By Zia Ahmad
(courtesy of Friday Times)
Overweight beauties, middle aged gruff leading men, starched hair pieces, logic defying plots, garish costumes, mind boggling dance and fight sequences and pelvic thrusts performed with uncharacteristic gusto, all are hallmarks that define the cornerstone of Pakistani film culture that we know as Pushto films. Over the years Pushto cinema has formed an identity that is utterly unique in offering a brand of entertainment that no self respecting man would want to see with his mum and kids. It didn’t use to be this way though. Earlier Pushto films used to be based around folk tales that paved the way for wholesome family entertainment. Parallel to the rise of Gandasa films in Punjab, during the 80s, Pushto films witnessed a notable dip in quality. Producers and distributors catered their products for the lowest common denominator. That is how Pushto cinema came to be what it is now. Continue reading
By Zia Ahmad
In an effort to demonstrate a searing and incised account of film, cinema itself is identified by some as institutional. People assemble in a designated building and don’t seek to interact with one another. They pay to be silent spectators in a darkened hall. This identification of film aligns itself with obvious social as well as political and economic perspectives. However, on closer observation, going to movies can not entirely constitute a social activity. Continue reading
By Zia Ahmad
Ramchand Pakistani has come and gone and has made another addition to the slowly and lets hope surely upward struggle for the revival of Pakistani cinema. With the lack of any other appropriate banner for these films to be categorized under, no room for “New Pakistani Cinema” or “Reasonable/Sensible Pakistani Cinema”, “Revival of Pakistani Cinema” is the nomenclature that has been agreed upon and Shoaib “Showman” Mansoor’s Khuda Kay Liye has been accorded the privilege of ushering in this revival. Continue reading
By Zia Ahmad
Genre films are best exemplified by Westerns, Sci Fi, Musicals, Action/Adventures and any number of such labels that are designed to lump films together that share certain similarities. Such commonalities may be tonal (Film Noir, Horror), conceptual (Sci Fi, Fantasy) or textual (Biopic, Period Drama, War) in nature.
Genres enable the viewers to form certain expectations from films that work as an identifying device. For instance, with the knowledge of watching a Film Noir, the viewer anticipates the basic set of conventions and motifs that operates as a comforting and familiar visual as well as a cerebral experience. Continue reading
Press release by the organisers
The 7th KaraFilm Festival – Karachi International Film Festival 2009 – which kicked off on February 4th, drew to a close on Sunday, 15th February, with an informal closing ceremony attended by celebrities, filmmakers, foreign mission representatives and film aficionados where the jury awards were announced. The closing ceremony, scaled down in size from the 6th KaraFilm Festival because of a resource crunch, followed a boisterous last screening of the feel-good American film “Mamma Mia!” based on the songs of the Swedish pop group Abba. The closing capped 12 days of screenings and events that showcased over 140 films from the 230 odd films initially selected. Films from some 44 countries participated in Pakistan’s premiere international film festival. Continue reading
Aisha Sarwari reviews the new film by Mehreen Jabbar
When India makes a movie about Pakistan it’s about how bad the Pakistan Army is, and when Pakistan makes a movie about India it is about how bad Hindus are. Between Lollywood and Bollywood you have a mesh of equally shallow, intellectually famished products that have more song and dance or appeal to violence, than it has a story line.
Mehreen Jabbar has chiseled away the Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan straightjacket at the onset of this directorial masterpiece in Ramchand Pakistani. Pakistani cinema moves its way up to showcasing complicated topics palatable enough to be played when crisis after crisis hits the Pakistani political scene. It is difficult to imagine the treacherous paths directors such as Jabbar and recently Shoeb Mansoor in his film, Khuda Key Liye faced when seeing these films to completion.
Needless to say that Pakistani directors have a formidable challenge simply because the Pakistani cinema-going populus is not mature enough and also because it hasn’t apparently hit critical mass. Yet, with a star cast like Nandita Das and Maria Wasti, Ramchand Pakistani will follow Khuda Key Liay and make record sales at the box office in Pakistan and abroad. Continue reading
Filed under Cinema, Pakistan
By Selina Haider cross-posted from here
An enthusiastic applause followed soon after Mehreen Jabbar’s ‘Ramchand Pakistani’ ended in a in a packed downtown cinema in New York last night!
The movie had recently been nominated for the competition section of the Tribeca Film Festival 2008, New York.
The film portrays the story of a family torn apart as a father follows his son who had accidentally strayed across the border into India, and both get captured by the Indian authorities. Nandita Das from the acclaimed hits of the 1990s like Fire (1996) and Earth  plays the Pakistani mother stuggling for their freedom, and mourning their long absence. This story is said to be based on true events. Continue reading