; please go watch X-Men: Days of Future Past. After watching the movie, I even checked online if they have changed the genre ...

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