Stories about music

With Anil-Aishwarya sharing the screen after 18 years, Fanney Khan seems simple yet unique

“Ladies and gentlemen, presenting the star of jhankar orchestra, Fanney Khan!” With such an exciting and quirky announcement, the trailer of debutant director Atul Manjrekar’s much awaited film Fanney Khan opens to tell the story of Fanney (Anil Kapoor), a struggling star from the 90s and his 16-year-old daughter Lata (Pihu Sand). The film is an official remake of the Dutch film Everybody’s famous. The preview presents a mixture of glitz, desire, emotions and tears, tempering it all with witty dialogues. Fans seem to love the simple yet hilarious elements of this emotionally charged musical comedy, and are eagerly waiting to ...

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A Star Is Born: Can Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga continue its 80-year legacy?

Even though this movie has been remade multiple times and every single time it appears as a major awards contender, the excitement and anticipation of filmgoers is unwavering. Once again, we have fallen head over heels in love with the trailer of actor turned director Bradley Cooper and singer turned actress Lady Gaga’s much awaited new version of the famous romantic story – A Star Is Born. The timeless love story’s charm has not faded; in fact, it has enhanced further as the new film preview vows to present Cooper and Gaga in adorable characters. The story revolves around a ...

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Can Bohemian Rhapsody do justice to a band as legendary as Queen?

Seeing how eager Hollywood is to immediately turn even mildly intriguing people and events into subjects of elaborate films, it seems peculiar that there hasn’t been any major Queen or Freddie Mercury biopic thus far. Watch the trailer for the upcoming Bohemian Rhapsody – a film that has been in development hell for the better part of a decade, but will finally come out later this year – and it quickly becomes apparent why filmmakers might have been reluctant to pursue such a project: it’s just so hard to do justice to a band as legendary as Queen. After all, ...

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When did dancing go from a form of art to a taboo, dishonourable act?

I am blessed to enjoy rhythm in my life, and blessed to have parents who put no restrictions on my body’s movement to music. I grew up as a typical uninteresting teenager; music blaring from my room, no matter what time of the day or night it was. I was so obsessed with music that even my telephone conversations with my girlfriends mostly consisted of singing along to the lyrics of the latest popular songs. All this was made possible due to growing up in a home in Lahore which provided space and privacy without disturbing the peace of other family members. My ...

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One year on: It only took a moment for one abominable act to alter Sehwan Sharif’s surrealism and serenity

“Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free.” – Rumi Dhum, dhum, dhum… The drumbeat started plaintively at dusk. I felt someone tap me on the shoulder. As I turned around, the sights were to behold – orange, purple, yellow, green and blue fairy lights adorned the tomb, creating a riot of colours. The chadors (cloth) being handed out for draping around our necks were lal (red), the colour attributed to the Saint. It wasn’t just the sights and sounds that were captivating; incense sticks generated a pleasant aroma. Typically, I would’ve ...

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Junaid Jamshed taught me the importance of humility, positivity and staying true to oneself

It has been a year since crooner turned preacher, Junaid Jamshed, passed away in an air crash. He had been coming back from a preaching mission (tableeghi jamaat) in Chitral, when he met his unfortunate demise. Jamshed had gained countless fans during his singing days and was credited for bringing Pakistan out of its Ziaul Haq-induced oppression of the 80s. Eventually, he turned to religion at the turn of the century and earned followers by delivering sermons and naats in his silvery voice. Interestingly, when Jamshed retired at the peak of his career and decided to become more religiously inclined, he remained popular. ...

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With its Basant-like aura, the #CokeFest transported me to the old Lahore of the 90s

Despite living outside of Pakistan for almost three years now, I am still a hard-core desi at heart. The ‘desiness’ gets stronger if you are not just from Pakistan, but also from Lahore, and happen to be married to another Lahori, who is homesick more often than not. The Lahori inside my husband is so headstrong that a daig (large pot) at Data Sahib‘s shrine is the key to all our woes and worries. Despite studying in the UK and spending most of his professional life outside Lahore, he still compares the falooda he eats anywhere with the one he used ...

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Bujayote: The future of Pakistan’s musical valley may be bright, but the future of their music is dark

In the extreme north of Pakistan, a small area located in Yasin Valley known as Bujayote, is the home of traditional musicians. According to these artists, this name is associated with one of the very early musicians named ‘Bujaye’, a professional, whose generation pursued this profession. The area is also locally known as “Ustadishoo Deh” which literally means the neighbourhood of the musicians. Yasin Valley is one of the many mountain-locked valleys in the extreme north of Gilgit-Baltistan. The instrumentalists of Yasin perform in a set group of more than three. One of them plays a pair of kettle drums locally called ...

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Shoaib Mansoor’s most anticipated movie, Verna, is yet another example of his anger towards social injustice

After hits like Khuda Ke Liye and Bol revived Pakistani cinema, Shoaib Mansoor is all set to return with another potential box office hit, Verna. Directed by Mansoor and produced by Showman Productions, the trailer has already amassed more than a million views on YouTube since its release. #Verna Trailer – 1 Million Views on YouTube!!! A film by Shoaib MansoorReleasing on 17.11.17#HUMFilms #Shoman #MahiraKhan pic.twitter.com/I9UAEIpFz4 — Verna The Movie (@VernaTheMovie) October 19, 2017 Not only have Mansoor’s previous films been considered monumental for Pakistani cinema, he is also the brains behind classic drama serials in Pakistan like Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Fifty Fifty and Ankahi. It is thus unsurprising that news of ...

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The Limehouse Golem: When Jack the Ripper meets Sherlock Holmes for a Victorian gothic mystery

The Victorian era gothic mystery, The Limehouse Golem, will remind you of a number of Alfred Hitchcock’s directorial rudiments. These include his famous methods of handling the suspense rather than utilising the milieu of surprise, the redirection of guilt, and most importantly, the MacGuffin technique, where a pleasant felon pursues certain ambition. Director and writer Juan Carlos Medina adapted this film from English author Peter Ackroyd’s novel Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem (1994). His film’s theme can easily be linked to a plot pocketed from Jack the Ripper’s mystery murders, with lots of Sherlock Holmes effects. It has lavish baroque amalgamation of real historical ...

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